Judge: Christian Dad Who Says God Wants Gays Executed Can’t Brainwash His Kids April 30, 2020

Judge: Christian Dad Who Says God Wants Gays Executed Can’t Brainwash His Kids

Should parents be allowed to instill their religious values in their kids? I would think most of us would say yes.

What about religious values that we would rightly call hate speech? What if the religion teaches that gay people deserve to be murdered?

That was the issue at the center of a now-resolved custody battle in British Columbia. The unnamed father, who goes by the initials JKH in court documents, was radicalized in 2015 after watching YouTube videos from Independent Fundamentalist Baptist preachers Steven Anderson and Roger Jimenez.

Anderson, of course, has a long history of saying things like “If you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running rampant.” He has also said the U.S. government should execute homosexuals by way of a firing squad because that’s what the Bible commands. His statements have gotten him banned from 34 countries (and counting). Jimenez is no different. After nearly 50 people died in the Pulse nightclub massacre, he said to his congregation that the real tragedy was “that more of them didn’t die.”

So back to JKH. He’s watching these videos beginning in 2015. He buys into their hate speech. It’s not just the anti-gay stuff, either. Those IFB preachers also anti-women: They practice a form of complementarianism that leaves little room for women to have their own careers or much of a life outside the home. A wife’s job is to obey her husband, end of story. JKH says that even if his religious views seem extreme, he doesn’t personally promote violence. (Anderson and Jimenez would say the same thing. They want the government to execute gay people but they insist they would never personally pull the trigger.)

In 2018, JKH and his wife AJH, a fellow Christian, decided to get separated in large part because of their religious differences. (She didn’t buy into the hate speech.) That left the question of how they would handle the religious decision-making when it comes to their three kids, ages 5, 4, and 2.

AJH told the court she did not want JKH to have any say in their religion because she didn’t want his hateful views influencing their children.

That left the issue to the courts.

Yesterday, Chilliwack Provincial Court Judge Kristen Mundstock handed down her decision: The mother would get to make all religious decisions for the kids — not out of religious discrimination against the father, but because the kids would become social outcasts if they adopted his views. And it’s her job, according to Canadian law, to make these kinds of decisions solely in the best interest of the children.

[The father’s] religious views are anti-social and will cause the children to be unable to get along with a large number of people. The children will find themselves in the same position, socially, as [the father]. [The father] was very clear in his testimony that his religious beliefs cause him to be unable to get along with a lot of people.

For these reasons, I find it would not be in the best interests of the children for [the father] to make decisions respecting their religious and spiritual upbringing.

She added that JKH would not get alone time with the kids, either, because he basically said if the kids were with him, he would preach his Christian hate to them (no matter what the court said). Instead, he’ll get two hours a week with them at a neutral location with the mother also present.

All of this is the best possible outcome for the kids. They don’t deserve to have their lives destroyed just because a Christian extremist wants to indoctrinate them to hate certain groups of people. It’s not the responsibility of any court to get in the way of anyone practicing their religion — and that’s not happening here since the father will get to spend as much time as he wants inside his Christian cult — but his kids aren’t old enough to make that decision for themselves. They shouldn’t be affected by his irresponsible and dangerous beliefs.

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Dorothy for the link)

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