Monday, August 31, 2009

Renegade judge to mom: Your homeschooled daughter is doing great, but she's too Christian

We'll bring our manic, multi-posting Monday to a close with this.

So here's a homeschooled young lady. She's ten years old, she's been homeschooled since first grade, and she's:
  • Excelling in her studies
  • Using recognized and approved curricula
  • Routinely taking standardized tests
  • Well-rounded in social skills
  • Participating in public school activities, including extra-curricular sports
  • In sum: “well liked, social and interactive with her peers, academically promising, and intellectually at or superior to grade level”
What could be the problem? Oh, one more thing:
  • She heartily reflects her mother's Christian faith.
In fact, so heartily that she made a "vigorous defense of her religious beliefs to [her] counselor" (who. we surmise, had attacked them), and even "tried to witness to the counselor and appeared 'visibly upset' when the counselor purposefully did not pay attention."

Oh, dear.

Well, yes, of course. Can't have her upsetting counselors. She must be shipped right off to the local Government Reeducation Facility.

And so ordered Judge Lucinda V. Sadler. No, no joking, no "scary future under Obama" imagining. This is the scary present under Obama. In fact, the ruling is worth quoting in part, for the sheer, breathtaking imperious audacity of the court:
"Despite Ms. Voydath's insistence that Amanda's choice to share her mother's religious beliefs is a free choice, it would be remarkable if a ten year old child who spends her school time with her mtoher and the vast majority of all of her other time with her mother would seriously consider adopting any other religious point of view. Amanda's vigorous defense of her religious beliefs to the counselor suggests strongly that she has not had the opportunity to seriously consider any other point of view."
Crowning irony: this is in New Hampshire. You know, the "Live Free or Die" state.

The case is in court because the child's parents are divorced, and the father does not want the child influenced by the mother's Christian faith. He thinks government reeducation camps would nicely remedy the problem he's having. Amanda (the child) says her father "constantly bombards" her about her faith. So there is the apparent cause — a not-unfamiliar scenario.

By the way, don't miss this as well: in the mind of the judge and the counselor AND the father, what's the best antidote to firm Christian faith in a child?

Government reeducation camps.


threegirldad said...

Bugs Bunny said it best.

Susan said...

Oh, how grotesque. This comes after hearing about two educators being sued by the ACLU for criminal intent because one of them asked the other to bless the food at a function with only some staff, some folks in the community, and no students present. If convicted, these two men will face $5,000 in fines, 6 months in jail, and $0 in retirement money (after working at the school for 30+ and 40+ years!). (Here's the link to the article. Frank Pastore discussed this story on his radio show today with the legal counsel representing these two men.)

Hearing these things just make me sick.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

What a mess. Scary for all of us.


Mike Riccardi said...

When I read this putrid nonsense, the first thing I'm left wondering, in my societal-political naivete, is "What are we gonna do about this? What can we do about this?"

This is America, right? Of the people, by the people, for the people? Stuff (now there's a mild term) like this isn't supposed to be able to happen. So what do we do about it?

Andrew Faris said...

Perhaps most (sadly) laughable is how obviously self-refuting the judge's solution is.

The position of the judge on the parenting is, "She shouldn't have a religious system drilled into her head at such a young age."

Her solution: "Let's drill a different, pseudo-religious system in her head at the same young age."

There is no religion-for-choice swap. Instead, the swap is religion-for-competing-pseudo-religion.



Kaffinator said...

Read the court order. My reaction:

1) This has nothing to do with the current head of the executive branch, unless there's some evidence that Justice Sadler is an Obama appointee?

2) If the parents can't solve their problems, the state steps in. Reason #1,924 not to get a divorce.

3) The state recommends state-sponsored education. No surprises there either. I didn't see private schooling mentioned as an option, probably finances preclude it.

4) The young lady in question didn't upset the counselor. She herself became "visibly upset" when the counselor did not engage in Bible study with her.

I'm sorry, I don't see any big travesty of justice here. The dad's parental rights need to be respected even if we don't agree with him.

Jon said...

Kaffinator said, "I'm sorry, I don't see any big travesty of justice here. The dad's parental rights need to be respected even if we don't agree with him."

