Faith and Murder – The Black Listing of God in America

In my recent blog, American Healthcare Nightmare Looming I caught the lead story on Fox News about the conviction of Dale Neumann for trusting God with the life of his daughter. This morning, after following Michael’s link, America’s Last Days in his blog Prophecies of Judgment Coming on U.S.A, I came upon this link that gives the Neumann’s side of the proceedings to convict them. We need to wake up to the fact that our media are spinning us out of our minds as Christians even.

Here is The Neumann Story as found on a website seeking to keep the public appraised of the facts during the trial, which undermines the credibility of the procedings…

You will read the Wisconsin Laws that state clearly the protections that were overthrown in the conviction of the Neumann’s.

Section 948.04 – (6) TREATMENT THROUGH PRAYER. A person is not guilty of an offense under this section solely because he or she provides a child with treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone for healing in accordance with the religious method of healing permitted under s. 48.981 (3) (c) 4. or 448.03 (6) in lieu of medical or surgical treatment. 448.04 – (6) PRACTICE OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE. No law of this state regulating the practice of medicine and surgery may be construed to interfere with the practice of Christian Science. A person who elects Christian Science treatment in lieu of medical or surgical treatment for the cure of disease may not be compelled to submit to medical or surgical treatment.

“Righteous Judge, come quickly. Surely Truth and Justice is fallen in the streets! amen.”




The Neumann Trial
5/22/09

Compiled from friends and family of the Neumanns and witnesses of their trial…

Many witnesses can testify to seeing Kara very healthy-looking the Thursday prior to her death, not three or 30 days, as was rumored. The prosecution had to concede this in the trial. Family members say that on Friday, two days before her death, Kara was at home doing schoolwork all day at the kitchen table, until her mother returned home from work around 6:00 PM. Leilani Neumann noticed her daughter looked tired and asked Kara to go lay down and get some rest and not to worry about her schoolwork. Leilani was unaware of any diabetic condition and she is not a medical expert, so how could she have known? In fact, on the Wednesday prior to Kara’s death, Kara had played with a young girl, who, in fact, is diabetic, and Kara also talked to the mother of this diabetic girl, and neither of them noticed anything wrong with Kara. This sickness happened very quickly and witnesses who were never interviewed say the Neumanns never knew what it was and were not expecting it to take a serious turn for the worse. There was no fever, no vomiting, no immediate, strange symptoms, and the tiredness was thought to be related to puberty or a minor flu. If the fact that the Neumanns were also using faith had not come out, they would never have been prosecuted/persecuted. So much for all the lies told about this family.

There have been many cases of Type 1 Diabetes where the symptoms were exactly the same as Kara had and I am quoting the article. In this case, the mother stated her child appeared to have the flu (same scenario as the Neumann’s). The difference is the fact that the mother had brought the child to the emergency room but the child still died. Read this and see for yourself:

2/02/09 7:22 AM

My little girl, Mary Kathryn, died yesterday…

She had been feeling droopy for about the last week. I thought that it was just the start of some kind of bug that was going around. But, by Saturday, she had gotten so weak that I took her to the ER. Come to find out she was a diabetic. It had come on suddenly and no one else in our family has diabetes. She had started drinking more, but I thought it was because she was just sick. They were never able to get her stabilized in the hospital and due to the fact that she was so dehydrated it caused her brain to swell and herniate. She became brain dead at that point and lost to us. My precious baby, Mary Kathryn Elizabeth, I don’t know how I can make it without you!” The website this is from is here. Go there and read this story! The only difference is the Neumanns did not take Kara to the hospital because they believed the child only had a flu and because they believe what the Bible says about healing. Had they brought Kara to the hospital the Neumanns could have joined this mother in her grief!

There are some amazing facts that did not come out in this trial. The Chief of Police, the judge and other law professionals who were familiar with the evidence said early on that the prosecution did not have a case. The prosecution never did even interview the most important witnesses who could clear the Neumanns. The Neumanns did not speak with the media but the prosecution constantly fed them false statements to lynch them with public opinion. This effectually polluted the jury pool. The judge made no moves to stop this. Why was the truth not important? The powers that be are determined to use public opinion to overthrow Wisconsin law that permits prayer alone as a treatment for sickness. Section 948.04 – (6) TREATMENT THROUGH PRAYER. A person is not guilty of an offense under this section solely because he or she provides a child with treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone for healing in accordance with the religious method of healing permitted under s. 48.981 (3) (c) 4. or 448.03 (6) in lieu of medical or surgical treatment. 448.04 – (6) PRACTICE OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE. No law of this state regulating the practice of medicine and surgery may be construed to interfere with the practice of Christian Science. A person who elects Christian Science treatment in lieu of medical or surgical treatment for the cure of disease may not be compelled to submit to medical or surgical treatment. Can’t anybody read? Now even if you disagree with these laws, you still cannot prosecute someone while they are in effect. It is as the Bible warned against in its law, which WAS the foundation for our law: {Dt.12:8} Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.

It should be noted that, according to witnesses, the judge did not allow the laws 448.03 and 448.04 to be read to the jury or brought up in open court. Instead, the judge defined the law from the bench to exclude cases where death would occur. This should only be done by a Supreme Court Judge, not a Circuit Court Judge. Even so, the way the law is written, any parent has the right to use prayer over conventional medicine. In the law it states, “in lieu of medical or surgical treatment.” If a child needed surgery, even for a burst appendix, the parents could use prayer, without fear of prosecution. Yet, an overzealous D.A. and a judge who disagrees with the law have been and are attempting to change the law by ruling from a district bench!

It would appear they didn’t want the facts to get in the way. The D.A., Jill Falstad, was running for election as judge and needed exposure and this worked because the trial didn’t come until after her election, which she later had won! You may wish to know that the state is contemplating rewarding her with an earlier appointment date to her new position as judge!

Not only did Judge Vincent Howard willfully permit the prosecution to bias the jury pool, he prescreened the pool with a questionnaire to make sure he had a biased lot. He culled anyone who could be fair to the Neumanns with questions like, “Do you believe in the power of prayer to heal?” It is astounding that this could happen. In my opinion, these people should be in jail.

