Being an atheist is causing a good man to fight for custody of his daughter


I was recently shown a Facebook page entitled, “Help Reunite Ariel and Jordan”. It was shared to me by a friend named Joshua Stewart (administrator of “Atheist Support Network“), who informed me that this man, Jordan Clipston, had been denied the right to see his daughter, that his being an atheist had (through unfortunate events) led his ex to attempt to take his right to see his daughter away from him, that all rights to his daughter would be taken, and that little Ariel would be adopted by her mother’s new husband. I interviewed Jordan earlier today.

In this photo is Jordan Clipston, alongside his daughter, Ariel. To his memory, Jordan recounted to me that his daughter was a fan of Spongebob Squarepants. Her favorite movies include such classics as “Monster’s Inc, Little Mermaid, Shrek 2″ specifically. At 1.5 years old, she would even act the movies out in real time as they happened on the screen. “She never really had a favourite colour that I knew about, but she had an obsession with the shape, circle,” Jordan told me today, saying that at age 3 she would stop and point out circles in the oddest places, like she had an eye for finding them. He set up a keyboard in their living room, which Ariel found out how to operate. Jordan recounted how she liked to pound on the keys, and eventually discovered the magic of individual notes. Like any good father, Jordan probably had more to say about his daughter than any other topic we discussed. At age 1, she discovered that her favorite fruit was a banana, though she could not say it. “We had our own language for a few months,” he said. The last time Jordan saw Ariel, she was 4. That was two years ago. Until January, the only communication they had was online. Suddenly, that stopped as well.

Jordan: We also watched PBS together in the morning since that was my only time off. She loved Curious George and Zooboomafoo. Yeah.. that’s how it’s spelled. I have a band, and one of the songs I wrote for my daughter, (actually nearly all of them are about her) was a song called “Banana The Happy”. It’s about communication and the value of it.

I forgot to mention that I recorded all of her first steps, words, etc. Everything in the first two years of her life. I had 25 Digital 8 camcorder tapes in a box in my closet, which was at least 20 hours of Ariel. One day when I was at work, Samantha (Ariel’s mother) came in my apartment and took them. I tried to get them back but she refused. Three years ago, I tried to make a deal with her for her to send me a few tapes at the time so I can transfer them to DVD and send her the tapes back a few at the time in exchange for more and that I would send her a copy of the DVD’s with them… After stalling for nearly a year, she said that her parents had to throw them away because they got water damaged. That seemed too peculiar to me since I just so happened to be in most of those videos.

Could you tell me how a split-up came about, and why you were denied any form of custody?

Jordan: The split came about because of my stress with working three jobs, paying mine and Samantha’s bills and the frustrations of her irrational parents. I’m surprised I was able to put up with all the nonsense all at once; I was a much nicer guy then. At the beginning, around the time of the birth of my daughter is when it all started.

How did the girl’s mother get pregnant? Was there a relationship of any kind?

Jordan: Yes, we dated for a total of five and a half years. We lived together for two years before Samantha was pregnant. Samantha’s family was and still is a very conservative family. We were together for three years before having our daughter.

Can you tell me about your wife’s family?

Jordan: Luckily, I was never married. Although being married wouldn’t have put me in the situation I’m in now. They were a southern family and although they didn’t agree with my views, they never had any extreme differences with me until about a year before my daughter was born. Samantha’s father was active military in the Air Force and was stationed in Korea for a year, when he returned he had this newfound fascination with evangelical Christianity.

How did your differences with her family become a problem? What problems did that cause?

Jordan: The entire family always knew I was not religious, but it wasn’t until Samantha’s father started preaching Christianity to his family and myself, and judging those who didn’t believe as he did, it wasn’t until then that I told him that I didn’t believe in Christianity. It wasn’t until after my daughter was born until they found out I was an atheist.

Samantha and I lived together for two years after my daughter was born struggling with our differences with the weight of her parents on our shoulders the entire time. They dictated us how to raise our daughter and Samantha feared her parents and I had to waddle along.

The differences became a problem when I stood up to the parents against Samantha’s wishes and told them how they were wrong and how we know how to raise a kid. I pointed out that I’m the oldest of 6 siblings and I pretty much raised my brothers and sisters.

The entire thing ruptured the day my daughter was born, they were playing nice everyday before that, occasionally throwing out snippy comments about me being “a clown” or joking about me going to church with them, but it didn’t get hostile until the very day my daughter was born.

They probably didn’t like that very much.

 Jordan: Samantha’s parents saw me as a kid, and they “knew” how to raise children and how to keep them God fearing and apparently, parent fearing. So anything I had to suggest wasn’t taken seriously.

I persuaded Ariel and Samantha to go to San Diego for a while. I knew they would be better off 1,500 miles away, than down the street from her parents. I wanted my daughter far away from Samantha’s parents, even knowing that it would be also hard for me to see her. I couldn’t afford to work 60+ hours a week forever and Samantha wouldn’t and couldn’t hold a job.

Naturally. Am I right to assume that Samantha began to side with her parents?

Jordan: Yes, Samantha, was “raised to respect her parents no matter what” and feared her parents. I’m a British citizen and had plans to take Samantha and Ariel to England with me and marry her there, but fortunately, that didn’t happen.

I one day stood up to the mother, who was feeding my daughter pills every Friday, because she was conveniently “actin up” or “runnin a fever”, these were unnecessary medications she fed my daughter and since Samantha was too scared to tell her anything, I did. That is what sparked the war and when her family began to oppose me.

