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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Don't Just Pray for the Kids, Pray for the Texas Doctors, Too

Many of you are praying for the welfare of the young children that have been taken away from their mothers and appear slated for the Texas Foster Care System. Some of you might be praying that the kids miraculously avoid the painfully large percentage of foster situations where children are physically and emotionally abused. Thank you! You might want to also add Texas doctors to your prayers. Since 2/3 of children in the Texas Foster Care System end up being required to take mind-altering drugs (according to a TV story by NBC displayed at Day of Praise), the doctors will face the difficult challenge of picking the right psychotropic drugs for most of these kids. And sadly, they have to do this with the annoyance of pesky outsiders second-guessing their work, outsiders like NBC News. It's a lot of stress for these healthcare workers.

Kudos to Day Of Praise for posting a YouTube with the NBC story about the use of mind-altering drugs in the Texas Foster Care System. Kudos also to Dave's Mormon Inquiry for some great coverage - and tough questions.

Given the well-known problems with foster care, I hope that it will only be used as a last resort when a child can be proven with reasonable evidence to be in genuine physical danger if allowed to stay with parent or relative. I think justice here requires attention to individuals, case by case, and not blanket treatment of groups.

Along these lines, Dave points to one of the painful ironies of this case with a tongue-in-cheek observation about rounding up Catholic kids, using the same logic (but perhaps with better factual evidence) that was applied to FLDS families. Ouch! (And remember, Dave's not being serious. No more serious than I was in calling for raids on those poor Bunnies at Hef's mansion. Humor-impaired and overly sensitive readers beware.)

Update: And yes, I know Child Protective Services folks are generally good people sincerely trying to protect children, having to walk a painfully difficult line between protecting children and respecting parental rights. Here in Wisconsin, they seem to be very careful. Based on what I know - yes, what little I know - I can't imagine our Wisconsin agencies hauling away over 400 children from a community on the basis of such weak evidence. There are times when I think our folks could have taken more vigorous action, but in general I have pretty high respect for them. Maybe what happened in Texas was the right thing, but there are a lot of questions remaining to be answered. And I think it's fair to ask, given the trauma now being inflicted on young children suddenly removed from their parents, perhaps permanently.

121 comments:

Hans said...

Another good post Jeff. And after all the pre-judging of many posters from the last few days, we are starting to learn about the mysterious 33 year-old Sarah, who may have made the call as a hoax.

Also CNN is now reporting (take that for what it means) that most likely the bed in the temple was not used for sex. Let's have the facts come out 100% before making judgment.

Don't construe my comments for approval of the lifestyle, but I think it looks like everyone might have stepped over the line in supposing things before the facts came out. Of course, we in the America never do that...

Anonymous said...

Now you're going all Scientologist raising the red flag of drug therapy when you must be aware what the rate of antidepressant use within the LDS is.

You really need to calm down and let the facts of this case emerge.

Everyone is interested in the welfare of the women and children. And what that may be will only be clear when there are facts rather than conjecture or defensiveness.

anonymous alice

Anonymous said...

Dear Jeff,

I want to preface my comments by stating that I am an avid reader of your blog. Although I am not a Christian, I am an avid reader of your blog. While I do not share your religious and political beliefs, I am sometimes awed by the depth and breadth of your intelligence concerning a number of issues. Most "Christians" seem to accept their faith uncritically, and I find the intricacy and passion of your apologetics to be incredibly refreshing. I wish most non-LDS Christians spent a quarter of the time reflecting upon the tenets of their own faith that you do. So, while I may disagree with your beliefs, I have a profound respect your beliefs because of the formidable critical thinking in which you engage.

As a former social worker for CPS in another state, I have intimate knowledge into how these agencies operate. I would like to clear up some understandable misconceptions about the process currently unfolding in Texas. I can understand how many people feel that the state has abused its authority in this case. I will concede that it is certainly possible that CPS in Texas has in fact overreacted. If they have in fact done so, then there is no possible way that CPS will be able to keep these children away from their parents on a permanent basis.

Contrary to popular misconception, it is extremely difficult to terminate parental rights, even in cases where abuse has been substantiated by a court of law. Because I do not have all of the information in this case, I do not feel comfortable commenting on whether or not Texas CPS has acted appropriately in this case. I would also like to remind your readers that although some information has been made public by the authorities, many facts cannot be released to the public due to laws regarding the confidentiality of minors.

