When Words Matter


There was a tragic Calebaccident yesterday at the Schliterbahm Waterpark in Kansas that resulted in the death of a 10-year boy, Caleb Schwab, who is the son of a Republican state representative, Scott Schwab.  The Verruckt slide is unique in the world with a 60-degree, 17-story near free-fall, which the designer before yesterday said it is “dangerous, but it’s a safe dangerous”.

Water_Park_SlideIt is worth adding that the Verruckt slide at the Schliterbahm Waterpark had an initial age limit of 14 and up. They have since dropped that requirement and said that riders must be 54 inches tall and the combined weight of the three riders in each raft must be between 400 and 550 lbs. They are not reporting on the height and weight of Caleb, but an average 10 year-old boy weighs 70.5 lbs and is 54.5 inches tall, so he was most likely at the lower end of eligible riders, at best.

The distraught father, Republican Scott Schwab whose job, in part, is to ensure the safety of all state residents,  offered these words to reporters:

“As we try to mend our home with him no longer with us, we are comforted knowing he believed in our Savior Jesus, and they are forever together now. We will see him another day.”

Ok. He is obviously at a loss for words and grasping at thoughts that comfort him, but think about what he just said as a Kansas State Representative. The most important thing was not to shutdown the park and protect others from a tragic death, but that his son believed in “our” savior, Jesus.   Do whatever you want, as long as you have mythical belief in something no one can prove.

To make matters worse, the Washington Post reported that

the Schwabs were at Schlitterbahn as part of “Elected Official Day.” The park was full of lawmakers and their families, who received free admission and lunch.

Rather than free admission and lunch, how about spending the day working on tighter regulations on amusement parks? How about enforcing weight and height restrictions?

Given that Scott Schwab is a representative to all residents in his district, I hope to see more from him in the coming months with regard to safety regulations. More importantly, I would ask that he keep his religion private and do not assume that the rest of his constituents share in his fairytales about an afterlife or that they are comforted by his empty words.

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About SamStone

A Steel City Skeptic who thinks science and reason is the light that we should follow to find our way in this world.
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