A British Columbian couple lost custody of their child after they used a stuffed lion as their lawyer, claiming Jesus spoke to them through it.
The one-year-old was initially taken from their custody when she merely a month old, with the parents only allowed supervised visits.
According to the court, they refused to have any medical or blood tests taken of their baby and also declined any vaccinations because of their “strong religious beliefs.”
The couple said they were being subjected to discrimination and it was their right to raise their daughter according to their beliefs. However, the judge’s concern was further raised after the couple reportedly refused legal aid and used a stuffed toy as their lawyer. They said Jesus was their witness and judge.
Throughout the court proceedings, they spoke “in tongues” and cross-examined witnesses claiming Jesus was asking the questions through them.
If that wasn’t weird enough, it was also revealed the husband, who grew up in a cult, encouraged sexual relations among children and reportedly gagged and choked his wife to stop her from crying while pregnant. He also occasionally beat her, resulting in concerns over violence at home.
The couple was also criminally charged after police were called on them for causing disturbance in an attempt to “purge churches of demonic influences.”
The mother also reportedly tried to change her daughter’s name to “Jesus JoyOfTheLord” and her own name to “Risen Lord Jesus Refinesfire Christ.”
Justice Diane MacDonald ruled the couple was not credible enough to take care of a baby and placed their daughter in continuing care, which can lead to permanent adoption.
She acknowledged the parents loved their daughter but placing her in their care would not be in the child’s benefit.
“The parents obviously love their child and wish to raise her in their home with their Christian values. It is clear that there was sufficient evidence before the trial judge to allow him to come to the conclusion that a continuing custody order was warranted in the circumstances,” she said.
The unnamed couple will appeal the ruling.
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