The prosecution was permitted five expert witnesses and the Neumanns were refused even one because he was a religious witness. The prosecution actually took up three full days, and about an hour and a half on the fourth day, repeating the same things in different ways to run the clock out before the holiday weekend. This left them with very minimal time for defense. This was a well-thought-out move to have them look like the ones taking away the jurors’ holiday. According to witnesses, the judge even mentioned the hurry so the holiday could start. They would not let the defense use a verse from the Bible or even open it in the courtroom. They were not permitted to pray. It is gross hypocrisy to sit to judge others, while you break the law yourself. Bill of Rights Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

(Jill Falstad does not allow for Judeo Christian beliefs, yet she participates in other religious rites.)

The fact that hundreds of thousands of people die every year due to medical negligence, according to the A.M.A., dwarfs the low percentage who die attempting to have faith in the Lord, yet the medical profession isn’t treated the same way with jail time. This is quite a double standard but is not surprising, due to the Antichrist nature of the people we are dealing with. Those Christians who succeed in their faith have saved many that the medical profession failed to or would have failed to. One search of the Internet for miracles or testimonies of God healing people shows this abundantly. The prosecution’s negligence cost the Neumanns their business, home and ministry. Now they will attempt to take away their children and imprison them.

Contrary to the rumors that were spread, the Neumanns were not under any religious law to not go to doctors. This, of course, separates from faith, which must be a free will operation. They didn’t think a doctor was necessary and they believed, as Bible believers, that God didn’t need doctors to heal.

Now they will try Dale Neumann. The judge, from the bench, said they would wait to sentence Leilani until Dale was convicted and then sentence them both at the same time. “Until Dale was convicted”? Is this impartiality? Not a chance. If these actions above are not grounds for a mistrial, nothing is.

If you think the Neumanns are getting a fair trial, then ask yourself this: Why would, according to a witness, the judge make a comment like, “I will not set a date for sentence. I will just wait until Dale Neumann is found guilty and sentence them together”? All who come before the court are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty! It sounds to me like they have both been found guilty, with total disregard for the truth and the law!

Speaking Out About Injustice
5/22/09

Martin Neimoller spoke in Germany of defending others from a lawless, oppressive state. History is once again being repeated.

“When Hitler attacked the Jews I was not a Jew, therefore I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned. Then Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church — and there was nobody left to be concerned.”

The highest authority also commands that we speak out about this injustice:

{Psa.82:3} Judge [defend] the poor [weak] and fatherless: Do justice to the afflicted and destitute. {4} Rescue the poor and needy: Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.

{Job 29:12} Because I delivered the poor [weak] that cried, The fatherless also, that had none to help him. {13} The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me; And I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. {14} I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: My justice was as a robe and a diadem. {15} I was eyes to the blind, And feet was I to the lame. {16} I was a father to the needy: And the cause of him that I knew not I searched out. {17} And I brake the jaws of the unrighteous, And plucked the prey out of his teeth.

{Jer.22:3} Thus saith Jehovah: Execute ye justice and righteousness, and deliver him that is robbed out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence, to the sojourner, the fatherless, nor the widow; neither shed innocent blood in this place. … {15}…Did not thy father eat and drink, and do justice and righteousness? then it was well with him. {16} He judged [defended] the cause of the poor [weak] and needy; then it was well. Was not this to know me? saith Jehovah.

{Pr.3:27} Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, When it is in the power of thy hand to do it. … {31:8} Open thy mouth for the dumb, In the cause of all such as are left desolate. {9} Open thy mouth, judge righteously, And minister justice to the poor and needy. … {24:11} Deliver them that are carried away unto death, And those that are ready to be slain see that thou hold back.

More to come from friends and relatives…

Leilani Neumann’s Press Release
5/23/09

Many people were looking for a reaction from me. My emotion runs too deep to be seen externally. My faith in God does not waver in the midst of this storm. We have peace in God, regardless of the decision made yesterday. Our emotions do not hinge on how, or if, the rest of the world approves of our actions. We live for God’s approval alone, standing with the apostles and many others willing to be thrown into the fiery furnace if need be, but we WILL NOT worship or bow down to any other God. I did what I thought was lawful. I didn’t realize it would be a crime to pray for my daughter. I didn’t realize the medical experts for the prosecution would consider me a medical expert concerning my daughter’s condition. I have never read a medical book. I do not watch TV and, therefore, have never seen a medical show. I do not know what a coma is, nor was I saying this word. This word came out through the press and other witnesses. Later on Sunday, I recognized a change in Kara’s condition, as we witnessed the deep sleep and a completely limp body, but for reasons some may not understand, I was not fearful — thinking this was something my daughter could fully recover from. Again, I did not understand what the changes in Kara’s body meant, whether good or bad, so we sought for answers from God. Doctors themselves depend on modern medical equipment to help them develop a diagnosis and determine the condition of a patient after many tests. My leaning is spiritual, so I, along with others, did believe God would supply the answers through prayer.

This trial was completely unfair, in our opinion, and it is going to take a higher power to bring Righteous Justice. I have given Brian Gordan, my stepfather, the liberty to be my spokesman in the natural realm to fight against the injustice of these actions against us. I, along with many others who believe in True Justice, will continue to fight on in the spiritual realm. The battle is far from over and the verdict shows us how much more work needs to be done in our fight for religious freedom and parental liberty of decent, law-abiding citizens who love their children.

This trial did not afford the opportunity to tell our side of the story. Every story has two sides. We did not enjoy the liberties of due process. Those who know us cannot testify against us concerning the fact that we have a record of good parenting. All of our children are loved and nurtured, even during a time of illness.

