"Can Atheists Be Parents?"

Did you see this article in Time magazine recently? Very chilling. An atheist couple in New Jersey adopted a baby though an agency, brought her home, and expected the required final approval from a judge to be a formality. Not so:

In an extraordinary decision, Judge Camarata denied the Burkes' right to the child because of their lack of belief in a Supreme Being. Despite the Burkes' "high moral and ethical standards," he said, the New Jersey state constitution declares that "no person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshiping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience." Despite [the baby's] tender years, he continued, "the child should have the freedom to worship as she sees fit, and not be influenced by prospective parents who do not believe in a Supreme Being."

The Burkes were ordered to send the child back to the adoption agency. The case is headed for the New Jersey Supreme Court.

I'm on tenterhooks.

Thanks to Mittal for the link.

[Update 2008-02-15: Darren has pointed out that this story is, um, 37 years old...just like me!! You'd think I'd be old enough to check the date of an article before mindlessly passing it on, wouldn't you? Oops!]


Mark Hanington said...

Easy come, easy go.

Zootenany Hoodlum said...


that Mark.

I had a comment but I am too busy laughing to type it.

richard said...

oh.. my.. goodness..

Darren said...


So does this mean that the social workers can come and take your child away if they discover you are an atheist?

The mind boggles.

Anyone out there still think that Dawkins is too strident?

Darren said...

Ummm, on further review.

The date on the Time article indicates this story is from...


I imagine you can get off those tenterhooks now :)

It's all over the blogosphere but I can't figure out how it turned out.

fiona-h said...

oh my heavens! How embarrassing!