May 26, 2005

Ignorance and Stupidity

Seems Ignorance has struck another blow in the war against Common Sense and Impariality in Indianapolis.

Judge Cale J. Bradford of the Marion County Superior Courts, in an judgement on a divorce appeal, has ruled that the parents of a nine year old boy cannot teach him or expose him to their religious beliefs. It might confuse the poor dear to be raised in a religion not considered to be in the Main Stream of beliefs.

Let's not even discuss the religion in question at this point, but look at the overall picture here. This judge, from the bench, has made several deteminations with his decision that potentially could have an affect that is much further reaching than this one case, has set himself up as the arbitor of what is a Legitimate Religious Expression, and has insinuated the courts into the person lives of not just one family but potentially of us.

Which religions does he consider Main Stream enough for children? We're not talking devil worship, chicken sacrifices, and sex with kids here, folks. We're talking about freedom to follow a recognized religion.

Will small denominations within Christianity, Islam, or Judiasm be next? What about the increasing populations of Hindus and B'ahai? What of them?

Judicial activism, regardless of one's politics is wrong, dead wrong, and with this intollerant and essentially ignorant decision Judge Bradford has commited an act of activism that has the potential of damaging the sanctity of the family for thousands, no, millions of people. This is now precedent. This can be used as case law for anyone looking to disrupt the religious instruction of children for no other reason than a conflict between belief systems.

The religion in question here? Wicca. Now don't go off all half-cocked about witchcraft and demons and cartoon charicateurs of pratictioners running naked in the woods and having random sex by moonlight from some stupid horror movie you saw as a kid. I was once a self-practicing Wiccan, and still hold many of the beliefs associated with that religion. I still practice some of the rituals which are shared by Main Stream Christianity. (Didn't know there were shared rituals? Go read a book, folks.)

I chose as my dieties in my practice the Christian Holy Trinity. My spells/prayers were always in celebration of Them, and my thanks were always given to Them. I believed, as I do now and did before, in Christian tenents, followed the teachings of the bible, and did not call myself a Witch. Others did, but I ascribed that to their own ignorance and tried by example to show them their error.

Now, I am not all Wiccans, nor could I ever claim to be an example of all Wiccans, for there is no one person who could ever be held up as such an example. Each person makes deep, personal, thoughtful decisions on how they practice, each takes these decisions very seriously, and each is very different from any other. But there remain commonalities, even in our differences.

I was able to reconcile my Catholic upbringing and practice with Wicca because I approached both with open mind, open heart, and open spirit. Most of the other Wiccans I have been privleged to meet and know have done the same, although if you peel back the label we remain very different on other levels. But overall, we still embrace each other as Believers. We also embrace others as believers, regardless of their system, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, (insert belief here).

The idea that a judge would look upon my beliefs as inferior sickens me to my core. If he could decide that my lighting of candles and celebration of the feminine face of God through the Holy Spirit was detrimental to my daughter, who is next? Will he next decide that the teachings of Pentecostal churches are inferior and out of the main stream because some of their churches do not allow women to wear slacks or wear make-up? Will Apostolics be subject to his whim because they eschew caffine, alcohol, and other substances which alter the mind? And what of Jehovah's Witnesses and their rejection of blood products for medical treatment?

Think about this, people. Think long and hard. Look beyond the religion in this specific case and look at the potential for this. Wrong is wrong, and ignorance has no place on the bench. Even more, Religious Bigotry has even less place in the judiciary.

The Spousal Unit, although he approaches it from a different direction, also makes some valid points on this insane decision.

Posted by Mamamontezz at May 26, 2005 05:00 PM

You nailed it, Mama! What next, indeed! There's a far better theoretical argument for doing this to Christian religions that refuse medical treatment than something like Wicca, and that would be just as wrong.

Posted by: Beth at May 26, 2005 06:12 PM

You've absolutely nailed it. The most dangerous threat to our freedom right now are lawyers and judges. 14 Senators (mutineers) have hijacked the senate the other 86 might as well go home. That action speaks volumns about Frist's leadership and the intentions of the 14, with leadership like that we can expect more just like Judge Cale J. Bradford.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure.
--Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: Jack at May 26, 2005 10:11 PM

I couldn't have said it better! So I pointed to your post from my blog. I only hope the judge gets a lot of flack and bad publicity from everyone over this. Thanks for clueing me in, Mama!