Our child, Madeline Kara Neumann, did not show any sign of pain or agony when she was ill during this short time frame before she stopped breathing. Our children have never been afraid to speak their mind to us about their needs. They are very highly intelligent children, who formulate their own ideas and belief system. They can freely tell you why they believe in God and why they also trusted God to heal their sister. Madeline Kara was a very mature Christian of deep faith in God’s Word; she did her own study on doctors and medicine exactly one week prior to her death. I did not ask her to do this study; she did it without my knowledge and told me about it the next day. She did it out of concern for a dear friend of ours who had a rare type of cancer. Kara found out through her study of God’s Word that the Bible did not advocate doctors or medicine but, rather, that modern-day medicine is a counterfeit to God’s healing power. On the Monday morning prior to her death, I was passing by her bedroom when she stopped me and shared with me the various scriptures she had found that led to her conclusions, and then proceeded to give me a piece of paper where she had this scripture on it (Jeremiah 46:11). She told me this paper was to be given to this dear friend of ours. The police have a copy of this paper and her brothers and sister can verify this account.

Do people have the time to change their belief system in a moment of crisis? NO. Should they give up on faith when it’s being tested? No, otherwise they don’t really have faith. The Bible is very relevant in my life and in the lives of my family. If we had any doubts in any part of the Bible, then we would have to say it’s all a lie, but NO, we believe the whole Word of God is applicable to us for this modern day, and in preparing us for the years ahead. The medical sciences cannot heal all diseases. Doctors and nurses make mistakes that can sometimes be irreversible and fatal. A mistake made in the hospital is respected and hushed, but they will not be investigated because this fits the mentality of most of the people in power; therefore, everything else done to care for a sick child outside of these parameters becomes criminal. Yet, with all the many deaths occurring within the sanctuary of revered hospitals, how anyone can sit in the seat of judgment concerning our daughter’s death is completely irrational.

Dale and I thought we were within our rights to pray for our daughter’s recovery. The last thing on our mind was to harm our daughter in any way. I think the law should be more clearly written before any charges can be made against parents who pray. Where is the law that we broke? Make sure everyone knows that this is no more the America we thought it was. And please don’t try to hide it behind “Reckless Homicide” charges or “Neglect” because the real issue is our government is anti-God.

The hypocrisy has been atrocious. How can the Assistant District Attorney say he believes in prayer, ask others to pray for his family members, and then go and prosecute someone for praying for their own family member? How can these people walk into a church when they would not allow us to open a Bible during that trial?

Though our family has felt extreme pain in our daughter Kara’s passing, the additional grief in facing these charges has created compassion in my heart for all those who have been betrayed by their own government. It is not time to be scared and back in a corner; it is time to wake up and do something about this. How many more citizens’ rights will be violated if we do not have a government who fears God more than man? I am strong, simply because I fear God alone.

Brian Gordan’s (Leilani’s stepfather) Press Release
5/23/09

I want to take this opportunity to clearly and emphatically present a position, as it relates to the case State of Wisconsin vs. Leilani Neumann. To who shall ever read this letter, I clearly state that the apparent issues in this case are really about criminal activity, but not on the part of Leilani Neumann. The criminal activity here is openly and blatantly contributed to the activities and the misconduct of the prosecution. The Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. I am angry and livid that something like this gross miscarriage of justice can occur in this country. I am convinced that this is and was a clear plot to erode the fabric and core that makes us true Americans, in the purest sense. Our freedoms in this country are absolute and clearly defined; these freedoms we enjoy cannot and must not be taken away. I am a veteran of this great nation, and on this Memorial Day weekend we will desecrate the graves of the men and women who have fought died for our freedoms, which include the freedom of religion, speech, press and the right to gather peaceably. Which, of course, are the freedoms granted under the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. Which by the way, contrary to popular opinion, is still a very viable and enforceable document of the laws of our land.

We are not in a position, nor will we ever be, to relinquish our rights or the freedoms we share in this great nation; this must never happen. Freedom of religion is an absolute right, to be free from government interference or infringements. The right of freedom of religion is an inalienable right endowed by our Creator Who is Almighty God. These are very famous impressions of the Constitution; which still governs us to this day.

The foundation of this great country of ours was rooted in Biblical principles. All of the laws in this country that we are aware of are based in part or in whole on scriptures. Thou Shalt not Kill, Thou Shalt not Steal, Thou Shalt not Bear False Witness… Those are just the obvious ones; I am sure you get my point. Below are a couple examples of why religious freedoms are so vital.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

This case is a clear indictment on prayer. The mere act of prayer is not a crime. The act of prayer is a clear communication between humankind and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Prayer is our way of connecting with our Creator. If we all acknowledge that God created us, then we have to conclude that God can heal us. He does not always heal us because we must learn to surrender to His will. None of us control our own breath or health. Medical science has made great strides in the advancements of technology; however, with all that science and technology, no doctor has the power of healing within their own hands. We know from firsthand experience that God, and God alone, possesses that power. I have seen him heal members of my family, myself and countless friends and acquaintances.

You have come way too late to tell me that God does not or will not heal. After all, at the time of his death, Jesus Christ took 39 stripes on his back for our healing, to represent the 39 main diseases known on the earth. I could go on and on about the power of God Almighty. I leave you with some constitutional thoughts on the foundation of our country, as it relates to trusting in God. I do, however, have one last question for you: If God is so bad, so ineffective, why did the forefathers of the greatest nation on earth clearly choose to incorporate Him in the very fabric of this nation’s foundation, and empower we the people with rights that could only come from Almighty God himself?

Wisconsin Preamble.

We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings, form a more perfect government, insure domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare, do establish this constitution.

Article 1, Section 18:
The right of every person to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of conscience shall never be infringed;

Notes:

The above excerpts illustrate some interesting points:

* In almost all cases, states mention God in the preambles to their Constitutions. Only a few do not. New Hampshire, Vermont and Virginia do not have preambles. Tennessee’s only mentions “Lord” in the context of dates. Oregon’s preamble is decidedly neutral.

* The use of the term “in the year of our Lord” is very common.

* Many states mention God in sections that refer to religious freedom, but many of those refer to “Almighty God,” which, by all objective standards, is an endorsement of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic deity (several of the religious freedom sections mention Christianity, specifically).

