Agnostic Father Stripped Of Custody Of Kids

The court system has spoken, and it says, if you’re not Christian, you’re not fit to be a parent. A divorced veteran in Indiana says he lost custody of his children, with a judge’s ruling explaining, “the father did not participate in the same religious training as the mother…father was agnostic.”

59 Comments on "Agnostic Father Stripped Of Custody Of Kids"

  1. Anonymous | Dec 3, 2010 at 7:32 pm |

    Welcome to the new Dark Ages.

  2. Tchoutoye | Dec 3, 2010 at 3:32 pm |

    Welcome to the new Dark Ages.

  3. Shitonmymultipledicks | Dec 3, 2010 at 8:14 pm |

    Didn’t the same thing happen to some Wiccan parents not to long ago in the same state??

  4. Shitonmymultipledicks | Dec 3, 2010 at 4:14 pm |

    Didn’t the same thing happen to some Wiccan parents not to long ago in the same state??

  5. What utter nonsense. I wonder if Richard Dawkins or some other important atheist could be convinced to promote and help this guy out.
    Unless there is more to this case…

  6. What utter nonsense. I wonder if Richard Dawkins or some other important atheist could be convinced to promote and help this guy out.
    Unless there is more to this case…

    • Where do you get Richard Dawkins out of this? Like all atheists or agnostics know each other or something?

      The father was simply quoting THE JUDGE HIMSELF, from his own written opinion in the verdict on his case. He’s not “making it up to advance an atheist agenda”, there’s objectively verifiable proof that the man’s lack of a religious affiliation played a significant role in the judge’s opinion. What’s clear from the judge’s written opinion, is that the JUDGE has an agenda.

      I mean are you impaired or something? Because your powers of comprehension seem to be put in doubt by your assessment of this whole thing….

      • 5by5…
        I think belcat was less saying that Richard Dawkins or other atheists were involved already than saying some big name atheist activists should be involved, because this case displays exactly the kind harms that they see as reasons not to just passively co-exist with religions and religious people.

        I agree with belcat. Us atheist, agnostic, and a-spiritual/a-religious folks could use our own Al Sharpton.

  7. … I hope you’re living right
    these are the new dark ages
    and the world might end tonight…

  8. … I hope you’re living right
    these are the new dark ages
    and the world might end tonight…

  9. Jim Beach | Dec 3, 2010 at 10:12 pm |

    Reminds me of a case a few years ago, where a mother lost custody of her kids because she was a member of the Church of the Subgenius.

    Seriously.

    I believe that ended well, finally and after much litigation, but…wow. Judges need not to rule on religion. Wasn’t that part of a war of independence fought a couple of hundred years ago, somewhere?

  10. Jim Beach | Dec 3, 2010 at 6:12 pm |

    Reminds me of a case a few years ago, where a mother lost custody of her kids because she was a member of the Church of the Subgenius.

    Seriously.

    I believe that ended well, finally and after much litigation, but…wow. Judges need not to rule on religion. Wasn’t that part of a war of independence fought a couple of hundred years ago, somewhere?

  11. In case no one else noticed the last 30 years…the judiciary, both state and federal, has been highly politicized. A tolerant attitude toward religious conservatism has emboldened a generation of activist judges…and the atmosphere of the US is choked with a smog made up of militant Christian supremacists, whose goal may be stated as a drive for parity in the face of persecution…but more genuinely consists of redefining American jurisprudence through the rather narrow lens of modern Evangelical Protestantism…which, when weighed against even other fairly socially conservative religions, is actually so radical as to depart completely from contemporary American values.

  12. In case no one else noticed the last 30 years…the judiciary, both state and federal, has been highly politicized. A tolerant attitude toward religious conservatism has emboldened a generation of activist judges…and the atmosphere of the US is choked with a smog made up of militant Christian supremacists, whose goal may be stated as a drive for parity in the face of persecution…but more genuinely consists of redefining American jurisprudence through the rather narrow lens of modern Evangelical Protestantism…which, when weighed against even other fairly socially conservative religions, is actually so radical as to depart completely from contemporary American values.

