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Old 14 April 2017, 05:34 PM
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Rabbit Easter Bunny to blame for being dropped as foster parents, couple claims

A Christian couple with “a strong religious faith” alleges that Hamilton’s children’s aid society closed their foster home because they refused to tell two young children in their care that the Easter Bunny is real.

In a charter application filed with an Ontario court, Frances and Derek Baars allege that the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton violated their freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of expression and right to be free from discrimination.

They allege their foster home was closed in March 2016 because they were unwilling to tell two young girls — aged 3 and 5 - in their care that the Easter Bunny is real, in violation of their consciences and religious beliefs.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle34696922/

Another article about this was very sympathetic to the foster parents and made it seem like CAS was unreasonable in expecting to find foster parents who would be prepared to put aside their religious values when fostering children from a different faith, or with no religion at all. They didn't talk about whether the values the children had been raised with to the point where they entered foster care should matter. And didn't mention at all that the children would be going back to a home with a different POV on things like Santa and Easter bunnies.

Last edited by Sue; 14 April 2017 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 14 April 2017, 08:42 PM
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Yeah, it seems like a much bigger deal to refuse to reinforce, or potentially actively undermine, the religious* upbringing of young children entrusted to your care during a traumatic time for them, vs. your right to not have to say something you don't believe to said child.

* Religious or cultural or family tradition--I don't think it should matter which.
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Old 14 April 2017, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
He noted that some traditions such as the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, are in conflict with true religious beliefs.
Can you hear my eyes rolling? Because my eyes are rolling.
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Old 14 April 2017, 09:32 PM
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It's worded badly. But belief in the Easter Bunny and/or Santa Claus is not a tenet of any organized religion I'm aware of.
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Old 14 April 2017, 09:55 PM
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Yeah, Santa and the Easter Bunny and not forgetting the tooth fairy and the great pumpkin and all those other things that are part of childhood in many households are loosely tied at best to any kind of religious belief. People enjoy these kinds of rituals with their children who have no religious beliefs at all after all. But when you take on the care of children who are not yours and refuse to accept that different people do things differently from you and that doesn't make them liars then maybe being a foster parent isn't the best choice for you.

Last edited by Sue; 14 April 2017 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 14 April 2017, 11:25 PM
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I'm presuming that the point is not that anybody thinks that adults believe in the Easter Bunny and Santa as part of their religious tradition, but that the religion of the would-be fosters tells them that these are specifically wrong things to teach to small children.

Being moved to a foster home, and/or to a different foster home, must be traumatic enough. Picking that time to tell a three or five-year-old 'no! The Easter Bunny is a lie! And so is Santa!' strikes me as a really bad idea. If they can't bring themselves to at least say 'well, an awful lot of people think so' if the child straight out asks, and not say anything if the kid doesn't, then I think they should at best only be fostering kids from their own religious beliefs, who presumably don't believe in Santa to start with.

('An awful lot of people think so' is literally true, after all. The fact that most of these people are under the age of six doesn't need to be pointed out.)

But I also wonder how much of this actually had to do with the easter bunny. The agency can't be very specific, of course; but I wonder whether

Quote:
The letter also alleged that the couple had engaged in conversations with the girls that had not been “age appropriate or sensitive to their needs and age and stage of development.”
might not have had to do with additional subjects.


(I will admit that the best I could do when unexpectedly asked by my small nephew, years ago, whether Santa was real was "there are different kinds of real". Which must have been kind of transparent, even though I do think that's true; because his answer, with a glum look, was 'that's what I thought.' I don't remember just how old he was.)
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Old 15 April 2017, 03:42 AM
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Is the Easter Bunny really a thing? When I was a kid I never knew any kid who thought the Easter Bunny was real. He was practically like Cap'n Crunch or Cookie Monster.

Also, reading the thread title, am I the only one who thought the rejection was due to some strange fascination with the Easter Bunny? I imagined the dad dressed up like Donnie Darko.
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Old 15 April 2017, 11:51 AM
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Neener, Neener

I thought that the Easter Bunny had gone out of its way to harass this poor family with all manner of frivolous claims and slander and ultimately convinced CPS to take the foster children out of there. A smear campaign. What do you think those colored eggs are for? Gifts? Who the hell wants a discolored, unrefrigerated egg from some strange bunny as a treat? No. He chucks them at houses like a vandals part of his intimidation tactics.

