Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Wicca child custody issue

pentacle If the courts can remove a child from her mother because of the belief system of the mother, then the courts can remove a child from a person with no metaphysical beliefs at all. In this case, the woman was Wiccan. Judge Robert Vittitow remove her custody in part because of his ignorance concerning the practice of Wicca.  Vittitow officially expressed concern about her beliefs.

Finally, he stated his concern over her testimony regarding the Wicca religion, stating she probably was more involved in it than she led the court to believe.

Upon appeal, the case was returned without a hearing. Judge Hart dissented. His opinion was perfect.

...As I stated in my dissent, even if it were proven that the appellant was a practicing Wiccan, that conclusion can have no bearing on the decision to change custody. The majority makes a clear mistake of fact because there is absolutely no evidence that practicing Wicca was in any way harmful to the child or even that there were any practices conducted in the child’s presence. Accordingly, this cannot be a reason for changing custody.

In my mind, I replace the word Wiccan with the word Atheist and shudder. If the courts can make this type of uniformed error with regard to Wicca, then we all need to worry. I hope it is appealed. It sets a bad precedent.

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