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Austin Cline

Dad Loses Custody of Kids Because He's Agnostic?

By December 9, 2010

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Craig Scarberry used to have 50/50 custody of his kids with his ex-wife, but a judge recently reduced Craig's access to his kids to just four hours a week. Why? Apparently, because he is an agnostic who doesn't participate in the same religious rituals as the mother. It seems that this judge decided that being an agnostic makes a person a poor parent who should have only limited access to his own children.

But remember, it's Christians who have the most to fear in America today because they are the ones being discriminated against.

Cenk Uygur interviews Craig Scarberry:

CU: So, did the judge write in the ruling ... we showed it of course .. but I'm just so stunned by it. He really took the fact that you were agnostic into account? How does anyone even justify that? Did you get to contest the idea? Did you get to fight back on that?

CS: They did address my religion with me on several different occasions during the hearings. However, I never posed a situation for my children or ever forced my beliefs onto the kids. Matter of fact, they continue to go to a christian daycare. When I had joint legal I agreed to take them to Church functions such as the Mother's Day Choir. As well as allow them to go to church with my mother who attends on a regular basis, in addition to Church camp, those kinds of things. We were able to show that in no way, shape, or form do my personal beleifs and decisions reflect onto the children at all.

...I have put together and received a permit in order to protest outside the government office here on December 16th in order to stand up for equal rights and religious freedom that we all have here in this nation. It's not just a matter of agnostics versus Christianity or religion in general. If we allow them to be able to dictate what's preferred over another, who knows where this country will go?

I'd like to say that this case sounds like something is missing -- that there is some bit of information or some facts that we're missing that would make it all seem more reasonable. While this may be the case, the sad fact is that Craig Scarberry wouldn't be the first parent to run into serious custody issues simply because they aren't religious and that makes his story all too believable.

Imagine if Christians were commonly denied custody of their own children by judges who declared that attendance at Christian churches and maintaining a Christian education were contrary to the children's best interests. The outcry against such a violation of basic liberties would be incredible -- and the Christians would be right to be so upset. They are not upset, though, when Christian parents are benefiting from the same bigotry and discrimination aimed at atheists, agnostics, and parents who are simply apathetic about religion.

December 9, 2010 at 1:35 pm
(1) Tira says:

Have you heard that the Atheist Quote of the Day page on Facebook has been banned? I would love to see a discussion about this on your blog.

December 9, 2010 at 3:43 pm
(2) mobathome says:

This is not true. I’ve just been to the page and it’s active.

A new page has just shown up: “Remove Atheist Quotes Of the Day”. Perhaps this is what fungamed its way to you?

December 10, 2010 at 10:16 pm
(3) Lisa says:

I just went and looked, too at the atheist quote of the day page on facebook. The page itself isn’t banned but it clearly states on it that they have been banned from posting which is basically the same thing. Why have a quote of the day when you can’t?

December 11, 2010 at 2:36 am
(4) Vinking says:

It is sad and frankly horrid that this man feels the need to point out that he made it clear to the court that he in no way tried to impose his beliefes on his kids.
why the **** shouldn’t he?? He has just as much right as the mother to shape his children. Disgusting.

December 14, 2010 at 12:29 pm
(5) Jim says:

This type of thing is happening more and more all the time.

I recently visitied the office where you can apply for food stamps, etc.

There were bible verses plastered all over the walls, bibles on every desk, etc.

The workers were obviously all Christians and were preaching at the drop of a hat.

I turned them in to an organization that sent a lawyer to inform them that government agencies in the USA cannot proselytize. No matter WHICH state they happen to be in.

Americans need to start watching this type of thing and reporting it every time they see it. Americans For The separation of Church and State is a good place to start.

Many of the people working in these offices are so local and so uneducated that they have no idea they are breaking the law. Most of these people actually believe it is the law in the USA that a person must be Christian.

This is not only alarming, but pretty sad, if you ask me.

December 14, 2010 at 1:51 pm
(6) Gerald Vanderhoff says:

[sarcasm]Ah yes. It may be that the mother’s religious beliefs would prevent her from taking her daughter to the hospital if she got sick, but the father’s beliefs would prevent him from taking her to church. Priorities.[/sarcasm]

December 14, 2010 at 4:41 pm
(7) mobathome says:

Tira and Lisa,

You were right and I wasn’t wrong. There are two Facebook pages for atheist quotes, the old one and the new one:

Atheist Quote of the Day – old
Atheist Quotes of the Day – new

I found the latter, and now the former confirming what you two said. In addition, there is a protest page:

Fairness For Atheist Quote of the Day

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