Furthermore, I think the big raid was a terrible tactical move. The government has played right into the FLDS’s fortress mentality rhetoric. They have been exactly the bad guys coming to lay siege to the people of God that the FLDS (and the LDS) have been afraid of since the Utah War, Nauvoo, and back to Jackson County and Kirtland. the FLDS have been expecting this and fearing this, and the government does exactly this. All it will ultimately do is steel the FLDS nerve, reinforce in an incredibly major way that the outside world is coming to get them.
I also find myself feeling a lot more sympathy for the FLDS than I would have thought. I mean, sure, I think Mormonism is a steaming pile of crap, but I was raised Mormon, and it’s a deeply embedded part of my identity that doesn’t just go away. I may be fully aware that the versions of Missouri and Nauvoo I learned are heavily biased, but they still punch emotional buttons, and this is just a kind of extension of that.
Don’t get me wrong–I’m definitely against coercive sexual relationships of any kind. But setting that aside, the idea of a government raid against what are essentially Mormon people sends chills down my spine and leaves me feeling pretty mixed up.]]>
More than likely most of the kids will be returned their mothers and CPS will monitor the situation for the next couple of years. If the kids are not returned it’s because there is strong evidence of physical and sexual abuse AND their moms refuse to keep them away from the abusers.]]>
My first gut reaction to all this stuff was, isnt this just the first in an eventual chain of people doing w/e they want and calling it a religious freedom?
It’s not that people should be able to commit crimes and call it “religious freedom.” It’s that the state has to follow certain rules of fairness and evidence — outlined in the Bill of Rights — before taking action against people, even those suspected of serious crimes. The FLDS aren’t necessarily virtuous or innocent (in fact they probably are far from it). The point is that it’s not only the FLDS who need to obey the law: the law-enforcement authorities need to obey the law too.]]>
A representative of the ACLU of Texas is in San Angelo observing the custody hearings currently underway concerning the children of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FDLS), in front of Judge Barbara Walthers of the 51st District Court. The hearings are part of a standard fourteen-day process mandated by the Texas Family Code, at the conclusion of which the court must return a removed child to the custody of his or her parents unless the government provides sufficient evidence that the child’s physical health or safety is in danger and, despite the government’s reasonable efforts to enable the child to return home, there is substantial risk of continuing danger if the child is returned.
Although the custody hearing is continuing, based on the testimony we have heard, we believe the government’s efforts to protect the children of the FLDS in Eldorado and the continuing proceedings raise serious and difficult issues regarding the sometimes competing rights of children and their parents.
ACLU of Texas Observing FLDS Custody Hearings in San Angelo]]>
The fact that this is a dangerous precedent — taking all of the children from a community with some accusations of abuse — should be obvious. And it’s a precedent that would be impossible to apply fairly, if only for logistical reasons…]]>
I viewed the video exposing the Texas Foster Care system as drug-riddled horror at:
I also read the thousand or so comments from outraged citizens at the petition site:
It seems state bureaucrats have become power mad.]]>