Ruling delayed in Satanist’s visitation case

Ruling delayed in Satanist’s visitation case

An Indiana woman criticizing her ex-husband’s membership in the Church of Satan must wait until August for a judge to decide whether his religion is a reason to restrict his weekend visitation.

On Wednesday, a Fulton County judge postponed a hearing on the custody dispute between Jamie and Kristie Meyer until August 12.

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– Source: Manya A. Brachear, Ruling delayed in Satanist’s visitation case, Chicago Tribune, July 10, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Satanist puts faith in system

ROCHESTER, Ind.—The T in Satan’s name inked on Jamie Meyer’s left leg is drawn to look like an upside-down cross. The crucifix suspended above his bed hangs upside down too.

Meyer’s ex-wives say he also has turned their children’s lives upside down since he joined the Church of Satan — an organization that eschews spirituality and celebrates man’s selfish desires.

One of Meyer’s ex-wives is citing his religious affiliation as the main reason an Indiana judge should restrict his visitation time to allow his three youngest daughters to attend Christian church.

Across the nation, child-custody disputes involving religion are on the rise as the frequency of interfaith marriages and religious conversions increases and fathers become more active in their kids’ upbringing. Judges risk crossing the line between church and state, experts say, if they try to choose the religion in which a child should be raised.

“People continue to bring it up even though the judge tells them they won’t consider a belief system,” said Ronald Nelson, chairman of the American Bar Association’s custody committee. “Judges are people. They are swayed by their emotions and biases just like everyone else. . . . What better bias than religion? It’s a visceral thing.”

Experts said the burden is on the ex-wife to show that the religion was harmful to the children.

Gaetano Ferro, immediate past president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, said the U.S. Constitution prevents judges from showing a religious preference. But the burden of proof might be on Meyer to prove the Church of Satan is an authentic faith.

“If Satanism is treated as religion, that’s strike one to her case,” Ferro said.

Indeed, the Internal Revenue Service defines the Church of Satan as a religion. Furthermore, that’s how it defines itself.

“Satanism is the world’s first carnal religion,” said Peter Gilmore, high priest of the Manhattan-based organization founded four decades ago. “Satanists are thus atheists—not devil worshipers—and we see Satan as being a symbol of pride, liberty and individualism, not a deity.”

– Source: Manya A. Brachear, Satanist puts faith in system, Chicago Tribune, July 9, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

On her blog, reporter Manya Brachear provides comments from Peter Gilmore, high priest of the Church of Satan, and continues:

Can children thrive in the Church of Satan?

But Carl Raschke, author of “Painted Black,” said some of the principles of the Church of Satan are cause for concern when it comes to parenting. He cautioned that there are many varieties of Satanists “from the ghastly to the innocuous.”

“You have to look at every particular case,” he said. Still, he views the Church of Satan as a counter-Christian movement, which could pose a problem for a Christian mom and a Satanic dad.

“If I had a spouse basically practicing a religion that strategically, self-consciously and openly taught contempt for the faith of the other parent I would be very concerned,” he said. “Christianity is about giving up your life and picking up your cross. Satanism is about making yourself the center of attention. Nobody else matters except the gratification of your lust and sanity and desires.”

– Source: Manya A. Brachear, Can children thrive in the Church of Satan?, Blog, Chicago Tribune, July 9, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Need help getting out of Satanism?


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, Religion News Blog, July 11, 2008,

Religion News Blog posted this on Friday July 11, 2008.
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