Friday, April 18, 2008

...And Then They Came for the Mormons...

Is anyone else bothered by this?

I mean, where's the outrage?

If I understand the story right, a 16 year old girl at a Mormon ranch makes a single phone call alleging abuse (she was forced into a marriage with a man in his 40's) and the government comes to the ranch and takes 413 kids away from their parents.

Based on one phone call.

From a girl no one has actually ever interviewed and whose whereabouts are unknown.

Now don't get me wrong...

1) I have no doubt that this girl was telling the truth and is an absolute victim. She needs justice.

2) Child abuse is horrific. I feel no mercy towards its perpetrators.

3) I consider Mormonism a cult religion. Its doctrines are harmful, bizarre, and I would argue Satanic.

4) I consider polygamy a travesty. Just another mockery of God's design for human sexuality.

5) In the final analysis, it may even end up that the taking of these kids was justified.

But none of this is my point.

My point is that it cannot be right, just, or good in any way that the government can take kids away from their parents, subject them to cross-examination by biased social workers and invasive probings by gynecologists, traumatize and scar them for life, and destroy their families based on the allegations of a single teenage girl in a single phone call.

But of course these are those freak fundamentalist Mormons, right? I mean, they aren't doing this to Baptists, right? It isn't like they're targeting Black people or Muslims or homosexuals, right?

Just fundamentalists. Those people are dangerous even without the possibility of child abuse, right?

RIGHT?

So nobody says anything. Nobody expresses outrage over the fact that families are being destroyed over a phone call and no live witnesses.

But surely they are guilty of incest and polygamy and child abuse! That's how all those fundamentalists are. So we shouldn't wait for evidence. We shouldn't presume "innocent until proven guilty". We shouldn't give these families due process.

Should we?

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9 Comments:

Blogger Christopher B. Brooks said...

Great blog Steve, although I disagree with a bit of the conclusion you have arrived at.

This is not about Fundamentalists vs. Muslims, Blacks, or Gays. This is about violation of the laws of this land. I would hope and contend that there would have been as quick and thorough a response if it were another subgroup that was guilty of the same behaviors and crimes.

Like you, I believe that Mormonism is a CULT, so I have very little pity for the parents who did not protect themselves nor their kids from the results of a cult-lifestyle. I am bothered by the slanted nature of the news coverage in many ways, but this is nothing more than a sick dictatorship run by sex hungry men.

This is about sin, not who committed it. This is about law breaking. I just pray that the victims can recover. Brainwashing is a sad process...

April 18, 2008 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

I included Baptists, too... so I'm not necessarily setting up that paradigm.

What I did mean to say by that is that the government has justified breaking the law because this is a cult.

If it were another group that is considered more legitimate (Baptists, Blacks, Gays) I believe there would have been due process.

I am in total agreement that this is a dictatorship polygamist cult, and it may be that these kids have been rescued. Rescue is almost certainly the motive of the Child Welfare people in Texas.

But my beef is the fact that the government took kids away based on an allegation and without due process.

So today it's the Mormons, but if there is no outrage specifically over the breaking of the law on the part of the government, then tomorrow it IS the Baptists or the Muslims.

April 18, 2008 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger KG said...

Steve,
I have been wondering some of the same things. How in the USA were they able to just take 400+ children from their parents? I understand the allegations, and believe me I take child abuse seriously, but how much evidence did they have to do such a drastic thing. It seems a bit extreme unless the media is not revealing any of the due process and long term investigation that led to this. This could be the case.

But I also wondered, now it is an "extreme" sect of Mormans. Next it may be an "extreme" group of Christians that they are after. An "extreme" then might mean those who spank their children, homeschool, believe in male headship in the home and church, believe that homosexuality is a sin, etc.

I think that we should protect "due process" regardless of who is involved. Mormans, terrorists, gays, Christians.

April 18, 2008 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Exactly. You nailed it.

In a truly free country, everyone gets due process, not a media trial.

Even though none of us has actually spoken with anyone involved, we are (probably correctly) assuming guilt.

But based on what? What we saw on TV? What we have heard about cults?

What if an investigation reveals that no sex with minors has taken place?

It almost certainly HAS happened, but we have laws in this country that are supposed to ensure there is adequate cause for prosecution before prosecution takes place.

I haven't heard yet where those laws have been obeyed. Kids were taken from their parents based on a phone call from a person no one can find.

I think that's nuts.

April 18, 2008 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

There is a poem that this blog calls to mind. It goes something like they came for the Jews, but since I was not Jewish I said nothing. They came for the Arabs, but since I am not Arabic I said nothing. They came for the gays, but since I am not gay I did not stand up. They came for the Mormons, but since I was not Mormon i did nothing. Then they came for me, and no one was left to say anything.

Ok I got it wrong and switched the groups around a bit but you get the idea. I looked for the poem but could not find it, have you ever heard of it?
The idea is what you are saying here, I believe. Basic rights are for everyone whether we agree with what the people are doing or not.
Like free speech, that hate monger guy from the Westboro Baptist church, oooh do I want to throw heavy and sharp things at him .... But i will defend his right to say whatever as free speech.

It's a tricky line to walk between standing up for someone else's basic rights when you don't agree with them.
In this country we don't lose all our rights if we break a law, so due process should not be deprived here despite the fact that laws have been broken (including understood moral laws).

April 22, 2008 at 12:46 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

And now we find out that it was a PRANK call!

Goodness gracious!

April 22, 2008 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Steve,
This scares me to death! What next? I too hate the fact that there is alleged polygamy/abuse but to take such a drastic step from the jump makes me wonder what other ways this aggresiveness will rear its ugly head concerning other issues.

All I can say is SCARY!!!

April 22, 2008 at 1:35 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Exactly. Once it's justified, it can be used against someone else. Especially if that someone is considered "fringe".

Stuff like this becomes the norm too easily if it is not strongly addressed.

April 23, 2008 at 12:19 PM  
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