This from “down under“.
Mum loses biblical row in court
by: Shelley Hadfield From: Herald Sun
A COURT has been forced to intervene in a bitter dispute between estranged parents over whether their seven-year-old daughter should be baptised.
A magistrate decided she could not yet be baptised.
He determined that the girl should make up her mind about being baptised when she was older. [Hmmm.]
In a judgment published this week, the Family Court dismissed an appeal from the mother against the ruling.
It ruled against overturning orders preventing her [I had to read that a few times.] from changing her daughter’s surname to a hyphenated name and provided for the girl to spend alternate Christmases with her dad.
The woman told the Family Court the magistrate had erred in law in making his decision that the child could not yet be baptised.
She said this was because the girl was attending a Christian school, was a practising Christian and had placed importance in the Christian faith.
Justice Thackery said the mum failed to demonstrate the magistrate’s decision was clearly wrong.
The magistrate who originally heard the case said the little girl had been asking about baptism and the mother believed it would help her fit in at school [?!] if she were baptised. [Remember... this is a journalists version of the facts.]
“In my view, it is not necessary for (her) to be baptised in order to ‘fit in’,” the magistrate had ruled. [So the judge is a theologian, too?]
He said the father was not religious and believed a decision about baptism should be left until the girl was older so that she could have proper input. [Indeed a problem. Both parents have rights in these matters.]
“His concern is about baptising her into a particular faith before she is able to decide for herself what religion she wishes to be part of,” the magistrate said.
“I consider that is it not necessary for (the child) to be baptised at this early stage. Given the conflict between the parents on this issue, and given her tender age, this process can be safely left to a later date.”
What a can of worms.