This entire story is more of a battle I had with Samantha’s parents than it is with Samantha and I. But of course it became a war between Samantha and I when she decided to break off all contact with my daughter and I, over a year ago because of her family’s and fiancés’ wishes.

A detail I haven’t mentioned yet is that I was there for the birth of my daughter. The dad dictated to Samantha that she should have the baby on Lackland Air Force Base, rather than my plan of using Medicaid to have the baby in a civilian hospital, since he convinced Samantha that it would be fully covered.

You had to take time off of work for this?

Jordan: I was working three jobs at the time and was lucky that I could have to day off to see my daughter being born. I wasn’t really lucky, I just told two out of three of my jobs that I wasn’t coming in, with the risk of getting fired.

Quite a risk. So the child was born (congratulations), amid complications with the mother’s family.

Jordan: I was there for her birth, I remember going to the back and signing my name as the father on a lot of medical forms, but the next day I was working, and that’s when they filled out the birth certificate. I didn’t know about it, and even if I did, I didn’t have an ID to get on base to sign it if I could. The parents didn’t want me to have any legal rights and their excuse was, because they wanted us to be married first.

When did all the tension start with her parents?

Jordan: It all started when Samantha was about 6 months pregnant and we were decided on a name for the child. Our results near that time were Adrian, Rivan, Darren for a boy and Ariel, Holly and Elizabeth for a girl. The dad said, “why don’t you name them a strong Christian name like, David or Moses or Noah?”etc… I said, “well for one, I’m not a christian and neither is our baby.” I didn’t think a name like that was even an issue, I wanted a good name, I didn’t care if it was Christian or not. The father replied with “I don’t care if you’re a Christian, but my grandkid will be, and I’m going to make sure it goes to church with us,” he said in a border-line, jokingly way.

He also mentioned getting our child baptized and attending Sunday school and we even got into an argument about circumcision, where it began to get heated.

He said, “you don’t know what you’re talking about, in THIS country, WE circumcise our boys.”

What happened during the time after Ariel was born?

Jordan: After my daughter was 2 years old, Samantha and I had complications because I was working three jobs and trying to hold a two bedroom apartment, a car payment and insurance, food, bills, etc…. I couldn’t afford it anymore and Samantha didn’t work much, because of her postpartum depression that lasted over 2 years. So she went to stay with her parents while I got a small studio apartment and tried to manage to pay off some loans and catch up with our late bills. That didn’t last long because she was fighting with her parents.

After some physical and verbal abuse from her parents, Samantha and Ariel came back to stay with me for a bit and then we decided to have her and Ariel stay with her aunt in San Diego for a while until we caught up. I visited Ariel when I could afford to, and we had a relationship over the phone and over the Internet. Samantha and I already agreed to officially split up since all we were doing was fighting.

How long did this break up last?

Jordan: It became permanent. About a year went by with Samantha and Ariel being in San Diego, California and me being in San Antonio, Texas. We met other people and went our separate ways, but I still was involved in Ariel’s life, sending her gifts, clothes, anything she needed. I visited her for her birthdays and sometimes during the summer, buying her new clothes for school while I was visiting.

(Below are excerpts from a phone conversation held between Jordan, and Samantha’s father. They are paraphrased from Jordan’s memory. This was the last correspondence Jordan had with Samantha’s parents. He was attempting to contact his daughter, as Samantha would not answer the phone. “Me” represents Jordan, “Him” represents Samantha’s father. It is edited slightly for length.)

Samantha’s dad picked up and said “Boy, what do you want?”

I said, “I would like to speak to my daughter”

he said “she ain’t no daughter of yours, you ain’t got no legal rights to her”

me: “What do you mean she isn’t my daughter, I’ve been taking care of her for two years and there’s no denying that she’s my daughter”

him: “You may be her biological father, but you ain’t her dad now, you need to just move on about your business and forget about her”

me: “I can understand that you hate me and want me to suffer, but how could you let your granddaughter suffer, not being able to see me?”

him: “She ain’t gonna be suffrin, she’s got a family that actually cares about her and can provide for her”

me: “So me working three jobs isn’t providing for her?”

him: “See you need to work three jobs just to provide for her, and you ain’t gonna get no time for her, so what’s the point of you even bein in her life?”


him: “You’re poor, you [had a child] out of wedlock (author’s note, discrepancy on my part. Original read incorrectly, “married out of wedlock. Sorry about the confusion.), you can’t provide for my daughter and grandkid, and you have no future… you need Jesus in your life son”

me: “I don’t think Jesus, Allah, Thor or any of the other gods are going to help my situation”

him: “you want to bring my grandkid and daughter up in a godless home with no morals and deny god?”

me: “yes, I don’t see where any gods have any purpose in a family and we don’t need gods to provide us with morals”

him: “then you’re going to burn in hell and I’m not going to let you take my daughter and granddaughter with you.”

( I try to say something at this point but he cuts me off and gets angry)

him: “Boy, you think I’m gonna let you destroy my family with your backwards view of reality? Your momma should have raised you right…. Boy, Ariel don’t love you, you’re never going to see her again.”

me: “Fuck you, you disgusting piece of shit”

him: “Boy, you’re gonna burn in hell… Boy?…BOY?”

Jordan: That was the last I heard his voice in November of 2007.

What did you do after this? Did you continue to attempt contact with Samantha?

Jordan: Yes… I even recorded a lot of the conversations. I contacted Samantha in February of this year, I sent her a three page email telling her that what she is doing is very irrational and that I’m giving her one final chance to do the right thing and allow me to pay child support and sign me as the legal father or I’ll have to take it to a higher authority. She didn’t respond, so I opened up my child support case so I can get a blood test. When she received notification of that, she panicked and had her dad sue me.

