Breaking News: “Texas Had No Right to Take Polygamists’ Children”

CNN headline: Texas had no right to take polygamists’ children – as I’ve been arguing here for some time. As much as I object to the FLDS movement and their practices, and as much as their apostasy has harmed the actual Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I cannot ignore the fact that they are people with Constitutional rights that seem to have been violated by the authorities in Texas. More to follow….

A hat tip to JayleenB.

May 29 update: more breaking news.


Author: Jeff Lindsay

12 thoughts on “Breaking News: “Texas Had No Right to Take Polygamists’ Children”

  1. But negating the rights of one will eventually negate the rights of us all. I don’t want the government telling me how to raise my children, do you?

  2. For 20 years I heard nothing but lies and twisted half-truths being told about the LDS. And yes, I had heard they have orgies in their Temples.

    Now that I’ve been through the LDS Temple many, many times it just brings me to tears to think that people believe that sort of thing. The Temple is the most peaceful and spiritual place I’ve ever been. The Gospel is beautifully presented and the ordinances performed there are so clearly of God.

    So I know better than to trust what outsiders say about ANY religion. If any children are being abused or have been, those that committed the crimes should be arrested and prosecuted, not the entire culture.

    I am grateful for this decision.

  3. Oh great. Now they can all go back to molesting their daughters.

    What an awful comment. No, it was stupid. I rarely say such things here. Pop a cork: today is a day for a rare exception.

    Stupidity is the inability to discern differences and handle details. Stupidity is what bigotry is all about: condemn an entire community because of the mistakes of some, or because of the wild allegations of some.

    Stupidity is the failure to recognize that not all of the 400+ children taken away from their mothers are girls who may be forced into marriage. (What immediate danger were we rescuing the 5-year-old boys from?) And not all of the girls are in marriages. And not all of those girls in marriages are too young to be married.

    Stupidity is the mentality that takes away the rights of an entire community on the basis of a potential handful of abuse cases. The data coming in are not confirming the hysterical allegations about 13- and 14-year olds being raped, but are showing a small handful of 16-year-old brides or older, which actually is the age where marriage is possible in Texas with parental consent. Maybe there were some younger that will be revealed later or that I have missed. Yes, there are problems and perhaps grotesque abuse in the FLDS community – but it was stupid and evil to strip away all children from all mothers, including kids for whom there was no evidence of any kind of imminent threat.

    The court ruling today is the beginning of the repercussions for the stupidity of Texas in this matter.

  4. I was so delighted to read that headline today (or yesterday) about the judge’s ruling about this mess. Finally a rational, sensible human judge amongst all the insanity/stupidity.
    It saddens me when folks mock the FLDS. Even if we don’t agree with their beliefs, and I don’t, we need to remember that they are PEOPLE before they are polygamists or anything else. People with feelings, who love their children just as parents ought to do, and people who are our brethren and sisters, whose Father in Heaven loves them as much as He does all of his children. And they are people who are dealing with this outrage with extraordinary grace and dignity.
    It saddens me when the first thing out of some folks’ thoughts that they send to this site are sneers and mockery. If they would think before they say stupid stuff, maybe they wouldn’t write what they do and so might avoid making big fools of themselves. Those types of comments tell far more about the character of the writers, and often where their minds are located, than about the people or whatever else they’re making nasty about.
    Jeff, thanks for saying what had to be said to that wonderful anonymous of 3:26.

  5. Well said Jeff:

    Anonymous said…
    Oh great. Now they can all go back to molesting their daughters.

    3:26 PM, May 22, 2008

    Even today Anonymous nor the state of Texas can tell us which girls were molested and which were not. So let’s just have an old fashion Texas style round up. Care to join in Anomymous? Come on, we can get our guns and tanks and have a real good ol’ time.

  6. I kept thinking that the state of Texas must have more evidence than a few suspect phone calls, and a strand of hair in a bed. I kept thinking, ok, they’re going to have to show their hand soon, and prove they’re not bluffing.

    Turns out, they had nothing.

    Based on the phone calls, they should’ve gone and performed some sort of investigation to try and figure out if there was any validity to them. At the moment, it appears that there wasn’t.

    There were so many things done wrong in this case. For starters, how about hauling away the perpetrators instead of the victims? The list could go on and on.

    What Texas did here, and what four jurists on the California Supreme Court did recently, will have the effect of breeding even more distrust and resentment by the people for their government. It is a sad day.

  7. +1 on what Jeff said. I have very little sympathy for the FLDS and regard them as a bunch of kooks that try to interpret our scriptures in a way that will justify their illegal and immoral practices. But they still deserve due process of law, and that wasn’t given to them by Texas child welfare authorities. It should have been done on a case-by-case basis, and any illegal activity uncovered should be dealt with as the law dictates. To go in and seize ALL the children on very flimsy evidence smells too much of the Gestapo.

    But if the FLDS would seriously examine their practices and bring themselves out of the 19th century into the 21st century, they wouldn’t be undergoing such scrutiny and trials. After all, the LDS church has been able to keep up with modern times, yet is able to resist compromising it’s base foundations.

  8. Oh great. Now they can all go back to molesting their daughters.

    First they came for the Jews
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for the Communists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left
    to speak out for me.

  9. While I certainly don’t agree with the FLDS religion and polygomy in specific I am glad to see the children released.

    It should be a concern to all that the government took all of the children without investigating before hand.

    Why did they do this? This mormon sect is not understood by others and thus lack of knowledge breeds fear. What people don’t know scares people.

    How did FLDS combat this? You can tell that they focused on using the media to show their side of the story. Now it seems like a large part of the interested population side with the women and children whereas if they had not talked to the media it might not have happened.

    First time poster but long time reader Jeff. Thanks.

  10. At first I couldn’t figure out why the Feds or the states don’t just go after them for the polygomy. Then I realized that they (FLDS)can’t go into town to get all of the necessary marriage licenses. That would be evidence of their crime. So instead they just have church sanctioned shack ups. Yes sir, I see a lot there to defend.

    Richard G

  11. In the state of Texas, common law marriages are legally sanctioned. A common law marriage requires no state-issued certification or license. All one has to do is say “we are married” and it is done, and it is recognised and legal.

    Of course, that doesn’t take into account the matter of polygamy. Can anyone tell me if Texas has legislation prohibiting plural marriage? I tried to search for it, but, not surprisingly, every search just takes me to articles and discussions about the YFZ Ranch.

    Regardless of the legal issues of the plural marriages, though, I still have not seen any proof of molestation or abuse. And, last time I checked, hearsay doesn’t really cut it as evidence. So I applaud the courts for recognising that the Texas CPS went way overboard and failed to live up to its purpose, which is to “investigate reports of abuse and neglect.” There was no investigating, just raiding and seizing.

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