The headline to this article says just about everything that needs to be said, yet there’s more to this story. It begins, though, with that statement. A couple decided that the custody of their child might best be handled by a stuffed lion. Though the family identified their legal counsel as Jesus Christ, the court seemed less convinced.
What could possibly go wrong? The news is coming out of British Columbia. That, too, has surprised many, as this is not a very Canadian headline.
“The couple,” The Daily Mail writes, “who cannot be named to protect their child, spoke in tongues to the lion, and during cross examination explained to witnesses ‘it was their lawyer Jesus Christ asking the questions through the voice of the parent’.”
Both parents were reportedly arrested in May of last year after they attempted to cleanse their church of “evil influences.” One church even asked if they could get restraining orders issued for the couple.
The trouble with their new daughter began at the child’s birth. The “mother refused a vitamin K shot, eye drops, a blood test, and a hearing test for her baby, and several medical procedures and tests for herself,” DM notes.
That alone wasn’t enough for the coupe to lose custody, but the child was taken in November of 2016 after authorities became concerned about the mother’s mental health and accusations of abuse.
“While attending a lunch program before her daughter’s birth, the mother told a social worker her husband, who grew up in a cult, would choke her to stop her from crying and had once tied her hands and covered her mouth with tape,” DM writes.
These allegations compounded with the mother’s allegations that “the abuse she was experiencing is ‘spiritual warfare’.”
“The appellants role-play these sins where she plays the victim and he plays the perpetrator’,” the court documents say.
The husband, owning his role in the choking, claimed that he had put his hands on his wife’s neck, but that “it was his birthday and he did not feel he was being heard in an argument the couple were having.”
underlying these allegations of abuse was a thread of religious fanaticism. The mother had even tried to change her daughter’s name. While the child hasn’t been identified, the court did say that the parents tried to add “Jesus” to the girl’s first name, and wanted her middle name to “JoyoftheLord.”
The mother also tried to get her own name changed to “Risen Lord Jesus–A.” She wanted her middle name changed to “Refinersfire” and for her last name to include the “Christ.”
The judge, perhaps facing the prowess of the stuffed lion, said the family “is always centered on their perceived calling as the mouthpiece of God, and they allow no room for seeing the world through the lens of a child.”