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Old 01-03-2008, 08:50 AM   #1
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Inestimable Privilege

I have never heard of such a thing happening, didn't know that was legal. I can't believe the NJ Supreme Court will uphold that.


www.time.com

Monday, Dec. 07, 1970
Can Atheists Be Parents?

After six years of childless marriage, John and Cynthia Burke of Newark decided to adopt a baby boy through a state agency. Since the Burkes were young, scandal-free and solvent, they had no trouble with the New Jersey Bureau of Children's Services—until investigators came to the line on the application that asked for the couple's religious affiliation.

John Burke, an atheist, and his wife, a pantheist, had left the line blank. As a result, the bureau denied the Burkes' application. After the couple began court action, however, the bureau changed its regulations, and the couple was able to adopt a baby boy from the Children's Aid and Adoption Society in East Orange.

Last year the Burkes presented their adopted son, David, now 31, with a baby sister, Eleanor Katherine, now 17 months, whom they acquired from the same East Orange agency. Since the agency endorsed the adoption, the required final approval by a judge was expected to be pro forma. Instead, Superior Court Judge William Camarata raised the religious issue.

Inestimable Privilege. 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 Eleanor Katherine'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 are now living in Carterville, Ill., near Southern Illinois University, where John Burke has worked for the past year as a speech pathologist. Nevertheless, Judge Camarata ordered the parents to send David's sister back to the New Jersey adoption agency. Two weeks ago, aided by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Burkes appealed directly to the New Jersey Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case. If they fail in their appeal, Eleanor Katherine may have to leave the only family she has ever known and await adoption by another couple whose religious convictions satisfy the State of New Jersey.
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:57 AM   #2
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What the fuck is wrong with this country?
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:09 AM   #3
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Hail God!

And I still like to come to the US.
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Monday, Dec. 07, 1970
Was this story from 1970?

I also wonder about this bit:

Quote:
Last year the Burkes presented their adopted son, David, now 31, with a baby sister, Eleanor Katherine, now 17 months
How old was David when they adopted him?
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:13 AM   #5
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oops, I never noticed the date. Maybe it was 1970

Hey it's still early in the morning

Now I have to go back to time.com and figure out what the hell is going on, I found the link on cnn.com

I Googled it and apparently the case did happen back then, I have no idea why it's on time.com now. Still I can't believe that happened back then, and I wonder what role religion plays in adoptions now. I would like to read what the NJ Supreme Court said.
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:29 AM   #6
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I noticed the date but thought that was the date of the first adoption, and that the newest adoption was current, but now after my morning caffine realize that math still doesn't work.

Maybe it was some weird leap year-new year Y2kesque gliche.
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:30 AM   #7
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Of course I have an acquaintance who was told by a person appointed by the court to assess her fitness as a parent (it was a child custody case after a divorce) that Unitarian Universalist wasn't a "real" religion and she needed to find a less wacky church or it would work against her.

Lovely, isn't it?
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:34 AM   #8
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Well Tom Cruise is a Scientologist and had no problem adopting two children (not that I know of, privately who knows). Perhaps megamoney trumps religion in that case, I don't know. I had no knowledge of this case, and the real scary thing is believing it could be a current case because I did before the date was pointed out.
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:51 PM   #9
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^ Megamoney /is/ a religion. Didn't you know that?
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:04 PM   #10
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Statistically the "average" American parent would rather their daughter marry a gay man than an atheist.
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:21 PM   #11
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OMG !! I just heard the Beatles are breaking up!
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Statistically the "average" American parent would rather their daughter marry a gay man than an atheist.
Where did that statistic come from?
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:08 PM   #13
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It was a phone poll that rated peoples feeling towards various groups, atheists did worse than the gays.
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Old 01-04-2008, 09:04 PM   #14
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So in this case, is the state of New Jersey have to approve of WHICH God you believe in, if any? Who's to say which "religions" are approved? Is there a list?

I like George Carlin's take on religion. You can read it here http://www.rense.com/general69/obj.htm
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Old 01-05-2008, 01:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lila64

I like George Carlin's take on religion. You can read it here http://www.rense.com/general69/obj.htm
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