Legally prevent minor chidren being baptized? Anybody done it? can it be done?

by Aussie Oz 20 Replies latest jw friends

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    I am about to go into mediation with the ex to negotiate new child access arangements. I was wondering about being able to negotiate this. I may also end up going to court so it would be good to know if this ever been done. Preventing the religion from baptising them until they are 18.


  • AnnOMaly

    Legally preventing baptisms of children would naturally have ramifications on christenings, etc. I don't think such a ban would be workable or necessary.

    The issue for me is, can JWs' 2 baptismal questions be considered a legal contract - especially the 2nd question?

    Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah's Witnesses in association with God's spirit-directed organization?

    Minors shouldn't enter into legal contracts.

  • Lillith26

    The JW's view their partical form of baptisim as a verbal and legally binding contract (otherwise DFing wouldn't and couldn't happen)- your lucky we live in a country were a child under the age of 18 can NOT enter into a legally binding contract without parental conscent- I would seriously talk this over with your laywer- it sounds like you may have a case...

    What state in Oz do live in? I can do a little search for you if you like?

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    South aust Lillith.

    I only thought of it today. It could be based on the fact that a parent is not allowed to breach contact orders by preventing or witholding children having access to the other parent. . As a baptised minor, they would be prevented from having anything but the most basic contact by the religions commands, therefore it could be posible that the religion may be seen as doing the actual preventing of a minor childs rights to visit the non custodial parent

    i dont think it would be too hard to convince a mediator or judge of the wrongness of shunning being enforced on minor children.

    Any research would be great, i must touch base with my lawyer on this too.



  • Lillith26

    I'll see what I can dig up for you- I'll PM what I find...

    Oh, dont let the whole blood card thing worry you now, in Oz it is illegal for anyone to refuse blood on behalf of a minor (under 18), the hospital will treat your kids then ask questions later... but that too may be worth telling your laywer about....

  • blondie

    The thing to remember is that the WTS is not the only group that baptizes young children. If you take on the WTS on this issue you will be taking on any religion that baptizes babies or children under 18.

    The WTS has finally realized in print that non-jw custodial parents have a "right" to teach their children in their own religious tradition. I realize that may not be consistent in practice behind the scenes. I would pursue a legal decision that the child not be baptized in either parent's religion until they can decide for themselves at 18.

  • betterdaze

    Here's a recent case in the news. Good luck.


    Dec 11, 2009 7:57 pm US/Eastern

    Dad Barred From Taking His Jewish Baby To Church

    Wife Says Taking Daughter To Christian Service Will Confuse Child

    CHICAGO (CBS) ? A father has been hit with an unusual restraining order: Keep his daughter away from any religion that is not Jewish. After the girl's parents split up, the father went to a Catholic church and had the girl baptized, CBS station WBBM-TV reports.

    Joseph Reyes, 35, had his daughter baptized and sent his ex-wife a picture of the ceremony.

    Rebecca Reyes says she only learned of her daughter's Baptism when Joseph sent her the picture, and that he sent it out of malice. Joseph Reyes denies this.

    "I sent it because Rebecca asked me for pictures," he said.

    Rebecca Reyes says she wants her daughter raised Jewish, and that her husband pledged to do so, even going so far as to convert to Judaism himself.

    "That's not accurate," he responded. "I'm not going to call her a liar, but … at the very least she's mistaken regarding that conversation."

    But Rebecca Reyes says it's her estranged husband who made the mistake when he had their daughter baptized. In her petition, she argues that if he's allowed to raise the child in any faith other than Judaism, he will cause their daughter irreparable harm.

    "I wouldn't harm my daughter simply to somehow spite my soon (soon)to-be ex-wife," Joseph Reyes said. "That's silly and ridiculous."

    Reyes' divorce attorney, Joel Brodsky, said when he first saw the petition for a temporary restraining order against his client, he couldn't believe what he was reading.

    "I almost fell off my chair," he said. "I thought maybe we were in Afghanistan and this was the Taliban. This is America. We have a First Amendment right of freedom of religion."

    The restraining order asks the judge to bar Joseph from taking his daughter to church. According to the petition, failure to restrain him will "continue to the emotional detriment of the child."

    Rebecca and her attorneys declined to go on camera but they did release the following statement: "We stand by our petition. We feel the judge will do whatever is best for the child."

    The attorney for Joseph Reyes says he will appeal Friday's order.

  • LatinxJW


    I am going through the same issue, I am in the process of writting a letter now to address that and a few others. My wife had her take the questions without informing me and then put the pressure on my pre-teen daughter to tell me. Her plan was to make me look like some opposer in my daughters eyes if I opposed her baptism. This was all before I knew all the crap I know now about the JW's, so I unfortunetly let her get baptized. My son though is not and I will try to prevent him from doing so. I should be done with my letter in a few days or so, I will let you know what happens next. If anyone else has gone through this please relate your experience.

  • WTWizard

    If the religion goes against human nature, or if it has one set of rules for the public to see and a different set for the members to abide by, or it takes significant amounts of time to fulfill its demands, yes they should ban baptisms before at least 18 (and, since Jesus was 30, possibly 21). And especially in light of the severe consequences of ever leaving the religion--if the consequences were not very severe, it wouldn't be so bad.

    And yes, the witlesses fit this description. They have rules that are difficult at best for adults to abide by (and the stupid "born into imperfection" excuse). They have harsh penalties for breaking any of the rules or leaving the religion, that go beyond simply losing the membership. They demand children to waste all their free time going from door to door, instead of playing. Get baptized, and there go all your school vacations. And I have seen more than my share of that while I was in.

  • sinis

    The difference that I see between other religions babtizing under 18 years of age and the JW's is the fact that the JW's BIND YOU TO A VERBAL contract and then you SIGN it, when they ask for your signature before getting babtised (unless that is an isolated situation - but I know I had to sign a sheet - role sheet - before getting dunked). Regardless, you are BOUND by a contract and shunning exists. I would argue that the potential for shunning and or having your child live by a contractual moral code should not be forced upon someone under 18, given that most countries you cannot drink, drive, serve in the military before a set age...

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