Monday, August 27, 2007

Couple Claims State Removed Children Because of Father's Religious Beliefs

Last week, Stephen and Bedra Starkey filed a lawsuit in a Denver (CO) state court against the Boulder County Department of Social Services and several of its employees claiming that the county took temporary custody of Stephen Starkey's three children because of Starkey's fundamentalist religious beliefs. Today's Denver Post reports that Starkey makes similar claims in a pending federal court case. County officials say the children were removed in 2004 because of abuse, not religion. Police found that Starkey disciplined his children by forcing them to lie on the floor for hours while reading the Bible, withholding meals and hitting one child on the head. Starkey is quoted as saying: "Children should live in fear of their parents, the police and others to prevent them from an immoral life."