Restraining Order Bans Kid from Churches

churchA restraining order issued by an Illinois judge will keep a little girl far away from any church or other place to worship this holiday – unless it’s a synagogue.

The pro-Judaism court order came after the girl’s father took her to a church and had her baptized – then sent photos of the ceremony to his ex wife. How’s that for some good old-fashioned passive aggressive holiday spirit?

The story on CBS is Rebecca Reyes wanted to raise their daughter in the Jewish faith and Joseph Reyes sent her the photos out of spite. Joseph, of course, says he sent them because his ex wanted to see them. Sounds like your typical sniping divorced couple.

But here’s the kicker: she says the little girl will be caused “irreparable harm to be raised in any faith other than Judaism.”

Hey now, no offense to anyone who is Jewish, but as someone who was raised Catholic (albeit no longer practicing), I’d consider myself to be pretty OK. Knees are a bit blistered, but hey.

It may be a bit flippant, but considering how many Americans convert from one religion to another – to Judaism included – does the religion in which they were raised matter in the long run? That is, provided it’s religion, not a suicide cult parading as religion?

A Pew Forum survey on religion from 2007 shows forty-four percent of Americans have switched from the faith of their childhood. Of the remaining fifty-six percent practicing the faith in which they were raised, another nine percent made a switch at some point before coming back to the fold.

It’s fair to say that divorced parents need to make peace with one another on these sort of matters rather than shuttling a child back and forth. Considering the tenets of the two faiths are so different, the true emotional detriment is trying to raise her in both. But is the court helping or hindering that peace in this instance?

Image: fr atunes via flickr

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