    • Homiesoverhos | Dec 4, 2010 at 4:13 pm |

      Absolutely true. For at least the past 2 decades there’s been a massive effort on the part of Evangelical Christian groups, such as the Quiverfull people, to pump out as many god-fearing Christian children as possible for God’s Army (their words, not mine) and have actually been training them on how to go into politics and position themselves in important areas of government specifically so that they can find legal ways (or just make them up) for forcing people to adhere to their views.

      • Frankly, you can see why this happens successfully (ie. hard-right christian activist judges being put on the bench) because of how the two parties approach their election information which is delivered to the voters.

        One of the most difficult parts of voting in any election is understanding the record and judicial positions of candidates for the state judiciary. But the critical difference between how the two sides approach that branch of government is that on the hard right, especially the evangelical Dominionist/Christian Reconstructionist right, they put out information pamphlets or websites documenting that judicial record, and blunty stating, “Don’t vote for candidate X, because he’s a registered Democrat, is soft on drug prosecutions, or his ruling in this case supported abortion, or some, which flatly say candidate X is not a Christian.”

        Meanwhile on the left, the election voter guides that are sent out to Democrats rarely if ever even MENTION specific judges, but focus almost exclusively on political races or other ballot measures that are up for a vote. The idea being that judges are SUPPOSED to be impartial arbiters of the law.

        In a state like California, this is particularly burdensome for Liberals who don’t want to put some irrational hardliner into office who might say, give maximum sentences to marijuana users, or whatever, because they have no single resource to turn to to verify the person’s position of even things like whether they believe in strict constructionism, or have an interpretist vision of the Constitution. Instead, you’ve got to surf through tons of websites researching the judicial candidates history on your own, a process which typically takes me at least 3 hours before I vote. Most people simply won’t do that kind of grunt work (and frankly because of it, they get the government they deserve because of it – problem is the rest of us suffer for their slack too).

        But because this information is not made readily available on the left as it is on the right, what often happens on the left is that people either play Russian roulette in the voting booth randomly selecting judges based upon ridiculous criteria like “they like their name” or “this judge is female” or “this just is asian/hispanic/black/white/native like me”, rather than seriously examining what that person you’re putting into a position of tremendous power actually THINKS.

        In fact in some cases, the best I can do is go to a right wing site, see who their supporting and vote the opposite way, because the objective information even online is often quite poor.

        • Looks like we need a Wikipedia: Candidate edition. Too many people are too lazy to do the research. Of course you’d have to either have numerous trusted moderators of “neutrality”, or you’d have political partisan mucking up the works. Just need a resource that says things such as:

          Candidate name: Joe Christian
          Main political leanings: Republican-Conservative
          Known to favor: Creationism in schools, Tax incentives for the upper 1%, etc.
          Known to oppose: Abortion, stemcell research, etc.
          Miscellaneous: Known usage negative political ads against competition.

          then maybe a list of previous votes that he has been involved in, or major bills he’s been pushing as support for above.

          really thats the only information anyone cares about. the rest that you hear about(I love this country and I love puppies arguments) are all crap.

  13. DueyRamone | Dec 4, 2010 at 12:43 am |

    So much for the separation of church and state. Take a fathers children away from him because he’s the SANE parent, brilliant decision judge…

  14. DueyRamone | Dec 3, 2010 at 8:43 pm |

    So much for the separation of church and state. Take a fathers children away from him because he’s the SANE parent, brilliant decision judge…

  15. sub-genius parents

  16. lost custody over a really good joke pretty much.