My girlfriend Emily and I saved about $800 together so we could take a road trip to attend the Reason Rally and Rock Beyond Belief. After two weeks away, we came back to a notice on my door for getting served. I was served with this petition the day after I returned from the trip. They’re suing me for adoption. I posted the petition on the page.

I was told it would be 8 weeks in February before the [child support] case would get going, so I expected my case to have some results by the time I got back, but she sued me and that’s what caused me to have to get a lawyer.

When did Samantha cut contact with you?

Jordan: January of 2011, because her family and fiance wanted me ‘out of the picture’.

So that’s when your girlfriend Emily made the Facebook page?

Jordan: Yes… the page was her idea, because I started to sell things, but knew I wouldn’t have enough money to pay for all $1900 in legal fees, and rent and other bills on top of that. I didn’t want to make my private matters public at the time and I definitely didn’t want to ask for money, so she persuaded me to agree to the page. Before that, I jokingly talked about having a reunite Ariel and Jordan page and to invite all of Samantha’s family and friends, but Emily turned that idea into something useful.

This concluded the interview.

Jordan discussed with me events of Samantha’s father loosely threatening him, and mentioned that Samantha is now married to another man, who will take away Jordan’s fatherhood rights and adopt Ariel if Jordan loses the case. It is due to her family’s religious hatred of atheists that any of this began in the first place, and they’ve made no attempt to conceal their disdain for his atheism, even initiating suit against him to take his right to his daughter away entirely.

This type of thing has happened to many people. Several of my own Facebook friends mentioned their similar situations, and asked me to wish Jordan the best in his attempt to avoid the outcome that had befallen them.

I understand that many atheists are skeptical (good on you) of any request for donation, but I hope this clears things up better. Jordan has listed images of the served papers on his Facebook page, linked at the top of the article. Of his current goal, he has been given roughly $250 in donations. He hopes to combat this suit in court, solidify his standing as Ariel’s father with a DNA test, and gain the right that he is owed to see his daughter. He is clean, does no drugs, and he wants more than anything to have his daughter back. So if you’ve got the time in your schedule or change in your pocket, please help Jordan.

I will be hosting occasional links to his page on the Crackpot Chronicle’s official page, One Nation Under Nothing, trying to generate support, but you can always find the link at the top of this article.

I would like to make a personal statement here. There is no reason why anyone should be allowed to tell a man that his daughter doesn’t love him or that he’ll never see her again. And nobody should certainly ever try to take a man’s child away simply on the basis that they don’t agree with his lack of religion. It’s discriminatory. Imagine, if you will, what would happen if a man’s daughter were being taken away from him on the basis that he’s of a different ethnicity. Half the country would be in an uproar, because racial discrimination is an openly frowned-upon act. Why should it be allowed that this man is discriminated against simply for his lack of religious belief? It’s his daughter, and the grandfather (Samantha’s father) has already proven to be a negative influence, willing to impose his views on someone else’s child. Jordan deserves his daughter, and his daughter deserves her real father. No man should have to fight to see his daughter, and no daughter should be stolen from her father. Please, if you can, lend a hand.  Thanks for reading.




About the author

Well known in the World-Class Bear-wrestling circles, Reed has chosen a quieter life producing blogs, commentary, and newsworthy celebrity meltdowns for The Crackpot Chronicle. Reed takes his spare time to run the facebook page, One Nation Under Nothing, which features all of Crackpot's content, and producing a webcomic called "DEVIOUS!" for the page. Any other time you may find Reed exploring such faraway places as the local McDonald's, or underneath benches at a public park near you. You may be curious as to where the Crackpot Staff gets our morality, being that we're atheists. Reed gets his from the back of a cereal box.

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  1. Dylan says:

    Horrible what this Samantha’s family did.
    Lets do everything we can to get this man his daughter!

    • LaDonnaMarie says:

      I read this article twice to make sure I was absorbing it accurately. Firstly, I will say that I am a Christian. I was born into a Christian family; however, as the Bible dictates, I was introduced to Christ but my family made no attempt to shove Him down my throat. I was simply told that one day I would have to make a choice. I chose to be a Christian. I am not on this forum to shove Jesus down your throats, except to say one thing: Once, I had a conversation with an atheist. I didn’t hate the atheist nor did she disgust me. The command is to love our neighbor as we would love ourselves. She asked me why I believed (it’s a long story) but in concluding my discussion with her, I did say that after all that we have to endure here on Terra Firma, I want my soul to be dispatched to a wonderful place which is problem-free. I told her I had endured much and didn’t see any real end to it, so after all the suffering that we all partake of, whether rich or poor, just dropping dead and being burned or put into the cold, hard ground just isn’t good enough. We deserve more than what we get down here! I had her laughing so hard she was crying. But this is about Jordan’s story; you can get a sermon anywhere nowadays.

      I think it is religious radicals that cause people to give up and opt for atheism. Unfortunately for Jordan, I believe Samantha’s parents are just that. Plus, they want utter control of their daughter. That is quite clear. Sadly, Samantha has no backbone and perhaps her parents even chose the “new guy”.

      To gear up for battle, Jordan needs to send a monthly check to Samantha and write “child support” in the memo area. If she so much as cashes even one, she is admitting to a Judge that Jordan is the father of Ariel and it will be duly noted by the Judge, believe you me. Friends of Jordan, encourage him to send checks written out to the woman. If she cashes one, the Judge will frown upon her for thinking Jordan “Daddy enough to pay” but “not Daddy enough to see his own child”.