* A handful of states — Arkansas, Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee — have provisions that deny elective office to anyone who does not believe in God. These provisions are probably not enforceable. In Arkansas and Maryland, persons who do not believe in God are constitutionally forbidden from being witnesses in a trial.

* The oaths of office codified in the various constitutions often include the closing statement, “So help me God.” Several states allow an alternate statement such as “Under the pains and penalties of perjury.”

* U.S. Constitution: First Amendment.

The Neumanns and the Law

Foundation for Constitutional Law and Government

On Sunday, March 23, 2008 the Neumann family lost their little girl, Kara. They had chosen prayer over medicine and God chose to take Kara home. There has been much debate over this issue and I would like to set the record straight from a legal prospective under both the Constitution and Wisconsin law.

Before I give my case and point, let me say this: If we are going to judge this family — which we really have no right to do — we need to understand completely what the Bible states about healing and prayer. In short, the Bible states that we should trust God for healing and use prayer to achieve that goal.

Also, equally as important, and which seemingly is being ignored is, what would Kara herself have done if she alone could choose? The answer can only be based on what Kara believed. Kara believed what the Bible teaches and had more faith than some of us reading this. From things I have personally read that Kara wrote, she would have chosen prayer over medical assistance because she loved and trusted God and His Word.

However, let’s say I am wrong. What then would give the parents the right to choose for their child? And do they have that right to choose for her? The Constitution says they had every right to choose for their daughter and Wisconsin law says they had the right to choose prayer over conventional medicine. Parental rights are special “fundamental rights” under the Constitution.

In the 1920s, the Court asserted that the right of parents to raise and educate their children was a “fundamental” type of “liberty” protected by the Due Process Clause. Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923) and Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 535 (1925).

Over the years, the courts have often asserted that parental rights are constitutionally protected such as a parent’s “right to the care, custody, management and companionship of his or her minor children” which is an interest “far more precious than… property rights” (where a mother had her rights to custody jeopardized by a competing custody decree improperly obtained in another state). May v. Anderson, 345 US 528, 533 (1952).

In Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 502 (1965), Justice White in his concurring opinion offered “this Court has had occasion to articulate that the liberty entitled to protection under the Fourteenth Amendment includes the right “to marry, establish a home and bring up children,” and “the liberty… to direct the upbringing and education of children,” and that these are among “the basic civil rights of man.” (Citations omitted).

These decisions affirm that there is a “realm of family life which the state cannot enter” without substantial justification. Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 166. “Substantial justification.” In essence, this is NOT the case here.

The Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the state from depriving any person of “life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” The Court has long recognized that the Due Process Clause “guarantees more than fair process.” Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 719 (1997).

It also includes a substantive component that “provides heightened protection against government interference with certain fundamental rights and liberty interests.” Id., at 720; see also Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292, 301-302 (1993).

Any denial of Due Process must be tested by the “totality of the facts” because a lack of Due Process may “constitute a denial of fundamental fairness, shocking to the universal sense of justice…” Malloy v. Hogan, 378 U.S. 1, 26 (1964) (quoting from Betts v. Brady, 316 U.S. 455, 461-462 (1942) where it was noted that any violation of any of the first nine Amendments to the Constitution could also constitute a violation of Due Process).

“The court must be vigilant to scrutinize the attendant facts with an eye to detect and a hand to prevent violations of the Constitution by circuitous and indirect methods. Constitutional provisions for the security of person and property are to be liberally construed, and ‘it is the duty of courts to be watchful for the constitutional rights of the citizen, and against any stealthy encroachments thereon.’ Boyd v. United States and Gouled v. United States, 255 U. S. 304, 41 S. Ct. 261, supra.” (As cited from Byars v. U.S., 273 US 28, 32).

And it is further established that any law impinging on an individual’s fundamental rights is subject to strict scrutiny (San Antonio School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1973). “In order to withstand strict scrutiny, the law must advance a compelling state interest by the least restrictive means available.” Bernal v. Fainter, 467 U.S. 216 (1984) While most of the preceding laws are based on custodial issues, the point of custody does inherently include choices made by a parent in all areas, including medical treatment.

Wisconsin law states: Section 948.04 (6) TREATMENT THROUGH PRAYER. A person is not guilty of an offense under this section solely because he or she provides a child with treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone for healing in accordance with the religious method of healing permitted under s. 48.981 (3) (c) 4. Or 448.03 (6) in lieu of medical or surgical treatment.

The D.A. has chosen to file a “Reckless Homicide” charge. Second-degree reckless homicide is the reckless causing of the death of another human being or unborn child. But it involves other acts that must be proven.

In the criminal law, recklessness (sometimes also termed “willful blindness” which may have a different meaning in the United States) is one of the four possible classes of mental state constituting mens rea (the Latin for “guilty mind”). This would eliminate the Neumanns’ actions since there was no unlawful intent to cause harm or death to their child.

To commit an offense of ordinary as opposed to strict liability, the prosecution must be able to prove both a mens rea and an actus reus, i.e., a person cannot be guilty for thoughts alone. Even if the Neumanns’ knowledge had been that the possibility of death could have occurred, having that thought alone is not sufficient under the law to charge anyone with reckless homicide. Which, by the way, was NOT the case.

There must also be an appropriate intention (Did they intend on their daughter to die?), knowledge (The condition, or seriousness of that condition, would have to have been proven to be known.), recklessness or criminal negligence at the relevant time (see concurrence). Recklessness would mean with total disregard. In other words, the Neumanns’ actions would have to be intent with disregard. They would have not only had to know the child would or could die, but act with such intentions that the child would die.

“Recklessness” may constitute an offense against property or involve significant danger to another person. However, regardless of anyone’s point of view, prayer for healing does not constitute reckless behavior. In point and fact, prayer over conventional medicine is a choice in treatment to an illness.

Because you or I may disagree with what we deem to be proper treatment of any illness, opinions or personal choice cannot nullify the law and/or the Constitution. Since this law protecting the right of prayer over conventional medicine does not conflict with, and in fact supports the constitutional position of parental rights, the law should remain intact and the charges against the Neumann family should be withdrawn.

