Thursday, April 17, 2008

"Protective Custody" And a Dangerous Precedent

Court proceedings descended into chaos today in the FLDS polygamy case. Read about it here: [link]

I may not agree with what FLDS church teaches, and I certainly don't condone the fact that the group has repeatedly ignored the law throughout the last century, but there are things about the state's case that really bother me.

  • Are the authorities TRULY concerned about the children, or are they on a witch hunt meant to harass a religious group they don't approve of?

  • Authorities say they acted because they "believe" the children "have been" abused or are in "imminent danger." They offer no direct physical EVIDENCE BEFORE THE FACT, other than a phone call from someone they still cannot find.

  • While INDIVIDUALS may have broken the law, why must an ENTIRE GROUPS of families be forced out of their homes and scattered hither and yon throughout the state, when most are completely innocent?

  • If the authorities can simply take people's kids away just because they have a "belief" of wrongdoing, based on an "accusation," what is there to keep them from doing this to any other groups they don't like, including even politically liberal groups?

  • The State of Texas has thousands of inner-city neighborhoods that are filled with literally millions of kids who face far greater dangers like drugs, gang violence, and neglect. Why doesn't the State of Texas spend money and time conducting mass child seizures there?

  • The Governor of Texas has signaled his readiness to spend whatever it takes to see the trial process through to the end. Those are bold words when lawyers for the children are donating their time and resources PRO BONO. What about losses incurred to their practices? What about all the services for inner city children that the state otherwise could have provided, using the money they spent on the proceedings?

Like I said, I'm not necessarily any friend of the FLDS church. I believe, however, that the actions of the State of Texas are highly unethical, and possibly even illegal as well. Regardless of how the case turns out, the affair is very similar to workings of The Gestapo, who would take people away to be put in "protective custody." Every time I hear The State of Texas claim "alleged abuse," the only words I hear are Heinrich Himmler's "protective custody."

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