When religions, marriage, and kids don’t mix

I found an article from Chicago about a divorce case going on. The wife is Jewish, the husband converted to Judaism once they had a kid but is back to being Catholic full time, and their three year old daughter is caught in the middle.

The big problem right now is the fact that Dad took her to a Catholic service, apparently going against a 30 day restraining order that allows him to spend time with the child but doesn’t allow him to expose her to his faith. That all started after Dad sent Mom pictures of the girl’s baptism ceremony back in December. He claims that he sent the pictures to show off how pretty and happy the girl looked and Mom reacted in the worst way possible.

From the article:

Reyes, who is Catholic, acknowledges he took their daughter Ela to Holy Name Cathedral on Jan. 17 — accompanied by a local television news crew — and that’s what landed him in trouble most recently.

“This is, in her mind, more about control,” Reyes said of his estranged wife on Tuesday between court hearings.

At issue is a disputed agreement that the one-time couple would raise the girl in the Jewish faith, attorneys in the case say.

While Joseph Reyes said he converted to Judaism after his daughter was born, he insists they never agreed to raise the girl in the Jewish faith, that they never kept a kosher home, rarely observed the Sabbath and only went to services a few times together with the child.

I guess Mom figures it’s time to rectify that? She’s not quoted at all in the piece so we don’t get to see her rationalize this. And Dad bringing cameras along to the church was a great idea. The most important thing a kid needs during a big divorce is media attention. He’s now in contempt of court over it.

After having a child, Joseph Reyes says, he converted to Judaism, but only because he felt pressured by his wife’s family, he said.

He felt torn during the marriage about whether to introduce the toddler to his religion or wait for her to discover it on her own.

He’s also quoted as saying, “I encourage Ela to see different perspectives.”

It’s a pity his wife doesn’t agree with that. There’s no information in the piece about whether they talked about this prior to having kids, or even once the child was born. Was he just working on some assumption that she’d let the kid experience both belief systems? He claims he felt pressured to switch faiths by her family – didn’t that raise a red flag? And what exactly led to the divorce? This article is all about how he’s reacting to the court order.

ABC News has more about this and CBS reports that:

Rebecca Reyes says it’s her estranged husband who made the mistake when he had their daughter baptized. In her petition, she argues that if he’s allowed to raise the child in any faith other than Judaism, he will cause their daughter irreparable harm.

“I wouldn’t harm my daughter simply to somehow spite my soon (soon)to-be ex-wife,” Joseph Reyes said. “That’s silly and ridiculous.”

The Chicago Tribune is reporting the wife’s side of this and more about the ongoing divorce proceedings. It also includes a quotes from Emily Buss, a law professor at the University of Chicago, who called the Jewish-Only restraining order “striking”:

“The idea is we change religious views — that is what religious freedom includes,” Buss said. “Even if (one) parent has more authority in the form of more custody, the other parent can (usually) … still expose the child to his or her religion even if it was not the religious practices within the family when it was intact.”

Also, the kid is three and the divorce shit’s been going on since 2008. You’d think the messed up family split up would be far more detrimental to the child’s emotional well being than what building she’s in for a few hours on a weekend. This couple has far bigger problems than which version of god gets worshiped.

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Canadian Atheist Basically ordinary Library employee Avid book lover Ditto for movies Wanna-be writer Procrastinator
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2 Responses to When religions, marriage, and kids don’t mix

  1. dorian says:

    and the child will probably grow up to be wiccan.heheh

  2. 1minionsopinion says:

    Or atheist with a horrible deconversion story.

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