I only pray that whoever represents them as an attorney in court have the same foresight to acknowledge their rights under the law, regardless of personal feelings, press coverage and public opinion polls.

The Neumanns, the Law and the Bible
David Eells

Maybe you are not interested in the rights of the Neumanns because you feel they did wrong. Think about this: If your child gets sick and you pray for them, not knowing if they have the flu or what, and 24 hours later (it was not a 30-day ordeal, as rumored) they die, you will be in trouble. The powers that be have decided to prosecute as murderers the Neumanns who did just this. They have already been prosecuted in the press and talk shows with false rumors passed around from one to the next and blogs calling for their blood; this is nothing else but a modern day Roman Coliseum where the Christians are made sport of while the lions devour them with their mouths. (Ps. 35:17) Lord, how long wilt thou look on? Rescue my soul from their destructions, My darling from the lions. (57:4) My soul is among lions; I lie among them that are set on fire, Even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, And their tongue a sharp sword. Please don’t let these people use this to set a precedent to strike down the Constitution and law that permits Christians to pray and trust God, as they have threatened. If you do not help the Neumanns defend your rights now, very soon when Christians refuse the microchip in their hand and forehead and are not able to pay for meds or doctors they will have to trust God. However, then they will be deemed negligent and their children taken away, just as the prophets have seen. You who know what Revelation 13:15-17 means, think about this. Read the laws carefully.

Wisconsin Law Child Protection Act

948.21 Neglecting a child. (1) Any person who is responsible for a child’s welfare who, through his or her actions or failure to take action, intentionally contributes to the neglect of the child is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor or, if death is a consequence, a Class D felony.

(2) Under sub. (1), a person responsible for the child’s welfare contributes to the neglect of the child although the child does not actually become neglected if the natural and probable consequences of the person’s actions or failure to take action would be to cause the child to become neglected. History: 1987 a. 332; 2001 a. 109.

Section 948.04

(6) TREATMENT THROUGH PRAYER. A person is not guilty of an offense under this section solely because he or she provides a child with treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone for healing in accordance with the religious method of healing permitted under s. 48.981 (3) (c) 4. or 448.03 (6) in lieu of medical or surgical treatment.

448.04

(6) PRACTICE OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE. No law of this state regulating the practice of medicine and surgery may be construed to interfere with the practice of Christian Science. A person who elects Christian Science treatment in lieu of medical or surgical treatment for the cure of disease may not be compelled to submit to medical or surgical treatment.

Bill of Rights Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

It is said that the Neumanns are not entitled to Section 448.04 because they are “seclusionists” and not part of a denomination, but the Word forbids denominationalism, which is identified in the college dictionary as a sect. Paul said a sect or division is a work of the flesh and not of the true church in Galatians 5:19-21. Membership in any sect divides the body. The churches in Revelation 2 and 3 were identified by location, not denomination. We are baptized into the one body of Christ through faith (1 Cor. 12:12,13). They have met with believers in homes which is exactly the way it was done in the New Testament and the home church is the fastest growing church in the world. Even if the government somehow makes a case that they are not entitled to this section, they ARE entitled to 948.04 which is clear to any 9-year-old that “prayer alone” is legal. This was the only method used by Jesus and His disciples and they were commanded to pass it on down to us. (Mt. 28:19) Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: (20) teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.

It is said that the Neumanns’ choice was not their conscience but neglect. I spoke to them much after Kara died and this is a lie. You may not agree with what they believe but they have a right to believe it according to the law and Constitution. They believed that God would heal their daughter as Jesus said, “All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye received (Greek in all manuscripts) them, and ye shall have them.” As with this verse the key to their faith is that we are already healed if we believe it. (1 Pet. 2:24) who his own self bare our sins in his body…by whose stripes ye were healed. Christians around the world and throughout New Testament history have received healing in this way when they held fast their faith, even when they could not get it in any other way.

They were attempting not to be double-minded, for which the scriptures say we will not receive (James 1:7,8). They believe that God even used their weakness to take their daughter home and that like many she may not have chosen to stay faithful to the Lord if she had been raised up in this increasingly corrupt society. (Isa. 57:1) The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil [to come]. If I were in their case I would pray that God take any child of mine if He saw they would fall away and miss heaven. Solomon, in Ecclesiastes 6:3-6, said that the child who dies in innocence enters the rest but the person who lives many years but knows not the goodness of God does not. Eternal life in paradise is much preferred to this sick mud-ball. The lost think the ultimate is this sorry life because they have no hope for the next. They hypocritically murder almost a million and a half babies in the womb every year in the U.S., but let one couple lose a child to heaven and they will crucify them. Now you may disagree with all of this but when they take away Christians’ rights they will come for yours next.

Some think that we should not defend the Neumanns but I think we should ask the question, what would Jesus do? The Pharisees brought a woman who was taken in adultery to Jesus to see what He would do. They said that the law demanded that she be stoned. He said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” These judges who were wiser than most today began to drop their stones and go somewhere the conviction wasn’t so heavy, starting from the eldest who had the strongest revelation that they themselves were sinners in need of mercy. The apostle James said, “For judgment [is] without mercy to him that hath showed no mercy: mercy glorieth against judgment.” If Jesus would defend the adulteress, wouldn’t He defend the Neumanns who have not sinned but acted on their conscience? The answer is obvious. This is why righteous people will stand with them even if it hurts. (See also our third press release from 4/02/08)

Some Christians say we should not defend the Neumanns because Jesus said, “resist not him that is evil,” which is certainly true if we are speaking of denying self to go to our own cross. However, we have in the scriptures much precedent to defend others who cannot defend themselves. (Ps. 83:4) Rescue the poor (weak) and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked. Also, we have much precedent to defend the rights of Christians to live the Gospel. Paul was set for the defence of the Gospel (Php. 1:7,16). He stubbornly defended the Christians against the legalists so the right to live by faith in the Gospel would continue with us. (Gal. 2:5) to whom we gave place in the way of subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. He claimed his right as a Roman citizen several times in order to defend himself so he could get the Gospel out. He was brought before civil and religious courts from Acts chapter 18 through 28, constantly defending his right to preach and live the Gospel. Stephen did the same thing in Acts chapters 6 and 7 and the Apostles in chapter 5. Some say we should not go to court, but as you can see, usually there is no choice in the matter. The Bible does not say we should not go to court but that we should not bring our brother to court before the lost (1 Cor. 6:6,7).

