According to CBC News, there has been an infant custody court case. One involving a stuffed lion, purportedly Jesus Christ as lawyer, glossolalia or speaking in tongues, and asserted religious zealots in British Columbia.
One couple considered religious zealots rejected legal assistance in a court case. They informed the witnesses to the case: Jesus Christ is their lawyer. Where Christ asked questions via the voice of one of the parents, so in context, Christ – via the parent, purportedly – fought for the custody of the parent.
The mother wanted to rename the child “Jesus JoyoftheLord.” The couple lost the court battle. Social workers balance child safety and parental beliefs, often. This case highlighted it. The couple spoke to the court room through a stuffed lion, who they purported was the lawyer, Christ (their alleged Lord and Saviour).
The Justice Diane MacDonald said, “This is a difficult case… The parents obviously love their child and wish to raise her in a home with their Christian values.”
AJ and DK, or the couple’s initialisms within the court case, had a trouble history. They moved from community to community. They alienated people. They did this through “efforts to purge churches of ‘evil influences.’”
“The stakes are high because a continuing custody order paves the way to adoption. The case is not the first time religion has reared its head in a child custody dispute,” CBC News reported, “In 2015, a pair of devout Jehovah’s Witnesses were ordered not to talk about religion in front of their four-year-old granddaughter.”
In addition in 2009, the “top court” in Canada considered and then dismissed the case of a Jehovah’s Witnesses Manitoba girl. She claimed rights were violated because of a forced blood transfusion as a minor.
“The Ministry of Children and Family Development got involved with AJ and DK in 2016 after AJ told a facilitator at a lunch program that DK had choked her and “believes sexual relations between children should be encouraged,’” CBC News explained.
The mother later denied the disclosure. AJ was pregnant at the time. Their baby was born on November 1 of 2016, where a paramedic helped them. AJ refused any medical procedures, even vaccinations.
There were also issues “expressed about AJ’s mental health and DK’s potential for violence. A specialist was assigned to work with the family, and the baby was placed in voluntary care with foster parents.”
The child began to lose weight between 1 and 2 months old, so the child was taken from the home. AJ did not feed the child breast milk and the child was losing weight. One pastor sought a restraining order against them.
In West Kelowna, the couple were charged with criminal disturbance of another church.
The court case decision (the one they lost) described, “DK co-operated with the arrest but AJ ‘rolled around on the ground’ and did not co-operate… The parents allegedly wanted to cleanse the Church of evil influences.”
This did not mean something with the parents’ freedom of religion at all, according to the CBC News reportage. The director of the child, family and community services originally argued the parents were unfit for parenting or caretaking of the child.
The parents put forth the argument that they were being persecuted for their “deeply held Christian beliefs.” The justice’s review of the case “was limited to errors of law.”
MacDonald (the justice) noted, “…he, himself, was a Christian and did not have any issue with their Christian family values… I restate that this hearing is not about the parent’s freedom of religion.”
She, the justice, continued to talk about Christianity not being on trial; and the parents’ belief in some purported revelation in God or the use of speaking in tongues, or glossolalia, are not on trial. Same with the home birthing or the denial of use of vaccinations. Those were not on trial.
What was on trial according to MacDonald? Nothing, the issue was the best interests of the child. The justice, in the case of a potential adoption, had the hope that the ministry may consider in searching for an extended member of their family for the child.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.
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