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

REYES: There are areas of Judaism where one can draw more of a distinction between, for example, orthodox Judaism and Messianic Judaism than there are between say Messianic Judaism and Catholicism.

CUOMO: I'll accept that. I'll accept that. It can get convoluted 1913 but is this really about a fight to say that Catholicism and Judaism are the same thing. Is that why you're doing this? That's what you want to come out of it?

REYES: This is more of a fight about the family courts getting way out of line. And involving themselves in areas of our lives that we don't want them, for one and that are constitutionally protected, for two.

CUOMO: So, this isn't so much about what is Judaism, what is Catholicism and how they're different. You just don't want the court to tell you how to raise your kid.

REYES: I don't think that the court should get involved in how parents raise their children, and in fact the Supreme Court has ruled that one of the fundamental rights we have is the right to determine how are children are raised. However, there's also a huge aspect here which is that the courts cannot tell me what the practice of Judaism is. Is the court going to tell me 'well, Mr. Reyes, if you are in fact practicing Judaism, you are going to grow a beard and wear a dark hat'? Or you are going to go to temple or you are going to acknowledge X, Y and Z? That's a very slippery slope.

CUOMO: It is, it is, for a law student, for an intellectual. But you've gotten your daughter caught up in this now. And there's an ugliness here. And I get the desire to have the debate and why it's important to you and you are going to be a lawyer, I get all that. I'm stained with being a lawyer, myself. But when you bring your daughter into it, and you're holding her up in front of television cameras, 'this is about her,' makes it a little different. Doesn't seem like it's about religion, it seems like it's about a control battle between two people who are angry at each other, and the child's caught in the middle.

REYES: The only thing that I want to be able to do is to be a great dad to my daughter. And I am a great dad to my daughter. Now, in terms of religion, and this supposed Judaism-Catholicism battle, that just doesn't exist. There's a—if there's a control element here, the control element is Joseph did something I didn't want him doing, and now I'm going to file a TRO.

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