  17. Hadrian999 | Dec 4, 2010 at 2:00 am |

    is this surprising anyone, last year there was a justice of the peace that wouldn’t allow interracial marriages,
    legal authority doesn’t mean someone isn’t a complete inbred jackass

  18. Hadrian999 | Dec 3, 2010 at 10:00 pm |

    is this surprising anyone, last year there was a justice of the peace that wouldn’t allow interracial marriages,
    legal authority doesn’t mean someone isn’t a complete inbred jackass

  19. Haystack | Dec 4, 2010 at 2:56 am |

    This is why it annoys me when Christians profess to be *so* persecuted in America because they can’t have a Ten Commandments monument in a church, or because an artist does something irreverent with a crucifix.

  20. This is why it annoys me when Christians profess to be *so* persecuted in America because they can’t have a Ten Commandments monument in a church, or because an artist does something irreverent with a crucifix.

  21. The sad thing is we Agnostics are pretty laid back folk. We tend not to judge any religion. Had this been a Catholic and a Lutheran it would had been a hell of a fight with the judge finally giving equal custody to both.

  22. The sad thing is we Agnostics are pretty laid back folk. We tend not to judge any religion. Had this been a Catholic and a Lutheran it would had been a hell of a fight with the judge finally giving equal custody to both.

    • The sad thing is, this man is being punished by a representative of our government for not being a christian!
      Fuck the constitution! It’s for Christians only!

  23. Christianity fucking sucks shit.

  24. Christianity fucking sucks shit.

  25. Homiesoverhos | Dec 4, 2010 at 8:13 pm |

    Absolutely true. For at least the past 2 decades there’s been a massive effort on the part of Evangelical Christian groups, such as the Quiverfull people, to pump out as many god-fearing Christian children as possible for God’s Army (their words, not mine) and have actually been training them on how to go into politics and position themselves in important areas of government specifically so that they can find legal ways (or just make them up) for forcing people to adhere to their views.

  26. Shitonmymultipledicks | Dec 4, 2010 at 8:17 pm |

    My bad. I guess I got those two mixed up.

    What actually happened to the Wiccan parents in IN was they were going through a divorce and in a completely unrelated ruling the judge decided they weren’t allowed to teach their son about Wicca. Found here: http://atheism.about.com/b/2005/05/26/indiana-judge-forbids-parents-teaching-son-wicca.htm

  27. Anonymous | Dec 4, 2010 at 11:22 pm |

    Your retard is showing

  28. Anonymous | Dec 4, 2010 at 11:30 pm |

    The sad thing is, this man is being punished by a representative of our government for not being a christian!
    Fuck the constitution! It’s for Christians only!

  29. well thats turrible

  30. Frankly, you can see why this happens successfully (ie. hard-right christian activist judges being put on the bench) because of how the two parties approach their election information which is delivered to the voters.

    One of the most difficult parts of voting in any election is understanding the record and judicial positions of candidates for the state judiciary. But the critical difference between how the two sides approach that branch of government is that on the hard right, especially the evangelical Dominionist/Christian Reconstructionist right, they put out information pamphlets or websites documenting that judicial record, and blunty stating, “Don’t vote for candidate X, because he’s a registered Democrat, is soft on drug prosecutions, or his ruling in this case supported abortion, or some, which flatly say candidate X is not a Christian.”

    Meanwhile on the left, the election voter guides that are sent out to Democrats rarely if ever even MENTION specific judges, but focus almost exclusively on political races or other ballot measures that are up for a vote. The idea being that judges are SUPPOSED to be impartial arbiters of the law.

    In a state like California, this is particularly burdensome for Liberals who don’t want to put some irrational hardliner into office who might say, give maximum sentences to marijuana users, or whatever, because they have no single resource to turn to to verify the person’s position of even things like whether they believe in strict constructionism, or have an interpretist vision of the Constitution. Instead, you’ve got to surf through tons of websites researching the judicial candidates history on your own, a process which typically takes me at least 3 hours before I vote. Most people simply won’t do that kind of grunt work (and frankly because of it, they get the government they deserve because of it – problem is the rest of us suffer for their slack too).