Utter silliness. So, the Mom's "parental rights" don't weigh? Are the Father's more important? Andrew made the best point. Why are the Mother's "religious views" inferior or "one-sided" and the state's or Father's views are not?

If the Mother is a Christian and the Father is not, the Mother has an obligation to raise her child as biblical as possible. It doesn't mean the Father won't have contact with the child or have any type of influence, but the Mother has a far greater responsibility that the Father or the government will ever realize. The minds of non-believers are at war with God and they hate the very idea of teaching anyone about God, especially children. We need to pray for this Mother (and Father, to be saved) that she will endure the intrusions of both secular government and an unbelieving Father into their lives.

Stan McCullars said...

Seems I recall reading somewhere about prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Where was that?

This idiotic judge is just another reason the right of the people to keep and bear Arms should be celebrated, and exercised, by American citizens.

I have a feeling that tyrants from other countries have exercised more restraint when looking down the barrel of a firearm. Suddenly they were no longer tyrants.

Perhaps the authors of the Bill of Rights were on to something.

I'm just saying.

Rational gaze said...

The Christian faith survived 300 years of relentless persecution by the Romans. The Christian faith survived the invasion of Byzantium and Spain. The Christian faith survived the Reformation Wars and the secularisation of Europe. The Christian faith survived eyars of control and forceful submission by the Nazis. The Christian faith survived the Gulags and the relentless persecution of the church carried out by the atheist regimes of the communist countries. The Christian faith will survive the persecution of the Church by the New Atheists and other know-nothing hatemongers.

NoLongerBlind said...

I agree that this is a travesty of what we in this country have always known and loved, and perhaps taken for granted as a "right", as justice.

But, if the appeals process doesn't reverse this decision, I would hope Romans 13:1-2 would be followed.

Compared to the Ruling Authorities in power at the time Paul wrote that Epistle, living in this country is a breeze!

Aric said...

Just to throw my $.02 out on the wonderful Tuesday . . .

Kaffinator said: “4) The young lady in question didn't upset the counselor. She herself became "visibly upset" when the counselor did not engage in Bible study with her.

I'm sorry, I don't see any big travesty of justice here. The dad's parental rights need to be respected even if we don't agree with him

The young lady didn’t get upset because the counselor did not engage in Bible study – the counselor “purposefully did not pay attention” to her. I dare say if anyone, regardless of age, is being ignored they may become “visibly upset.” To connect that with the child’s stance on faith is being misleading at best.

The travesty of justice is that the court’s decision was solely directed at the child’s faith. By all accounts, the child was intelligent, well adjusted, using a school-approved curriculum, taking standardized tests, and even attending public school part-time. The dad’s parental rights were being taken into account: the girl was being properly educated, and doing well. The issue was over the religious nature of the curriculum and the girl’s faith. It probably didn’t help that the dad linked the girl’s faith to the mother.

A court has no jurisdiction over the religious beliefs of anyone. Period. When the court made it’s ruling, it overstepped its bounds. That is the travesty. If the decision did not center on religion, I would be more inclined to agree with you, Kaffinator, that the dad’s rights (whether we like them or not) must be protected.

I agree that this is a good reason not to get divorced (although I had it at #1,927 :o) I also don’t know whether the mother had good counsel during the divorce, but it seems that she gave up a lot by agreeing to joint decision making while having primary custody.

DJP said...

Thanks, Aric.

I'd also question the wisdom of actually (if metaphorically) doing what Solomon stopped short of doing. I don't accept that automatic assumption that a 50/50 split is in the child's best interests, nor the most-just. If the two couldn't agree to continue married, where's the assumption they can agree on the child's rearing? The custodial parent ought to have the greater say.

That counselor sounds like a real peach, doesn't he?

Now, if Obama denounces this sort of outrageous religiously-based judicial overreach as something he'd never elevate to a federal bench, I'll gladly publish an "attapres."

Aric said...

To piggy back on the Solomon idea, it would seem that the girl's education was already being split equally between the two parent's wishes.

