Friday, May 27, 2005
Freedom of Religion, Just not YOUR Religion
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."What is this horrible religion the child needs to be shielded from? Wicca, a religion which includes among its hallmarks: worshipping a female deity (translation=Goddess), reverence for nature and all life, and a view that the human body is not shameful even when naked.
The parents' Wiccan beliefs came to Bradford's attention in a confidential report prepared by the Domestic Relations Counseling Bureau, which provides recommendations to the court on child custody and visitation rights. Jones' son attends a local Catholic school.
"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," the bureau said in its report.
Gee, I was raised Catholic, a fairly mainstream religion. I guess I was a little confused when, during a Catholic church service as a child, I became convinced that I was about to be sacrificed on the altar, screamed bloody murder and had to be taken out of the church screaming and kicking. Perhaps it was the mention of the body and blood of Christ and the ritual cannibalism.
A lot of religion doesn't make sense to children yet we allow most religions to instruct children in their doctrines. Well, except when we don't like the religion. Or its adherents are not "white." Or we find the beliefs strange.
Religion is not always rational. Almost any religion, looked at from the outside with a semicritical eye, is irrational and strange. Yet freedom of religion means just that: We are free to choose the religion that suits us.