Holly Salzman has been ordered by a New Mexico judge to partake in 10 church led religious counseling sessions or lose custody rights to her children.
While the Christian right has been screaming that religious liberty is under attack because of same-sex marriage, a very real violation of such liberties is underway in New Mexico.
The judge ruled that order for Salzman to regain custody of her children, she would have to complete the faith-based counseling despite her vocal objections, and without regard for the fact that Salzman is an atheist.
This is all a moot argument anyway because such a court-order is a clear violation of the first amendment and of Salzman’s rights.
“I walked into the session and the very first thing she said to me was, ‘I start my sessions by praying.’ When I expressed my concerns that I didn’t pray she said, ‘well this is what I do’ and she proceeded to say a prayer out loud,” said Salzman.
Salzman secretly recorded one of the sessions and a counselor can be heard saying to her:
The meaning in my life is to know love and serve God. If you want to explore how God was in your past, how God was in your life and not in your life… I know you don’t believe in God which is fine but I know at some points he was in your life in some way.
The ACLU called the ruling “problematic” and said that “No one should be put in a position where they are forced to accept training or therapy that violates their own religious beliefs and morals.”
Yet calling the ruling problematic is a rather weak position for the ACLU who should be standing up unequivocally for Salzman’s rights.
No mother should have to live with the idea of losing her kids because she is not religious and no judge should have the right to impose his or her religious beliefs on a defendant.
Where are the Republicans lining up to stand behind Salzman as her rights are being clearly violated?
I guess the only way to get their attention would be to say something homophobic.
[Image: Holly Salzman / KRQE video screen capture]