      Jordan needs to write to his daughter frequently and tell her that he loves her ask how she is. Copy these letters as well as the Post Office Postmark and then mail them. If they are returned, that’s more ammo that looks very bad to a judge.

      These are things he can do himself, to protect himself now. When in court, if that nutty family decides to claim Ariel is not his child, a Judge will order a DNA test. if they become his accusers in this matter, it natural that Samantha’s family then pay the fee. Then the birth certificate should be changed to reflect his status as the father.

      From what I understand, Samantha is engaged or married by now. The US OLympic ice skating team would be competing down in hell before someone would adopt my child. This would suggest that Jordan didn’t WANT Ariel and this alone could ruin that precious little girl. To not be wanted destroys many human beings before they have even had a chance.

      When Jordan goes into court, he needs to be The Voice of Reason. When they start with the Judge with all of their Southern theatrics, perhaps her mommy and daddy should wait in the hall. In fact, I would ask His/Her Honor for them to do just as Samantha and Jordan had a baby. Unless they are witnesses, they don’t even need to be at the courthouse. That is unless they have take that depressive daughter, who can’t manage to work, to court that day.

      If Jordan lives quite a distance from his child, if she is of school age, he might ask to have her for the entire summer, and every other Christmas break.

      And then the inevitable will likely happen. When children are not credited with having any intelligence, feel they no control over their destinies as they grow, and trussed up like a chicken on every Communion Day and force fed grape juice and those awful little crackers, she’ll be old enough to bolt and legally move in with her Dad.

      You see, although a Christian, strangely I am on Jordan’s side. I once knew a man who never got to go on a cool summer vacation, never got to go fishing with his Dad, camping, carnivals or dances. He was my first husband and his Mother DEMANDED a perfect attendance record at church. Though I was young and virginal, we got married in Las Vegas. He has never stepped back inside a church since he left home. The next time he does, it will be only when his Mother dies. I am so lucky to have the parents I have. Ariel is lucky to have a Dad who will let her make those types of choices when it is time.

      Well, I bowed my head and prayed for Jordan and Ariel. I wish them well.

      • Cody says:

        Just wanted to say that nobody returns to atheism because they “Give up” or because of “extremists”. If someone returns to atheism it is because of:
        1. A lack of proof in religion
        2. Low probability of a god existing
        3. Rebellion from parents or authority figures(Nothing to do with extremist religion, just a general teenage rebellion.)

        The first two are the most likely and the ones that use reason and logic. The last of the three usually has no reason other than to say “I’m different”

        I myself was Lutheran(Baptized, Circumcised, and Confirmed) but was never pushed into religion. I went to church once in a good while but a lack of proof and the evil that your god actually is caused me to doubt my religion. It had nothing to do with extremists or having the religion forced on me.

        That’s all I wanted to say as an informative post to you. The rest of your post I have no problem with.

        ~Cody(The Freethinking)

  2. michael says:

    Religion or not, this is fucked up.

  3. Peter Florance says:

    I am an Atheist and a parent. My wife is also Atheist. Why is it that some people think we can not parent because we do not believe in silly ancient superstitions. Any attempt to remove a child from a parent based on mythology surely speaks more about the parent with the belief than the one without. It is this sort of thing that make we Atheists angry and active in breaking down superstitious beliefs systems. We are not bad, we are not the enemy, we don’t have unreasonable belief systems. The enemy you see in us is the enemy you make us to be. Give the man a chance.

    • Alicia G says:

      My husband and I are also both atheists, but we are making it a point to raise kind, loving and compassionate children. I want my children to not discriminate because of someone’s personal or religious beliefs, just like I wouldn’t want anyone attacking me for my lack of belief. The part that really gets me is, the concept of Christianity is so fucking beautiful. Love your neighbor, forgive your neighbor, help your neighbor without judgement. Unfortunately, none of these supposed Christians even make the attempt to emulate this Jesus they worship. I really hope that he gets his daughter back. Anyone willing to become a slave to 3 crap ass jobs MUST love his daughter. He could take the easy way out and be on welfare, but he is actually working. Her parents sound like scum, and by their own ideals, they’re going to HELL!

    • Wolf says:

      I personally think that religious people like this are a threat to raising a child. This is one of the things that is so wrong with the world. It is ok to say you have a relationship with an imaginary figure but not ok to say you rather pay attention to logic and reason. The retort to this of course is, I can’t prove God exists therefor he does. How is that statement not insane as well? You can’t prove I did not talk to a flying talk goat who told me I must take everyone’s money and use it for myself and in this way, I would save the world from certain doom.

  4. Kristin Dillard says:

    If there actually was a “hell,” it’s for people like Samantha’s father. Good luck, Jordan!

  5. adam says:

    this is despicable.

    i would try get this into the mainstream atheist eye if you can Jordan. this article has done wonders but i think you should approach an atheist organisation within america.

    go public. don’t let them railroad you into submission. (also think the excessive and unnecessary drugging of your daughter may substantiate some form of child abuse and give you grounds to get your daughter back)

    regardless of anyones belief on either side of the situation – this is unacceptable!

    btw i will forward this to the Australian Atheist Foundation. Get some exposure here in Aus.

    good luck mate!

  6. Jordan is a friend of mine. He is a rational, compassionate, thoughtful man. He understands the dangers and harm of religious delusion and in-group tribalism. He is a vegan and understands nutrition and health. He loves his daughter and she deserves a father who is so capable of raising her to be a fully contributing, self-reliant member of society.

