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

REYES: Well, that's not entirely correct because there are many areas of Judaism that, in fact, recognize Jesus.

CUOMO: As a rabbi, as perhaps a prophet, as a beautiful and wonderful man… not as the son of God, not as the son of God. Now, I am not here to have a theocratic conversation with you. This is not about religion or, you know, what it is or what it isn't, but you are making it that way. And it seems cute, that's why I'm asking you all the questions.

REYES: Alright.

CUOMO: All you had to do was wait the 30 days. Let the TRO play out and then go argue it out. Get in front of a judge, say by the way, there's no difference between these two religions, for whatever that's worth, and this is what I want. I'm not going to hurt the kid, I want to bring her to church. I grew up Catholic, it's important to me. Why didn't you just do it that way?

REYES: This was never going to be a temporary matter. This was a temporary matter to instantaneously stop me from a particular type on conduct, that being going to church.

CUOMO: Yes, and it bothered you.

REYES: Well, there's a long-term desire here.

CUOMO: Right, but it bothered you. The TRO bothered you, right?

REYES: As a citizen, certainly it bothered me--

CUOMO: As a citizen, as a dad, as Joseph it bothered you. You didn't like that you were being told by a court what your wife was saying which was don't go do this with the kid, you didn't like it. It's fair, it's fair not to like it. I wouldn't like it, you know what I mean? It was something that bothered you, true?

REYES: It—certainly it bothered me.

CUOMO: Right, and rightly so. You want to do what you want to do with your daughter and now you're being told you can't and the court is backing up your wife. I get that. My point is this: it would only have been 30 days, and I know you're saying it's a long-term desire, but if it's a long-term desire, one more month, not you get to go in, you get to have a reasoned discussion, you're showing that it's not harming, you're not doing anything bad to your daughter, you're doing something that any parents should want. You're introducing them to a loving existence.

CUOMO Why didn't you do it that way?

REYES: I didn't do it that way, perhaps, for the same reason that Rosa Parks did not move on the bus. This is a very very ailing system, the family court system, that is. And unless people take a stand against this kind of conduct, it's never going to change. Imagine what this country would look like if Rosa parks moved or if Martin Luther King didn't. It's a scary place, isn't it?

CUOMO: I get the whole Rosa Parks thing, but how does that apply in this case? How are you Rosa Parks?

REYES: I'm not saying I am Rosa Parks--

CUOMO: I'm saying, how are you making that kind of stand? I know you're not saying you're Rosa Parks. How is this a stand that is bigger than, 'I don't want Rebecca to tell me what to do with my kid.'

REYES: There are dads all over this country whose rights to be a parent are being infringed upon, there are dads who aren't seeing their child because someone, the estranged wife, decided to go into court and make a bunch of false accusations. There's this standard which is completely undefined. The best interest of the child standard is really just a cloak for the courts to do whatever it chooses to do. That's horrible.

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