Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Court orders Moslem visitation to Christian

Often family courts take the position that divorcing parents must agree on all child-related matters, and judges send them to psychologists to force agreement. Or the judges force agreement.

This case is the opposite. The judge forced a disagreement on religion, and the Mass. supreme court upheld it.

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh writes:
Father and mother split when their daughter Odetta (a pseudonym) was an infant. Father was born in West Africa, and was apparently a nonpracticing Muslim; mother was born in Haiti, and was a Seventh Day Adventist. “Upon her birth, Odetta was given a Muslim name, and the family took part in a ceremony in which she was formally recognized into the Muslim faith.”

The daughter lived with the mother, but the father helped raise the daughter, with his brother’s help, until the daughter was age three. During that time, “Odetta attended the same mosque as the paternal uncle,” and “sporadically attended a Christian church with her mother and, on occasion, with her father as well.”

Then the father murdered the mother. The mother’s Adventist family got custody. Should the father’s Muslim brother get visitation, on the theory that continued exposure “to both parents’ religions and cultures” “be in [the] child’s best interests”? (Odetta is now almost 10; the father supported the paternal uncle’s petition.)

Yes, said the trial court and Friday the Massachusetts Appellate Court affirmed, in Adoption of Odetta. An excerpt from the trial court’s decision:
Odetta’s best interests will be served by allowing “her to have some contact with her father’s family, the tenets and practices of Islam which are part of her family heritage and which the adoptive family, who are not Islamic, cannot or will not provide for her.”
Here the judge is forcing disagreement on religion.

There are many things wrong with this. Why are we even letting all these people from Haiti and West Africa into the country? We should prefer people from less murderous cultures.

No judge should be interjecting himself into a religious dispute. I thought that the First Amendment prohibited that.

The case is also a gross attack on parental rights. It gives a non-parent court-ordered visitation for the express purpose of undermining the legal parent's Christian values. This is a recipe for disaster.

I am afraid that this is a sign of many bad things to come. Parents will no longer have the right to teach their values to their kids. If the authorities do not like what you are teaching, some judge will order visitation with someone having the opposite view. The only justification with be the BIOTCh. And that can be just an opinion, not backed by any evidence. In this case, there is no evidence that an Adventist-Islam combination is good for 10yo girls.

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