You couldn't make this stuff up. A Christian couple from Hamilton ON had to go all the way to the province's Superior Court to be allowed to continue acting as foster parents. Why? Because the Children's Aid Society took away the girls they were fostering because the pair refused to tell the children that the Easter Bunny is real!
The court was told that CAS support worker Tracey Lindsay had visited Frances and Derek Baar to see how the girls, aged 3 and 5, were getting along. Although Ms Lindsay acknowledged that the girls looked well cared for in all respects, she was horrified to find that the Baars had neglected or (gasp) refused to teach the girls about the Easter Bunny! The Hamilton Children's Aid Society said it expected staff and foster parents to put aside their "personal beliefs and values" when caring for children who are coming from "different settings".
The Baars told Ms Lindsay they intended to hide chocolate eggs and have the girls find them on Easter and play other games, but didn't plan to speak to the children about the Easter Bunny, unless the girls specifically asked questions about the character. Describing themselves as a Christian couple with "strong religious faith", they argued that telling children in their care that the Easter Bunny is real was contrary to their religious beliefs.
In a rare win for common sense over political correctness -- and for Christian values over secular humanism -- Superior Court Judge A.J. Goodman agreed with the Baars. He found that the couple did try to have the children enjoy holidays such as Easter and Christmas. "There is sufficient evidence to assert that the Baars did, indeed, attempt to preserve the children's enjoyment of the holidays, even of they were not able, pursuant to their religious beliefs, to positively perpetuate the existence of the fictitious characters that are associated with those holidays," wrote the judge.
Mr Justice Goodman went on to say, "There is ample evidence to support the fact that the children were removed because the Baars refused to either tell or imply that the Easter Bunny was delivering chocolate to the Baars' home. I am more than satisfied that the society actions interfered substantially with the Baars' religious beliefs." Those beliefs, he concluded, include the couple's belief that it is wrong to lie.
Mr and Mrs Baar have been vindicated, but they will no longer be taking in foster children in Liberal Ontario. They have moved to Alberta, where political correctness is said to be somewhat less pervasive. We close with a small graphic reminder of the main point to this story.