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Custody hearing over atheism

My friend just found out her ex is going to file for full custody of their preschool age son because she is an atheist! Is that even something you can base a case on? Even in Kentucky that doesn’t seem it should be possible.

anonymous 7 Mar 13

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18

Tell your friend to get in touch with the Freedom from Religion Foundation. They might be able to help her.

The ACLU may also be able to assist.

@icolan Good thinking! Them, too!!

@icolan The ACLU helped me when my daughter was in high school. Her girlfriend's mother got a temporary restraining order against my daughter -- for no other reason than she didn't want her daughter being in a same sex relationship. It was horrible for my daughter, her girlfriend, the teachers, administrators, the school resource officer, etc. When the ACLU won, the mother pulled her daughter from the school.

All that to say I LOVE THE ACLU! (Not only for my own selfish reasons, of course!)

@BlueWave They serve an invaluable service to many Americans.

7

If tghe husband is awarded custody on that grounds, it should be appealled to the U.S. Supreme Court!

5

That is horrible. I doubt he will prevail if that's the only thing he is claiming. He sounds like a real sweetheart. Wonder why he's divorced. ?

5

I hope she's got a damned good attorney. She's going to need one.
Kentucky is one of those stares that ignores the separation of church and state.

4

It shouldn't be.

Not the first. Not likely to be the last.

@KKGator Ugh. Isn't that the truth.

3

I've heard of these cases before. We have a ways to go. Anyone who says atheists should keep their beliefs to themselves so as not to disturb others is being naive. Religion is not harmless

3

I would recommend a call to the ACLU.

JimG Level 8 Mar 13, 2018
2

In the U.S. "family law" varies from state to state. So, guidelines also vary from state to state.

One woudl hope, even in Kentucky, that religionh shodul not have any influence in custody cases, but unfortuately, it may depend on the judge. It is possible that the ACLU or the Freedom From Religion Foundation, may at the very least be abel to provide some legal advice if nto legal help itself.

2

My kids mother tried that along with many other harebrained schemes. Ultimate she did her story in by trying to fire the judge as well to disregard her attorney. I was fortunate she demonstrated her mental illness right in the courtroom so much so they had appointed a special bailiff to attend to her. Never discussed non belief with the social workers they never used it against me either. If it comes up I would have your attorney the race creed religion statue.

2

In “theory” it’s not legal, but in states like Kentucky, God only knows. Has she contacted the ACLU or any other groups for help? I’ll bet they would have more insight than the rest of us.

2

In Kentucky I would imagine that it would be very possible but there are lawyers who specialize in atheism related cases that can prevent her atheism from being used against her in court.

2

She better get a good lawyer... maybe out of state !

2

Only in the US.

Where else? @SKDeitch

Cite me a case where a child has been taken from an atheistic parent in Iran. @SKDeitch

@Gatovicolo I do not think this is really that hard to conceive happening in certain parts of the world.

"He was arrested on charges of atheism and blasphemy and held in prison before being convicted by a local court and sentenced to death in February 2015."

Assuming they would kill someone for it, I do not think they would leave children with such a person. Of course, if a person is killed for atheism and has children, then it is basically the same thing.

[independent.co.uk]

I agree. Cite me a case. @Loudpaintings

@Gatovicolo well im not really interested in spending my time digging for this. The particular potential case in this thread would not be easy to find. I could not easily find any cases in the US of a parent losing their children over atheism either. So maybe "Only in the US" is not valid on your end as well. You can try and find an actual case in the US and share it if you like to prove whatever point you're trying to make. Death in other countries for apostacy seems to not be sufficient.

You’re not interested in digging for it, but you’re happy enough to assert it without evidence? Hmmm. That says a lot. As for a case that shows evidence of it, just look at this thread. P@Loudpaintings

@Gatovicolo So your source is a friend of a person you don't know on a website that has not even been taken to court yet? Let alone rendered a verdict? What effort have you actually put towards your claim?

You are the one that stated only in the US, with nothing to substantiate it.That is why @SKDeitch said that. I submitted an article for a penalty of death based on apostasy, which is far more severe than taking your children away.

What exactly have you contributed to this conversation?

You are the one that made the claim, so let's hear your evidence or support for when you said, "Only in the US."

@Gatovicolo I should have just disappeared like @SKDeitch. He probably knew this was a waste of time, and it was. You don't have to respond. Here you are:

Sharia Law in the State of Pahang, Malaysia
Sections 82 and 83 of the Islamic Family Law Act also “disqualify persons who are non-Muslims or not practising Muslims from being granted custody of children”

I think you missed the whole point of the comment. @Loudpaintings

@Gatovicolo Well my assumption is you were not trying to be literal. You were just making a comment about the poor state of US politics. I would not have commented on it usually. But another person was just trying to point out that some other places are just as bad or worse. That was the real point.

