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Who is next??

Don - April 19, 2008

This deal of the state coming into a community and taking all the children captive because they are “at risk” scares the “H” out of me!

I’m 100% for protecting children from abuse.

But who is next? What about the Amish? They “brainwash” their children into their religous beliefs and way of life. Do you think for a minute that if an Amish girl called in (and in Texas it appears the call may not have even been “real”) and reported any kind of abuse….from physical, to mental, to brainwashing, to being forced into marrying someone – do you think for a moment the state of Pennsylvania would step in and take all the children out of the community to protect them? NO WAY!!

What about the Mennonites, they live in a very close knit community, they “brainwash” their children. They sometimes arrange marriages between members of different colonies. Is that abusive? Is it abusive to be “brainwashed” into believing that living in the colony is best and the outside world is something to be shunned?

What about the Hudderites? They accept some of our modern living ideas, but still live in colonies, and “brainwash” their kids.

What about the Jehovah Witnesses or those Mormons? They shun the outside world in many respects and “brainwash” their kids into their “cult” beliefs. In fact there are people who “help” the poor brainwashed cultists back into the mainsteam again, so something must be wrong…maybe abusive.

This whole Texas FLDS thing is a slippery slope that should have all Americans up in arms. The problem is it’s a small Mormon splinter group….it’s an extremist cult that is involved so it’s ok for the state to come in and take the children away.

If there are people involved with illegal activies then fine prosecute them. If there are men marrying 15 year old girls, by all means go after them to the full extent of the law.

Teaching polygamy, or arranged marriages, or even arranged marriages of under aged girls is not something the state should be involved in. And even if those things are taught it doesn’t give the state the right to capture children and take them away from their families based on those teachings.

Break the law, fine punish those involved. Teach something we don’t like or agree with, legal or illegal too bad it’s one of our freedoms.

Where does it stop? Who is next?


  1. My questions exactly.

    Whether or not I agree with the beliefs of FLDS members (I don’t), I don’t believe the actions of the Texas authorities constitute due process. For a while I’ve thought this about CPS in general on principle alone, but to see the state abuse this misbegotten ‘authority’ is truly horrifying.

    Comment by Ben Pratt — April 19, 2008 @ 2:50 pm

  2. My question for the CPS workers is what happens if a FLDS member gives birth in TX? Is the child automaticly removed and fostered out or adopted??

    This is were the logic that the state is using is leading us.

    Comment by bbell — April 19, 2008 @ 3:15 pm

  3. My question is how do you punish someone breaking the the Edmunds-Tucker Law of no polygamy? That’s the law making polygamy illegal. How do we punish those participating without hurting the innocent too badly?

    I haven’t been keeping up on the Texas thing, but it sounds like the law acted way too hastily without enough evidence. If there really was abuse then great, get them out, but from what most polygamists do, I think they really are just trying to live their religion. It’s not about power or sex or whatever. They really believe they’re living the way God wants them to and as long as they’re not hurting anyone doing it, great.

    Comment by Bret — April 19, 2008 @ 3:26 pm

  4. As we know, CNN has this story on about 18 hours a day now. Last night on Larry King they had some guy who said it was obvious that the children were being abused because there were no toys or crayons around.

    So my answer for “Who’s next” is all the non-colorers.

    What I’m getting out of this is that the difference between child-rearing and brainwashing is decided by if Anderson Cooper thinks it’s weird.

    This is also the state that wanted to lock little girls out of school unless they got the HPV vaccine.

    Comment by kwk — April 19, 2008 @ 3:29 pm

  5. What about those paranoid Baptist homeschoolers who deprive their children of a decent education, teach them creationism, indoctrinate them in creepy cultlike behavior, and won’t let the social workers know what they are doing?

    What about the homeschoolers who do actually abuse their children? Justification for a “big raid?”

    Comment by Seth R. — April 19, 2008 @ 4:13 pm

  6. For what it’s worth, one of the reporters on Larry King made the point that child abuse and incest are the concerns for the police and prosecutors there, not polygamy itself.

    Comment by Jared — April 19, 2008 @ 4:29 pm

  7. There has been no evidence of abuse shown.

    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.

    Comment by Christian Prophet — April 19, 2008 @ 5:57 pm

  8. This was essentially the point of Main Street Plaza post (note the “who’s next?” in my first comment on that thread).

    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

    Comment by C. L. Hanson — April 19, 2008 @ 11:17 pm

  9. So where is the outrage? Why isn’t the news media seeing what we’re seeing? Where’s the ACLU when you need them? What can WE do…or is all for naught. It’s a religious cult and the Branch Davidians all over again, so the government is “right” again?

    Comment by Don — April 20, 2008 @ 5:32 am

  10. 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

    Comment by Norbert — April 20, 2008 @ 8:23 am

  11. I dunno, I’ve been thinking about the other end of this argument too tho, that where does it stop with what is allowable? 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? The Church of Pot, its our religious freedom! (Todays 4/20, had to throw that out there) Or I love my dog so we should allow people to marry pets or worship trees as divine beings from space…sorry I live in CA, Scientology and going Green meshing in my concious I guess…
    But no, really, the argument of “as long as its not hurting anyone” is so very gray in leagel terms, and who knows what people will come up with in the future, but my reaction is this is the start of people saying to allow anything and everything.

    Comment by Bryce — April 20, 2008 @ 11:13 am

  12. 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.

    Comment by C. L. Hanson — April 21, 2008 @ 9:00 am

  13. As a foster parent I think I view this from a different perspective than most. I have first hand knowledge of CPS and what it takes to have children taken into custody. There is a legal process that will make sure that the detention was justified. The kids aren’t going to be adopted out in the next week.

    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.

    Comment by Tim — April 21, 2008 @ 10:51 am

  14. Yeah, I’m pretty sure form a legal perspective this is going to be a headache for the state of Texas for a long time to come. My law student intuition says these peoples’ constitutional rights have been violated about eighteen different ways.

    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.

    Comment by Kullervo — April 21, 2008 @ 11:21 am

  15. what about the mothers who are blamed or said that they neglect their kids and have them taken away from the mothers only because the family is homeless and is staying at a shelter

    Comment by Concerned friend of a motheR — December 1, 2008 @ 1:23 pm

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