Is Anyone Else Upset About This?

It seems that a judge has ruled that 416 children will become wards of the state.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/religion/5713398.html

So now we have 416 children who will be put through all sorts of upsetting courtroom controversy, given scary medical tests, and then shuffled off to God knows where?  Can anyone truly think this is the BEST thing for these kids?  For all the rhetoric about how children belong with their parents, the authorities seem to be all too anxious to whisk these away as quickly as possible.  If your mom abuses you physically, but is seriously working on cleaning up her act, she’ll probably get another chance, but if the state decides that your mom is indoctrinating you with bad theology, forget it.

There has been no evidence of abuse found–nothing but a phone call that seems to be a hoax–but all this multitude of children is being ripped away from all they have ever known.  Yes, these girls get married young–since when is that a crime?  All they have is a bunch of sketchy suppositions–and it is WRONG to take a child from its mother when there is no evidence that they are in harm’s way.  In fact, there isn’t even an accusation of wrongdoing for more than a handful of these children, let alone evidence.  They are simply guilty by association.

I’m sorry, but this whole thing makes me think that we are no longer a free country!  No, I don’t think that group of people are sound in their views, but I think it’s absolutely criminal to take a child away from a loving home.  My next door neighbor may have weird and troubling religious ideas, but that doesn’t give me the right to take his child from him.  When parents can no longer teach their children what they believe, we have become a police state.

WHY aren’t people out there protesting?  WHY don’t we see that the next victim of a system like this may very well be us???  When will someone accuse someone in your church of abusive indoctrination, and come to take away all the children from every family in the church?

Maybe I sound hysterical here, but I honestly believe that it’s a very real possibility.  Why do we think it can’t happen?


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About dayuntoday

I'm a wonderer. I spend a lot of time mulling, pondering, and cogitating. This is just a place to park some of those thoughts.
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12 Responses to Is Anyone Else Upset About This?

  1. The biggest point in this whole shebang is… in Texas, nobody age 15 and under is allowed to get married- not even with parents’ content.  Sheriff have had informant (more than one? I dunno) for four years.  Through that it became clear that it is common practice to ‘marry’ off girls as young as 13.  Sheriff apparently didn’t have excellent hardcore edvidences to just do it until that phone call.  That girl was seen within compound few days before raid first begun.  Now she cannot be located.  I have yet to read that law enforcement finally was able to check every nook or not (some are locked and must get additional warrant to get it to be forced open).  Once a man fell out of favor, his wives AND children get reassigned to other man.  Now who belongs to who?  The founder of that compound had picked some children, age 6 and younger, from another place (Utah/Azornia)- a few without parents- and moved them to Texas.  Now, who is really their parents?  The supposed caller which triggered this shebang is 16 with 8 or 9 months old baby and is a few weeks pregnant with another one and married to a 50 year old man.  Physcial abuse is also there but this cult group denies (just ask any people who did get out and stayed away).  Just this afternoon the judge finally ordered DNA testing to determine how everybody is related.  That prolonged the custody the state have on children.  How many wives a man have in that compound seems to be not a BIG issue there.  Would you also report your neighbor if you knew and have proofs that they “marry” off their daughters younger than 16?  Would you be comfortable knowing your neighbor man have 14 wives and another one having 22 wives?  Not me!  I don’t get the impression that they took children away solely based on their theories but because they are clearly breaking law of land and state wanted to protect the children from futhur abuse.
    Please correct me if I’m off base on this thread.

  2. ElizabethDNB says:

    I agree with you homefire.  I also read a report where the experts said that the majority of the adults and children they examined from the compound were emotionaly healthy, but the expert still insisted that even if their actual homes were loving and not abusive, their theology was abusive, which seemed like a bizarre argument to me.
    I was also very concerned about some of the things they pointed to as proof of emotional damage like “obedience is given a very high value” and things like that.  These in and of them selves sound like my home.   I know it is different, but this is not the issue I would point to!
    Also as far as using the stories of people who left and never went back, which it then seems they were free to do, as proof that things are bad, I would never take an ex member of anythings opinion as unbiased to the group or person.  Would you want your exboyfriend to be the one everyone gets their opinion of you from?

