Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Family court judge forbids church

Sometimes I think that there is no limit to the extent that family court judges are willing to intervene in people's lives. If there is one area that is supposed to be off-limits for a judge, it is choosing a religion. The First Amendment forbids it. But someone needs to tell this judge:
Wife Says Taking Daughter To Christian Service Will Confuse Child

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.

Joseph Reyes, 35, had his daughter baptized and sent his ex-wife a picture of the ceremony. ...

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."

The restraining order asks the judge to bar Joseph from taking his daughter to church. According to the petition, failure to restrain him will "continue to the emotional detriment of the child."

Rebecca and her attorneys declined to go on camera but they did release the following statement: "We stand by our petition. We feel the judge will do whatever is best for the child."
I saw this story on Fox News. Their experts are usually all in favor of meddlesome judges, but this time they agreed that this Chicago judge was way out of bound. A judge should never decide between a church and a synagogue.

People sometimes argue that family court judges have to rule on any dispute brought before them. The argument goes that if the parents disagree, then the judge has to determine the Best Interest Of The Child (BIOTCh). But cases like this show the foolishness of such thinking. It is neither legal nor desirable for a judge to decide which religion is in the BIOTCH.

1 comment:

Child should be exposed to both religions, not just one said...

Joseph’s wife is Rebecca Reyes (Shapiro), and her father is Howard Shapiro, who is an Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Playboy. That’s right, the man who doesn’t want his granddaughter exposed to Christianity, makes his money from pornography!! (Does the word hypocrite come to mind?)