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

REYES: No. No, I am a father to my daughter. And part of being a father to my daughter is exposing her to thing that I have learned, exposing her to who I am. And the whole church angle fits neatly into that.

CUOMO You told Rebecca that you had the child baptized.

REYES: I sent her pictures. I sent her pictures and I sent her an email, and it was actually sort of an olive branch reaching out to her--

CUOMO: How so, what'd it say?

REYES: It basically said, you know here are some photographs of our beautiful daughter on this occasion, and it's a shame that there's so many poor feelings between us that we can't celebrate these occasions together.

CUOMO: Did you think of inviting her to the baptism?

REYES: I did think about inviting her to the baptism, absolutely.

CUOMO: Did you?

REYES: No, I ultimately didn't invite her. And part of the reason I didn't invite her is Rebecca decided that we should have separate birthday parties for Ela, and the baptism was part of the birthday celebration.

CUOMO: Sounds a little tit-for-tat; she doesn't want you at the birthday, so you don't invite her to the baptism.

REYES: I don't think she would have come if I had invited her. It's not tit-for-tat, not from my perspective anyhow. She made it clear that she didn't want me where I was going to be. She made it clear that my time with Ela was my time with Ela, and that she had no desire to impose upon that.

CUOMO: How'd you find out about the TRO?

REYES: Umm, my lawyer, my lawyer was faxed a copy and contacted me, letting me know about the TRO.

CUOMO: What'd you think?

REYES: I thought it was ridiculous, I thought the judge would just throw it out.

CUOMO: Well the judge—that's right you saw the application for the TRO.

REYES: Yes, sir.

CUOMO: And were you present when the judge made his decision?

REYES: I was present when the judge made his decision.

CUOMO: And what'd you think?

REYES: I was ---really just in a state of disbelief. My jaw, it just hit the ground because he basically went through his reasoning which was all based on doctrinal separation; an area that typically, the judicial system abstains from getting into. And the second part of it was that the judge was just nasty about the whole thing.

CUOMO: How so? What was it like in common speak, what did the judge say when you were in there. What was his decision?

REYES: The judge told me that I was stupid for having my daughter baptized and then subsequently called me dumb.

CUOMO: Dumb because?

REYES: Because I had my daughter baptized?

CUOMO: And why? How did he see it?

REYES: I don't really know how he saw it, he engaged in name-calling, gave his decision, based it on the distinction that he made in his mind's eye between Judaism and Catholicism, and that was the end of it.

CUOMO: You can't see that part of the judge's position, that Catholicism and Judaism are fundamentally different things to people who practice the faiths? Not that we don't like each other, you know, not that you don't get along, not that there's not comedy between the religions, but that to a Jew, to a catholic, the two are different.

REYES: I wasn't raised that way. I've gone to parochial schools all my life, most of what I know about Judaism I learned in a Catholic school.

CUOMO: Right, but at some point in that school, they had to teach you that being a Catholic means believing certain things about who Jesus Christ was that Jews do not believe.

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