TRANSCRIPT: Joseph Reyes on Being Barred From Taking Child to Church

REYES: If you buy into that, if you buy into the idea of confusion and we're going to—we're going to limit exposure, then where does that stop? That same logic can be applied to issue in order that says 'well, we're not going to expose this person to minorities, we're not going to expose this child to specifically African Americans or Hispanic Americans,' and in fact, in a roundabout sort of way, that's exactly what this order does. Because the Catholic faith and Christianity are so deeply embedded into cultures in Ireland, in Italy, in Mexico, and in the Philippines. Am I not supposed to expose her to those people in the course of their ordinary lives?

CUOMO: But that's a little bit of a logical leap here, isn't it?

REYES: It isn't.

CUOMO: I mean isn't this just that this is pretty meat and potatoes. This is the kid seems to have been Jewish up until now, you're taking her in a different direction, let's hold on and figure out if this is the best thing for the kid. You could look at it that way Joseph, I mean, that's the way it reads.

REYES: It's not a different direction. Rebecca knows this. The courts never, never regarded any kind of status quo they were preserving.

CUOMO: Ah, now that is an interesting point. What was the truth of the status quo, because, as an outsider, I look at it pretty meat and potatoes. The kid, they're both Jewish, on some level, the kid is going to the Jewish school, seems like they want the kid to be Jewish, now that they're divorcing, he wants something different, I get what the court's doing. But you're saying I'm not seeing the reality of what life was. What was the reality?

REYES: The reality of it is that my perspective was that the home should be fairly secular but that Rebecca and I would practice our religions openly and honestly in front of Ela, and that Ela would grow up in a home where she can get an understanding and appreciation for the different faiths, the differing ways of acknowledging God. And, in fact, we have Muslim friends, that I'm sure Rebecca and I would both encourage to share their faith with Ela on some level, and at some point, when Ela gets to the appropriate age, she's going to make the conscious decision that she wants a relationship with God to mirror one of those, or maybe not.

CUOMO: But you're saying that Rebecca should—you're saying that Rebecca knows that you wanted to expose your daughter to Catholicism and Judaism. It wasn't supposed to be just one.

REYES: Absolutely. Absolutely, and what speaks to that in a very glaring and obvious way is the fact that Rebecca and I celebrated Easter, Rebecca and I celebrated Christmas, as a matter of fact, Rebecca celebrated Christmas and Easter before we even met.

CUOMO: What do you think's going to happen?

REYES: With regard to this pending litigation?

CUOMO: Yes. Tuesday, it's coming up, big day… what do you think happens at the hearing?

REYES: I think Joel and I are going to file for a change of venue and I think that we are going to ask for a jury trial. I can't see a judge being anything less than biased under the circumstances.

CUOMO: So you don't think that Tuesday, it's going to be the end of it, right? They should—if you asked for change of venue, you should probably get it right?

REYES: Tuesday's going to be the beginning not the end.

CUOMO: So what do you think—how do you think it turns out?

REYES: I would hope that a jury would see through all that's happening and would basically acquit me.

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