You could have left it alone, but you asked for evidence when you know good and well some countries have ridiculous religious laws and treat atheists horribly. Then you were being a bit condescending because I did not really want to find an exact source to counter your exact statement, since you provided nothing yourself. So now you have some evidence. Not sure if you enjoy trolling or you like being this way.

If I am wrong, please correct me.

Right. See ya later. @Loudpaintings

I was just commenting on it and the other person you mentioned brought that up as if they had specific knowledge. I asked for a justification and none was given. Then you had to stick your two cents in. That was your choice. @Loudpaintings

@Gatovicolo it was my choice. Its a discussion board. I thought I was just entering into a friendly conversation. Thank you for provoking such thought on my end. Your kindness is appreciated.

You’re welcome to think whatever silly thoughts you chose. Goodbye. @Loudpaintings

@Gatovicolo Holy smokes.........I'm shaking my head in disbelief at how aggressive and combative you became over this "conversation." It seriously does not take a genius to KNOW that there are PLENTY of other countries where it is simply illegal in one form, fashion or another to not believe in a god of some sort. What the heck, Gatovicolo?

Here's something from 2013 -- where being openly atheist is punishable by DEATH in 13 countries. Do you really think if it's punishable by DEATH, that they'd let you parent children? [theatlantic.com]

Here's something where a judge in the U.K. ordered a dad to take his family to church, or risk losing them. [telegraph.co.uk]

Now, that took five seconds, Gatovicolo -- I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around what could have caused you to go off of on @loudpaintings and @skdeitch for making a seemingly common knowledge statement. What gives?

It’s the 3 of you who are being combative. I agreed that it’s easy to see other countries doing exactly that. What I asked for was justification. What I was given, by loudpaintings and now you, was ridicule to even suggest that you need to justify you’re position before you assert it without proof. What’s the problem? Are you so atheistic-centric that you automatically assume you’re right before bothering to look into something? That kind of thinking is prejudicial. @BlueWave

But it’s not ridiculous. That’s prejudicial and you know it. If you don’t like that you can stick your ball. @SKDeitch

no. Obviously not. But prejudicial thinking is prejudicial thinking. That’s akin to racism. Are you aware of that? Or do you just assume things, like existence God, and then try to justify it? Really? As a atheist you’re supposed to support reason and logic. This isn’t doing that. This reminds me of comments made by racists that I heard as a kid in Utah in the mid 60s. You know, Mexicans are lazy, African Americans are are stupid, women are overly emotional. And now you want to act like reason and logic are only found in a court room. It’s a good thing that others choose not to see things that way. @SKDeitch

@Gatovicolo It is really hard for me to understand your point of view. You said something and didn't make any attempt to prove it. You were just making a comment about the ridiculousness of the situation. You didn't provide any information and no one bothered you. Cause it was really just a general comment.

Then you really responded rudely to people trying to just point something out about a broader view of the issue. No one was demanding anything from you and you still acted this way. "That says a lot." That's a real jerk comment when you yourself didn't provide anything.

I made a general comment and even provided a source. No animosity in it at all.

Then I gave you your specific evidence that i know you could give two shits about. My hope is that you are a more pleasant person in real life. I don't know how you can read the thread from top to bottom and not see that you were needlessly provoking people when no one was demanding anything from you. You still haven't provided an actual source for a child being taken away from a parent in the US. You know this 2nd hand word of mouth source is not credible by the standards you are expecting of others.

Can you actually tell me how I am in the wrong here? Im interested because I am sure you're a smart guy. I'm really confused. How can you be so demanding when you yourself didn't provide a source for your claim? And do you really not recognize how you were being unkind when no one was being rude to you?

Gatovicolo: Only in the US
SKDeitch: It's not only in the US.
Gatovicolo: Where else?
SKDeitch: How about Iran?
Gatovicolo: Cite me a case where a child has been taken from an atheistic parent in Iran.
SKDeitch:
There was no reply.
How was I to take this? Personally, I don't really care. My comment was at best sardonic. I think that its very likely that Iran, given their suppression of alternate religions, would very likely try to pull something like this. And, honestly, I would have been very interested in finding that kind of information. It sounded like SKDeitch had that information when he made that remark about Iran, but he was unwilling to provide that information or just simply didn't have it. I wasn't certain and didn't really care one way or the other.
It seems now that the three of you took my question about making a citation as an insult. If this is the case, it wasn't. It was a request for information and information alone.

