Religion

High Weirdness in the Courtroom

Okay, I suppose this is the entry I should’ve written for the Sunday Night Sermon, but I was way too tired. Here we go.

BobThe heretics in the audience (I know you’re out there) may have heard of the Church of the Subgenius, a truly inspirational satire of religion. Beyond that, I can’t describe it. You just have to go to the site, read the sacred texts, and get yourself converted.

A Reverend with the Church is currently embroiled in a court battle to regain custody of her son from the boy’s father, who used photos of the mother attending the Church’s annual event to show that she is unfit. Now, the Church is for ADULTS. Unlike many other religions, this Church is made up of people who can understand what it’s all about (or at least grasp a basic idea of what it’s about) — not children who are completely unable to make decisions about things like otherworldly deities. The son in question never attended a Church event or was in any way exposed to the Church’s activities or philosophy. When questioned about the Church, he didn’t even identify it by name and specifically stated several times that he had no involvement (please see page 24 of the transcript, PDF linked below). However, the judge in the custody case has decided that the mother’s participation in such activities (that are blatantly anti-religious) is grounds to brand her a “pervert,” “mentally ill” and a liar (according to various sources; these outbursts may have been off the record, and so I’m not sure if it’s included in the linked transcript as I haven’t had time to thoroughly read through it in its entirety).

You can find the entire transcript of the preceedings here, in .pdf: http://www.filelodge.com/files/room18/475826/02-03-06_FullHearingTranscript.PDF

You can read a good overview of the case on this blog, or read the mother’s blog here.

After the case was briefly televised last month, the judge appears to have recused himself. The mother now has a new legal team and things are looking up. Let’s hope that this case gets decided based upon who is the better parent to the child, and not on the beliefs (or lack thereof) of the parties in question.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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3 Comments

  1. BTW: It's in the transcript, though you have to skip way to the end to see it. The judge does, however, ineptly explain that his ruling is not based on the Sub-Genius issue. That said, it's hardly appropriate for a judge to harangue someone from the bench on an issue outside the law.

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