Friday, May 23, 2008

What Do You Mean, "No Immediate Danger?"

Texas will appeal a state appeals court ruling saying authorities had no right to take more than 440 children away from a polygamous ranch run by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Reading the court's reasoning, I'd appeal too. The AP reports:
"Even if one views the FLDS belief system as creating a danger of sexual abuse by grooming boys to be perpetrators of sexual abuse and raising girls to be victims of sexual abuse ... there is no evidence that this danger is 'immediate' or 'urgent,'" the court said.
But it's still a danger.
"Evidence that children raised in this particular environment may someday have their physical health and safety threatened is not evidence that the danger is imminent enough to warrant invoking the extreme measure of immediate removal," the court said.
I guess authorities are supposed just ask them nicely not to abuse anybody and hope the message gets through to that compound in Eldorado.

Rushing in and sweeping away hundreds of kids smacks of thuggery, and I'm old enough to remember the debacle of the McMartin preschool case. However, what the FLDS does is no secret anymore. The group's self-proclaimed (false) prophet Warren Jeffs is doing time for marrying underage girls to older men. The women are treated as property, shuffled off to other men if their husbands fall out with the leadership and are excommunicated from the church -- which also happens to own their homes. Lawsuits are piling up against the FLDS, most from former members.

Nothing good is coming out of this church. It is secluded and secretive to protect its warped morality. It is the Taliban with prairie dresses instead of burkas. Love is filtered through a sieve of control and domination, sexual and otherwise. Maybe the accusation triggering the raid was flimsy, but finding several pregnant underage girls screams for action.

This group is not being persecuted for their beliefs. They are being prosecuted for sexual misconduct arising from those beliefs.

Matthew 25:40 keeps coming to mind: "Whatever you do for the least of these my brothers, you do it to me."

1 comment:

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