Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dad Barred From Taking Daughter to Church: Welcome to Americastan #tcot #sgp #teaparty

I just read about this case this morning and my jaw dropped (emphasis mine):
Chicago (CBS) - A father has been hit with an unusual restraining order: Keep his daughter away from any religion that is not Jewish. After the girl's parents split up, the father went to a Catholic church and had the girl baptized, CBS station WBBM-TV reports.

Rebecca Reyes says she wants her daughter raised Jewish, and that her husband pledged to do so, even going so far as to convert to Judaism himself.

"That's not accurate," he responded. "I'm not going to call her a liar, but … at the very least she's mistaken regarding that conversation."

But Rebecca Reyes says it's her estranged husband who made the mistake when he had their daughter baptized. In her petition, she argues that if he's allowed to raise the child in any faith other than Judaism, he will cause their daughter irreparable harm.

Reyes' divorce attorney, Joel Brodsky, said when he first saw the petition for a temporary restraining order against his client, he couldn't believe what he was reading.

"I almost fell off my chair," he said. "I thought maybe we were in Afghanistan and this was the Taliban. This is America. We have a First Amendment right of freedom of religion."

Full Article

Now. Contrast this situation with this one, where a Christian homeschooling mom was recently ordered by the court to send her daughter to public school because the little girl's beliefs were "too rigid." (emphasis mine):

The court order stated: "According to the guardian ad litem's further report and testimony, the counselor found Amanda to lack some youthful characteristics. She appeared to reflect her mother's rigidity on questions of faith." The guardian noted that during a counseling session, Amanda tried to witness to the counselor and appeared "visibly upset" when the counselor purposefully did not pay attention.

The guardian also noted that Amanda's relationship with her father suffered because she did not think he loved her as much as he said he did due to the fact that he refused to "adopt her religious beliefs."

According to the court order, the guardian concluded that Amanda's "interests, and particularly her intellectual and emotional development, would be best served by exposure to a public school setting in which she would be challenged to solve problems presented by a group learning situation and...Amanda would be best served by exposure to different points of view at a time in her life when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief and behavior."

Full Article

I suppose it didn't count in the homeschooling case that the girl attended public school anyway to learn Spanish, art, and take phys-ed classes. No. The point was to take her away from her mother's "rigid beliefs."

I recently commented on The Creative Minority Report's site about the craziness of these two cases. You can't have it both ways. The multi-culturalism crowd has rammed its agenda through our society, insisting that we acknowledge, and even experience to a certain point, other faiths. This is why we have kids in Virginia learning about Ramadan in a public school. (Wouldn't you love to see them do the same thing with Jesus and learning the Our Father prayer?)

But yet the judicial system wants to step in and say, "Oh, we believe in diversity. Just diversity about other faiths, except Christianity."

If I were Reyes' attorney, I'd argue from the standpoint that the daughter needs to be exposed to the different religious beliefs of her parents, even if they conflict with one another. Because if one parent insists that only their point of view is taught, that's not really fair. Both parents should have been able to compromise on this but unfortunately, the Jewish mother is the one being "rigid." Meanwhile, the father's right to raise his daughter according to his convictions is getting trampled. It is yet one more development in the government saying to parents, "I know better than you what the child needs."

The whole Joseph Reyes' scenario is crazy, and compared to what just happened in New Hampshire with the homeschooled girl - especially loony. If you have some legal precedents to send to Reye's lawyer, Joel A. Brodsky, here's his information. I sent to Mr. Brodsky the link to the New Hampshire case. Although I was saddened by the homeschooled girl being forced to attend public school, perhaps it could be used to help Joseph Reyes' retain the right to take his little girl to church with him. Keep them in your prayers.


Nichole "Nikki" Warren said...

The homeschool case you site is not the first one, I've read about others. (All were DIVORCE cases). I personally know of divorce cases were the father was told the only church he could take his child to was a Catholic Church. (Dad was/is NOT Catholic; Mom is).

What happens in these cases is the parents can't agree one what's best for the children. So they plead with the courts and ask the courts to do that. The courts have to side one way or the other. They are darn if they do and darn if they don't.

If the judge ruled that the Dad in THIS case could take his child to any church he saw fit, then the Mother, a Jew, would cry out that it was religious discrimination towards her and that she's not being allowed to raise her child the way she sees fit.

So really, in my opinion, the Judge is darn if he does and darn if he doesn't. Often they just side with the primary custodial parent, unless there is reason to believe that doing so would cause serous harm to the child.

I highly suggest in regards to the homeschooling cases that pop-up in these discussions that the whole court order be read and NOT the news commentary.

As a homeschooler myself, I understand why the courts made the choices they made. IN MY OPINION there were some red flags just with the living environment, and the church they were affiliated with it. IN MY OPINION the churches in many case are on the border line wacko cases.

That is my opinion on reading the court orders and doing research on these churches that the they, the homeschooling parent (Mother), were affiliated with.

In regards to the homeschooling cases: If my ex was affailed with church that bored line on being a cult,a wacko type church, then I would do everything in my power to prevent my ex from taking them there.

If I was affiliated with such a church and was still homeschooling my kids. I would expect my ex to do everything he could to prevent me from homeschooling.