Loudpaintings: @Gatovicolo I do not thin this is really that hard to conceive happening in certain parts of the world. "He was arrested on charges of atheism and blasphemy and held in prison before being convicted by a local court and sentenced to death in February 2015." Assuming they would kill someone for it, I do not think they would leave children with such a person. Of course, if a person is killed for atheism and has children, then it is basically the same thing.
Gatovicolo: I agree. Cite me a case.

I agreed that you're probably right. Cite me a case. It should be easily discovered that a child was taken from a parent due to their atheism. You cited a passage from a magazine which gave an opinion.
Once again all I'm doing is asking for information, which you fail to give. And you seem to take offense that I'm asking for that information.

Loudpaintings: @Gatovicolo well I'm not really interested in spending my time digging for this. The particular potential case in this thread would not be easy to find. I could not easily find any cases in the US of a parent losing their atheism either. So maybe "only in the US' is not valid your end as well. You can try and find an actual case int eh US and share it if you like to prove whatever point you're trying to make. Death to other countries for apostasy seems to not be sufficient.
Gatovicolo: You're not interested in digging for it, but you're happy enough to assert it without evidence? Hmmm. That says a lot. As for a case that shows evidence for it, just look at this thread.

As I've said before, my comment was at best sardonic. I wasn't interested in arguing whether this occurred only in the US. I was interested in getting further information as to whether there were cases outside the US, which SKDeitch asserted there was and you supported. Yet, you both seem to be uninterested in providing that information. At this point I called you on this. You're asserting something without evidence. That's a real problem. This seems to be an example of a fundamental logical fallacy. Its called Argumentum ad Populum. That is, the argument is valid based upon popular opinion. That would be the popular opinion of atheists in general. That is, if a group of people is religious, Iranian muslims, then they would take the children away from atheistic parents. That's poor reasoning at best. It could be justified using an existential operator, I suppose, but without actual evidence, there would be no justification in saying that its true at all.

Loudpaintings: @Gatovicolo So your source is a friend of a person you don't know on a website that has not even been taken to court yet? Let alone rendered a verdict? What effort have you actually put towards your claim? You are the one that stated only in the US, with nothing to substantiate it. That is why @SKDeitch said that. I submitted an article for a penalty of death based on apostasy, which is far more severe than taking your children away. What exactly have you contributed to this conversation? You are the one that made the claim, so let hear your evidence or support for when you said , "Only in the US."
Loudpaintings: @Gatovicolo I should have just disappeared like @SKDeitch. He probably knew this was a waste of time, and it was. You don't have to respond. Here you are:
Sharia Law in the State of Pahang, Malaysia Sections 82 and 83 of the Islamic Family Law Act also "disqualify persons who are non-Muslims or not practicing Muslimbs from being granted custody of children."
Gatovicolo: I think you missed the whole point of my comment.

Once again, my comment was sardonic at best. I thought that it was pretty obvious and didn't require that I support it with evidence. I had asked information from the two of you only to be ignored. That's all fine and good. This is a discussion group and you're in no obligation to give me any information. Yet the tone of your responses became frenetic. You seem to want to get out of position where you don't have to give the information that was requested. And you tried to do that by reversing the roles and assessing my initial assertion.
As for for your citation of Sharia Law, that's good information, but it does not indicate whether a child has been taken from an atheistic parent, though, to honest, its a reasonable thing to deduce. However, deductions, outside of math or pure logic, are insufficient to indicate something is occurring. Given that the law actually exists, it shouldn't be hard to discover whether a child has been taken from an atheistic parent by looking at case law.

Loudpaintings: @Gatovicolo Well my assumption is you were not trying to be literal. you were just making a comment about the poor state of US politics. I would not have commented on it usually. But another person was just trying to point out that some other places are just as bad or worse. That was the real point.
You could have left it alone, but you asked for evidence when you know good and well some countries have ridiculous religious laws an treat atheists horribly. then you were being a bit condescending because I did not really want to find an exact source to counter your exact statement, since you provided nothing yourself. So now you have some evidence. Not sure if you enjoy trolling or you like being this way. If I am wrong, please correct me.
Gatovicolo: Right. See ya later.

Once again, you and SKDeitch seem to be under the impression hat I was trying to just argue when I was simply requesting information. I even asked SKDeitch to provide that information directly. Yet at this point you're claiming that I'm being condescending. Not really. I was making the observation that your reasoning was fundamentally faulted. And then you became insulting claiming that I'm being trollish. I've simply asked for information and observed that the two of you were making claims without justification.

