22 February 2006

On February 3, Rachel Bevilacqua, a member of the satirical religion/performance art group,The Church of the Subgenius, was stripped of custody of her son, Kohl Jary, after New York State Judge James P. Punch reviewed pictures of Bevilacqua at a Subgenius festival, X-Day. In the pictures, which depicted a parody version of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Christ, Bevilacqua was shown wearing little or no clothes, and once wearing a paper mache goat’s head. Judge Punch, who is reportedly a conservative Catholic, was offended by the pictures, and denounced Bevilacqua as sexually perverted and “mentally ill.” And though Bevilacqua’s child has never attended the Subgenius festivals, seen its performance art, nor heard anything about it at all — a prior custody decision banned Bevilacqua from discussing The Church of the Subgenius with her son — she is now forbidden to even write her child. On her blog, Bevilacqua writes that she has contacted several civil rights groups, and is appealing for donations for her legal defense. Read more.