    If you care about justice in this world please click on the link at the top of the article and donate however much you can afford. Most of us will never miss $10 or $20. Give $5 if that’s all you can afford. Be a part of correcting this horrendous situation, share the page on your facebook pages and twitter. Peace friends!

  7. steven says:

    reason number 1 why i never sleep with christians.

  8. G’day Jordan. Really feel for you mate. Hope it works out for you. Will try to get you some money next pay.
    As a person who grew up with a mother who I got reminded of by Ariel’s grandparents, I reckon that it was really easy for Sam to manipulated by her parents. Though it looks that she is being completely non-manipulated now.

  9. David says:

    How does he not have rights to his daughter? This is bigger than “atheism.” I at first thought the state was discriminating against him based on his beliefs, but it’s just the father. He needs a good lawyer. The bigger issue is him not being able to secure adequate representation to establish his rights to his daughter.

  10. alba says:

    I am a deeply religious person. I study the Bible on a daily basis and have a good relationship with God. I have NO unanswered prayers. The way Samantha’s father is behaving is irrational, ignorant, and unholy. No one should ever push religion onto another person. It even says in the Bible. People should only be preached to if they are willing to listen. Jordan has a right to be a father to his daughter and religious or not, no man has the right to usurp the role of father to Ariel who just because he’s atheist. And to all the commenters bashing the Christian faith, stop making the people of the faith your enemy. If someone who was Christian offended you, then its the individual, not the faith. Stop segregating yourself, it makes it easier for others to do that which you are already doing to yourself. If in these comments the word “Christian” were replaced with “black” and Atheist were replaced with the word “white” would that put it into perspective for you? Two wrongs dont make a right. Think with your mind and be rational about the things you think before you say it.

    Good luck Jordan. I hope you get Ariel back, and that ex of yours can start thinking for herself.

    • Tim Lister says:

      Thanks for the kind thoughts, although religion and race are not comparable. A black person can’t one day wake up and decide to become a white person or vice versa. But I will say that a lot of the major problems in this country would disappear tomorrow if more Christians were like you.

    • T. says:

      If only more Christians were like you! It’s so cruel to attack people for what they believe it – a child raised with ideas shoved down their throat will ultimately either choke them down or throw them back up again. If she decided to become a Christian later on in life, then good for her. If it makes her happy, then that’s fine, as I;m sure you’ll agree. But let it be her choice, not her Grandfather’s.

  11. Dylan says:

    This is why I would never date someone with extremely religious backgrounds, maybe not even religious at all.

  12. Lewi says:

    This is horrible, as a child of divorce, one who has been denied his father for over 50 weeks a year, I can tell you that Ariel needs Jordan. Her grandfther is a sick man, and samantha is disgusting and spineless.
    It pains me that I have no means of providing a dontion, all I can do is give my best wishes.
    If Jordan reads this, I want him to know that no child can hate their father, even with limited to no communication.

  13. amanda lowe says:

    I cant believe that this can even happen in this day and age.You have my full support and i am so sorry that you are having to go through this.The mother should be ashamed of herself for putting her daughter through this and denying her seeing her daddy.Child abuse in a different form.

  14. c says:

    i am religious, but i dont believe in forcing my views in the faces of others, everybody makes their own choices. religion is there to make us live like better people if we feel we need the support to do so, other people find support to live a good life in other ways. religion is NOT there to make other peoples lives worse. if this man (grandfather) truely believed in doing what god would want, he wouldnt split up a family and would trust in god to bring his granddaughter a good life whether or not she believed in him. people use religion as an excuse to feel like their better than others, and usually end up coming across to the rest of the world as pricks…if your religious, good for you…keep it to yourself, its your thing but its not everybodies!

  15. Debbie says:

    This is horrible that Samantha’s family even has a say in this matter. This issue should have been kept private between Him and Samantha. Its there baby not Her parents. As for being atheist there is nothing wrong with that just because he has a different view on life doesn’t mean he would harm the child. I could see if he was harming Ariel but hes not looks like he’s doing his best..

  16. flapjackboy says:

    Reddit army’s on the case. Expect a sudden influx of donations, including mine.

  17. Tim says:

    those people make me sick,im also an atheist and my fiance is christian and we have absolutely no daughter is 12 years old and she is great,you being an atheist has nothing to do with raising a child,in my home we waited until my daughter was old enough to understand what believing is,it is her decision what she wants to believe,it sounds like those people are forcing beliefs,which in essence is against free will,the one thing thier g.o.d gave to everyone.anyway i wish you luck in your quest,you seem much more righteous than those supposed christians.

  18. Ojay says:

    This is messed up. The only people peddling hate are also the ones who claim to belong to a religion that has love as one of its apparent pillars. I don’t see any character flaws in Jordan that would have the law deprive him of the right to be a parent to his daughter. It is sad when people use hate of those who don’t subscribe to their values or systems of belief to oppress them(minorities in the name of agnostics/atheists/freethinkers). All the best Ariel and Jordan!

  19. Steve Barry says:

    Great job Reed.

    Jordan, we all have your back in the future as well.

  20. Justin says:

    Gary, how does his being a vegan matter? Ugh.

    I’m going to show this to some people and see if I can get others to help donate.

  21. Fabbe says:

    What a horrible family. If there is such a thing as hell they seem prime canidates for the “best” spots =(
    Poor kid.

    The good thing about the internet is that I can restrain myself about shit like this. IRL I would beat the crap out of that so called “dad”(granddad). Horrible man.

  22. Ryan says:

    Jordan has my support. I am a 32 year old father of 4 children and have adopted my niece. I describe myself as a spiritual atheist and do not go to church. My children go to church with my in-laws but as they get older they are starting to distance themselves from it. I do not downtalk God in my house but I don’t make it a secret that I don’t believe in a deity. Good luck!