For dad: some classes in government institution, curriculum approved by government, standardized tests

For mom: taught at home and Christian basis

I find it hard to believe that a curriculum approved by a State did not contain material with a viewpoint opposite of a Christian worldview. Now I really have to get work done . . .

Citizen Grim said...

Ah, the fools! They've taken this budding missionary from a situation where she can witness to one person (her counselor) to a situation where she can witness to scores and scores of fellow students! She was faithful with a little, and now God has given her much.

The decision will probably be reversed, but if not, let us all pray heartily for her enduring faith and testimony!

“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. a Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."
- Luke 10:2

DJP said...

God can do that, but it isn't wisdom on our part to send little ten-year-old missionaries to hardened, grim, determined brainwashers.

DJP said...

...hardened, grim, determined, adult brainwashers with the full power of The State behind them.

Don't send kids to do adults' battles.

Citizen Grim said...

Oh, believe me, I'm in full agreement that the judge was way out of line in this decision.

But I also love the precious irony when the world, in its foolishness, thinks it can outmaneuver God.

I recall with a smile the account of Joseph being sold into slavery (albeit at age 17) and the profound results that came of it. I love Joseph's reflection: "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today."

God doesn't lose elections. He doesn't lose court cases. He doesn't lose trials. God has never been, will never be, indeed, cannot be thwarted.

So while we (rightly) condemn this foolish decision, and even argue for it to be overturned, we can be certain, whatever the outcome, that God has something up His sleeve. :)

DJP said...

True, dat.

Kaffinator said...

Jon - "So, the Mom's 'parental rights' don't weigh?" Of course they did. When divorced parents cannot decide on something (and these two could not), then the issue goes to the court. That's how it works.

We need to pray that she will endure the "intrusions" of her father? Look man, the father has joint custody. He's not "intruding" he is "parenting". You may disagree with his views but do not think he shouldn't have human rights, just because of his religious disagreement.

Stan - so your solution is to wave a gun around? I don't get it. I mean, I get the 2nd amendment, but I don't get who should be waving a gun in this case. The father? The mother? The child? Should they wave it at the judge or each other? Please explain.

Gaze - if this case counts as persecution of the Church, then I'd like to know where I line up for my persecution badge, because I've got this annoying and persistent hangnail that is really messing with my ability to worship on Sundays.

Blind - Love it.

Aric - "To connect that with the child’s stance on faith is being misleading at best." I didn't; I was merely pointing out who was upset, because DJP's OP could have been misread on that point.

The court did not make a ruling on Christianity. It made a ruling on schooling, an area in which the parents voluntarily gave the state a voice, as per their divorce agreement. I think the main issue was socialization and it looks like the evidence that she was inadequately socialized was pretty thin. But I was not there, have never actually meet the parents, etc.

DJP - "The custodial parent ought to have the greater say." But this looks like a case of joint custody.

And on whether Obama will comment, I wish he wouldn't. He's not the King and he doesn't have to make a statement about everything. And he would probably say something as distracting and idiotic as what he said in the Henry Gates arrest.

To all - My prayer is that the parents will reconcile and find a way to solve this matter between them without having to involve the state. I pray that both the father and mother will receive and heed Godly counsel. I pray that the child (only 10!) would trust in the Lord and with His help rise above the squabbles of her parents.

Jon said...

Kaffinator - "My prayer is that the parents will reconcile and find a way to solve this matter between them without having to involve the state. I pray that both the father and mother will receive and heed Godly counsel. I pray that the child (only 10!) would trust in the Lord and with His help rise above the squabbles of her parents."

You would hope that the parents could solve the matter, but I take it the Father is the problem here, not the Mother. And do you really think the Father will heed Godly counsel? That's the whole problem and the state basically awarded the Father for his stance.

Stan McCullars said...

I don't recall writing anything about wav(ing) a gun around.

That said, the U.S. Constitution is the law of the land. IMHO, when Congress and the President put themselves above the Constitution they cease to be the government (but are rather domestic enemies) and should be removed...preferably by voting. If voting doesn't work, well...that's a discussion for another day.

Sir Aaron said...

I see this sort of thing a lot. People choose their spouses poorly or one becomes a Christian after the fact. Then compounded is that they fail to seek wise counsel or a good attorney in the midst of the divorce and custody proceedings.

