Monday, May 05, 2008

Response to a comment about the Texas FLDS situation

This comment was left here about a week ago and I thought it deserved a response. I've just today had the time to get to it. I have the comment in italics, and my responses in bold, just to make it easier to read.

Having been in Social Work, I can testify that almost every Mother loves her child-many for reasons other than ones the Court considers normal. I have seen Mothers allow their boyfriends to kill their child-and testify that they loved their child. I have seen children bruised and broken and had to sit through a Mother's lamantations of true, deep love and motherly feelings. Remember James Jones-those Mothers undoubedly would profess their love for the babies as they held them up to REVEREND Jones for the killer dose! I am somewhat familiar with the CULT (notice NOT "religion") in Texas.

First of all, I would be interested to know what your definition of a cult is.

Would you marry off your beloved fifteen daughter to a fifty-year-old man to be his seventh spiritual wife?

No, I would not.

Nor would I take my 14 year old daughter to get on birth control pills, as I have known some "normal" mothers to do.

Nor would I provide condoms for my teenage son, as many "normal" parents do.

Nor do I allow my children to go to friends' homes for overnights, as most "normal, good" parents do.

Nor do I think it acceptable to let my children become obese, as is very common in this country.

What I would do or what you would do isn't the point.

Read yesterdays news-there are many, many cases found-even if the Colorado person is a publicity-seeker who made a false call, nothing justifies child rape...not the religious belief of the Mother or the sperm donor that they need seven wives and fifty-seven children to get into Heaven-NOTHING.

Cases of what? I'm not sure which cases you refer to. I have not heard of a single proven case of child rape with this FLDS situation yet.

To "new to the game" I can't imagine the pain that those girls went/will go through. Conceived by a Mother who KNEW she was raising a daughter to be married as a very young person to an old man-denied schooling at an early age and instead groomed to be raped, no choices in life-and that doesn't even start to include the nine other polyg colonies that these young girls are traded with. "I LOVE you, darling, but tomorrow is your fourteenth birthday and you are menustrating now, pack your bags, your Daddy needs a new wife so you are going to live with Winston Blackmore in Canada as his thirty-first wife. We LOVE you and want only the best for you and Winston is the best, your Daddy's life will be enhanced by the relationship. Go, have sixteen children, you have a fifth-grade education, you have never had anything that daughter's in the outside world have, be happy.

As I have stated before, I am not in favor of young teens getting married. I am not a proponent of polygamy. However, what I think is worth considering is that we ALL have our own "brainwashing" in our lives and in our society. We all have ideas about what is good and true and normal, about what our expectations can or should be. Through all of civilization and through all cultures there is a huge, wide range of standards for what is good and normal. 150 years ago 14 and 15 year old girls commonly married and had children in this country. It is not automatically evil for this to happen.

About polygamy, yes, it is illegal. However, polygamy has a long history in this world and I do not believe it to be automatically evil either. Whether or not you or I would prefer, accept, or recommend it is beside the point.

My understanding of this type of plural marriage is that only one wife is legally married to the husband, and the rest of the relationships are by an alegal agreement. Which is none of the business of the government or yours or mine, in my opinion. There are so many men with multiple women and families and kids hither, tither, and yon in our society and nobody is bothered by that I guess. But people that live together in a peaceful community and mind their own business are a big problem....why? That doesn't make sense to me.

Listen closely to the escapees and read their books. It is really true. And what say you about the "Lost Boys" who were kicked out because they represented competition for the girls-oh, I forgot-they were "bad boys"-listened to music on a contraband radio, did they? Assure me that it isn't a game of numbers-one man gets eleven women, do you see ANY young married couple there? ANY courting? Must be there aren't enough girls for boys AND men!

Again, my posts are not trying to defend the FLDS practices. I barely know what they are. (though I have watched two seasons of Big Love. Does that count for anything? ha ha) And I do not know any of the people involved. I do not doubt that I would find some, if not many, of the FLDS beliefs and practices to be ones that I would not agree with or might even find alarming.

What I am concerned about is that one anonymous phone call that has since been proven false has opened the door to the government completely overstepping reasonable bounds. If children can be removed from their parents because the government does not like what they are teaching them, something is very, very wrong.

What if the government decided that families that go to conservative Baptist churches are too dangerous because their kids might not realize that it's ok to not wear a dress to church?

Or maybe Catholic children suffer too much from all that Catholic guilt. Psychological damage!

Then there are the Orthodox children being forced to attend church services that go too late and start too early, and they have to stand a lot. And sometimes they have to fast from certain kinds of food. Oh no!

And if we went after them, we might have to think about the Muslim families that also do a lot of fasting, and who knows what kind of can of worms that would open up.

And of course the Muslim women dress too modestly. What if their girls mistakenly think that modesty is a good thing, and they do not realize that normal girls get to wear low rider jeans with their bellies showing, and words across their rear ends?

We should definitely take away all the kids that have racist parents. Who knows what those people are teaching their kids.

What about stupid people? Maybe their kids would be better off elsewhere.

What about people that lack common sense? Or empathy? How about the kids with emotionally distant parents?

We already have governments that have laws against spanking. Which is interesting, since spankings seemed to work just fine when I was growing up.

The Amish are a pretty weird lot. Don't even allow buttons on their clothes. All those straight pins sure could cause some damage to those little children. Maybe CPS should head out to buggy country and start rounding up those kids until their parents agree to sew buttons on their clothes.

They also have a lot of kids, and get married young. And only go to school until 8th grade. So maybe this is a bad thing as well.

Also, although Amish teens are technically given a choice about whether or not to stay Amish, it's done in such a way as to make it nearly impossible for them to be able to go out on their own away from their Amish community. Conservative Mennonites do this to. Should we snatch all of their children away so that they can have a "normal" life?

Homeschoolers--their kids are in real danger. Right? Who knows what those kids are being taught. And the government doesn't get to filter and approve and control that. Maybe we should round all those kids up too. (plenty of efforts happen every year with attempted legislation to "crack down" on homeschoolers)

Families with lots of kids...not only have they already damaged the earth by "overpopulating" but maybe they will teach their kids that it's good to have more than the "normal" amount of kids. If those kids grow up and have lots of kids, and those kids grow up to have lots of kids....just think how bad it could be for society as a whole! Tons and tons of procreators......dangerous!

The point is--it is none of our business what those kids are taught. If the girls grow up to think that it is normal to get married fairly young and to hold motherhood and homemaking in high esteem, then that is what the vast majority of them are going to be ok with. So leave 'em alone and mind your own business.

IF there is actual domestic abuse and rape going on, then YES, certainly that should be dealt with through the justice system.


The hundreds of babies and young children that have been removed from their parents--there is just no possible way that this is justified in this case. These are not mothers with crack addict boyfriends that are going to harm and kill their children. These are sincere people with some different beliefs. Last I checked, this is America. It's not just for YOUR beliefs or MY beliefs to be respected. Religious freedom is supposed to extend even to groups you may consider to be a cult. Why? Because without that, there is no reasonable stopping point. And that can turn into a threat for anybody. Or everybody.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

I couldn't have said it better myself.