Thursday, May 26, 2005

Judge Bradford v. Freedom of Religion

Christians in this society continue to complain about their freedom of religion being compromised since they cannot pray in public schools or display the Ten Commandments on government property.

Imagine how a Christian might feel if a judge ordered him to stop teaching Christianity to his own child in his own home. This is exactly what happened to Thomas E. Jones Jr. and Tammie U. Bristol of Indianapolis. During their divorce proceedings, a judge inserted (without request from either parent) a paragraph into the settlement document that prohibits them from teaching their religion, Wicca, to their son. Their particular brand of Wicca does not include witchcraft or nudity. It is simply the worship of the duality and holiness of nature. The practice does not harm their child (at least not any more so than, say, hanging a statue of a bloody crucified corpse above the dinner table).
As there is no danger involved, Jones and Bristol have a Constitutional right to teach their religion to their child. That right is being hijacked by the apparently Wicca-averse Judge Cale J. Bradford.

Christians of America, THIS is an example of freedom of religion being compromised. Jones and Bristol are not attempting to put Wiccan documents on the lawn of the Indiana Statehouse. They are not trying to enter public schools and teach children about Wicca. They are not even attempting to put a “Happy Yule” sign in their front lawn. They only want to impart their beliefs to their child. And they have been forbidden by the court to do so.

So the next time you as Christians feel that your freedom of religion is being threatened by something like the performance of a play about a gay Jesus-like character, consider how fortunate you are that nobody forbids you from worshipping your God, or taking your children to Sunday School, or standing on the corner of Broadripple Avenue at midnight shouting to drunk college kids that they are going to hell.

Freedom of Religion was written to protect the Jones-Bristol family. It was not written to protect the majority’s right to tyranny ala Judge Bradford.


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