Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Parental Parochialism no longer legally mandated

Last May, Indiana dad & practicing Wiccan Thomas Jones, Jr. filed an appeal to be allowed to expose his son to his own religion. Jones had preciously been ordered not to expose his child to "non-mainstream religious beliefs and rituals" by the Marion County Indiana judge who granted Jones a divorce from the child's mother, Tammy Bristol. Jones and Bristol, also a practicing Wiccan, had been barred from exposing their 9-year old son to their mutual religion by Marion Superior Court Chief Justice Cale J. Bradford who made the ruling because the boy was enrolled in a local Catholic school and Bradford felt the best way to deal with the inconsistency between the two religions was for the child to continue his Christian education without the pesky interference of his Pagan parents.

Today, the Indiana Court of Appeals rightfully overturned Bradford's decision because their were no findings to indicate exposure to Wicca presented a danger to the child.
Judge Patricia A. Riley, writing on behalf of the three judge appeals court panel, wrote that trial courts can limit parent’s authority if it’s necessary to prevent endangerment to a child’s physical health, or significant impairment of the child’ emotional health.

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