A judge ruled Monday that a 9-year-old boy from Clarendon Hills, Illinois can attend religious services with his mother in spites of objections from his father, who argued it could harm his son’s chances of becoming a scientist.
The father, David Stone, filed a court request last month to stop his son from attending Sunday services with his mother at Harvard Avenue Evangelical Free Church in Villa Park. Harvard “is a Christian church, and I am not a Christian,” Stone testified in DuPage County Circuit Court. He added that his son shows aptitude as a scientist and that strict Christian belief could impede scientific thought.
Stone and the boy’s mother, Julie Stanfield, divorced in 2009. They have two children, with Stanfield having main custody of the couple’s 14-year-old daughter and Stone having main custody of their son. The boy has been allowed weekend visitations with his mother, who lives in Villa Park.
Stone said in court papers that Stansfield caused a rift between him and his son by allowing the child to participate in her church services, including reciting some prayers publicly. Stone was also unhappy that she bought their son a Bible, according to court records. Stansfield’s response was that their son is alllowed to accompany her to Sunday services according to the parenting agreement.
Stone told Judge Paul Marchese that he believes in a God, but not in organized religious concepts (like heaven and hell and the literal interpretation of the Bible). He claimed no religious affiliation. Stone’s requests were denied, with Marchese saying “no specific harm has been demonstrated, just speculation.”
Source: Chicago Tribune