  23. tracie says:

    No guys it isn’t silly superstitions and fairy tales. God is real and Jesus died for our sins. Take a leap of faith and believe before its too late. I was a false Christian and then got truly converted recently. I pray for yall guys that refuse to believe. As for this situation, I think they should come to a compromise. The granddad can take the kid to church on Sundays and give her a bible when she comes back to her dad, if her dad will agree to those conditions. Jesus is coming back and then yall will are be wondering why millions of people just vanished off the face of the earth.

    • Benjamin says:

      You just don’t get it Tracie and I don’t expect you to ever get it with comments like that. This isn’t about Jesus coming back, get real.

      • SoooooTired says:

        Tracie I noticed that you have taken this opportunity to “quasi threaten” Atheists to change their hedonistic ways “before it’s too late”. I, however, will take this opportunity to lend support to Jordans cause and highlight the fact that your attitude is very symptomatic of organized religion….and therefor lend major validation to our [Atheists] stance on religion! So….thank you.

  24. Greg Perrine says:

    I, like Gary Clemans-Gibbon above, know Jordan personally. Jordan is a kind, thoughtful guy and deserves his day in court to defend himself and to stay in his adorable daughter’s life. I know he has already sold many of his possessions to pay his legal bills. Please help him out if you can. FSM bless you all!

  25. Lief says:

    I am religious, and I still say this was totally uncalled for.
    Of course, I am not christian and I consider their ideas about Hell for unbelievers and all as very delusional.

  26. Alireza Shokouhi says:

    Try to avoid getting into relationships with religious or weak minded persons, If the partner is religious there is high probability that the parents are too, and they will interfere. Something religious people are good at is just that: using a GOD for their personal gain! I wish Jordan to get his daughter back!

  27. Dorothy Pipher says:

    After reading this and seeing who the author is I am inclined to believe that this is a tongue in check blog.

  28. Wolf says:

    I appreciate the issue Jordan is facing. However there are a couple of points I would like to make. We are only getting one side of the story here. All of these things may have happened, or none of them may have. I am very wary of giving money to anyone for their “causes”. Tomorrow I could make a post about how a daughter I do not have needs a kidney transplant and the insurance company will not pay for it because I do not believe in God. Please donate here.
    Beyond that though, there is a much bigger issue that needs to be addressed. It seems that is it ok in this country to be a schizophrenic so long as enough people are like you and support you. Religion is dangerous and should be handled like alcohol in that it is illegal to expose a minor to until they turn 18. Yeah I know, this is the real world and that will never happen. The point is, until the law makers address this issue and rule in the favor of the courts not recognizing any law based on religion, this type of thing will continue to happen over and over. What state is it that recognizes sharia law that allows the man of the house to kill family members if they “dishonor” him? There is something seriously seriously wrong that needs to be fixed.

  29. Josh says:

    Real Christians don’t take children from a good strong father figure… Are you sure Samantha’s parents aren’t sacrificing goats? This sounds like a situation that could literally never happen. How is it happening? I’m pro Christianity and cannot for the life of me figure out how parents batter and bruise their children into weak and small minded vermin. Go Jordan!

  30. Kerri says:

    This situation makes me physically ill. It’s this kind of thing that makes me hate this country. While I know not all Christians are like this, there are more like this than not (at least in my experience). The only reason the religious friends I have (all moms from my son’s school) accept me so readily is because they have gotten to know me and tell me “I know in my heart you’re not really an atheist…” which even THEY can’t see is so demeaning to me and my beliefs. If I told them that I knew in my heart they weren’t really Christian, I’d be persecuting them. ANYWAY… Jordan sounds like a rational and kind man who is getting screwed by religion. I hope he gets all the help he needs to get his daughter back. She has certainly been brainwashed by now that her daddy is a horrible person who doesn’t love her (if they are evil enough to tell him she doesn’t love him) and even if he DOES see her, it probably won’t end well. I’m just sick to my stomach. Can the ACLU or FFRF help him in any way? Contact all atheist organizations… if they say “no, can’t help,” at least he’d be no worse off than he is now.

  31. Thomas says:

    I almost cried when I read this… I hope he wins and those grandparents never get to see her again

  32. astrokid.nj says:

    I am curious how far your support for alienated fathers goes.. would you support it pretty much universally (leave extreme cases aside for a moment)? Do you know how unjust the current system in the US is towards fathers? Do you know that feminists have instituted a system whereby “joint custody” is not allowed?
    Shared Parenting Showdown in New York

    Women receive custody in about 84% of child custody cases.

    In the spring of 2002, an estimated 13.4 million parents had custody of 21.5 million children under 21 years of age whose other parent lived somewhere else. About 5 of every 6 custodial parents were mothers (84.4 percent) and 1in 6 were fathers (15.6 percent), proportions statistically unchanged since 1994

    (Table A).

    According to Los Angeles divorce consultant Jayne Major:

    “Divorced men are often devastated by the loss of their children. It’s a little known fact that in the United States men initiate only a small number of the divorces involving children. Most of the men I deal with never saw their divorces coming, and they are often treated very unfairly by the family courts.’”

    • ullrich fischer says:

      This case isn’t about feminism. Each case needs to be considered on its merits. If the mother split because she and/or her children were being abused, that’s one thing and in such a case she should get sole custody. In this case the only “abuse” being claimed is the accusation that Jordan is threatening to take his daughter to hell with him by not falling into line with his insane father-in-law’s abhorrent religion. I suspect that if Jordan loses this case, Ariel will be in extreme danger of physical abuse as grandpa self-righteously attempts to beat the devil out of her should she ever dare to stand up to his rule of terror over his family.