    But because this information is not made readily available on the left as it is on the right, what often happens on the left is that people either play Russian roulette in the voting booth randomly selecting judges based upon ridiculous criteria like “they like their name” or “this judge is female” or “this just is asian/hispanic/black/white/native like me”, rather than seriously examining what that person you’re putting into a position of tremendous power actually THINKS.

    In fact in some cases, the best I can do is go to a right wing site, see who their supporting and vote the opposite way, because the objective information even online is often quite poor.

  31. Where do you get Richard Dawkins out of this? Like all atheists or agnostics know each other or something?

    The father was simply quoting THE JUDGE HIMSELF, from his own written opinion in the verdict on his case. He’s not “making it up to advance an atheist agenda”, there’s objectively verifiable proof that the man’s lack of a religious affiliation played a significant role in the judge’s opinion. What’s clear from the judge’s written opinion, is that the JUDGE has an agenda.

    I mean are you impaired or something? Because your powers of comprehension seem to be put in doubt by your assessment of this whole thing….

  32. 5by5…
    I think belcat was less saying that Richard Dawkins or other atheists were involved already than saying some big name atheist activists should be involved, because this case displays exactly the kind harms that they see as reasons not to just passively co-exist with religions and religious people.

    I agree with belcat. Us atheist, agnostic, and a-spiritual/a-religious folks could use our own Al Sharpton.

  33. Looks like we need a Wikipedia: Candidate edition. Too many people are too lazy to do the research. Of course you’d have to either have numerous trusted moderators of “neutrality”, or you’d have political partisan mucking up the works. Just need a resource that says things such as:

    Candidate name: Joe Christian
    Main political leanings: Republican-Conservative
    Known to favor: Creationism in schools, Tax incentives for the upper 1%, etc.
    Known to oppose: Abortion, stemcell research, etc.
    Miscellaneous: Known usage negative political ads against competition.

    then maybe a list of previous votes that he has been involved in, or major bills he’s been pushing as support for above.

    really thats the only information anyone cares about. the rest that you hear about(I love this country and I love puppies arguments) are all crap.

  34. OK, folks. I completely agree with evangelicals trying to breed as many christian soldiers into the world as possible to fatten up Gods Army and take over complete political control. My question is this; how does anyone get into adult hood and through secondary education and still be able to hold on to such beliefs? No really, I was raised Christian but just couldnt hold on to believing in a book and belief system akin to any fairy tale. Then again, I dont believe in Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny either. To me its just all part of being an adult

  35. OK, folks. I completely agree with evangelicals trying to breed as many christian soldiers into the world as possible to fatten up Gods Army and take over complete political control. My question is this; how does anyone get into adult hood and through secondary education and still be able to hold on to such beliefs? No really, I was raised Christian but just couldnt hold on to believing in a book and belief system akin to any fairy tale. Then again, I dont believe in Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny either. To me its just all part of being an adult

  36. OK, folks. I completely agree with evangelicals trying to breed as many christian soldiers into the world as possible to fatten up Gods Army and take over complete political control. My question is this; how does anyone get into adult hood and through secondary education and still be able to hold on to such beliefs? No really, I was raised Christian but just couldnt hold on to believing in a book and belief system akin to any fairy tale. Then again, I dont believe in Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny either. To me its just all part of being an adult

  37. OK, folks. I completely agree with evangelicals trying to breed as many christian soldiers into the world as possible to fatten up Gods Army and take over complete political control. My question is this; how does anyone get into adult hood and through secondary education and still be able to hold on to such beliefs? No really, I was raised Christian but just couldnt hold on to believing in a book and belief system akin to any fairy tale. Then again, I dont believe in Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny either. To me its just all part of being an adult

  38. This really pisses me off, and it is a cause of problems in my household. I do not approve of religions that push their crap on others and refuse to discuss actual science and facts, but throw you under the bus if you can’t accept “faith”. Does anyone here believe in magic? Or would you explain it as illusion instead? I am not a god hater, but more of a hater of the people who blindly accept god as the only explanation for things. I am also against those that say god doesn’t exist, because they don’t know that for a fact. Why can’t you just accept that it cannot be proven either way?

