This week news came to light about Holly Salzman, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, who is an atheist mother of two. During her divorce process, she was ordered to attend parenting classes as part of the custody case.
According to Salzman, “I walked into the session and the very first thing she said to me was, ‘I start my sessions by praying,’” Salzman expressed concerns to Mary Pepper about the religious approach, but was told by the counselor, “Well, this is what I do,” who then proceeded to pray. Salman took her concerns to the Family Court, from whom she got no reply. The second session again started with a prayer.
“We went back to court" Salzman said. "I expressed concerns again about the religious overtones and they stated they hadn’t heard any problems concerning Mary Pepper with religion.”
At this point, Salzman stopped going to the sessions because of her negative emotional response to the praying. As a result, her children were taken away from her. In order to get them back, she resumed the 10 mandatory sessions.
Salzman reported that there was religious content in every session, including the handouts.
The ACLU is now involved with the case.
The problem with this and the Kim Davis situation, is that those with a religious bent feel no compunction about forcing their views on others. They do not seem to consider how offended they would be if the roles were reversed. In fact, they raise the straw man argument of religious prosecution when the unreligious try to reclaim their Constitutional rights.
The religious need to be called out each and every time they assume they can deny the First Amendment just because they think they have the one true way to live.