I am firmly on the side of the FLDS families in El-do-ray-do.
I have been stewing about this issue for several days now. I am the first to admit that the Mormon religion rubs me the wrong way, and I REALLY have issues with the FLDS people and the rumors that float down from the little towns on the border of AZ and Utah. AND, I am so thrilled that Warren Jeffs is going to rot in jail, I can't tell you. Sick freak, he is.
However, this thing in Texas is really really pissing me off. Authorities got ONE call from ONE girl about how SHE was occasionally raped and beaten by her husband. This is a horrible horrible thing and I am thrilled that they went looking for this girl to help her. BUT. They responded, not by removing girls between 15 and 17 looking for the caller, but by removing over FOUR HUNDRED CHILDREN from their families. I have been trying to follow this without actually following it - the media has been all over the salacious details. It disgusts me. The state's "star witness", a pyschologist, has even testified that the children show no signs of abuse and that there's no potential harm to returning the younger children and the boys until the question of underage marriage is sorted out. That they stand to suffer extremely in the foster system (which will be completely swamped by the addition of 400 children at one time). And yet the state proceeds with DNA testing to sort out who's who and figure out how many of the 400+ children the state will "save" from their horrible life running around happily with their parents.
At first I was thrilled that these kids were getting away from the FLDS church. I mean, it's weird. Younger women (question of underage girls notwithstanding) with old geezers? Multiple wives? Euuuww. Wearing pioneer dresses? Being submissive and taking orders? Euuw.
BUT SO WHAT? There are people who think that the fact that I let my kid have candy and watch videos amounts to neglect or abuse. That the fact that I feed him meat is abuse of him and of the animals and planet. Some states (Montana, I'm looking at you) say that blatant drug use in the house is not actually enough to change custody of a child. Homeless children stay in shelters with their parents. Klan members have babies and teach them to hate. Other conservative religions teach their children ideas that I find absolutely abhorrent. 16 yr old Jamie Lynn Spears is running around pregnant and no one has said Boo about her boyfriend. Women are abused by their husbands and boyfriends every. single. day. Children die at the hands of their parents or caregivers and everyone stands around wringing their hands and saying, "Gee, well, we saw all those bruises but we didn't think anything of it."
None of these situations is ideal for the children, and in fact many of them are heinous and awful but response is limited. Apparently, growing up behind a wall wearing pioneer dresses and long underwear is MUCH MUCH WORSE than all of those other things, and we must save those poor little misguided bastards from their own happiness.
Gimme a fucking break. And give those children back to their parents, apologize profusely, and go find someone who's ACTUALLY breaking the law.