    Leave religion out of family matters like this, and the government also needs to just stay out of most family matters anyways. It’s truly none of their business.

  39. This really pisses me off, and it is a cause of problems in my household. I do not approve of religions that push their crap on others and refuse to discuss actual science and facts, but throw you under the bus if you can’t accept “faith”. Does anyone here believe in magic? Or would you explain it as illusion instead? I am not a god hater, but more of a hater of the people who blindly accept god as the only explanation for things. I am also against those that say god doesn’t exist, because they don’t know that for a fact. Why can’t you just accept that it cannot be proven either way?

    Leave religion out of family matters like this, and the government also needs to just stay out of most family matters anyways. It’s truly none of their business.

  40. wait.. so this *isn’t* an Onion piece? o.0*

  41. wait.. so this *isn’t* an Onion piece? o.0*

  42. P_j_judge | Dec 7, 2010 at 11:14 pm |

    This pisses me off so fucking badly… My dad was in the same position as him, my mom basically screwed him over and got a shit load of money too. It turns out my mom, a christian, has borderline personality disorder and she made my life hell for a decade. When I finally moved in with my dad, an agnostic, he taught me what being a moral person really means. I think this goes under the greater umbrella issue of father’s rights but yah, if his agnosticism is an official reason for this split, then he should take it to the supreme court if he has to. I can almost say with certainty that he’s a better parent for it.

  43. P_j_judge | Dec 7, 2010 at 7:14 pm |

    This pisses me off so fucking badly… My dad was in the same position as him, my mom basically screwed him over and got a shit load of money too. It turns out my mom, a christian, has borderline personality disorder and she made my life hell for a decade. When I finally moved in with my dad, an agnostic, he taught me what being a moral person really means. I think this goes under the greater umbrella issue of father’s rights but yah, if his agnosticism is an official reason for this split, then he should take it to the supreme court if he has to. I can almost say with certainty that he’s a better parent for it.

  44. TeenAtheist | Dec 8, 2010 at 3:33 am |

    How about those people that refuse medical care for their children because it’s “against their beliefs?” Religion, the blind acceptance of things, is extremely harmful, and reason, the ability to observe and decide things for oneself, is not. Humans are the only organisms capable of reason, and yet a large portion of our population does not use it.

  45. TeenAtheist | Dec 7, 2010 at 11:33 pm |

    How about those people that refuse medical care for their children because it’s “against their beliefs?” Religion, the blind acceptance of things, is extremely harmful, and reason, the ability to observe and decide things for oneself, is not. Humans are the only organisms capable of reason, and yet a large portion of our population does not use it.

  46. “Judge’s ruling explaining, “the father did not participate in the same religious training as the mother…father was agnostic.” That is not on what the decision was based, those were simply observational comments regarding the relationship after Scarberry became agnostic. Judge Pancol says the decision was based on the best interests of the children. Evidence in court shows Scarberry to be prone to violent and profanity laced outbursts; that is most likely why he lost custody. Had it been for his agnosticism he would have been denied the right to teach his kids different worldviews, religions, etc like happened in MacLagan v Klein in 1996. Though religious considerations probably did not play a role in Scarberry’s case, fact remains such considerations are allowed and are a normal part of custody cases where parents have competing perspectives.

  47. “Judge’s ruling explaining, “the father did not participate in the same religious training as the mother…father was agnostic.” That is not on what the decision was based, those were simply observational comments regarding the relationship after Scarberry became agnostic. Judge Pancol says the decision was based on the best interests of the children. Evidence in court shows Scarberry to be prone to violent and profanity laced outbursts; that is most likely why he lost custody. Had it been for his agnosticism he would have been denied the right to teach his kids different worldviews, religions, etc like happened in MacLagan v Klein in 1996. Though religious considerations probably did not play a role in Scarberry’s case, fact remains such considerations are allowed and are a normal part of custody cases where parents have competing perspectives.

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