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POLITICS: Can Judges Decide Acceptable Religions?

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posted on May, 26 2005 @ 04:51 PM
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The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment has widely been used by courts in recent decades to exclude any form of religious actvities from everything from schools to courtrooms. Now a civil case in Indiana challenges that a State judge has been unconstitutionally endorsing some religions over others in what amounts to an Establishment of Religion by the State.
 



www.indystar.com
An Indianapolis father is appealing a Marion County judge's unusual order that prohibits him and his ex-wife from exposing their child to "non-mainstream religious beliefs and rituals."

The parents practice Wicca, a contemporary pagan religion that emphasizes a balance in nature and reverence for the earth.

Cale J. Bradford, chief judge of the Marion Superior Court, kept the unusual provision in the couple's divorce decree last year over their fierce objections, court records show.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


One might understand a ruling against one parent inculcating a child in a minority religion, if the other parent objected as part of a custody battle. The oddest thing about this case, however, is that it's both parents at odds with the judge!

As the Indianapolis Star goes on to point out, neither parent requested the bizarre ruling that Cale J. Bradford, chief judge of the Marion Superior Court kept in the divorce decree last year, after both "outraged parents" objected to a provision neither asked for nor wanted.

While even the U.S. military accommodates Wiccans and educates chaplains about their beliefs, the Indiana judge was having none of it when he cited the child's enrollment in a Catholic Parochial school as [apparently] more significant than the testimony or beliefs of the two parents who did the enrolling! According to the court a confidential report prepared by the Domestic Relations Counseling Bureau outweighed the parent's wishes when it claimed:

"There is a discrepancy between Ms. Jones and Mr. Jones' lifestyle and the belief system adhered to by the parochial school. . . . Ms. Jones and Mr. Jones display little insight into the confusion these divergent belief systems will have upon (the boy) as he ages."

[edit on 26-5-2005 by Fu Manchu]

[edit on 26-5-2005 by Fu Manchu]




posted on May, 26 2005 @ 06:15 PM
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Nice find, I guess it comes to the fact that religiou belief is not a family choice but an outside point of view and decision by the court, funny.

The parents can either make a big deal and have all this fix, or allowed the court to tell them how to bring up their child.

If it was me I would take it to higher courts and involve the nation's freedom of relgion and the constitution.

[edit on 26-5-2005 by marg6043]



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 06:17 PM
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Yes interesting find. I doubt this judgment will withstand the rigors of judicial review under the constitution.



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 09:13 PM
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Yes interesting find. I doubt this judgment will withstand the rigors of judicial review under the constitution.


Sure it will, this case is no different then the father who sued over the Pledge for the flag and lost.

The judge simply upheld the earlier decision the parent or parents made when they put him into a Catholic school. The judge did not do that the parents did.

I doubt it will ever make it to the higher courts for that reason alone.



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 09:34 PM
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what differance does it make what school the kid goes to? they are both paid for from ta money, as such both are technicaly public schools. in fact at least here the religious classes are elective, not all students have to even considder takeing them.many parrents send their kids to cathlic school out of either closeness or they believe that there are less serious problems especialy violance in a catholic school. the father even mentioned that the child was not involved in the religiouys aspect of the school. even if the child was takeing religious courses what is the problem?

i happen to personaly know a few wicans. one family that i am quite close to even practices wica AND their daughter attends the catholic church and is baptised within it. she has also been to a simmiler type of cerimony within the wican religion. they feel that when she gets older she should HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE for herself what she wishes to follow. what is wrong with that from a LEGAL standing? remember that little thing about freedom of religions? this judge has actualy broken the constitutional rules.

now there is precident of couts decideing what is acceptable, what is net? mabe they will outlaw muslims, after all aren't they the ones being blamed for 9-11? as well as all that terrorisim stuff? mabe christians will be after that? all those people whineing about what is moraly correct. mabe they will simply decide that no one may go to church or participate in ANY religion untill they are over 21. i always thought it was comunisim that was against religion, are we now to add democracy as well?



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 09:40 PM
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There is way too much anti-christianism these days and its a shame. Our country is so firmly rooted in it, go to the midwest and all towns there have 3 things in common, a church, a post office, and a liquor store
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posted on May, 27 2005 @ 03:50 AM
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Originally posted by drogo
this judge has actualy broken the constitutional rules.


Breaking constitution rules seems to be the politically correct thing to do in America these days.



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 06:09 AM
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Originally posted by XphilesPhan
There is way too much anti-christianism these days and its a shame. Our country is so firmly rooted in it, go to the midwest and all towns there have 3 things in common, a church, a post office, and a liquor store
.

Racism and slavery were all rooted in America's history. Doesnt mean that everything should be held on to.



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 06:39 AM
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Originally posted by shots
The judge simply upheld the earlier decision the parent or parents made when they put him into a Catholic school. The judge did not do that the parents did.


But one does not have to be Catholic to attend a Catholic school, at least not in the US.[1] Heck, you don't even have to be Catholic to work- or teach at a Catholic educational institution. Even traditionally, Catholic schools have often been open to non-Church members.



[1] I have been told, by a resident, that this may be different for our northern neighbors.



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 06:45 AM
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Originally posted by XphilesPhan
There is way too much anti-christianism these days and its a shame. Our country is so firmly rooted in it, go to the midwest and all towns there have 3 things in common, a church, a post office, and a liquor store
.


While I would agree that there are some pretty annoying, outspoken people decrying Christianity in the public eye lately, please understand that these folks are as outside the mainstream for those of us who support a secular government, as Fred Phelps is outside the mainstream Christian movement.

There's a lot of fear on both sides, which leads to a lot of rash words and dumb decisions: Both for and against religious expression.

Christians feel like they're under attack by the removal of traditional Christian artifacts from public places (10-commandments from courthouses, God from the pledge, or the cross from that park in California), while non-Christians feel under attack because of the increasingly publicity of the Dominionist group of lobbiests and Republican politicians.



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 11:50 AM
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this is riddiculous... they need to appeal. Wicca must be under the same protection as every other religion. This is certainly a massively unconstitutional action.



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 01:23 PM
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The key to all the above commentary, beyond the mere issue of Wicca, is just what constitutes a religion.

Discounting the fact the the basis for a religion is FAITH, which by nature requires no proof, there is to my mind no agency, office, department or commission of government that has the right to tell an individual what is or is not a religion.

I will now retreat to my cave to light candles to St. Elvis, as valid an option as High Mass to others.



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 02:23 PM
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Listen, I for one think this is wrong. Reason being is that public schools these days are nothing more than daytime juevenille detention centers so any parent that can afford to get their kids into better schools probably will send them to a private school. For the most part private schools are christian held institutions and I know a few jews, muslims, and mormons that went to my wives catholic school. Just becasue you go to a christian school does not make you christian.

Secondly, what if they were at one time christian and converted to wiccan later? Don't they have that right? People covert to Islam, Judiaism, Christianity, Mormon, etc. from other religions all the time, don't they have a right to do so? The answer is yes they do, we all have freedom to practice religion in our on way and if some people want to change religous associations every day they can.



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