Only someone living under a rock wouldn't know about the grave injustices being done to the FLDS in Texas right now. Allow me to summarize for those of you not following the story.
- A woman claiming to be a 16-year-old mother named Sarah calls in authorities in Texas to report that her 50-year-old FLDS husband beats her on a regular basis.
- Texas rounds up all of the women and children, arresting none of the men at the FLDS ranch. No charges are actually filed against anyone.
- In the supposed interest of the children, they are all then separated from their mothers by force (including nursing newborns) without any evidence of abuse or neglect.
- In the process, they can't find "Sarah", the woman whose call triggered the whole event and they end up miscounting just how many children they have in custody.
- It's revealed that the call from Sarah might be a hoax perpetrated by a 31-year-old woman in Colorado.
There's been no charges filed against anyone, there have been no arrests or any of the supposed abusive men and I'm sure the children are scared witless. It's hard to believe that any state in America can so thoroughly ignore due process based on an anonymous call that rapidly turns out to be a falsehood. Are the FLDS weird? Definitely. Is there abuse going on? Most assuredly. Is that cause enough to raid their ranch and separate families based on flimsy "evidence"? Hell no.
It sounds like something right out of Soviet Russia, doesn't it? In the midst of the mess, it's become obvious that it's not about protecting children, ending abuse or prosecuting sex crimes: it's about religion. Many of the children were taken away in shuttles from local churches and while housed at said churches, the staff were "witnessing Christ" to them. It becomes even more painfully obvious when you see the kind of drivel being passed out to CPS workers and find out that the judge thinks that LDS and FLDS are the same thing despite rigorous efforts by church authorities to clarify it.
If Texas needs some lessons on how they should have done things, maybe they should have followed our own AG's actions. Per Oldenburg at The Third Avenue:
Shurtleff's approach of prosecuting the crimes surrounding the FLDS–child rape, abuse, police misconduct, kidnapping, embezzlement, welfare fraud–and not polygamy in-and-of itself, is a smart one. (And the exact opposite of the Texas approach) The idea is to bring these communities "above ground" and have the women and children in these societies begin to trust the police and prosecutors, and not to think they are going after the polygamists because of their plural marriage practices. This is a tactic, not a policy based on the AG's view of the morality of polygamy.
I feel terrible for the abused whose abusers won't be put behind bars, a repeat of the failed raids in Arizona in 1953. As it stands right now, all Texas has done is violate Constitutional rights and open itself to a massive lawsuit. Good job, guys.