Today a large number of children were reunited with their parents (some of the parents are themselves very near to being children) at a West Texas ranch. These reunions were wrong, but that is only because the children should have never been taken out of the ranch to begin with.
I have no problem with polygamy any more than I have a problem with gay marriage or interracial marriage or inter-faith marriages. Consenting adults should be able to live with and have relations with anyone they choose regardless of race, religion or sexuality and the government (federal, state or, in this case, County) should have NOTHING to say or do about it. This IS America and our constitution NEVER gave any government entity the power to regulate interpersonal relationships.
But the problem, you say, at the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas was that adults were having sexual relations with minor children and you’re right that is a major problem and it should never be allowed. What do you do about it? You DON’T do what the County government did and indiscriminately take every child away from his or her mother. What they should have done is sent people into the ranch — if, indeed, they even had probable cause to do that — gather evidence against the adults who have raped these children and arrest them. Let them have their day in court and prosecute them — if they can.
What they did instead was punish the innocent children (who are now mothers) and many mothers who were of legal age when they conceived, by taking away their children — more than 400 of them.
Sheriff David Doran, the sheriff of the county where the ranch is located, is of course claiming that they did the right thing and, even though no charges have been filed against anyone at the ranch, he says that there will be indictments filed in the next several months. Somehow I doubt that. The Sheriffs department probably broke more laws than the entire population of the ranch; just for starters: they abducted hundreds of children based on an anonymous call by a still unidentified person who may have had ANY motive for making the call and they gathered DNA samples from the children clearly without their parents consent.
Every crime needs a victim and it looks like Sheriff Doran will be hard pressed to find any victims who are willing to testify against any of the rapists. As far as I’ve read, the people at the Yearning For Zion Ranch are there because they believe in the way things are done there.
No, I’m not condoning child rape — I’ll never do that — but the victimization of the supposed victims by the County Sheriff’s Department is not a legal (or even rational) first step in resolving the problem or bringing the perps to a well deserved justice.
Associated Press: More sect children reunited with happy parents
News 8 Austin: Inside glimpse of sect’s West Texas ranch
Lobotero’s Weblog: FLDS Children Go Home