  33. matt says:

    I’m a Christian and I don’t agree with everything that has reportedly happened with Jordan & his daughter (basde soley on the information presented). Unfortunately, there are many so-called Christians out there whose behavior does not match up with what I believe are the true tenants of Christanity. We should never pass judgement on anyone. If Samantha’s father was being a true Christian, he would have offered & provided practical help with no strings attached, he would’ve done only what he could within the bounds of his role as a parent/grandparent without intimidation or coercion, to share with his family what he believes to be good & true, and he would’ve prayed for them, leaving the outcome to God. True Christians love all people, including atheists, just as Jesus does. Sharing what we believe with non-Christians through legal, ethical and somewhat socially acceptable means, to the true Christian, is an act of love. Which means we should never, never be hateful or judgemental in doing it.

  34. Crank says:

    I am not surprised at this.

  35. Lauren says:

    It seems like his ex girlfriend Samantha is the one who is unfit to rear her own child. I understand that depression can be a real hardship, but 2 years of sitting about and expecting your boyfriend and parents to subsidies your lifestyle is ridiculous. Especially when you have a child to think about. It sounds like her whole family suffers from chronic stupidity and selfishness.

  36. Rebecca marlowvidales says:

    forgive my spelling. we are not a christian country !! read the consttution !! “wherefor no mans religion shall be used against him,nor be used to discredit him” ect.Thomas Jeffersons part in it !! it applys to ALL of US , he can sue them for breaking one of our biggest rights here in this country,!! I’m pagan,& am allowed to believe as I wish because the U.S.A. is NOT a christan country !!

  37. friskie feline says:

    I believe that when people meet, the first thing you discuss are your beliefs. I would (if I were the daughter) tell my parents it’s none if their business and to say out of it or else. I don’t think you can actually get custody of someone because of religious differences. I would fight to keep custody, but then again, I have not heard the whole story.

  38. Bonnie says:

    I am not a “religious” person nor do I identify with mainstream Christianity. I believe Jesus came to teach us valuable lessons. These grandparents and their daughter are terribly misrepresenting Jesus and His message. This little girl deserves to know and love her father and he deserves to know and nurture his daughter. As a follower of Jesus, I see nothing in His life or Word treating “nonbelievers” in this manner. I pray Jordan and Ariel are reunited and the rest of this family see the terrible error they have made.

    Jesus said: If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to cast a stone at her. [John 8:7] Do not judge, lest you too be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. [Matthew 7:1 & 2.]

  39. Samuel says:

    This is such a tragic story. Religious fanaticism is a form of abuse and should be treated as such.

  40. Robert says:

    I am a strong Christian who believes God. I also believe that church is nothing but a deb of evil hypocrites and this guy just proves my point. A great father can believe our disbelieve what he wants this should not disallow him from raising a child. Atheist or not, you do not commit the injustice that had been done to this man. Evangelical Christian just means you want the money up front, not that you’re a better father. Let this father be a Dad!

  41. Anon says:

    Remember fellow male atheists, don’t stick your dick in crazy. This is why I’ll never date religious women, not even liberal/moderate ones.

  42. Michael says:

    I am a proud atheist, and I have a wonderful daughter like Jordan does. My world would crumble if somebody wanted to take her away from me. The idea that people want to separate these people who love each other because of some outdated superstitions is beyond me. Get over religion and start caring about the people in your life! That’s what I have to say to that family who want to take her away.

  43. Heather says:

    I’m not an atheist, I am, however, a firm believer in human rights. What has happened to Jordan and his daughter is sick and wrong. Beliefs should be chosen by the individual, not forced on them by family, friends, or government. I will give whatever support I can to this man, and I hope that the right thing happens, and Jason is given back his parental rights to his daughter.

    There are enough crappy parents out there, that when I see a good parent being told they cannot be involved in their child’s life, I get angry. We all should. No good, loving, caring parent should have their child taken away because of another person’s hatred, bigotry, and lies.

  44. Rachel says:

    I would just like to point out that christianity isnt the problem with the grandfather, its that hes a hateful bastard to begin with. If he didnt have religion to latch onto, he would try something else to rip his granddaughter away from someone he doesnt approve. Its not religion that ruins people or civilizations or the advancement of technology, its the dipshits who do hateful things in the name of religion. I was raised in a christian home, I live out of wedlock with my boyfriend and have been very open about my lack of belief. My family loves me, and my man, just the same as they do they’re own kids.

  45. Arizona-Dude says:

    Jordan, it stinks to be in your position. It is also a good lesson about not dropping the ball on really important shit like putting family before work. Having a good job is important, but moving to a place you can afford to live can be crucial. Jordan made many mistakes that lead up to his current situation. He blundered into this situation and involved a child he/nor his girlfriend were prepared for. Adoption or abortion would have been a better option. Samantha’s parents may have been religious fanatics, but they clearly saw the train wreck that was bound to happen and are now feeling pretty vindicated. I hope Jordan truly does get his life together and is able to added to his child’s life. This really seems less about atheism vs. religion and more about young people making poor decisions about life in general.

  46. Sonya says:

    Wish you the best, Jordan. Hope you’ll reunite soon. It’s a shame I don’t see women commenting and contributing. Hope they are petitionning.

  47. Ryan says:

    Has he contacted FFRF or American Atheists for wider view of his page?