Posted by: Deb at May 27, 2005 12:16 PM

Of course, I would be remiss if I did not point out that the judge in question is a prominent Republican (per the posting on Free Republic)!

Nonetheless, it is with great pleasure that I can say I agree with you wholeheartedly, not something liberals and conservatives often do. I love what you had to say!

Posted by: Andy T. at May 27, 2005 09:04 PM

Great post, and thanks for bringing this to our attention. This is indeed "judicial activism" of the worst kind (not that there's a good kind), as well as a flagrant violation of the freedom of religion.

Slightly OT:

An embarassing but humorous incident to relate. A few years ago, a girlfriend took me to visit a lesbian couple who were having a Yule Solstice celebration. They had a big evergreen in the living room, decked out with all kinds of decorations. I guess my Jewish programming must have kicked in, because my first thought was, "Hey! What are these people doing with a Christmas tree?!?" Then it dawned on me. Duhhhhh!

Posted by: Asher Abrams at May 29, 2005 08:30 AM

This buffoon of an activist judge has given the ACLU fodder to bring this case into the mainstream media as an example of an affront to the so called separation of church and state clause, under article 42 of their constitution ( The ACLU has taken this case for the parents, simply because the judge exceeded his jurisdiction. Disbar the judge? Yes. To bring in the ACLU. No. They are the main reason we have activist judges.

Posted by: Jack at May 30, 2005 10:11 AM

I have to agree Mama, it would be one thing for a Judge to prevent a child from being exposed to a belief system that included sacrifice or strange, inappropriate, or illegal sexual encounters. To outright ban a religion that has been around for hundreds of year and harms no one, is nothing more than this Judges attempt to get his name in the spotlight. Maybe he has his eyes set of Governor, or Senator.

This isn't a legal ruling it is an abuse of power and a disgrace to the bench.

SlagleRock Out!

Posted by: SlagleRock at May 30, 2005 10:23 AM

Isn't Wicca in fact witchcraft, despite protests to the contrary? And is not witchcraft an evil practice? Perhaps the good judge was merely concerned about the safety of the child's soul. Eternal salvation and all that. If you all think that it's a matter of opinion, then look to the Catholic Church which teaches the Truth.

Posted by: Miguel at May 31, 2005 01:19 PM

Miguel, you're splitting hairs on semantics and missing the whole point. The point is not whether or not Wicca is witchcraft by definition. According to certain of the Eastern Orthodox Christian religions, Roman Catholicism is nothing more than a pagan perversion of true Christianity. Does this make my beliefs a danger to my children if I were to appear before an Eastern Orthodox judge?

The greater point is what this decision could very easily do to us all. Sure, Wicca's an easy mark. It's not that well known, most who have heard of it learned about it at the base of some pulpit where it was demonized. Few have actually picked up a detailed and unbiased history and analysis of the religion, choosing instead some sensationalized, half-reseached propoganda piece.

But what about the little neighborhood church that meets in the living room of the pastor on Sunday nights? It's not an affiliated church, they eschew such things as slacks on women, or shellfish as being specifically forbidden in the old testament. Rumors abound that they require their members to prostylitize(sp) from a very early age, and that they have an altar out of doors for special services during certain moon phases as discussed in scripture. There is even documented proof that they acknowledge the existance of Satan as a tangilble being of evil who has at his beck and call a legion of real, corporeal demons.

What happens when a family from this church finds itself embroiled in a battle in Family Court and the judge decides this little church isn't mainstream enough?

Get past the religion involved, Miguel. Look at the big picture here.

Posted by: Mamamontezz at May 31, 2005 06:48 PM

"First they came for the Jews

and I did not speak out

because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists

and I did not speak out

because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists

and I did not speak out

because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me

and there was no one left

to speak out for me."

Pastor Martin Niemöller

Miguel, et al., it does not matter what faith you hold as truth. It matters that no faith is held as false by any instrument of coercicve government. Once that starts, the endpoint is all faiths except loyalty to government will eventually be eliminated.

Posted by: corquando at June 6, 2005 11:09 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?