Gatovicolo: I was just commenting on it and the other person (SKDeitch) you mentioned brought that up as if they had specific knowledge. I asked for a justification and none was given. Then you had to stick your two cents in. that was your choice.
Loudpaintings: @Gatovicolo it was my choice. Its a discussion board. I thought I was just entering into a friendly conversation. Thank you for provoking such thought on my end. Your kindness is appreciated.
Gatovicolo: You're welcome to think whatever silly thought you choose. Goodbye.

You're comments were obviously insulting and I replied in kind.

So, what have I done? I asked for information. Yet you guys failed to provide that after several promptings. I observed that your reasoning was fundamentally faulted and you insulted me without cause by claiming that I was a troll.
It seems to me that the person who's been maligned here was me.
@Loudpaintings

I asked you for information. That was it. Then you followed that up with riducule. Block me if you like. I could care less. @SKDeitch

@Gatovicolo okay. Well since I seem to have a better understanding of your point of view. Would you mind starting the conversation over?

To say only in the US, that is a pretty bold statement. For you to actually make that claim you would have to research every single country in the world to see if that it does not happen elsewhere. That would be ridiculous amount of work. I assume you do not want to do that. You might just be exaggerating to make a point about US politics.

However, the idea that it is even happening in the US at all is questionable. Could you please cite a source where this is actually happened? This particular case is has not even been taking to trial, and might not even be heard.

Can you please cite me a source of this occurring in the US?

1

That sounds like something that would happen in a totalitarian non-secular society, not in the land of the free.

1

Sadly I agree with the voices saying get a good lawyer or two! Kentucky just killed a bill to prohibit child marriage!

BillF Level 7 Mar 13, 2018
1

It is legal for the ex to pursue this... the ACLU nor FFRF have no say in this.

It will be decided based on which standard the court applies:
Actual or substantial harm.
Risk of harm.
No harm required.

Munoz vs. Munoz stated that exposing a child to two different religions did not cause the child harm. In that case, a mormom mother wanted to deny the catholic father from partial custody based on the fact that she didn't want him exposing their kid to catholism. The courts shut that arguement down. Applied to atheism, this case would seem to indicate that a different set of beliefs (or no belief) is not harmful to the child.

However, in MacLagan v. Klein, a daughter that had been raised and identified as jewish since age three WAS considered to be harmed if their mother then tried to convert her to methodism. While this case was not about custody, it does give merit to the fact that if the preschool kid identifies with a religion, then forcing them to deny that religion could cause the child harm.

In this case, the ex "could" have a case if they can prove that the mother being an atheist could potentially harm the child in the future, as would be the case if the child has a strong identity to a religion. However, if the child is not strongly vested in any religion, then it will be hard to prove harm.

[nolo.com]

0

It shouldnt be allowed by law but im from kentucky too and I would bet that it would be allowed in our local county system in Pike Co. just look at the Kim Davis thing, its hard tellin what all would be allowed in Kentucky, we are a dif kind of ppl for sure.

jorj Level 8 Mar 15, 2018
0

A local freethinkers group connected her with American Atheists’ attorney. I told her about the other two you recommended. Thank you so much!

0

Good luck to your friend.

0

I don't know in your country, here it is a non issue. But that was one of the claims my ex made in our custody fight.She is catholic and the kids had never been to a church and I was endangering their immortal souls and such. Even her solicitors totally ignored that bit.

0

How awful! As if being religious makes someone a better person. My Christian, god-fearing ex husband hasn't spoken to my kids or paid child support in two and a half years. Which parent has supported them and been there every single day? The atheist!! Best of luck to your friend!

dkp93 Level 7 Mar 13, 2018
0

That totally sucks, religion or lack of should have nothing at all to do with who deserves to have custody of the child/children.
When I fought for custody of my 9 year old Daughter the Australian Family Law Courts took into account the wishes of the child first and foremost, the attitudes of the parents in respect to the wishes and needs of the child, the willingness of each parent to accept the WHOLE responsibilities of caring for the child, even as far as willingness to foresake their own social needs for the child and who had the most to offer the child as in support, etc.
Religious Beliefs played absolutely NO part in their decision and since I have always been a 100% Atheist, even declaring so in Court, I was awarded Sole Custody.

0

That is fucking bullshit and nothing to do with being a good mother.

0

One of the reasons I speak out so much is that it truly matters in the south. God is a huge deal. Unless the ex is a terrible person I suggest your friend finds religion until the hearing is over. I know for a fact if it’s in a small town in Arkansas she will 100% lose!

0

They should contact both the ACLU and FFRF. Use of religion (or lack there of) as a custody issue is completely illegal.

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