  48. Violet says:

    That Samantha sounds like a real winner. 2 years of postpartum depression? Can’t work? LOSER. So glad this guy found himself a smart new woman.

  49. Mason says:

    It would be extremely difficult for me not to get dangerously violent if some shithead ever did that to me and my daughter.

  50. chris says:

    am a christian and i have nothing against atheists,
    and who the f@ck told that guy that atheists don’t have morals.People with that kind of attitude are idiots (samantha’s family).
    Also my 2 cents:
    Jordan has been a decent father in my eyes!
    Samantha’s family are clueless as to what a good family requires!

    Make a DNA Test and Sue them for custody!

  51. Cleta Darnell says:

    This is a complete travesty of justice. Why is it always the good parents who get the shaft? The manipulators grasp whatever tool they can find to beat down anyone they don’t agree with. I hope Jordan gets custody, or at least visitation rights to his daughter and then sues the pants off of Samantha’s father for alienation of affection. If I had any money I would definitely contribute.

  52. Nick says:

    How can we help. Is there anything to sign or somewhere to donate funds to help with his legal fees.

  53. Shane says:

    You should share this on Reddit’s Atheism page. You’re sure to drum up support there.

  54. Aita says:

    This is the most disgusting thing I’ve read in the longest time… I had to stop so as not to cry.

    Stand strong, you have the whole of the internet at your back.

  55. Dez says:

    Sharing this so people can help. Texas law, too. Almost can’t get any worse for a non-believer.

  56. [...] For information on Jordan Clipston’s fight to be reunited with his daughter Ariel go to:… This entry was posted in Scribbles. Bookmark the permalink. ← Once more unto the [...]

  57. godsotherson says:

    This Christian grandfather would seem to be placing “boy” in the back of the bus, away from all the god believers while he and his family sit up front. Ain’t civil liberties wonderful now that the law made this illegal and we are now all equal under the law?

  58. Jessica says:

    I disagree with anyone loosing their rights because of their religious views or lack there of.
    I would encourage the staff at Crackpot Chronicle to work on editing the story. I felt that the quality of the writing took away from the story that you were trying to convey.

  59. Nexxy says:

    OMG. that Stupid religious MORON needs to burn in hell for doing that to his granddaughter. Any REAL man of God would never do that.

  60. Hazuki says:

    Unfortunately for the believers, the objective evidence is that Christianity is wrong. Even if you don’t do years and years of cross-discipline study like I did, simple philosophical examination shows it. Of course it does help to know some koine Greek (memo to Sam’s dad: “aionios kolasis” means neither eternal nor torment! Origen was a Universalist for a very good reason!).

    I understand why people find religion, or never leave it. It’s powerful stuff. But we know the Abrahamic faiths aren’t true, and anyone who’s willing to devote enough time to reading and studying can figure this out. Buddhism, now, that’s a different story :) Though it’s properly more philosophy than religion, done right.

    Jordan, my thoughts go out to you. You may simply need to cut off and begin anew; sometimes the forces of stupidity are undefeatable. But you will survive, and your life is far from over…don’t give up. Don’t let the b@stards win!

  61. Laura says:

    If he doesn’t win this case; the emotional damage caused by alienating her from her own father will be irreparable.

  62. John says:

    As a former christian and gangbanger (LOL), this is exactly the type of thing that causes me to reconsider my vow of non-violence. i renounced violence in my life, but this makes my blood boil. i am cursed with empathy. i probably would have taken this to unhealthy extremes…

  63. Michael says:

    The option is there to leave, never pay child support, and never see any of these people again. That is what they are offering his, and that is the option he should take. Start over with the new girlfriend rather than take on a financial burden in exchange for seeing his daughter 52 days a year. Paying child support for a girl who will be raised to treat him as an outsider is just a drain on the resources he should be spending on his future children. It is an emotional response just to win an argument with a Christian (you can’t win an argument with someone who thinks people can come back from the dead), and it is a waste of his time and it is unfair to his girlfriend and his possible future children.
    I would not give this guy any money, since he will waste it on this pursuit. He should cut and run.

  64. Brandon says:

    I was born an atheist, then forced into Catholicism until i started thinking for myself, and then went back to my atheist roots. My parents divorced when i was very young and i spent my childhood being pushed and pulled while in i was in the middle of my parents custody battles. what happened to me and what’s happening to this child is caused by ego, immaturity, and selfishness. I hope a judge will be able to see this and determine what’s best for the child, which would be equal access to both biological parents. People (in this case the asshole grandpa) need to learn to put their own bull shit aside for the good of the child. The child should have to part in the fighting between the adults. Jordan’s lawyer needs to point out that the grandfather is mentally unstable and is acting against the interests of the child, and preaching hateful lessons to her. That kid will not care if her dad is an atheist or not. It’s time as atheists, that we all stand up for each other, and speak out. We are the least respected minority and it’s because we are the least understood. We need to speak out against ancient superstitions at every occurrence. We can not stand idly aside and remain silent. This man is losing his chance to be around his baby girl as she grows up, all because of religious fanaticism, and we must challenge it every time it exposes it’s ugly head.

  65. ullrich fischer says:

    Hmmm. Nobody supports the granddad in this? I wonder why? Aside from the fact that this is non-religious forum, maybe it is because that granddad IS AN ASSHOLE? :)

  66. Greg Perrine says:

    If anyone wants to hear Jordan tell his story, we had him on our Skeptic Wire Podcast this week. We discuss his story, but we also talk about what it’s been like since articles like this one have made his story go viral and the help so many have given.
    The episode can be downloaded on iTunes or directly from our blog page:

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