Saturday, November 04, 2006

Post-Modern...? Nah: BC[E]

Mayonnaise : One of the sauces which serve the French in place of a state religion.

Here's a nice twist on a familiar subject from yesterday's Globe & Mail. To summarize, Nathalie Gettliffe was returning to Vancouver last spring to defend her doctoral thesis (topic not specified) at the University of British Columbia when she was arrested on "two long-standing counts of child abduction. The charges were laid after she fled five years ago to France with two children from a broken marriage, in defiance of a B.C. court order." Gettliffe's lawyer Richard Fowler, said she "will plead guilty today in B.C. Supreme Court, rather than face a scheduled jury trial on the charges against her on November 20."

[ After a French court agreed with the B.C. court the children came back with their father this summer, under "police escort" until they reached the airport in Paris because police evidently "feared a vigilante attack" to prevent their return. And in a real bizarre twist, Gettliffe has also announced that she intends to run for the French presidency in next year's election. ]

But what's most interesting about this story is its sordid underbelly -- which, not suprisingly, is left entirely unaddressed. Here's the extent of the Globe's reporting :

Ms. Gettliffe's guilty plea is unlikely to diminish the fierce emotions her case has generated in France. There, she has been characterized with great sympathy in the media as a brave mother seeking to protect her children -- Jos├ęphine, 12, and Maximilien, 11 -- from an alleged cult-like church attended by the children's father, Scott Grant. The Vancouver Church of Christ has links to the U.S.-based International Church of Christ, banned from many U.S. university campuses for cult-like recruiting drives.

Obviously there are still judges out there who seem to believe it's less harmful to bring your kids up in a cult environment than to have them live sceptically in the French Alps. What kind of church must this be if American institutions forbid them from proselytizing on their campuses? In response to the question "Is the International Church of Christ a cult?" the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry "recommend[s] that people avoid this group."

...unless of course the courts decide that you're too young to decide for yourself.


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