Another Reason Civil Authorities Should Keep Their Noses Out of Religion (Updated)


A judge has ruled that dad can take his daughter to church when she’s with him.

Original Post Feb 17, 2010

It looks like an ugly divorce (is there any other kind?) but a judge has apparently inserted himself into the middle of an already messy situation by threatening to punish a father for having his daughter baptized Roman Catholic. Mom is Jewish and doesn’t want the daughter exposed to Christianity and to further complicate things it seems that the judge who issued the ruling is president of Decalogue Society of Lawyers. The Telegraph has the story.

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  1. There is nothing remarkable about a family law judge ordering a child to be reared in the religion of one of the parents, usually the custodial parent. The usual rationale is that, just as the court orders all manner of child raising issues. A lawful order of the court must be obeyed or the violator punished for contempt. It happens every day throughout the land. The appellate courts have ruled that there is no Establishment Clause or Free Exercise Clause violation by such judicial orders. It’s thought to be a necessary part of the judical oversight over children when parents’ are at war with each other. Someone has to cast the tie breaking vote on child raising issues, and it falls to the judge. Most judges try to exercise wisdom and prudence in making these difficult decisions, but the decisions have to be made or the parents will be at each others’ throats and wreak further damage on the child.

    It’s part of life in a fallen world. Unfortunatly, it falls to the state to pick up the pieces of hundres of thousands of broken marriages and damaged children.

  2. the fact that the judge is jewish should be cause enough for him to say, for the sake of absolute fairness, i recuse myself. though i am perfectly capable of rendering a fair decision, in the best interests of the child, a religiously neutral judge should be assigned.

    judges have agendas too. they cant help it.

    • Okay, so a member of the Christian Legal Society should also recuse himself in a case when an evangelical Christian parent is trying to take her daughter to church but the backsliding father is objecting?

      I fail to see that the mere fact of this judge’s membership in a Jewish lawyer’s organization should bar him from making a ruling in this case. Now there may be other factors apart from his mere membership that would warrant him recusing himself, but I’m sure you don’t mean to say that we need to make the assumption that membership in a religious organization means a judge can’t issue a fair and impartial ruling. That logic leads to us saying that only atheists or non-religious people can be fair judges, and that can’t be your intent.

  3. Somebody once remarked that the civil war in Ireland pitted Catholic atheists against Protestant atheists. This couple sound like unbelievers who use their religious backgrounds as clubs against each other. Unhappily, the one they hit is their daughter.

  4. Another extremely important reminder about why we should never marry outside of Christianity and be cautious when marrying outside of our respective traditions.

    I have an unsympathetic view of legal courts, especially here in California where a court ruled that parents don’t have a right to the instruction of their children when at a public school. The only comfort I can take is that God will deal accordingly with the men and women who make such statements.

  5. What would the alternative be, dgh, let them engage in a fist fight? set up a parallel “Christian” or “Jewish” sharia law system? Honestly, what would one do?

  6. What is not mentioned is that the father and mother signed a custody agreement–and the father said he would agree that his daughter be raised Jewish. I also believe that for a time the father may have converted to Judaism and now ‘reneged’. As much as I abhor over reaching courts, the father, in this case, may have broken a legitimate court order, and his own legally-binding word. Could it be this is more ‘personal’ (him trying to punish mom) than spiritual? Just a thought….

  7. No problem here. The mother said that she didn’t want the child exposed to Christianity. There was no exposure to Christianity that I saw, just some Romanism stuff goin’ on….

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