Here is the process mandated by federal law that must occur before the rights of these parents can be terminated:

1) Even though the judge in this case has determined that there is just cause to keep the children in custody for now, this does not mean that the parents have lost their parental rights. The next step in this case is called "dependency investigation" in which CPS has the burden of showing that the children must become wards of the state. This is a rather intensive process where social workers must meet with the families and determine whether or not abuse has occurred on a case by case basis. The social worker must provide a report along with evidence to the judge to justify making each child a ward of the state. Clearly, not all of the kids on the ranch have suffered abuse, nor are all children in danger of suffering immediate abuse. At this point of the investigation, it is likely (indeed probably) that some children will be returned to their parents.

2) For those cases in which actual abuse has been substantiated and the children have been declared wards of the court, federal law dictates that CPS must begin to provide family reunification services.

3)For children under the age of 3, federal law dictates that family reunification services can last 6 months. For children over the age of 3, family reunification services may last from 12-18 months (and in some cases an additional 6 months). The court has the discretion to deny family reunification services in circumstances where the abuse is of such a nature (sexual abuse, severe physical abuse) that return to the family is LIKELY to result in further abuse of an egregious nature that poses a direct threat to the child's life.

The type of family reunification services mandated by the court depend upon the type of abuse perpetrated by the parents. In the case of children who have not been subjected to sexual abuse but have bee found to suffer from physical abuse, I would imagine that the court-ordered case
plan would involve parenting classes, psychological evaluations,individual therapy for parents, supervised visitation of children with parents (except in the case of sexual abuse, which most likely applies to the fathers) and a court order prohibiting the parents from participating in illegal activities (such as polygamy, although this remains to be seen).

The CPS agency must provide these services to the parents because federal law dictates that CPS must make "reasonable efforts" to reunite families. If the parents meet the goals of the case plan, the court has no choice but to return the children who have not been sexually abused to their parents. If the parents refuse to cooperate with the court-ordered case plan, then the social worker may recommend a hearing for the termination of parental rights.

Terminating parental rights is not exactly an easy process. I have had cases with parents who are crack addicts that have physically abused their children in unspeakable ways without making the first effort to follow the court-ordered case plan.

Despite the misconceptions of many people responding to your blogs, courts are NOT eager to terminate parental rights. In fact, federal law sets the bar rather high for doing so.

I share the frustration of many of your readers with how this case was handled. I also feel incredible pain for the children and mothers who have been torn apart. While I find the beliefs and practices of the FLDS members to be repugnant, I do believe that the wholesale removal of every child from the compound was an overreaction (based on the information reported in the media, which, I would like to remind your readers does not contain the whole story due to the confidential nature of many aspects of the hearings because of the involvement of minors).

Given the unorthodox nature of how the initial hearings were conducted, I suspect that the attorneys for the parents (and many of the children) will file a flurry of appeals.

I agree that the removal of children who were not being abused by their parents is doubtlessly traumatic for the children. However, CPS may have very well saved many girls from being raped again by adult men in the FLDS church.

I suspect that many of the children will ultimately be returned to their parents as the process unfolds. However, your readers who believe that the fact that authorities cannot locate the girl who originally made allegations of abuse means that CPS has no grounds to investigate the allegations do not understand that CPS agencies do not have a choice in investigating allegations of abuse.

So before you guys begin circling the wagons and start getting paranoid that CPS might be coming for your kids next, relax. If you aren't raping or beating your kids, you have nothing to worry about. Unless there is a dramatic change in federal law permitting the removal of children from religious groups with "unacceptable doctrines" (that do not involve impregnating underage girls), all of you LDS folks are safe. And the US Constitution prohibits the establishment of just such a law.

I would refer your readers to the following link to learn about the family reunification imperative in federal law: http://www.futureofchildren.org/information2827/information_show.htm?doc_id=210483

Anonymous said...

i realized that I started off in my previous entry writing something akin to the "Department of Redundancy Department". My apologies.

Anonymous said...

Should have proofread before submitting:

The paragraph that reads:

"Terminating parental rights is not exactly an easy process. I have had cases with parents who are crack addicts that have physically abused their children in unspeakable ways without making the first effort to follow the court-ordered case plan." The next sentence should have been: "In many cases, their rights were not terminated"

Mormanity said...