This story is troubling, although not nearly as troubling as a court giving rights to a former lesbian partner link This case is still ongoing with the ACLU trying to get the now christian parent, put into jail.

Kaffinator said...

Jon -- The "problem" is not the father, who unlike many, remains interested and involved and materially contributes to his child's upbringing. So, props to the dad for caring! The "problem" is the divorce and the parents' longstanding disagreement in schooling approach.

I don't presume to know the spiritual condition of the father. (But I do recognize that ‘round these parts, speaking against homeschooling is a hanging offense!)

Remember, the mom is still 100% free to teach, catechize, attend church, etc. with her daughter. I do know personally of a case in which a custodial parent was denied the right to religiously educate her child – now THAT is unjust. This case however is about socialization and education. I just don't think this case justifies the level of outrage I'm seeing here.

Stan -- You suggested that the solution to "judicial activism" has to do with the 2nd amendment. Now you up the ante and suggest armed revolt. That is what we call “gun waving”, k? What you fail to realize is that in this case, both parents voluntarily surrendered rights over their parenting decisions to the court. What does Congress or the Presidency have to do with this? Nothing. Whose rights were unconstitutionally abrogated? No-body's. So chill, dude.

Aaron -- Now THAT is a fascinating case (Miller v. Jenkins): state’s rights, DOMA, and an ex-lesbian Christian. Get the popcorn!

Sir Aaron said...


Your response is a little concerning. Most Christians respond to the case with concern, prayer, and thoughtful reflection. Your is the first to describe the case as "fascinating" and then to ask for popcorn as if you were watching a movie.

Stan McCullars said...

What you fail to realize ...

I love being told I fail to realize something. Do I have to type everything I know on any subject to prove that I realize something? Hardly.

What does Congress or the Presidency have to do with this?

Don't recall stating otherwise.

So chill, dude.

I don't appreciate the tone.

Kaffinator said...

I do think it will be interesting to watch that particular case play out. And I really am nothing more than a spectator in it.

It's true that there are real people with real hurts behind a case like this, and so I apologize for coming off as insensitive to that aspect of the case.

Kaffinator said...

To clarify, my comments immediately above were directed to Sir Aaron.

Stan -- You are the one who brought up the free exercise clause. And Congress. And the President. And guns. Would you care to show how any of that is relevant to the Sadler case? If not, I appreciate your helpful criticism of my tone; go in peace.

CR said...

Kaffinator does make the good point of this being another reason to avoid divorce. I knew of professing Christian lady who was divorced from her prescription addict pot smoking husband. He used the legal system successfully even though he lost full custody of their daughter the judge ordered that the mother could not spank her child ever again.

Satan will use whatever weapon he can to bring strife and if that means using a God-hating judge, he will do that.

The travesty of justice is that the mother will have to work harder now because her daughter will be taken to an environment where God is divorced from knowledge. As we all know, there is no such thing as neutrality and while some in the educational system believe they are being neutral by divorcing God from math and science, they are not being neutral. There is no such thing. God is Lord over all things, not just the church.

I feel really bad for this mother.

DJP said...

The mother and the child. The divorce is a wrenching experience, all by itself. Dad's just making it happen over and over and over and over and over and over again.

trogdor said...

Although we don't know much background on the parents, it's safe to file this one in the "Don't even think about dating unbelievers" category. It never ceases to amaze me how often I have that conversation with generally clear-headed people.

On the case itself, the statist assumption appears to be that the only place one can "be challenged to solve problems presented by a group learning situation and by the social interactivity of children her age" is in a public school. It doesn't appear that other options were even considered by the statists. That's not entirely surprising given the general lack of understanding of homeschooling (I was totally ignorant before doing youth ministry, now it's about 99.44% likely we'll homeschool if/when we have kids), but for such an important decision, it sure would be nice if the judge and 'counselor' had even asked about viable alternatives.

Or maybe the social 'problem' - which they had to search really hard to find and wasn't by any means severe - might be caused by something other than the homeschooling hobgoblin. Like, oh I dunno, being 10. Or being 10 with divorced parents, at least one of whom belittles her and her mother. Maybe that has a wee bit to do with it.

