The Washington Post reports — in an aggregation/clickbait kind of piece — that a 10-month-old died after her parents allegedly refused to get help for religious reasons.
By aggregation/clickbait kind of piece, I mean that this is a story made up mainly of links to other media reports and social media. There's not much original reporting. This is mainly a web search aggregated into a quick report designed to get internet clicks.
I offer that background not as a criticism (although it's admittedly not my favorite form of "journalism") but to lower the expectations for the quality of material that a reader might expect to find.
Still, I think the reader who shared the link with GetReligion asks a relevant question, even for this gutter-level form of news. More on that question in a moment.
First, though, the top of the Post report offers the basics:
In video sermons, the man railed against vaccines, “bad medicine” and doctors whom he deemed to be “priesthoods of the medical cult.”
And he explained why he refused to vaccinate his children, saying: “It didn’t seem smart to me that you would be saving people who weren’t the fittest. If evolution believes in survival of the fittest, well then why are we vaccinating everybody? Shouldn’t we just let the weak die off and let the strong survive?”
On a Facebook page matching his name and likeness, Seth Welch of Michigan spoke of his religious beliefs, which he shared with his wife, Tatiana Fusari. Those beliefs may have contributed to their own child’s death, according to court records.
Although the circumstances surrounding the baby’s death remain unclear, the couple were charged Monday with felony murder and first-degree child abuse after their nearly 10-month-old daughter, Mary, was found dead in her crib from malnutrition and dehydration, according to court records cited by NBC affiliate WOOD.
Now, back to the reader's question:
Any particular church or denomination? Implies they're Christians but what if they're not? Early story?
So the reader wants to know the specific details concerning the vague "religious reasons."
I did some Googling of my own. I couldn't find any reliable (in my personal estimation) news reports that answer the reader's question. Some British tabloids are chasing the story, and here is what one — The Sun — has to say:
Here's what we know about Seth Welch and Tatiana Fusari and their warped beliefs.
Seth Welch and Tatiana Fusari, both 27, are a married couple who lived with their three children on a cult-like farm in Solon Township, Michigan.
The fences are painted with religious slogans and quotations from the Bible.
One sign in large white letters reads: “Repent, Believe, Obey. My kingdom is not of this world. His kingdom comes, his will be done.”
Similar slogans are hand-painted on placards erected around the site.
One reads: “Every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess to God”.
To the extent that we can trust a tabloid, The Sun sheds a little more light on the circumstances.
Perhaps, though, this story will progress from the world of aggregation/clickbait to actual digging by the Post into the relevant facts. If indeed this is national news, that kind of information would be helpful to readers' understanding.