Afghan Vet defies a court order: takes daughter to Church

This is a strange story about an Afghan Vet who defied a Judge’s order by taking his daughter to a Catholic Church. The estranged mother is Jewish and disagrees with this. What I can’t understand is how a judge can interfere with a father’s right to take her to Church. Yes, his mother also should have the right to take the child to synagogue, but this court order would seem potentially unconstitutional. However, the law is not my field so I hope a few lawyers are willing to weigh in on this one. Thanks.

abcnews.go.com/GMA/Parenting/divorce-battle-dad-faces-jail-time-taking-daughter/story?id=9845919

Listening:popcorn:

This is going into something else.

Can an individual’s constitutional right to freedom of religious exercise be abridged by a court order?

Sounds like a job for the Catholic League. Judges can do whatever we allow them to do.

They won’t touch it. It is a child custody matter.

Judges can do whatever we allow them to do.

To be sure. Would you want it any other way? Would you have them not follow the law?

The mother had custody of the child and it was her right to determine in what religion the child was to be raised. The father had converted to Judaism and agreed to have the child raised as a Jew. That he decided to revert to his original Catholicism is not license for him to violate the terms of the custody agreement, take the child without permission, and baptize her.

Ask a priest - they don’t want children to be baptized as Catholics unless the intention is there to raise the child as a Catholic.

Keep in mind, too, that the man could choose any religion or non-religion he wanted. He doesn’t have the right to impose it on a child in the manner he did.

And what about the fathers rights?

And what about the fathers rights?

Oh I forgot fathers have no rights they are only good for working and dying.

And it is very questionable whether the judge in this case is obeying the law.

A Catholic parents right to raise their child Catholic cannot be legally taken away by a judge, at least not in a free country.

The fathers motivations for doing so are of no consequence, he either has a right to raise his child Catholic or he doesn’t, and if he doesn’t then none of us do, the law can stop all of us from raising our children in the religion we choose to if what this judge did is considered legal.

From the articles the father sounds like a nasty man, but two things, firstly the reporting is not impartial it is obviously against the father and secondly his motivations for doing this are irrelevant to the underlying issue which is:

Does a Father have the basic right to teach his children his religion or can that right be taken away by any other man who happens to win for himself the title of judge?

Once you allow judges to start taking away that right you have set a very, very dangerous precedent which threatens religious liberty itself and you have surrendered parental authority and religious freedom to the government.

A better article on this case can be found here

illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2009/12/cut-the-power-of-the-family-courts.html?cid=6a00d834515c5469e20128775dddee970c

He agreed to raise the child as a Jew, he cooperated in raising the child as a Jew until he decided to revert. His wife has full custody. She has the right to raise the child in her own faith.

A Catholic parents right to raise their child Catholic cannot be legally taken away by a judge, at least not in a free country.

Not so. It has all to do with who has custody of the child.

The fathers motivations for doing so are of no consequence, he either has a right to raise his child Catholic or he doesn’t,

He doesn’t.

and if he doesn’t then none of us do, the law can stop all of us from raising our children in the religion we choose to if what this judge did is considered legal.

He chose to raise the child as a Jew. His reversion doesn’t affect the child as he doesn’t have full custody.

From the articles the father sounds like a nasty man, but two things, firstly the reporting is not impartial it is obviously against the father and secondly his motivations for doing this are irrelevant to the underlying issue

He has no right to do what he did. Period.

Does a Father have the basic right to teach his children his religion or can that right be taken away by any other man who happens to win for himself the title of judge?

Once you allow judges to start taking away that right you have set a very, very dangerous precedent which threatens religious liberty itself and you have surrendered parental authority and religious freedom to the government.

You don’t know how child custody works.

