Imagine you are a young child with a very serious but very treatable illness. But your parents are Christian Scientists, and they refuse to take you to the doctor's for treatment. Instead, they pray for you day and night. Meanwhile, your illness just gets worse and worse. I'm all for religious freedom, but when one's beliefs start to affect other people, especially innocent and defenseless children, this is where we need to draw the line.
I agree that the parents have the right to choose their own methods of rising their children, but these methods should be chosen according to the interests of children. If they violate childrens` rights and may be harmful for their father development, the state must interfere in order to protect the rights of children, who are the most weak part of our society.
I think it is so obvious a matter that even the single dissenting opinion inadvertently made a case for the affirmative. The government has a duty to prevent harm to it's citizens as best it can. If my religious beliefs indicated that I was expected to molest my children once a week for their benefit no one would argue that my belief should not be respected. How then can we be expected to "respect" any belief that is detrimental to a child that is incapable of recognizing the consequences of these beliefs. To borrow from the poorly applied logic behind most pro lifers, a child is a potential citizen and every citizen is to be afforded protection from those who mean to due harm.
Since parents are ultimately the only people that a child can rely on to ensure their well-being, I do think that a child's welfare takes precedence over their parents' personal choices, like how they choose to practice religion, assuming the freedom of those choices might affect that child's welfare.
A child understands certain aspects of their parent's religion and may or may not agree with it. A minor should not be made to die or suffer because their legal guardian has religious preferences. Until a child reaches the age of consent, around 16, the courts should intervene to protect them.
Children should not be allowed to die from lack of medical treatment. If parents follow a religion that does not believe in seeking medical treatment, their children may possibly die. Children should not be allowed to die if medical treatment can save them.
In some religions, health comes before ritual. I know of many Jewish people who are told by their doctors and rabbis not to fast on certain holidays, due to diabetes, pregnancy, or any other digestive problem. Religious rituals would mean nothing if the practitioners all died due to poor health.
By all means teach children what your religion teachs. Don't impose. They should be free to develop opinions, ideas, and activities even that they reason out themselves. Imposing dogma with no alternative view is always dangerous, especially with a developing child.
The welfare of people, especially when the people are children, should always be more important than freedom of religion. Parents or adults should be entitled to practice any religion they choose, but they should not impose that upon children. Up until the age of 18, children should actually be allowed to live a life that gives them every opportunity to thrive.
There should be no reason why any child should suffer needlessly because of their parents' religious beliefs. I have seen cases in the news where children have been denied much needed medical care because the family did not believe in traditional medicine. Children have died because the parents believed they could "pray away" their child's sickness. In my opinion, this is borderline neglect and abuse, and criminal charges should be filed against these types of parents.
If we protect freedom of religion, to force something against a parents religion undermines their freedom of religion and their posiyion as parents to a child. We may not agree with their religion, and may not like it if a child dies, but, in some religions we are speaking of a persons eternal life as well. We should not be allowed to pick and choose how much freedom of religion we will permit.
In an independent nation, people have all the rights to enjoy their rights and freedom. The same applies to children as well, but there should not be too much interference of any superior authority between parents and children. As long as the basic human rights are respected and the practice are according to the local laws, I guess there is no need for legal precedence.