Monday, April 21, 2008

Texas Judge Orders CPS to Have LDS Supervise Prayer Sessions

"SAN ANGELO, Texas -- The Texas judge overseeing the polygamous FLDS sect's case today refused to make any ruling that would allow breast-feeding mothers to remain with their children in state custody. Judge Barbara Walther did rule on requests that women and children currently being held in San Angelo be able to pray together privately. She told Texas Children Protective Services (CPS) to find a member of the mainstream Mormon church to supervise group prayer sessions with FLDS women and children. Those sessions would occur in the morning and evening. Walther was addressing a request for temporary restraining orders filed by attorneys for four of the nursing mothers, but on behalf of all mothers there. The request asked the court to stop Texas child-welfare workers from separating mothers and children, to allow private prayer, and to give the women and children telephone access to their lawyers." --Salt Lake Tribune

This little bit of news just made my jaw drop to the floor. Presumably she means for Texas CPS to find someone in their organization who is LDS to supervise group prayer sessions with FLDS women and children.

Apparently the judge just doesn't get it. The LDS Church considers the FLDS group to be apostates and heretics. Their culture is very different from the mainstream LDS Church. I can't imagine an active LDS person feeling comfortable about "supervising" an FLDS prayer session, nor can I imagine that the FLDS women would be any more comfortable with an LDS supervisor than with a non-Mormon present. This is just amazing to me. If Judge Walther truly wants to be sensitive to FLDS sensibilities, this approach is simply non-sensical.

I've watched this media circus unfold over the last 18 days and have tried to hold off on making a judgment about the rightness or the wrongness of the raid and the fact that 416 children have been taken into custody. But frankly, I'm alarmed at how low the bar is for justifying the taking of so many kids into custody, based on such apparently flimsy evidence. Yet, no adults have been charged with a crime or taken into custody based on the original complaint. And the continued custody is justified by the fact that children are in danger of abuse because they are subject to indoctrination by their parents.

What exactly is indoctrination? Isn't it simply parents teaching their children their beliefs? Don't parents have the right, in fact, the responsibility to teach their children? Apparently you only have that right in Texas as long as you don't belong to a cult that holds strange beliefs and whose adherents don't wear strange clothes and funny hairstyles. Supposedly, there've been all these horrible crimes committed, but this case hasn't dealt with any of that.

They're in the process of taking DNA samples from parents and children, but then what? If they can prove that a man has fathered children by multiple women, will that prove in a court of law that they are guilty breaking laws regarding polygamy? No, because they can't prove they're married. There's no law against having sex with multiple partners. There are laws against having sexual relations with underage partners by men over a certain age. And if they won't accept notarized birth certificates proving the ages of teen-age brides based on the fact that they could be falsified records, why would marriage records be any more valid? So the only thing they can go on is the age of the bride when she conceived, and if you won't accept birth certificates, how can you establish age? And if none of the victim child-brides will step forward and admit they are victims, how do you establish that there is systemic abuse? Texas CPS can't establish their case, so they're going to hold their children hostage until someone comes forward and admits that they were abused. But if someone steps forward and admits there was abuse, what's going to happen? They're going to lose their children. No one's going to do that.

Let's face it, the powers that be in Texas have decided that this is an evil religious cult that needs to be stamped out, and that's what they're going to do, and they're going to do it by taking the children away and reprogram them into a suitable culture where they'll have a chance to grow up and be "normal". But if they're not successful in prosecuting adult males who have sexual relations with underage partners, this is just going to keep happening, and the FLDS people will only be further entrenched in their belief that they are a persecuted people. This is not going to go away without Texas becoming a total fascist police state. And if that happens, then who's next?