DJP said...

Trog, also toss in fakes. He thinks he's a Christian, he marries a Christian, he sins the marriage away, he doesn't want to deal with his sin, his wife's walk makes him feel bad, must hurt wife.

DJP said...

I quickly add: I don't know that that is THIS situation. Just adding on to Trogdor's scenario.

Seth Benge said...

The problem with Kaffinator's argument is this- It's the same one that the anti-Christian crowd makes about religion in any public setting. It goes like this- atheism has no negative effects but religion (specifically Christianity) has negative effects. So the state must intervene to protect the children from the negative effects.

Think of the implications of this ruling. What if the kid did go to a private Christian school would the mother be forced to remove the child? Could they stop the mother from taking the child to church? What if someone not in the family, maybe a school administrator, believed the same thing and sued the family to have the child put into public school based on the same grounds. The courts didn’t rule that the child had to go to public school because the father wanted her to, but because the mother’s religion was harmful. This is bad not just in this individual case, but because of the precedent that it’s setting.

Here is a story about the same basic thing happening in North Carolina earlier this year-
Link to articel

Kaffinator said...

Seth, that's not my argument. In fact, the court expressed no opinion on the "negative effects" of Christianity.

Read it: "The Court declines to impose any restrictions on either party's ability to provide [the child] with religious training or to share with [her] their own religious beliefs." Does that sound like the state trying to protect the children from the negative effects of Christianity?

Honestly I think a good resolution would have been a Christian private school, but this might have imposed a financial burden that the parents may have been unwilling or unable to bear. Don't know enough.

Seth Benge said...

Nothing to do with Christianity-
The court order stated: "According to the guardian ad litem's further report and testimony, the counselor found Amanda to lack some youthful characteristics. She appeard to reflect her mother's rigidity on questions of faith."

What do think that means?

Furthermore the court order states that despite Amanda's mother insisting that her daughter's religious beliefs were her own, "it would be remarkable if a ten-year-old child who spends her school time with her mother and the vast majority of all her other time with her mother would seriously consider adopting any other religious point of view."

So we must take her away from that mother and put her with those that will teach her the states point of view.

What about this legal gem- served by exposure to different points of view at a time in her life when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief and behavior.

I understand that if don't think it's about her religious beliefs why you have the opinion you do, but the court ruling seems racked full of anti-Christian talk.

Not about Christianity? The court says that it doesn't want to impose on religious beliefs but then goes and does it anyway.

DJP said...

Thanks, Seth.

But all of that was highlighted in the text of my post too, wasn't it?

You're usually such a sharp reader, Kaff; seems like you have an issue with this case.

Sir Aaron said...

It has always been my opinion that statists will do anything possible to force mandatory education in public schools. They'll do it directly and indirectly as is illustrated by the cases before us. All repressive regimes have understood that controlling the children is of utmost importance.

DJP said...


I went into marriage (A) very much in favor of public schools and (B) very opposed to homeschooling.

It was actual experience of public schooling as it is today that converted me hard. I believe that it's up to the parents; but I'd make an earnest pitch to do something other than send the poor little saplings off to a government reeducation camp.

I see it is a major tool of statism. The little child comes to see The Government not as ominous, but as kindly Ms. Jones or Mr. Sanderson, there to care, encourage, smile, oversee and protect.

Kaffinator said...

Hi Seth,

“What do think that means?”

It means the court thinks the child would benefit from more substantial interaction with differently-minded peers. If the kid freaks out every time she meets a non-believer she’s going to have a very difficult life. The state in the interest of doing good by this child. Helping her to be able to deal with others is part of that.

“So we must take her away from that mother and put her with those that will teach her the states point of view.”

She will still have lots of interaction with her mom. It seems to me that you disagree with even the idea of public education in the first place, which may be coloring your reaction.

“What about this legal gem- ‘served by exposure to different points of view…’”

I actually think that’s a good thing for a budding teenager. If not then, when?

“the court ruling seems racked full of anti-Christian talk”

Seems to me otherwise. I think there are a few statements “over the line” but as a whole, I think it would be hard for the court to do much better.