Anyway, I just wanted to say these type of things are not unusual. They happen all the time and have been happing for the last 20 YEARS and MORE!

I'm a product of such a ruling, and my folks divorced over 20 years ago. Several of the other cases I know are at least 5 years old. It's just something that has made headlines in the last few years.

I think it has to do with who our sitting president is.....

Unknown said...

I don't know anything about the home schooling case. But I see a very disturbing attitude regarding the Reyes case.

Divorce is nearly always a contentious issue. The father, obviously in marrying the mother, made a joint decision to raise the child in the Jewish faith. I would *tend* to think this is where the mother's argument goes. I cannot ascertain who has custody or if it's a joint custody arrangement. However, the father may be renegging on his agreement with the mother. This is not a good case to put into the media, and I do not even believe it is a "freedom of religion" issue. In fact, reading this post, I sense a snarkiness towards any religion other than Catholicism. (Let's remember where Catholicism sprung from, didn't Judaism play a role there?)

Rather than putting this child in the middle, the parents ought to have their heads examined. If the child is going to be raised in a predominately Jewish environment, I can see where the mother would believe it would be for the child's best interest. As the child comes to maturity, she can make the decision herself to convert. And there is nothing preventing her father from teaching the child about his religion. I do see where being raised as "half Catholic" and "half Jewish" would be confusing to a child. Saturdays we go to synagogue, Sundays we go to Mass. Now perhaps she'll get a double dose of God in all of this, but most likely I doubt it.

The father's "conviction" seems to have been "only as long as I am married to your mother"--meaning, he may have said one thing while married and planning the child, and a completely different thing after divorce. So much for integrity being based on one man's word!

The father's "right" also should not be thought of as trampled. The fundamental issue in my eyes is: raising a child in the least confusing environment possible and I say kudos to the mother for making that assertion. The father just may need to grow up some.

Mary Rose said...

dmcmanus, believe me - I am not adverse to any other religion other than Catholicism. (And in fact, I love Judaism and recognize many of our Judaic roots.) Here's my point:

The father converted to Judaism. They got a divorce. He returned to the Catholic Church. I don't see why he still could not retain a respect toward Judaism and support its practices while still pursuing his own path AND explaining this to his daughter.

My post was more of an observation on the interesting twists and turns of our multi-cultural, diversity-driven society. I don't have a problem with differences of faith. But if we're going to start forcing homeschooled kids into public schools so they get a broader understanding of other faiths - why would that same approach not apply to custody situations? Why aren't we telling the courts that a Christian homeschooled child would be "confused" if educated in a secular environment, and learning about other religions through her peers?

As for the father's integrity, I respectfully disagree. People change all the time. People also make mistakes and grow by them. If the father gave his word to raise the child in a Jewish environment but yet changed religions himself, he can still show integrity by encouraging his daughter to pursue a greater understanding of Judaism.

I say the father has just as much of a right to influence his daughter by his beliefs as the mother. Their commitment to working out their differences would be the greatest example their daughter could have in dealing with different approaches to life. Now that would be a helpful life lesson.

Unknown said...

Mary Rose,

I think that's the problem I have: the government ought not to interfere with parent's (or any individual's for that matter) private decision concerning faith or religion. We have a history of the separation of state and religion. The whole multi-cultural, diversity thing isn't all it is cracked up to be. While I do agree that we ARE a diverse society (look at population projects for the mid-century and Caucasians will be about 45% of the population) -- we are being nitwits as far as I am concerned about all of this. We want don't want "God" in our public schools and yet there is this nutty thing about forcing homeschooled kids into public schools for "broader understanding of other faiths?!" What?!!! Public schools are secular institutions for the most part. I am also finding it a stretch to tie it into the Reyes case. It's absolutely, in my eyes (and having gone through a divorce with custody issues) is simply a mechanism for the parents' to scream "my rights!" and put the child into the middle of their dispute, rather than one letting go of that issue with the loving understanding that the child IS going to have some religious background and education. A child as young as the Reyes only needs and wants one thing: the love and concern of her parents. Not necessarily to be shuttled off to Synagogue on Saturday and Mass on Sunday because her parents were too indecisive and too argumentative to give in to a compromise of allowing the custodial parent to raise her in a specific faith and needed MORE bureaucracy and MORE legal maneuvers (and hence money, time, and effort) tossed into some legal case decided by a judge so set precedent so that in the future the court has a say in a child's religious upbringing?

This is some weird thinking to me. I agree. People change their minds all of the time. However, the decision is not about the parent. It is ultimately about the child and what is best for the child. Do you think it best to throw a child into a confusing religious situation at such a young age? I can't say it would and nor can I say it should be done based on "multicultural faith education" efforts for homeschooled kids.

Dunno. Maybe I'm just too dense and too simple? Too many years of parochial schools with a consistent religious education?

Pablo the Mexican said...

This couple formed a covenant marriage; they did not just show up at a J.P. and tie the knot.

People are Jews based on the mother's bloodline.The children of this marriage are born Jews. Nobody is born Catholic.

Why didn't the Priest performing the Baptism ask for the whereabouts of the mommy? This guy must have not given truthful information to the Priest.

The Father loses out. Shoulda married in his own Faith, and not fence jumped.Both ways.