Good points. In fact, I have a hard time understanding some of the horror stories - real, documented, reliable horror stories - that they report with their experiences with CPS in some states like Texas and Michigan, when my arms-length experiences with CPS in Wisconsin has been positive, with my main complain being that they seem to have ignored some problems I thought were really obvious. But in general, I have to tip my hat to CPS people in Wisconsin for being pretty careful and respectful, in my opinion. Sorry if I'm wrong - it happens!

And I would imagine that the vast majority of CPS workers in every state are legitimately doing their best to protect children, based on what they know, what they are told, and what their operating rules are. If there is a serious error, as I fear there may be in Texas, it may be due to a small number of people in power as opposed to a general fault to be laid at the feet of CPS workers in general.

Good grief, we live in such a difficult age when there are terrible risks faced both by children and by parents who are wrongly accused. Balancing these risks is a delicate matter, and requires strict attention to proper procedures, respect for rights, etc. Blanket actions taken against a community strike me as raising prima facie doubts about justice and due process.

Mormanity said...

Alice, I'm not the one who raised the red flag of psychotropic drug use on children in foster care in Texas. Nor was it Tom Cruise and his pals. It came from a seemingly credible news story that has not been refuted, as far as I know. So do you have evidence to the contrary? Is the report of 2 out of 3 foster kids being on mind-altering drugs in error? Is it only 50%, for instance? 40%?

Alice, I'm not sure it's correct - news stories are often wrong and slanted. But there are some credible people being interviewed pointing to problems with excessive medicating of foster kids (heck, regular kids with healthy parents seem to be too medicated for my tastes, but it doesn't take a Scientologist to ask questions about that). And one of the realities of the Texas Foster Care system is that many kids placed in it will fall through the cracks and/or be given mind-altering drugs that their real parents might object to. So let's hope the doctors are careful in what they prescribe. Seems worth a moment of prayer to me.

But for the record, I am not a Scientologist and try to stay as far away from their compounds as possible. When the authorities haul their kids away, I don't want to be close.

Anonymous said...

Yet another correction: AFSA took place in 1997, not 1980. Sorry, I typed this out in a hurry as I have a lot to do today :)

Anonymous said...

The neverending comments of the above CPS worker:

As far as the ASFA of 1997 is concerned, republicans in Congress refused to fully fund the act. This leaves CPS agencies in the unenviable position of having a federal mandate to pursue family reunification without the resources for doing so. I am not trying to spark an ideological war here, but the fact is that the unwillingness of Republicans to fund ASFA has placed CPS social workers in the unenviable position of having to feed the 5000 with a few crumbs of bread and some rotten fish heads. As a result, the family reunification rate is shamefully low. Regardless of your political affiliation, I would encourage you and all of your readers to write your representative in Congress and demand that they fully fund ASFA. Otherwise, parents will not have the resources to improve their lives so that they may be reunited with their children.

As a PhD student, I have done a great deal of research on this issue. Until ASFA receives adequate funding, CPS is helpless to provide these families with the resources that will empower them to meet the requirements for reunification. I would imagine that LDS members in particular would have no trouble in seeing the injustice perpetrated on these families when the services they are required to receive by law are woefully inadequate, thereby resulting in the dissolution of families that may have had a chance if Congress actually provided the funding needed for CPS to provide these services. I know many LDS people are Republicans, and I don't begrudge them their political beliefs. However, I hope that you will see the horrible injustice the Republicans have perpetrated on children and families by requiring family reunification without giving states the means to achieve this goal.

Anonymous said...

Response to Jeff from the verbose former CPS worker:

Jeff, you may be wrong about some issues, but I think that by and large your thoughts and opinions tend to focus on facts, with the occasional foray into a emotionally-induced diatribe. But who doesn't do that from time to time.

Your blog has a great deal of impact, and for good reason I might add. I really am in awe of how carefully researched many of your entries are. If you would be interested in talking to me about CPS so I can address some of your concerns (many of which I happen to share), let me know and I will contact you via email and perhaps we can have a chat by phone.

I am NOT a huge CPS supported for a variety of reasons, so you won't have to worry about talking to a mindless CPS-indoctrinated zombie :)

Mormanity said...

"So before you guys begin circling the wagons and start getting paranoid that CPS might be coming for your kids next, relax. If you aren't raping or beating your kids, you have nothing to worry about."

I assume, then, that you are convinced that every one of those mothers whose 400+ children were taken away were raping and beating their kids, right? Otherwise they would have had nothing to worry about, right?