Damn you Easter Bunny!
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Old 15 April 2017, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Is the Easter Bunny really a thing? When I was a kid I never knew any kid who thought the Easter Bunny was real. He was practically like Cap'n Crunch or Cookie Monster.
I've known kids who thought the Cookie Monster was real . Most kids I know though don't think the Easter Bunny is real but if I met a 3 year old who did I wouldn't want to be the adult who burst their Easter Bunny bubble.
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Old 15 April 2017, 04:05 PM
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At 3 it's hard to say what they think is real, I think. My kids at least provisionally believe in Santa, Easter Bunny, invisible Elijah, and maybe fairies.
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Old 15 April 2017, 05:20 PM
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There's online guides for making fake Easter Bunny footprints when hiding Easter eggs for small children, just like making Santa Claus footprints at Christmas. That'd convince some kids that the Easter bunny was real.
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Old 15 April 2017, 06:03 PM
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I'd say children have better cause to believe in Santa or the Easter Bunny than many figures adults believe in.
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Old 15 April 2017, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASL View Post
I'd say children have better cause to believe in Santa or the Easter Bunny than many figures adults believe in.
Whenever anyone brings up the 'evidence' for the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot (and tries to argue that blurry photos and eyewitness accounts are in any way compelling in the absence of scientifically refutable evidence) I always point out that we have pretty much the exact same evidence of the exact same quality for Santa Claus and the Easter bunny.
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Old 15 April 2017, 07:49 PM
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Better. I mean, there are some pretty clear, high res photos (and video!) of Santa. And there is a predictive function to Santa: people predict he will bring presents on Christmas and, quite often, presents do appear. In many cases, all the people with access to the house insist they don't know how they got there, they didn't buy them, etc. it could only have been Santa! Why would they lie? What would they have to gain?
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Old 15 April 2017, 10:03 PM
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They may have to explain why Santa/the Easter Bunny/the Tooth Fairy/etc.'s handwriting looks an awful lot like Mom's, though.
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Old 15 April 2017, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by smittykins View Post
They may have to explain why Santa/the Easter Bunny/the Tooth Fairy/etc.'s handwriting looks an awful lot like Mom's, though.
When I was in the Army, I had a sergeant get around that by bringing the gift tags to the duty station and asking several of us to write the names in. When the kids noted the handwriting was different from tag to tag, the sergeant told them that Santa has a department of elves who fill out the names on the tags.
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Old 15 April 2017, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by erwins View Post
At 3 it's hard to say what they think is real, I think. My kids at least provisionally believe in Santa, Easter Bunny, invisible Elijah, and maybe fairies.
Our youngest is very serious about fantasy. There's no way to get her to admit it when she doesn't believe something is real. I'm not even sure if she really doesn't think Barbie was a dragon at first but got turned into a woman by a bad wizard. Our oldest was the opposite. Never believed any Santa or Toothfairy or anything like that no matter how hard we tried.
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Old 15 April 2017, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magdalene View Post
When I was in the Army, I had a sergeant get around that by bringing the gift tags to the duty station and asking several of us to write the names in. When the kids noted the handwriting was different from tag to tag, the sergeant told them that Santa has a department of elves who fill out the names on the tags.
See!? You really can't blame kids for believing in something with that kind of brilliant forgery going on. The conspiracy even includes the US military, for crying out loud! Come to think of it, NORAD even conspires with the mass media to "track" Santa's sleigh. I've got to say, I'm starting to have a hard time being a Santa-denier myself... The idea that the US military, your parents, the national news media, and even Child Protective Services would all be united in a conspiracy to trick children into believing in something actually seems more preposterous than the idea that Santa exists.
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Old 16 April 2017, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASL View Post
The idea that the US military, your parents, the national news media, and even Child Protective Services would all be united in a conspiracy to trick children into believing in something actually seems more preposterous than the idea that Santa exists.
Like I said: there are different kinds of real.
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Old 16 April 2017, 12:55 AM
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I forget where I read about it- it might even have been someone posting on here- but someone was telling the story of how they handled their little one asking if Santa was real or not. The parent told the child that now that they had "figured it out," so to speak, it meant they were ready to become a Santa- that is, someone who can bring cheer to others who need it during the holidays. It shifted the focus from the child's perceived loss to their entry into something that is more deeply rewarding.

I dont' remember the exact wording, and I may have botched it up in my retelling, but I really liked the sentiment behind it, and I think I'd like to do that for my own future children.

Like thorny locust said, Santa isnt' real in the sense of being an actual, 100s of years old man who enters everyone's house on Christmas eve with time to stop and eat a cookie and glass of milk somehow. But there are many things we, even as adults, experience that are real in an abstract sense more than a literal one.
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