Andy Walton looks at whether there is a "Religious Right" emerging in Britain
Suffer the little children to come unto me
9th August 2012
When might it be in the best interests of a Jewish 10-year-old to be baptised as a Christian? That was the question Judge Platt had to decide at Romford county court in Essex earlier this year. His judgment, released for publication at the end of last week, makes fascinating reading.
It involves a couple who were divorced in 2010 after 14 years of marriage. They had two children: a girl who is now nearly 11 and a boy who is nearly six. Both parents are Jewish, as are all four grandparents.
As usual in such cases, the family cannot be identified. But the impression one gets from the judgment is of an extended family that is culturally Jewish rather than religiously committed. According to the father, neither his own parents nor his former wife's parents "have ever strictly observed what would be regarded as the outward manifestations of the Jewish faith, for example by regular attendance at the synagogue or observance of Jewish festivals or kosher dietary rules".
That approach was followed by the father and mother themselves, the judge found. "The only occasions on which they attended the synagogue were as guests at a wedding or bar mitzvah celebration. Neither of them took any steps to provide the children with any instruction in the Jewish religion; nor did they celebrate or observe any of the religious festivals in the Jewish calendar. They would often be at work on Jewish holy days."
Joshua Rozenberg | Read this article in full at guardian.co.uk