“The court says that it doesn't want to impose on religious beliefs but then goes and does it anyway.”

It did no such thing. In fact it explicitly said the opposite. Homeschooling is not Christianity.

To our esteemed host,

Yes, I do have an issue, but it’s with the treatment this case is getting here. I see too much wharrgarbl and not enough critical thinking. I think the dad’s getting a bad rap. I think if the mom were Muslim everybody here would be applauding the court instead. I think there is evidence that the mom is playing the classic overprotective mothery-role. I’m feeling creeped out by discussing someone else’s private lives in such detail. I think we can’t really presume to have all the facts.

I could go on, but I’ve probably said enough, and I wish everyone here a good day, and encourage you all to glorify Christ in your marriage in every way possible so that this kind of junk doesn’t happen to your kids.

DJP said...

With a reach like that, professional basketball might be an option.

BTW to any and all, I searched a good bit to see if I could uncover any more info about this, and found nothing. If I see anything substantial, I'll probably toss 'er up.

Paula said...

First, let me say that the comments the court and the social worker made about the religious views of the mother and daughter and the socialization issues related to homeschooling were completely inappropriate and should not have been germane to the case. Period. And it will probably be precedent-setting. OK, NOW, period.

That said, I think we need to be very careful about jumping on this bandwagon. I say this as a homeschooling veteran and activist in Ohio (and like trogdor, I was "converted" to homeschooling through jr. high ministry).

Being involved in state homeschooling issues and following national issues, I travel in both Christian and non-Christian homeschooling circles. Though I wish every family were a Christian homeschooling family, I think we need to be just as willing to fight for the rights of parents who choose differently than we do. If school choice doesn't exist for everyone, then we don't truly have school choice in this country.

The Supreme Court has ruled that parents have the fundamental right to direct the education of their children.

If that's the case, why do we have the right to say that the mother should get to be the sole decision-maker in the child's education? Isn't that what we're really saying here? Is it because we believe homeschooling is best? Is it because she's a Christian and the father is not? (that's fairly obvious from reading the court order).

If you read the whole thing, it appears the parents never agreed on the issue of homeschooling. A bad situation from the start, even in an intact family. Now, several years after the original custody arrangement, the MOTHER initiated a change in the father's visitation, which then led to the schooling issue being revisited. Obviously, there's a LOT we don't know.

My point is that (barring any abuse on his part, and the court found none), the father has an equal constitutional right to make educational decisions on behalf of his child (even if that means sending her to the godless government indoctrination camp).

At the time of the divorce, BOTH parents AGREED that if they came to an impasse in parenting decisions, they would let the court make the decisions. What do you expect when you invite the court into your family? Duh!

That's what the court should have ruled on, but instead, they decided to rule that socialization and religion were at issue.

Reason #842023 not to marry an unbeliever, or....

Reason #8482883 not to divorce, or...

Reason #840238 you will have a tough road ahead if you become a believer already married to an unbelieving spouse.

DJP said...

As I said, she's the custodial parent. Kid shouldn't be taffy; someone has hav the 51% vote, and the other can only escalate if something is drastically wrong. Which there's no evidence of, in this case, unless you have a thing against Christianity.

Which I know you don't, Paula; I mean "one."

Paula said...

Custodial parent, yes, but they agreed to joint decision-making. Now the mother wants to go back on the deal and be the sole decision-maker, regardless of the father's wishes.

It was not a good move in the first place to agree to allow the courts to step in if they didn't agree in parenting decisions, but the mother agreed to that in the beginning, and sadly, that's what they're stuck with now.

CR said...

DJP:As I said, she's the custodial parent.

Bullseye! And that is part of the point. It's like with this lady I use to know. She got full legal custody of her daughter and yet the judge ordered in her full custody that she could not spank her kids which is exactly what her ex-husband wanted.

And Paula, there really is no such thing as joint decision making in sole legal custody. Sole legal custody is just that. Her daughter's education is solely the responsible of the mother.

Clearly, the judge imposed his anti-Christian views here.

