A family court judge told a father he was “unwise” to have taken his ultra-Orthodox Jewish children to a museum where images and exhibits depicted the theory of evolution.
Judge Judith Rowe made the remark in a judgment on a fraught custody dispute between a separated couple from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Satmar sect, which regards belief in evolution as heretical.
The May 2015 decision, which has only now been published, was the third of four in a drawn-out case that highlighted the difficulties faced by religious communities like the Satmar if they encounter modern influences.
Its members adhere to a strict 19th-century interpretation of Judaism and contact with the secular world can be taboo.
In her remarks Judge Rowe, sitting at West London Family Court, further criticised the man for telling his five-year-old son that “a mum and dad are needed to make babies”, because it was “beyond the knowledge” a child from the group would have been expected to possess by that age.
In an earlier judgment in 2014, she said the father had also been “unwise” to let his children watch televison as they would not have been used to it in their mother’s home. The family’s identity has been protected for legal reasons.
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