Thursday, May 22, 2008

Progress for FLDS Families

Finally today there is hope that the courts in Texas have still got some brains. Here is an informative link about the decisions by the court that the children were wrongfully removed from their homes. Of course, nobody has returned the children to their homes, so justice hasn't happened yet. But I have hope that it will be.

Frankly, once these children are home safe and sound, I hope that CPS is sued in behalf of every single child that was taken. They deserve millions for the damage that has been done and the scars that these families will carry with them for the rest of their lives.


Stephanie M said...

I haven't been keeping up wit this. Is it because the mothers refuse to leave the men and the compound, and the situation they were in, that the children were taken away? Or have the women left and still don't have their children back? I have LIVED in the same area as FLDS and it is NOT a good situation for kids to grow up in. Please read this Child Bride of Short Creek description on Wikipedia - it was a movie that came out when I was growing up there - dramatized but still accurate to how things go down with the FLDS:

Dollymama said...

Hey Stephanie,

An entire community of children (over 400 children) were removed from their homes because of one anonymous phone call that turned out to be false. The initial concern was that underage girls were being forced into marriage, but they took every child right down to infants. They also took adult women into custody, believing that they were not adults, even though they have birth certificates and driver's licenses. Since then, most of these women have been proven to be adults, some as old as 27 years old.

Basically, CPS should have investigated for a specific concern in a specific household, but instead just took every boy, girl, and baby that they could get their hands on, from AN ENTIRE COMMUNITY.

The children have not been returned home yet (well, actually, 12 now have gone home) just because of the time frame allowed by law for appeals, etc. My understanding is that many of the families are not living at the ranch right now. Every interview I have seen has parents saying that they will live anywhere in order to keep their children.

You can go to my Current Events topic link and see the things I have written about this situation. There are also some links to FLDS sites about this situation. The bottom line is that regardless of whether or not you think that FLDS is a good living environment, in the USA people are supposed to be able to believe as they want to without persecution. Once children start being removed from their homes because someone doesn't like the religious beliefs of the parents, there is no logical stopping point. Anybody's beliefs (homeschoolers, smokers, strict parents, permissive parents, whatever) are up for having their families targeted for taking kids away.

I believe that I would probably disagree with much of what the FLDS people believe, but this is an issue of freedom as Americans.

Stephanie M said...


I completely agree with what you are saying - I am a Libertarian, I believe in as little government interference as possible. BUT please read the wikipedia article I posted. I have seen with my own eyes the way the children are brainwashed and the way the very young girls are forced to marry and sleep with very old men because they had a "vision" that the young girl should marry them and become their 8th wife, and then get pregnant as young as 14, 15, & 16. That is beyond religious freedom - that is wrong. The women can never travel alone, they always have to be with someone, so that they won't leave the group. Their rights have been taken away by the men who control them. It is very sad.

Dollymama said...

Hey Stephanie,

I also lean toward libertarian beliefs. I did read the wikipedia summary of that movie, and honestly did not find it compelling in the least. A 1981 movie portraying a fictitious 1951 situation doesn't strike me a pertinent to this situation, though I guess maybe you are saying that your personal experience with some FLDS people was similar to what the movie shows.

I think that brainwashing is an interesting term, because we're all "brainwashed" to a certain extent. Many cultures around the world have young teens being married, often to older men. While I would not consider this ideal or recommend it, again, I just don't see where it is my business to get involved.

I do understand that spiritual abuse and manipulation may play a role here. I think that women are very often manipulated spiritually, even in mainstream churches and more commonly held "Christian" beliefs. I am familiar with a lot of manipulated, lied to, "held down" and "trapped" women in conervative Christian homeschooling circles, for one. It may differ somewhat in application, but the outcome is the same: sometimes people are in situations that are not necessarily healthy or ideal because of outside influences and internal belief systems that may or may not be correct. But, people need to be free to make these decisions for themselves, or to seek help if they want it.

I do not believe that it is automatically bad for girls as young as 14 to be married or be mothers. Particularly in a culture where it is the norm and there is a lot of training and support for that.

Most states allow for younger teen girls to get married with parental consent. So, again, I will have to say that this is not something I feel like our government should be getting involved in.

I think that probably you and I mainly agree about this. Possibly because of my lack of personal experience with FLDS people, I am able to separate my personal opinions about whatever their beliefs and practices may be, from my belief that Americans should not be having their children taken away from them because of their sincere religious beliefs.