We are not against anyone going to doctors or medicine but when you compare the statistics between going that way and trusting God there is no way a sane person could charge one for negligence. Most of the negative statistics concerning those who claim to trust in God alone for healing are because of legalistic ministers who command their followers not to go to doctors or medicine or condemn them when they do. This is turning grace into a law and is forbidden in scripture because it cuts the person off from Christ and the grace (favor of God) needed to be healed or saved in any other way. (Galatians 5:4) Ye are severed from Christ, ye who would be justified by the law; ye are fallen away from grace. Our access to the grace for healing is through faith alone and not the works of man’s religious laws or the Old Testament law. (Romans 5:1) Being therefore justified (accounted righteous) by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; (2) through whom also we have had our access by faith into this grace wherein we stand; and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

The statistics make our point. When I heard Dale and Leilani were being investigated, I thought, how sad, since authorities don’t investigate the people who put their trust in doctors whose family members die by the hundreds of thousands from medical mistakes every year, according the AMA’s own admission. We know that the doctors do the best they can with what they have and we do not condemn them. Christians would like the same consideration that the law above demands.

The Journal of the American Medical Association Vol. 284 July 26, 2000 reports that doctors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., causing 250,000 deaths every year from iatrogenic causes! “Iatrogenic” is defined as “induced in a patient by a physician’s activity, manner, or therapy. Used especially of a complication of treatment.”

If this is what their organization admits, what is the truth? The numbers are much higher. If, as some believe, this is God’s preferred method of healing today, He is surely making a lot of mistakes. I have a good doctor friend who prefers not to use drugs. He has told me how he prays for patients who will believe, with results. The problem is that most are not interested in deliverance from their curse if it takes repentance and faith so he does what he can.

The above statistics do not take into account the long-term side-effects that kill. My mother took a drug for years. One day she was reading an article by Reader’s Digest on the side-effects of medicines. The side-effect of the drug she was on was breast cancer and glaucoma, and she had them both. That was a terrible trade. My father’s favorite doctor told him after an examination, “One thing I am sure of, you are not going to die of a heart attack. You have the heart of a much younger man.” About a month later he had a serious heart attack. I became convinced it was because of a drug he was taking to put oxygen into his blood because he lost a lung to smoking. Two close friends took a drug that had a side-effect of damaging their kidneys. Their doctors admitted this in both cases. So you see, many hundreds of thousands die in the U.S. every year trusting in drugs and doctors and not even 100 die attempting to trust fully in God.

Over and above the statistics above concerning the physicians’ errors, there are patient safety errors which cause deaths of which the hospitals are guilty. Keep in mind that the statistic below is only for Medicare, so overall the incidence of death is much higher.

Medical Errors Costing U.S. Billions
Mistakes resulted in 238,337 preventable deaths from 2004-2006, survey finds

Robert Preidt

TUESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) — From 2004 through 2006, patient safety errors resulted in 238,337 potentially preventable deaths of U.S. Medicare patients and cost the Medicare program $8.8 billion, according to the fifth annual Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study.

This analysis of 41 million Medicare patient records, released April 8 by HealthGrades, a health care ratings organization, found that patients treated at top-performing hospitals were, on average, 43 percent less likely to experience one or more medical errors than patients at the poorest-performing hospitals.

The overall medical error rate was about 3 percent for all Medicare patients, which works out to about 1.1 million patient safety incidents during the three years included in the analysis…

CNN Medical Correspondent: Don’t Let a Hospital Kill You

WorldNetDaily Correspondent: Drugs Cause Murderous Rampages

The link below shows that a search brought up 172 children who died in 20 years of “Religious Medical Neglect”(?) But it doesn’t come close to 250,000+ per year (plus 238,337 in the Medicare system) by malpractice of the medical establishment. Common sense tells us that it’s neglect if you don’t trust in God.

http://friendlyatheist.com/2008/01/03/religion-based-medical-neglect/

Why are we pointing out the weakness of the medical establishment? To scare you away from them? No, you can only go where you have faith to go. It is to show you that true trusting in God is far superior and should be legal by any common sense.

Friends of Kara

HEAVENLY CHILD

I learned to read when I was four years old, that’s when my sister came into the world. She was so beautiful, and she… still is. Her name was from God, Beloved, Kara my beloved. She was always thinking of another other than herself. She loved her family, she was happy, and she smiled all the time. Eleven years were given to her, she used them wisely learning about God and all that He does through the good and the bad. Everywhere she went she was loved, and she still is. You couldn’t take her spirit from her, she was so headstrong, and her spirit lives on. She loved to laugh and hated to make a mistake. She loved to draw people and coffee shops. Hanging out with her friends was another favorite pass time she loved. She was a heavenly child… and she still is.

~Ariel Neumann, age 14 (Kara’s sister)

Letter sent to us from Anna Rose, a close childhood friend of Kara; she resides in California.

Lately I have been looking through my kindergarten journals, and I wrote how much of a good friend she was and I love Kara, and always will. I remember how much we used to play together and I really miss that. She was the sweetest friend I ever had. Kara was and always will be my best friend.