  3. homefire says:

    Jean, I hadn’t heard all of your info.  But I still say the caller has never been found, and there is no hard evidence of abuse.  If this weren’t a religious group, I’m betting that they would say there wasn’t grounds to do anything.  And if it were some sort of a satanic group, there would people up in
    arms about their “freedom to believe and practice what they want.” That bit about “abusive theology” would have been denounced with gusto by the media if the group had been Muslims who taught their children how to kill infidels (that would be you and me, btw!)  No one would want to confront that, but since the group is a “fundamentalist church,” it’s fair game.I agree with you that having a bunch of wives is a bad deal, but you have to admit that there are surely worse things–God put up with it for a lot of years with Abraham and all those patriarchs.  Besides, those men would have probably never been bothered if they weren’t actually “married” to those women–just sleeping with them all.  Things like that go on all over the place.And there very well MAY be terrible things going on in that place–I have no idea!   All I’m saying is that unless they know that something truly harmful is happening, taking those kids away from their mothers is the absolute worst thing they can do for them.  I just wonder how ling it will be before someone decides that MY theology is abusive and not in the best interest of my children?  There’s another quote in that article that amazed me:  “it was the discovery of underage girls who were pregnant that compelled the agency to remove all the children.”  Say what???  I have never before heard of a girl (and her siblings) being removed from her home because she was pregnant at a young age.  They act as though this sort of thing never happens outside the compound!  That is just ridiculous.  As one person commented:  Their rate of teen pregnancy in the compound is probably not much different than quite a lot of schools!Girls have historically been married as young as 12 throughout the vast majority of
    history.  Just because in the past couple hundred years our society has chosen to back the age of
    adulthood off a few years does not mean that it is a sin to marry early. It may be against Texas law, and yes, that can be dealt with, but removing all the little children from the home does NOT follow.I don’t know–it feels weird to defend people who I know I would not agree with at all, but if we persecute someone just because we don’t like their theology or practices, we end up like Nazi Germany!

  4. bubston says:

    The whole thing is just very sad…. for everyone involved.  We need to all pray for God to intervene and take care of the children.

  5. BooksForMe says:

    Interesting post and comments.  With so much unknown, it’s hard to make a call.  Plus, I have been so busy with the play this week, I’ve missed most of the news.  I do have some of my thoughts and questions, though:1) I don’t think the government rushed to judgment, because they have been observing this place for years.2) I wonder how well such a commune would exist without the support of the welfare system.3) Is this religious persecution, or a case of breaking the law?  If our religion calls for us to break the law, shouldn’t we expect that this might mean being arrested and tried as criminals, with all due consequences?  4) If they are breaking the law, is it injustice?  This is a bunch of pregnant single mothers as far as they are concerned.  It’s also not a bunch a young wives.  The law does not recognize these marriages, because (1) they are under age, and (2) they are polygamists.5) The Jews were not breaking the law of the land. 6) As I watched those ladies interviewed, one appearing to be drugged, unable to keep her eyes open and barely making coherent sentences, I can’t help but ask if she is fit to parent.7) What upsets me most about this whole thing is that the men are hiding.  None of these men, as far as I know, have come out in defense of their children or wives.  Why aren’t they speaking out? Why aren’t they being men?8) Who is a victim of the system?  The adults are breaking the law.  The kids are victims of law-breakers.9) You said there wasn’t any evidence of abuse. Do you really think the judge is lying?  Evidence is not being made public, yet, because this was just a hearing.  There are more hearings to come.  Everything is in the preliminary stages.10) The article did say they were willing to work the moms to make it possible for their children to be returned to them.BTW, if there is any fear of abuse, no matter what religion, all children are always removed from the home.  That was not a prejudicial call.  Before that mom gets a second chance, she has gone through just what these moms are going through now: Removal of her kids, kids become ward of the state, etc.  The kids becoming a ward of the state is for their sake, so that someone is responsible for them until a trial can take place and a judgment made.  Otherwise, they are in limbo, without anyone caring for them.  This is a huge, horrible situation.  I am sorry for them all. 

  6. homefire says:

    Lots of good questions, BFM.  I haven’t actually watched the whole situation closely, but I read that the children were not taken out because of any evidence of abuse, but because of the ideology being taught.  Is that wrong?  #2 is something I hadn’t thought of–were they in fact using the welfare system?  And #7–Don’t even get me started!!!I agree that the lawbreaking will have to be dealt with–after all, laws are laws.  But why is a 50 yr old mother having her 13 yr old son taken away?  She hasn’t broken any laws, has she?  So she’s living with a man who isn’t legally her husband.  Big deal–happens all the time.  The men who have taken young girls as wives are the only lawbreakers I’m seeing so far, but the children are the ones who are suffering!  “Working with the moms” is great idea.  Why don’t they allow the moms to be housed with the kids (in a supervised situation if there is fear of abuse) so that the kids are less traumatized?  I just hate our system that assumes that a child is better off without a parent if there’s any suspicion of a problem.  It’s sort of a “guilty until proven innocent” situation, which seems terribly wrong, especially when a child is at stake.