Also, Paula, if I'm understanding the facts of the case correctly, when the parents cannot agree on custodial issues, that's exactly what courts do: they step in. The mother was not about to compromise her beliefs. The daughter's anti-Christian father wanted to get back at her.

This is part of the warfare that exists between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. The Lord said He would put enmity between the two seeds and it is good that He did that because had he not, the church would not exist. The hard thing about this is when the different seeds exists in families - it gets really, really, ugly.

Sir Aaron said...

Good point about the situation being reversed.


I can assure you that I'm always there to help you. ;) Seriously, I have some non-Christian friends who don't public school because the schools were begging parents to send paper so they could do actual learning. Craziness.

CR said...

Actually,now that I think about it, I may not have all the facts. Their divorce/custodial settlement did include a "joint-decision making" for the daughter. Which means then that the sole legal custody is not really a sole legal custody but a de facto joint custody. This reminds me why I didn't go into law.

The mother never had a chance.

Seth Benge said...

It should also be noted, once again that the child was going part time to a public school.So it seems that they already had a compromise in place.

The child did not "freak out" when confronted. We are just told that she upset that she wasn't listen to.

Think about that first paragraph of Kaffinators response. The state should step in and make sure that she is raised right. But once again what if it wasn't the father bringing the case but an outside source, could the court make the same argument? Now that this case in out there I have a feeling we will see.

I do have a problem with public education, hence the reason that I home school. If I didn't have a problem with it why would I home school? I will also say that if someone does choose to send their child to public school I certainly understand that not everyone feels they can or should home school.

The only way that a court should go against the custodial parent, the mother, is if a situation is abusive, "best interest of the child". But in this case the court overreached and decided that Christian teaching was not in the best interest of the child, in essentially abusive. What other aspects of the child's life can the court dictate?

trogdor said...

"I think if the mom were Muslim everybody here would be applauding the court instead."

Funny you should mention that, since I was going to use that very example. And for the record, no, I would not cheer the state forcing secular humanistic education on a muslim under the flimsiest pretense of a slight bit of potential social awkwardness from a 10-year-old. But I digress.

Let's assume a court did this to a muslim parent, and claimed it had nothing to do with religion (despite spending approximately 12x as long discussing religious beliefs as the official reason for the action). How long would it be until the following happened:
1) A fatwa is issued against the judge?
2) A fatwa is issued against the father?
3) The ACLU sued to reverse the decision, claiming the court was violating the mother's and child's first amendment right to free exercise of religion?

I don't think the echo of the gavel would have ceased before all three had come true. If this were Islam, or any other religion for that matter, whether it was about religion would be so obvious the question wouldn't even be axed.

candy said...

I think the fact that this happened in NH is because Massachusett politics have oozed into NH. Too bad for NH.

Speaking of schools. Obama is giving a speech to school children on Sept. 8. He knows he has to reach the kids!

Paula said...

First, is there any way to insert a hyperlink in blogger without typing in the whole stinkin' html? Big, time-consuming pain!

NHELD (HSLDA for non-Christians and people who hate HSLDA)has issued a bulletin about Homeschooling and Divorce (most likely in response to this case). They make this point,

"In fact, during a divorce, when parents cannot come to an agreement between themselves, the parents actually voluntarily grant authority to the state court the right to decide all aspects of the upbringing and education of the child. Essentially, to a certain extent, they waive their Constitutional right and cede authority to the state court.

While I often disagree with the folks at NHELD (and the folks at HSLDA for that matter!) they also remind us that appealing a case like this (perhaps even to the Supreme Court) may not bring the results we as homeschoolers [or Christians] would like. Do we want to trust our right to homeschool to a group of 12 political appointees [that is becoming more liberal by the minute]?

While the ADF and HSLDA do good and necessary work, they can, at times be screechy alarmists. As for the ADF, I don't know that it accomplishes a whole lot to make a big publicity stunt out of this case, especially when they are selective about the facts they release. There's a reason HSLDA doesn't get involved in divorce cases.

Gilbert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gilbert said...

Speaking of indoctrination at young ages, oy vey. What are YOUR kids doing on September 8th?’s-Address-to-Students-Across-America-September-8-2009

Very interesting that my captcha is "UNrombi".