Or is it that they were congregating with and associating with a few people who may have been abusing their kids? So maybe you mean we're OK as long as we aren't part of a group, church, community, neighborhood, ethnic group, or apartment complex where child abuse might occur, in which case we should worry?

That's good enough for me, so I'm taking your advice and relaxing. But you can bet I'm not letting anyone know I used to associate with a questionable and abusive group like the Republicans! Based on what I read in the comments above, it sounds like they are the ultimate sources of child abuse (not to mention foreign policy abuse and domestic fiscal abuse). Might be a good time for another anonymous call.

Anonymous said...

Is the report correct that Babtist buses were used to transport the children?

Anonymous said...

Jeff, it's clear we come down on a different side of what the children's best interest is, but I hope it's equally clear that the children's best interest is what we all hope will be accomplished.

Can I ask sincerely if you think it's possible for there to be a culture of abuse? And if YfZ turns out, when the facts are established, to be a culture where children were denied education or any awareness of or access to alternatives, where physical abuse happened with regularity, where individuality was extinguished, where behavior was rigidly controlled by force and/or other intimidation, where a significant number of the adult males were predatory toward young females and where adult females were infantilized so that they were incapable of defending the safety of their underage daughers -- IF being the key word -- what would your response to the CPS' removal of children for the purposes of gathering information be?

anonymous alice

Anonymous said...

Mormanity wrote:

"I assume, then, that you are convinced that every one of those mothers whose 400+ children were taken away were raping and beating their kids, right? Otherwise they would have had nothing to worry about, right?

Or is it that they were congregating with and associating with a few people who may have been abusing their kids? So maybe you mean we're OK as long as we aren't part of a group, church, community, neighborhood, ethnic group, or apartment complex where child abuse might occur, in which case we should worry?

That's good enough for me, so I'm taking your advice and relaxing. But you can bet I'm not letting anyone know I used to associate with a questionable and abusive group like the Republicans! Based on what I read in the comments above, it sounds like they are the ultimate sources of child abuse (not to mention foreign policy abuse and domestic fiscal abuse). Might be a good time for another anonymous call."


Holy straw man batman!

Did you read what I wrote? Apparently not.

It is a fact that the Republicans refused to fund ASFA. How does that lead you to the conclusion that I stated all Republicans abuse their children?

C'mon Jeff. You are smarter than that. If your neighbor reported you to CPS and they came in and investigated, would they find evidence of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect (such as not feeding them, not sending them to school or homeschooling them, etc)? If not, then you do not have anything to worry about. They will investigate and go away.

Please stop putting words in my mouth.

Mormanity said...

Yo, that was a facetious comment. Sorry if you thought I was serious. I guess I need to put more {sarcasm on}{sarcasm off} signals to help out here. I thought the reference to Republicans would be clear enough. It was a satirical or hyperbolic way of making the point, though, that one person's worldview might just be another person's culture of abuse.

Punishing people (rounding them up, taking kids away, etc.) for their culture and beliefs as opposed to documented, specific, individual violations of the law opens up a dangerous trend. And when something like the Cultural Revolution takes place, jailing Republicans for their thought crimes suddenly becomes a little less of a hypothetical strawman from a sarcastic blogger and a little more of a matter of life and death for those who don't yield. It's happened in several nations in this century - why not ours?

Mormanity said...

And if you think dealing with the authorities after being falsely accused by a bitter neighbor or hoaxster from Colorado is always a simple matter, you're dead wrong. This is where the real horror stories of many people come in.

It's far worse than having the IRS accuse you of cheating on taxes. Now even when you are an honest tax payer, if an IRS official believes you're cheating, you can spend months, maybe years, and a lot of money trying to prove that you are innocent.

Is it possible that at least one of the women in El Dorado was not an abuser and was a good, kind, protective mother who was keeping her young children safe, perhaps even preparing to leave and return to normalcy? Could there be a mother there whose only sin was believing silly stuff and who would never have let her child be physically harmed and who would have trained him to be kind and respectful to women? If so, will justice be swift and easy as you suggest? Will the authorities be back to her with her crying six-year-old son tomorrow and say, "Sorry, Ma'am. Here's your boy back. Took us a couple days to realize you weren't a rapist after all. Sorry for any inconvenience." Or is there a chance that she'll have to hire attorneys and spend months or years fighting to prove her innocence and convince the system to let her have her children back?

