Jehovah’s Witness grandparents ordered to keep faith to themselves
Posted by doctore0 on October 22, 2015
A pair of devout Jehovah’s Witnesses have been ordered by a B.C. provincial court judge not to talk about religion in front of their four-year-old granddaughter.
The couple lost their bid for unsupervised access to the girl because they insisted on taking her to worship at their faith’s Kingdom Hall despite the repeated objections of the child’s mother.
The girl is identified only as A.W. and the grandparents as A.R. and B.R. in Judge Edna Ritchie’s 12-page decision. And for now, they’re on a short leash.
“There are many people with strongly held religious views that do not discuss those views in front of others, and specifically not in front of children,” Ritchie wrote.
Unless A.R. and B.R. can satisfy the court that they can comply with the mother’s wishes, Ritchie said, “their time with A.W. must be supervised and limited.”
Religious rights vs. parental responsibility
The case pits the Family Law Act against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Family Law Act states that only a guardian has parental responsibilities, including decisions about religious upbringing, and the mother, M.W., is sole guardian.
But A.R. and B.R. argued that forbidding them from expressing their faith to their grandchild would violate a charter right to practise their religion.