Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Punish the Guilty, Let the Innocent Go Free

This is how I feel about the FLDS situation in Texas.

If there has been sexual abuse of minors, then charge the perpetrators with crimes, prove the charges in a court of law and put the guilty in prison. Don't punish the innocent. Let them go free.

If there are people who are guilty of polygamy or welfare fraud, prove it in a court of law and put the guilty in prison. Don't punish the innocent. Let them go free.

If they teach their children principles that you find repugnant, such as that their children will go to hell if they abandon their faith, that's none of the states business, and doesn't fall under the jurisdiction of the Texas Department of Family Protective Services. You can't justify taking these kids away because they are taught things that you find objectionable, or because your sense of moral outrage has been offended.

You can't take kids away from parents because they wear strange clothes and long underwear or have odd hairstyles or because they hold to beliefs that don't conform to your standards. If they've done something illegal, fine, prove it in a court of law and put the guilty in prison. Don't punish the innocent. Let them go free.

Taking all the kids away before any crimes have been proven is punishing the innocent along with the guilty. It's a travesty and a sham. To date, not one single person has even been charged with a crime. Constitutional rights have been trampled by the state of Texas, and even if some people are eventually found guilty of crimes, none of this kidnaping and hostage taking is justified.

I've seen comments made where people have said they believe these men should be castrated and the women sterilized, and they should never be allowed to have any more children. This prosecution has taken on the hysterical tones of the Salem witch trials, and has turned into a witch hunt and a religious persecution. You can't tell me these people aren't being persecuted for their religious beliefs.

All I'm saying is put the guilty in prison and let the innocent go free. This is a horrible injustice and a moral outrage.

Texas Hostage Crisis, Day 20

Texas DFPS plans to re-educate, de-program FLDS child hostages

From the Deseret News:

Darrell Azar, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, said the following:

"We'll start to assess what their educational needs are, what level of mental and physical health care they'll need, counseling, set up a curriculum for their education," he said. "We'll set up a plan for each one."

As the child custody process goes forward, individual plans could include visitation from their parents, but Azar said that's "not a bridge we've crossed yet." On Tuesday, Azar said the other children in the coliseum appeared to be doing well, despite having stayed in a makeshift shelter for so long.

"We're trying to get these children into a more normal setting as quickly as possible so they can be provided what they need to flourish and we can continue investigating what happened in their lives," he said


So they're going to continue investigating what happened, presumably because they don't know what happened, but based on what little they already know, or think they know, they're completely comfortable with the notion that they should take all 437 children hostage and begin re-educating and de-programming them.

It would all make perfect sence to me if this were happening in a communist country, or Nazi Germany, or any place where we didn't have a Constitution that guarantees individual rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, assurances of due process and equal protection under the law.

Oh, wait...This isn't America, it's Texas. That's right, don't mess with Texas.