All of the memories I had with Kara were the most precious. When I found out she died…my heart got ripped out and I broke into tears. I still cry. I’ll always remember Kara and she will always be cherished in my heart. I remember when we used to play dolls, or go swimming, play with beanie babies, or even argue. (As if!) I remember her dog, Spot. On her birthday, I made her a crib for Spot. And, her smile would melt your heart. I don’t even remember one thing she ever did wrong. Kara was the greatest in the whole world. When your family moved, it was sososo sad. But it was for the best. A few months back…I thought of her and wanted to play with her forever and ever and ever again. Whenever I went to her house to play, I never wanted to stop. When my mom came to pick me up from playing with her, I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t want to leave. I remember when she played the piano, the music was gorgeous, even when she messed up. I LOVE KARA!!!! I miss her and my heart cries out for her. I can hear my heart calling for ‘Kara.’ I still ask myself, why did she have to go? God probably wanted Kara in his presence. She was an angel. I love Kara with everything I’ve got. When I was little, I told her, when we grow up, I hope we can meet someday. But now that she’s gone-. I love Kara.

But I know I’ll see her in Heaven.

KARA WILL LIVE FOREVER IN MY HEART (From the Wausau Daily Herald)

You know they say a picture is worth a thousand words? They’re wrong. The name Madeline Kara Neumann is worth twice as much as that and this is why: Kara was the most special person you could ever meet, and speaking of that Kara would love to meet people and once she got to know them they would be best friends for life. When I went to school with Kara I would always read her paper and it would say my dream is to work at Monkey Mo’s Coffee to go. And another thing is that she adored monkeys. She loved everything about them, the way they looked, the way they sound and every little detail. The last thing that I will always remember about her is that she was one of the best of friends you could ever meet.

Mariah Woller, age 11

THOUGHTS FROM THE KUHN FAMILY (From the Wausau Daily Herald)

Brenda Kuhn’s daughter Danielle was one of Kara’s friends. She has known Kara since she began taking classes in the district (approx. three years).

“Kara was happy to be homeschooled; she loved being with her family,” Brenda Kuhn said. Kuhn said she did not notice any diabetic symptoms in Kara during the weeks leading up to her death. She said her daughter and Kara were active, just like any other 11-year-old.”

Danielle: “She was a very kind, compassionate and patient friend. It was very evident that she put Christ first in her life and lived for Him. She was a very reliable and trustworthy friend.”

Drawing the Line Between Church and State
The Reverend Thomas C. Willadsen – August 17, 2008
First Presbyterian Church, Oshkosh, WI

Romans 13:1-7, Matthew 22:15-22

Every summer around the 4th of July I preach a sermon about the relationship between church and state. This year my schedule got a little thrown off, so I’m getting to this issue a month late. I have been fascinated by this topic for years. And it seems that there are always new situations that call for us, as Christians and as Americans, to define and clarify how we are to live. There are times when being a Christian is in conflict with being an American. You may remember a few years ago there was a controversy over whether the words “under God” in the pledge to the flag were an establishment of religion by a public school and therefore a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Another case that received attention here in Wisconsin a few years ago was whether it was appropriate to require people who drive buggies drawn by horses on state roads to place a bright sign on the vehicle to indicate that it moves slowly. While this initiative was motivated by keeping motorists and buggy drivers safe, the brightness of the emblems was contrary to the religious practices of the sect of Christians who drive most of the buggies.

I find issues like this fascinating because they force two good things to compete against each other. On the one hand, we can all agree that safety for people on our state’s roads is a worthy goal. On the other, we also affirm that people should be free to practice their religious faith as they see fit, with neither hindrance nor assistance, from the government. So the question in this case is where the line should be drawn between religious freedom and public safety.

Thomas Jefferson is the one of our nation’s founding leaders who thought and wrote about the relationship between church and state. It was Jefferson who coined the term “a wall of separation” between church and state. While this phrase does not appear in the constitution or the Bill of Rights, it has guided the Supreme Court for more than two centuries as it has defined where and how the line between religion and government should be drawn. Jefferson was a radical proponent of religious freedom, which means he was willing to let religions whose beliefs were unpopular, or as I like to describe them “nutty” to practice their faiths as they best believed. In “Notes on Virginia” [1782] Jefferson wrote, “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

I think Jefferson’s statement gives us good criteria for how Americans should look at the place of religion in society. We can ask ourselves, “Am I physically or financially harmed by the religious practices of other people?” And, I believe, only when society is being physically or financially harmed, should government intervene to limit the free expression of religion. Still, it is hard to know where to draw the line.

In November of last year, a 14 year old boy in Washington State who suffered from leukemia refused a blood transfusion. He was a Jehovah’s Witness and Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Bible forbids receiving blood from other people. The transfusion probably would have saved his life. There was a request to give this boy a transfusion against his will, however, a judge upheld his right to decide to refuse this medical procedure. Shortly after the judge’s order, the boy died.

This case might sound similar to one that unfolded last March here in Wisconsin. On Easter Sunday Madeline Kara Neumann died of untreated diabetes. Her parents do not belong to a church. They believe that the Bible tells them that prayer is an appropriate treatment for illness. Shortly before Kara died her parents called 911, but before help could arrive, Madeline Kara Neumann died. Her parents were charged with second-degree reckless homicide. For a time Kara’s three siblings were put in foster care. In July a judge ordered regular medical check ups for them.

In both of these cases young people died because their religious beliefs, or perhaps I should say their families’ religious beliefs, prevented them from receiving routine medical attention. Could there be a bigger issue around the relationship between government and religion than life or death?

We talked about Kara’s case at church with great passion at coffee hour. People were enraged that an 11 year old girl had died needlessly. Many of us wanted Kara’s parents prosecuted to the full extent of the law! We overlooked something in our rush to judgment. Many of us were so angry about this case last spring, that we overlooked our grief and sadness. Kara’s parents and her brothers and sister were broken-hearted that she had died. No one was “happy” about this, though many of us said things like, “I hope those people are happy now.” We were so angry that we forgot to be sad. So as I talk about this case I want it clear that Kara’s death is an occasion to grieve, though it may make you angry.

I am also curious about the nature of the crime the parents committed. What if they had taken Kara to the doctor and she misdiagnosed the diabetes, treated her for something else, and she died? Would the parents have broken the law then? What if they had taken her to the doctor and the steps she took were medically appropriate and Kara died anyway? Doctors are not perfect. Modern medicine is in many ways miraculous, but no one lives forever. What if Kara had been taken to an acupuncturist or an expert in herbal medicine? In some societies these are accepted responses to health issues. Could it be illegal, should it be illegal in the United States for parents to seek less widely trusted treatments for their children?