By the way, if the husband were Moslem, converted to Catholicism, then reverted to Islam and wanted to raise his child as a Moslem, would you say that the Catholic mother, who had court-directed custody, would be wrong in insisting on having the child raised as a Catholic - or should the father’s Islam prevail?

unfortunately, we also have to look at the motivation behind the father’s actions.
is he a Catholic committed to his faith? or is he in someway trying to get back at the ex-wife?

i see nothing wrong with the father instructing his daughter on what the difference is between Catholicism and Judaism and explaining to his daughter what it means to be Catholic.

this is why people have to be so careful with interfaith marriages. he did agree to convert to the Jewish faith when they married and agreed to raise his daughter Jewish, but now that he is divorced, it seems he wants to revert to Catholicism and wants his daughter exposed to the Catholic church.

didn’t he also baptize her? now, i could see how a Jewish mother would be upset to know that her Jewish daughter had been baptized in the Catholic church.

hopefully, when the daughter becomes an adult she will be able to make the decision on her own as to her spiritual life.

bill maher grew up in an interfaith family like this and look what a confused mess he is.

this is not to say that children cannot be brought up in healthy homes of interfaith marriages, but it takes cooperation and understanding.

Excellent points. No Catholic priest will baptize a child just because the parents bring her to church to be baptized. They have to give assurances that the child will be raised a Catholic. A Protestant couple who did that would be turned away as well for that reason unless the child were in danger of imminent death.

No wonder he baptized her - he’d not find a priest who would do it under those circumstances.

As an aside, my wife, when she was 8, decided to baptize her two younger cousins, who were Jewish, and did so. She was shocked that she was lectured to by the priest when she went to Confession and told him about it. She thought she did the right thing and expected praise. Her parish priest disagreed, but understood her young misguided zeal.

More facts are coming out about this story, and this guy has no integrity whatsoever. His current stand is that Catholicism/Christianity is just a radical form of Judaism. Here’s what is obviously lacking in his “logic”. If he really and truly believes that- why did he need to convert to Judaism to begin with? I’ll tell you why- he is full of it.

The facts: (1) The father makes an agreement with the mother; (2) The father violates that agreement; (3) The mother takes the father to court to enforce the agreement; (4) The judge rules that the father must honor the agreement.

Sounds like simple Contract Law 101. What’s the problem?

This is a better article, thank you. I remember that case where the mother was ordered to send her child to a public school.

The fact is this judge and many other judges are seriously over stepping their boundaries here. They do not have the right to dictate to a parent where their child can go to school or church. That is solely up to the parent, fathers included. Our Judicial system needs a major overhaul.

I would be curious to know how this would play out if the father was Muslim instead of Christian.

Yes, I agree. There is no problem if one views it logically like you clearly have. :thumbsup:

A few comments on this:

  1. Why does the article make reference to the fact that the father is an “Afghan vet”? Of what consequence is that to the case? That’s the warning sing that something’s not quite right. Its as if sympathy rather than law is being used. While I understand that military veterans might get out speeding tickets and such, expecting a judge to overlook the law in a child custody case is quite different.

  2. Some posters seems to think this is a religious liberty issue and not child custody. I would venture a guess that this opinion is based on the fact that the father is Catholic. Let’s say the mother is Catholic and the father is Jewish or Muslim or Hindu and trying to do the same thing. I’m sure we’d have a lot more people saying this is a child custody issue and not a religious liberty issue. When it comes to the law, all doors swing both ways so be careful what you ask for.

  3. Judges indeed have some leeway when dealing with civil matters, but establishing a precedent can be a dangerous thing fraught with unintended consequences.

I made a similar comment in Post #8. I can imagine the howls on this Forum if the father was a revert to Islam, the mother Catholic, and he wanted to do similarly with the daughter. There’d be praise for the judge instead. :shrug:

A father has every right to raise his child into any religion as he sees fit, regardless of whether it is Catholic or Islam or whatever. You are falling prey to the false idea that rights come from legislators and judges, whereas they actually come from God, and the rights of parents take precendence over the rights of society, even one as murky as oppressive as Chicago’s. Period and exclamation.

The serious issue here is that a secular judge is trying to claim that exposure to the Catholic Church is harmful to the child, and I would hope that every practicing Catholic would be up in arms at this direct attack on his Church, as well as any other persons of good will.

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Your argument against Islam is a red herring, by the way, as I mentioned in my previous post to you.

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Just to inform you: Human laws are not the highest arbiter of right and wrong. People are obligated to adhere to their informed conscience above any merely human law. This issue was resolved at Nuremburg, when people tried to claim they were merely following perfectly lawful orders.

Also for your edification: Parents (both) have a right and a moral obligation to make important decisions on the raising of their children, and this right is inalienable, which means it cannot be abrogated by any civil case or by the holder of the right himself.

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