When couples split, the reasons for the break up can be as varied as they come. Most of the time, it’s a difference in lifestyle or a mismatch of beliefs and identities that leads to couples going their separate ways.
Sometimes, it can also be religious issues that force a pair apart. And the religious beliefs can be so staunch, that one of the ex-spouses may even try to bar their partner from speaking to their children of their faith and religious ideologies. In Utah, a woman is fighting a court order which bans her from talking to her children about her beliefs in the Mormon religion, which also includes polygamy.
No politics or polygamy at home
The order was issued this October by a 3rd District Court in Utah, by a divorce commissioner. The temporary order also stops the mother of three from talking about politics or any other faith with the children, apart from the mainstream and controversial Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which has had issues tied to going all the way back to the 19th century.
The 33 year old woman, whose name has not yet been revealed, was born a Mormon. And she has been studying the church’s teachings and its history for a long time. She even attends the Apostolic united Bretheran Church in Bluffdale, which is known for espousing polygamy. She however, is not a member of the church, say her divorce attorneys.
Lawyers argue that the order violates the First Amendment
The commissioner who issued the restriction order decided to bring down the ban on speech by a notch last Tuesday after a court hearing, and the order now says that age-appropriate talk about religion and faith can be allowed. The woman’s divorce attorney Laura Fuller had argued that the terms laid out in the restriction order violated her client’s right to free speech as under the First Amendment and other constitutional rights as well.This is polygamy.
Commissioner Kim Luhn, who wrote out the restriction order, says that she does not have any problems with the woman’s faith but she is worried that talk of religion may lead to chaos in the house and create a heightened level of emotional abuse for the children. The amended order is still to be reviewed and will be up for hearing on a January 8th schedule.
Religion, per se, was not the focus of the last hearing which led to the amendment where the woman’s divorce lawyers asked the court to look after her constitutional rights. But friends and family members say that the Mormon religion is at the heart of the original dispute between the couple which led to their separation.
Religion is at the heart of the divorce
According to the court documents, the father of the children does not want them to become part of a polygamous church and most people agree with the father on this issue. The father currently has sole custody of the kids and is determined to keep them away from the mother’s influence. The children are currently 7, 5, and 18 months old. Though it does seem like the divorce is centered only on the religious issues, a divorce lawyer for the father also said that there were greater conflicts between the couple which has led to the current situation.