Here’s something else to think about—by the way, this is one of those sermons where I expect response and discussion. I will be sorely disappointed if you all shake my hand this morning at 10:30 and simply say, “Good morning”—What if Kara had gotten better? Would her parents be criminals if they prayed for their daughter’s health and their prayer was answered in a way that is obvious to one and all? You could look at this case this way: the parents committed a crime because their prayer was not answered. If Kara hadn’t died they couldn’t be guilty of second-degree reckless homicide, right?

Perhaps God should stand trial for second-degree reckless homicide. Would God get a court-appointed defense attorney?

Most of us put our trust in modern medicine when we, or our loved ones, get sick. The majority of people in the United States use traditional, trusted medical services. Mr. & Mrs. Neumann put their faith, not in modern medicine, but in God. Because they put their faith in God, Mr. & Mrs. Neumann stand accused of second-degree reckless homicide.

I’m in a room full of Christians this morning. And I’ll add we are all observant, practicing Christians. Who else goes to church? We put our faith in God, don’t we? We also, if we’re honest, put our trust in modern medicine, and in the police and fire departments and in a lot of other institutions as well as God. Yes, I believe God will take of me and my family, and ultimately everything my family needs comes from God, but I lock my door before I go to sleep at night. And I save money in the bank, which I also trust.

When Paul wrote to the Romans he was writing to a small group of a newly organized religion that was radical and widely misunderstood. They were threatened by lots of things, like poverty, but also by the first century equivalent of the Roman police department. Paul advised them to obey the civil authorities because ultimately all authority comes from God. In most cases, this is pretty good advice, especially to members of a vulnerable, misunderstood minority population. Paul is telling them not to call attention to themselves, “Be good and you’ll be fine,” he advises them.

Jesus gave a different answer to the question of how obedient one should be to civil authorities. Now you need to understand that Jesus was speaking in a different setting, to a different audience, and these jokers were trying to trap Jesus into saying something that could be considered seditious. Jesus avoids their trap by saying, “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s and to God the things that are God’s.” It’s a brilliant rhetorical move on Jesus’ part. They can’t trap him and that’s what people remember about this passage, how clever Jesus was. But look at what he said, he helps us draw lines for ourselves. His response indicates that we have responsibilities, or obligations, to the government, and to God. And I suppose we could add other causes that we’re loyal to…our families, our employers, our friends, clubs that we belong to, maybe schools that we attended, even professional sports teams sometimes, I understand, command a certain level of loyalty and devotion. Usually these different affiliations do not cause any conflict, for example, one can be a faithful Christian, American, father and Packer fan at the same time, most of the time. But what about two years ago, when the Packers played the Bears on Christmas day? People had to choose and make compromises…It was hard for many people to balance their competing loyalties. It was hard to know where to draw the lines. [Bears 24-Packers 17.]

Where should the line be drawn between the Neumann family’s right to practice their faith and the state’s obligation to “promote the general welfare”? Personally, I believe the state of Wisconsin should not seek to prosecute the Neumanns. Kara’s death is a tragedy, but I believe the right to practice one’s faith forces people to make difficult choices. The Neumann’s faith has its own integrity, and if we go back to Jefferson’s words, their practicing their faith neither breaks my leg, nor picks my pocket. I do not believe any of us would want to live in a society that would be so restrictive of freedom that parents could never be in a position that the Neumanns found themselves in last March. In such a society, government would have all the authority to tend to our children, none of them would die from untreated diabetes, but none of them would be raised by their parents’ beliefs and values. Sometimes we pay for freedom with our lives. And it’s never easy to know where to draw that line. In this case, I believe our state has crossed that line. I’ve had my say. I’ll stick around after worship to listen to what you think.

**********************************

Jill Falstad does not allow for Judeo Christian beliefs, yet she participates in other religious rites

By DJ Slater • Wausau Daily Herald • April 27, 2009

Wausau Hmong community members showed support for Jill Falstad on Sunday with a blessing ceremony to bring good fortune to the Marathon County district attorney in her future role as judge.
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Falstad, elected April 7, will fill the Marathon County Circuit Court Branch 1 seat vacated by Judge Dorothy Bain’s resignation in August. Falstad is scheduled to begin her new job Aug. 1, but Gov. Jim Doyle might appoint her sooner to avoid court backlogs.

Nao Shoua Xiong, a shaman and Xiong clan chief representative for the Wisconsin branch of the United Hmong International 18 Council, hosted the ceremony at his home on Rosecrans Street to honor Falstad’s past service to the Hmong community and to wish her well in her new role.

“We want to work together to solve Hmong problems and help Hmong people understand the law in this country,” Xiong said. “I know she will support the Hmong community.”

Falstad said she helped the Hmong community by providing educational opportunities and updating adult and juvenile law books for clan leaders. She also encouraged local Hmong residents to participate in the criminal justice system, asking them to take steps such as attending juvenile justice task force meetings to discuss issues of concern.

“We want to make sure everyone’s voice is at the table,” Falstad said.

About 60 people were on hand for the Sunday afternoon blessing, which included activities such as tying white string around the wrists of Falstad and her husband, Randy, and offering two chickens, two eggs and a small monetary donation.

Yia Xiong, Nao Shoua Xiong’s nephew, said the ceremony provides a spiritual blessing. The chicken and eggs symbolize good luck, while the white string serves as a visual demonstration that the Falstads received a Hmong blessing, Yia Xiong said.

The ceremony started with Nao Shoua Xiong reciting a prayer while running a small stick with several pieces of white string over and around the Falstads’ outstretched arms.

“Everything bad goes away,” Nao Shoua Xiong said, referring to the purpose of the blessing.

Next, the attendees each took a piece of string, saying blessings of their own to the pair. Afterward, the Xiong clan passed out several dishes of food to celebrate.

“I’m very grateful that the Hmong community put together this type of event,” Falstad said. “I feel very honored.”

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