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The Reyes couple, during happier days.(ABC News)

This story has it all. Joseph and Rebecca Reyes were married in a traditional Jewish ceremony, and Joseph, who was born Catholic, converted to Rebecca’s Judaism. They had a daughter, Ela, now 3. And then, one day, the bottom fell out: financial troubles, suspicions of infidelity, etc. They divorced. Rebecca got Ela (and the house).

It was at this point that Joseph found God and Jesus besides, and had Ela baptized, telling Rebecca about it only after the fact. Rebecca went to court and got a judge to bar Joseph from taking Ela to church. Joseph proceeded to, well, take Ela to church, with a camera crew in tow—you just get closer to God when strangers are taping you, you know? Next week, Joseph faces up to six months in prison for being criminally in contempt of the court order.

The video’s below. Two thoughts:

• I don’t think this is about religion—particularly for Joseph, who lost basically all credibility when he notified that camera crew. It’s even less about the First Amendment, a banner Joseph has been plenty happy to wave. This is about two people going through a nasty break-up and wanting to get back at each other, and using their kid as a pawn in that game. Joseph clearly started it, and based on the limited information in the report, he seems more culpable; but it takes two to tango (Joseph alleges Rebecca went straight to court, for example, without first trying to reason with him).

• Yes, we have a comments section, and yes, if you feel like it, you can go there now and tell the world that this never would have happened if Rebecca had married a Jewish man (although it’s worth pointing out that Joseph converted). Just please try to be civil. Thanks!

Exclusive: Mother Talks About Whether Estranged Dad Should Go to Jail For Taking Daughter to Church [ABC News]





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