Fundamentalist Baptist father said not to teach children hate beliefs


A British Columbia judge says a fundamentalist Baptist father who believes gays should be executed should not have a say in the religious education of his children.

Chilliwack Provincial Court Judge Kristen Mundstock made it clear that she did not want to limit the religious freedom of the father, who is known in court documents as JKH.

But she said she feared her three young children – who live with their mother, AJH – would become social outcasts if they adopted their father’s extreme views.

“I believe the Bible commands him to teach his children the word of God. In other words, J will teach his children that homosexuals are to be put to death,” Mundstock wrote in a decision released last week.

“If J is free to teach children about his religious views, I am concerned that children may not get along with the people they must interact with on a daily basis.”

“He acknowledges that he has hate beliefs but he says they are based on good faith,” Mundstock wrote. “He declares that there are certain people whom God commands us to hate.”

Online Videos of Hateful American Preachers

The case highlights one of the most controversial issues that judges face in balancing the rights of parents with the interests of their children in child custody matters.

“The issue of religious freedom and how children should be brought up in which religion or whether they should not be brought up with any religion at all is one of the most controversial and contested issues in custody, ”said Leena Yousefi, a Vancouver-area family lawyer.

“Religion is obviously extremely close to the heart of the religious person, and they really believe that this is the way to go to heaven or to be on the good side of God, and that is how children should be brought up. . “

The father in the case claims he believes every word in the Bible should be taken literally. He also believes that homosexuals should be executed and that women should obey their husbands. (SRC)

Yousefi, who was not involved in the battle between JKH and AJH, said parents who stay together are free to raise their children as they wish. But it’s different for parents who separate.

A precedent extending to the Supreme Court of Canada has led judges to put what they consider to be the best interests of children before what some parents may claim as an absolute right.

The BC case depicts a marriage torn apart by religious discord.

JKH and AJH separated in October 2018.

Father’s parenting time is limited to two hours per week on Monday afternoon at a McDonald’s Play Place in the Fraser Valley, while AJH sits elsewhere.

JKH asked the court for the possibility of returning the children to her home, while the mother asked Mundstock to order that she be solely responsible for the religious and spiritual education of the children, aged two, four and five. .

Both parents are practicing Christians. AJH said their relationship fell apart when JKH began watching videos online of two American religious leaders known for their extreme and hateful views on abortion, homosexuality and the Holocaust.

Pastor Roger Jimenez gained international notoriety in 2016 after hailing the fatal shooting of 49 people in a gay nightclub in Florida.

Reverend Steven Anderson has been denied entry to several countries – including, he says, Canada – because of sermons calling for the execution of homosexuals.

AJH claimed that JKH asked her to watch their videos, but “she found [the] teachings to be hateful.

‘But it’s, it’s the Bible’

JKH, who calls himself a fundamentalist Baptist and attends church in Surrey, says he believes “what is written in the Bible is the truth.”

“He states that the beliefs adopted in his church are similar to those of Reverend Anderson and Pastor Jiminez, but his church is being more tactful,” the judge wrote.

“He says his church does not believe in promoting violence.”

A tribute to the 49 victims of a 2016 Orlando gay nightclub shooting calls for an end to hatred. A BC follower of an extreme pastor who praised the shooting was denied any role in his children’s religious education. (Erik De Castro / Reuters)

JKH also has very rigid beliefs about women, who he says are not “inferior” but are subject to the authority of their husbands and should not speak or teach in church.

“He described other Christians as sellers,” Mundstock wrote.

“J wants to teach his children his point of view on the Bible so that they can flourish with the same solid foundation and the same stability. He believes that A’s religious instruction is harmful to children and not to their children. best interest. “

The father claimed that his ex-partner’s attempt to limit his participation in the religious education of his children was an infringement of his right to religious freedom.

But the judge rejected this argument, saying that as an adult, JKH was free to practice his beliefs.

“My only concern is the best interests of the children,” she said.

And she said it was clear from her direct testimony that her uncompromising opinions put him at odds with most people.

“It says [homosexuals] are brute beasts, which means stupid animals, which is extremely offensive, “JKH said at one point.” But it is, it is the Bible. “

“Children are vulnerable”

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled on religion and child custody in 1993 with a battle between a mother who wanted her children to be raised in the United Church and a father who had been ordered not to discuss his faith as a Jehovah’s Witness with his children or to take them to meetings.

The judges said the courts were not there to judge a “war of religion” between parents of different faiths.

In the leading case on religious education and child custody, the Supreme Court of Canada said that the best interests of children should take precedence over all other concerns. (Andrew Lee / CBC)

“Rather, it is the way these beliefs are practiced and the impact and effect they have on the child that must be taken into account,” said the Supreme Court ruling.

“In all cases where the effects of religious practices are in question, the best interests of the child must prevail.”

In practice, Yousefi says this means that the courts generally tend to lean towards the more secular parent.

“In a way, the [Supreme Court] said it would be limiting to confine children to a certain religion when the other parent does not adhere to it, ”she said.

AJH told the court she believed not all parts of the Bible are relevant today.

She feels society is more diverse and has said she doesn’t want her ex-partner teaching kids to hate gay people.

The judge agreed that it would be confusing for the children to learn of their father’s views that are “diametrically opposed” to those of their primary caregiver.

“Children are vulnerable and unable, at a young age, to discern what is true and what is false,” Mundstock wrote.

“They are also unable to weigh and balance what one parent teaches them against the other on such advanced notions of morality and spirituality.”

The father admitted he would ignore the court order

Both parents represented themselves.

In cases involving lawyers, Yousefi said the court may be inclined to order the father to refrain from discussing the details of his beliefs.

As it stands, Mundstock ordered both sides to put the best interests of the children before their own and to refrain from any “negative or hostile criticism, communication or argument in front of children.”

The father’s intransigence also led the judge to reject his request to have the children at home during his time of parenthood. JKH admitted that he would not comply with an order forbidding him to teach his children the Bible even if the judge did.

“I conclude that J has chosen to live his life according to his fundamentalist views and that there is no room for compromise, even if that means his parenting time will be once a week away from home,” Mundstock wrote.

The COVID-19 pandemic means the McDonald’s Play Place where tours take place is now closed.

The judge left it to the parents to decide what is best for the children in the meantime.


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