Not Condoned

Eleven-year-old Wesley Parker of Barstow, California, is still in his grave. His parents—Lawrence, 34, and Alice, 29—have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and endangering the boy’s health. Denied insulin, he died two days after a visiting faith healer declared him cured in a service at the local First Assembly of God church (see September 14 issue, page 50). For days the Parkers had clung to the hope that God would resurrect their son.

William H. Robertson, a Southern California district superintendent of the Assemblies of God, deplored the incident. We believe in divine healing, he said, but do not “condone the throwing away of life-saving medication because an individual is presumed healed.” Pastor Gary Nash of First Assembly disavowed the parents’ actions, saying that he tried to convince them to get medical help for the boy. The parents were deceived by Satan, he asserted.

Authorities in San Bernardino County, meanwhile, are continuing their investigation of the incident, particularly the activities of the faith healer.

If convicted, the Parkers could be sentenced to up to fifteen years in prison on the manslaughter charge. The second charge, endangering the boy’s health, carries a penalty of one to ten years.

The Porno Jesus?

Danish film-maker Jens Joergen Thorsen, 41, will have to look elsewhere for a place to film his porno movie on the life of Christ (see August 31 issue, page 27). The French government’s cinema department banned the shooting of the film in France amid an international storm of protest, including denunciation by Pope Paul VI, who called the proposed movie “an ignoble and blasphemous outrage.” (Thorsen suggests that the movie will include group sex scenes and a bank-robbing Jesus riding a motorcycle in the nude and making love to Mary Magdalene in a brothel.)

Thorsen writes off the reaction as “ridiculous” and says he is going ahead with the project at a location in North Africa or South America, even if he loses the backing of the Danish government, which put up $100,000 to guarantee a loan to bankroll the film. The government, under pressure from Christians, now has second thoughts.

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