Monday, April 07, 2008

Moral High Ground in Texas?

For y'all that don't live in Texas, we love our liberty. In fact, one of the reasons that Texas is so great is our independence and individuality. Of course, since we are so modest... we'd never let on that things could be less than perfect in the Lone Star State.

Not today. The part of being Texan is telling it as it is. In good conscience I have to protest the travesty taking place near ElDorado. There is a polygamist compound there that identifies itself as Yearning for Zion Ranch of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a breakaway sect, and the "official" Mormon Church, headquartered in Salt Lake City, does not recognise them.

A phone call, allegedly from a sixteen year old girl, laid a claim of sexual abuse. This prompted the authorities to descend on the compound in search of the victim and the perpetrator or evidence of a crime.

I have no problem with that in general. My issue is that as of right now over 400 kids have been removed and may be placed in foster care.
On Monday, investigators spent a fifth day searching the 1,691-acre West Texas compound and announced that a judge had now approved the removal of 401 children for possible foster placement, pending court hearings, because of suspected abuse or neglect.-- from the New York Times

Right there, in plain view of God and everyone we see the state arbitrarily cutting the parental rights away without obvious cause. Me, I think that this is on par with the Waco incident a few years back. Essentially, we have what amounts to a commune that isn't really bothering anyone being persecuted by government agents simply because the lifestyle doesn't square with the JQ Public version of "normal".

Oh, and they haven't found the girl who made the phone call yet.

I only have one wife. I don't agree with what I know of the Mormon faith. But, that doesn't allow me to trample on thier rights to live as they see fit so long as they harm no others. And, try as I might, I have yet to find anything to imply that the citizens living in the ranch are doing anything other than living thier lives and trying to worship as they see fit. Yep, it's that whole First Amendment thing in action.

Last time I looked, Texas was supposed to be the proudest state in the United States of America. It's too bad we are not living up to it today.

1 comment:

  1. If it was all and only about adults, then I would be pretty so-what about it, as some of the behavior is actually pretty mainstream. Some men practice serial polygyny, and all, and there is welfare fraud in the outside world, too. What I do have a problem with is raising up children to believe in some "prophet" (read cult leader) that has an arbitrary thing going on whereby he, getting ticked off at either the women or the men, can "re-assign" wives and children to some other male who was better at toeing some arbitrary line. A relationship entered into freely, as adults, to be manipulated in this way (remember the wedding vows: Let no man put asunder?) goes against decency, in my mind.

    Then there was some testimony by one child/young woman, that her mother had been sent away (reassigned) and she had not seen her for two years.

    Regular LDS, there are things they believe that I disagree with, things that are about the mythology/dogma, but the people I have known were decent and mostly really good, sincere, not cultish... this thing, well it is just a little out there....

    As for the caller.... The calls from the woman in Colorado seemed to have happened after the "Sarah" call, and after everything in the news. Extreme benefit of the doubt, maybe this woman thought she was helping some others... I thought it odd that she was black, as I have seen no evidnce of anyone black having anything to to with FLDS groups, they are, in fact only a very small minority of mainstream LDS, as related in this history:
    1978: Priesthood Ban Lifted
    On June 8, 1978 the revelation which gives the priesthood to everyone regardless of race or linage is announced. The events leading up to it and the revelation itself are judged to be a true miracle.
    While they are not my cup of tea, much that is said about LDS must be taken with a grain of salt, maybe more:

    Anything different is looked on as unacceptable by many, but for the most part, the choice issue is what is important to me, free adult choice... I think, even way beyond normal religious teaching, this group in Texas was a "Jeffs' Kingdom" and needs to be looked at.

    The raid itself, between the Rangers and the CPS, et al, there was no bloodshed, and it will all be sorted out. I personally am a little in favor of leeway being given to agencies acting in the interests of children, and take an outlook more along with what was stated in the book "The Prophet":


    And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children." And he said: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness; For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

    This does not discount deceny, good teaching, or anything else, but takes a gentle responsible approach to being a parent.