A B.C. couple whose religious views are too extreme even for churches and pastors and put them at odds with family, doctors, social workers and anyone else trying to help them with their daughter, have lost their battle for custody of her.
The unusual child custody trial featured the couple speaking in tongues to a stuffed animal they said transmitted the word of God directly to them and refusing legal assistance because Jesus Christ — through the stuffed lion — was their lawyer, witness and judge.
In November, when the girl was one, the Provincial Court of British Columbia formally declared she was in need of protection and placed her in provincial custody, a decision the parents appealed to the B.C. Supreme Court. The parents claimed the judge violated their Charter rights, discriminated against them as Christians and made procedural errors.
Both parents were raised in Christian homes, she in Ontario and he in B.C., but strayed from their roots until reconnecting with their beliefs as adults. They met in 2014 and shared a mutual interest in their own emerging view of the Christian faith and were privately married a year later, court heard.
They are not named to protect the identity of the child.
They had unstable working and living arrangements, moving around various communities in B.C., court heard. Their views started interfering with their relationships with others, including Christian communities. Several churches banned them and even called police for assistance when the couple set out to “purge churches of evil influences,” according to court records.
At one point, after the birth of their child, they were criminally charged with causing a disturbance after police were called to a church in West Kelowna where the parents were trying to cleanse demonic influences, court heard.
“It appears that, due to their strong religious beliefs, they are intolerant of those who do not espouse identical views. This includes other Christians,” Justice Diane MacDonald wrote in her ruling, released this week.
Etc. So, do keep the Bible out of the hands of the unhinged.