  7. mamaglop says:

    I saw something about this on 20/20 last night.  There was somebody who had left the commune talking about it too.  It was very sad to see the lmother whose 7 year old had been taken away sobbing she had done nothing wrong. That is scary… but the person who had left the commune said he had been molested by the elders on numerous occasions…  Some of the minor children were pregnant, I also heard.  Have you ever heard about Papa Pilgrim case in Alaska? 

  8. Anonymous says:

    This incident as also made me wonder how much longer it will be before the government decides that other “fundamentalist” believers are abusing their children (as popular atheist Richard Dawkins says).  The government is s-o-o-o hypocritical.  On the one hand, it shoves homosexuality as being normal down the throats of 5-year-olds in some schools, but on the other hand it declares polygamy abusive.  Public schools shove the idea of sexual expression being normal and abstinence being all but impossible down the throats of students, but the government and media act shocked about 12- to 13-year-olds getting married.  And you’re right, if all these people were “merely” living together and religion wasn’t involved, would there really be this kind of uproar?  (Of course, it is still legally rape if a teen is having sex with someone four or more years older.  And if it’s illegal to be married below a certain age, then it’s still illegal even if the parents approve.)  These children have been taught that the outside world is evil; by being taken from their mothers, that teaching is being proven true.  I feel so many mixed emotions about the situation.
    I haven’t heard anything about the men — were any of them arrested?  Seems to me that they bear the brunt of the guilt.

  9. fwren says:

    Somehow, this is all just very alarming ~ on both sides ~ too much unknown for me to judge (not that I want to), but I kind of agree with both viewpoints on here ~ guess I’m very undecided about the whole thing ~ it’s just scary anyway ~

  10. homefire says:

    @mamaglop – I hadn’t heard of the Papa Pilgrim case, so I just googled it.  What a horror!  But I can’t see much resemblance to this one.  His whole family was testifying against him, and it was an obviously abusive relationship– sexual abuse, beatings, and his absolute control over his adult children.  At this point, there doesn’t seem to be that kind of testimony in the Texas situation.  If something like that does materialize, it will be a whole different story.  BUT that probably still wouldn’t make me think the children should be taken from their mothers. 

  11. Mothers and children being separated to ensure children are not being coached to hide something.  Give them about six months, they will be telling stories as only those who truly experienced sex abuse can tell.  State want THE truth and state is not getting all of it.  It appears to me that this sect accepts sex abuse, as described as law of land, as very normal.  If it is normal then they claimed to have done nothing wrong.   Isrealities of Old Testament get in trouble for leaving God’s guideline… so does this YFZ Ranch group get in trouble because God got so disgusted with them?  DNA testing starts with today.  Each test will take about a hour to ensure there’s no mix-up (think paperworks, pictures, fingerprints etc) to make sure THIS DNA belongs to THIS person.  I also got the impression once the DNA progress is done they may begun the progress to return children to their true mothers unless the Court said no because of proof that they will be abused again.  All mothers must leave unless they are younger than 18.  In the court, safety of children comes FIRST…. not returning children to their rightful parents.  These sect parents must be patient while state investigate the safety of children.  State did have very very good reason to take away 416 children (those that is 18 and younger).  It is known that these sect can hide “problem” member in a secret room… it is not yet reported that police was finally able to access to ALL hidden rooms to be sure she’s not there or being moved around.  No reports yet on whether they was able to locate where these borrowed cell phone calls orginated- yes they can trace cell phone calls to approxmate area of where call were made.  It continues to today that the most stickiest point of whole shebang is sex “abuse” among young children.  Of course they’d drag in occasional other facts in.
    For myself, if I ever got a whiff that a child in plain church locally or while traveling is currently being sexually abused and child (no matter how old) has made an connection to me, I’d immediately report them to police- very possible that I’d keep that child with me, refusing to return child to abusive parent (whoever that be) until police steps in.  If I ever actually witnessed such unintentionally, I still would report it anyway.  I would be quicker to ‘mess up’ a child’s life in order to ensure they are safe from from sex or pyscial abuse.  Children are rather quick to bounce back and settle into new normal, provided with proper help.  Just ask Liz- she’s foster mama and has adopted a few.  It is so much easier to catch children while they are still impressible and help them to break the negative cycles than to arrest full grown adults who refuses to change their mindset.  I leave them all in God’s hand.  I do pray for them and that THE truth will eventually come out.  Of course there will always be some who still does not understand why this is happening.

  12. How long until someone says teaching your child they will go to hell if they don’t believe in Jesus is unnecessary emotional abuse and trauma? 

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