Proving that Canada is as insane as many of us believe, a foster agency removed children from the home of Christian foster parents because they refused to celebrate Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. However, proving that some authority figures in Canada still have their wits about them, a judge ruled in favor of the foster parents.
Frances and Derek Baars are members of a conservative Presbyterian denomination that doesn’t celebrate Easter and Christmas. However, the Baars are not so entrenched in their own beliefs as to be tyrants about it. In fact, according to Christianity Today, “When they became foster parents in December 2015, they altered their celebrations to purchase Christmas gifts for the girls and take them to a family gathering as well as a Sunday school program at another church.”
However, Frances Baars went on to say, “We have a strict ‘no lying’ policy, because God is the God of truth who is Truth, and telling kids that the Easter Bunny and Santa are real is lying.”
The fact that the Baars made sure to make their positions about the Easter Bunny and Santa clear during their foster parent training and home visits did not matter. The Children’s Aid Society ” took the children away from the Baars with just a day’s notice, citing the couple’s refusal to respect the girls’ cultural traditions.”
Thankfully, according to Canada’s National Post, common sense prevailed: “In a stinging indictment of the actions of the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton, a court judgment declared the CAS violated the foster parent’s right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression when the children were taken from their home and their fostering agreement terminated over the Easter Bunny dilemma.”
In a 62-page judgment, Judge Andrew Goodman wrote,
Given the disruption that these young children had already faced in their lives, there is no doubt that there was a need for stability, permanency and care in their lives. It is very clear from the evidence that the children were being cared for, that the Baars were providing them with stability and were turning their minds to the facets of care required for the children’s development and happiness.
However, by taking the children away on such short notice, the Society took that away from them and contributed to the turmoil these children had already faced in their short lives. As (a CAS case worker) states in one of her case notes, ‘is it more important to have the Easter Bunny or permanency?
In the interview with CT, Derek Baars said, “When they told us, ‘You must lie to these children or they would be removed,’ we knew that we were not responsible for the result of doing what’s right, and God would take care of us. He has upheld us.”
As laughable as this whole brouhaha may appear, it’s really not a laughing matter. Diving further into the controversy, it’s revealed that one of the tangential issues is the Baars’ beliefs about LGBTQ issues. Within the CT story is this ominous bit of information: “Later, one placement worker, Tracey Lindsay, expressed concern that the Baars would condemn potential gay or lesbian adoptive parents for their girls.”
Sanity may have prevailed this time, but the storm clouds are getting darker and darker. Unless a drastic change of direction happens in society, Christians in Canada, as well as this country, are going to increasingly find themselves the objects of the State’s wrath and the target of legal action.