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."
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."
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.