I appreciate what you're tying to say, and we all would like to think that the system would work that way, but government agencies in practice tend to be Kafkaesque rather than Utopian. It's best to stay out of their gunsights, and it will take a whole lot of healing to recover once they pull the trigger.

cold pizza said...

Jeff,
Great post, as usual. One small nit to pick...DayOfPraise. (not DayOrPraise. Sorry, but I've got proofreading OCD. -cp

cold pizza said...

Put an ")" in my post. AAARGHH! A typo!!

And my post was in reference to the hyperlink in the article. The link is correct, but you've got "DayOrPraise" in the paragraph.

v/r -cp

Mormanity said...

Fixed it - thanks, Cold Pizza. Nice to see you again.

Anonymous said...

You just watch, 10, 20 years from now the kids that fall through the cracks and a further abuse becaused of the states over reach will write tell all books and all these people that think it was a good idea will just srugg your shoulders "O' I remember when that happened."

Anonymous said...

"culture of abuse?"

This is what happens when progressives get in charge. CULTURE OF ABUSE? Are you kidding. Look at are inner cities. Look at our goverment run school system. Look at the state run systems that abuse people every day. But that is ok, because culture abuse by the state is ok. O' please get me out of this country.

Anonymous said...

"...Congress refused to fully fund..."

Congress refuses to fully fund a lot of mandated programs. That is just the way it is. Again, goverment is not to do everything for everyone. Live in the real world.

Anonymous said...

"...horrible injustice the Republicans have perpetrated on children..."

Give it a rest. I could go over all the problems the Dems have but this is not the place.

Anonymous said...

"At this point of the investigation, it is likely (indeed probably) that some children will be returned to their parents."

At this point I would be looking for a oneway ticket out of this country not to my compound which does not protect my constitutional rights. So tell me could this have been dealt with better than just sweeping everyone up. Like getting an order to get all the abusive males to leave the compound send in social workers, tanks, guns, tasers, guard dogs, search lights, national guard, and free food and then sort it all out there? No. All the women... O' never mind you get the point.

Anonymous said...

"Despite the misconceptions of many people responding to your blogs, courts are NOT eager to terminate parental rights. In fact, federal law sets the bar rather high for doing so."

I don't think this concept was expressed that much. The point was, the goverment did not need to do this baised on a hoax, sweep up all the people (cultists), separate all the children from the mothers and traumatize them and cause a legal drama. No they did this for effect. I can assure you that some attorney general is running for govenor or something. Jugdes and lawyers just live for this BS.

Anonymous said...

"Terminating parental rights is not exactly an easy process."


We know, it is as easy as getting the goverment to Elian Gonzalez back to a communist dictatorship.

Anonymous said...

"However, CPS may have very well saved many girls from being raped again by adult men in the FLDS church."


So what city do you live in, I am sure someone is being raped and we can sweep up everyone so we can save them.

Mormanity said...

Recent Anonymous, whoever you are, thanks! I'm with you. Would you mind using a name so we know it's you? You often use "O'" in your comments - how about a name like O' or AnonyO'? For easier following of comments.

Mormanity said...

Right, the "Culture of Abuse" of thing is a dangerously slippery slope. Sort of like, "Well, he hasn't committed any crimes yet, but he fits the profile. Snatch him."

I know some groups with a wide variety of troubling cultures. Some groups have a culture of drug abuse. A culture of tax evasion. A culture of driving noisy cars too fast with stereos blaring. A culture of spreading AIDS. A culture of teenage marriage. A culture of mind control that gets 30% of their young men to waste two years of their lives on futile missions (not my thoughts!). Each of these cultures (or is it really just one culture - my little group of on-the-edge Mo's from the Appleton Compound) has its problems. Should we round up all the kids now, or do we have to wait for an anonymous hoax call?

Anonymous said...

If you guys aren't comfortable with the concept of a "culture of abuse" in a community that has eradicated personalities in the adult women, impregnated legally minor girls and broken TX's bigamy laws then I suppose it follows that you'd deny that there is a culture of wholesomeness or a culture of family within the LDS.

And, I suppose, you'd have to step away from broadly characterizing the CPS but attribute to them the same assumption that there are some CPS agents who have removed children from corrosive circumstances in those drug and sex addled inner cities (that you seem comfortable in digesting into identifiable characteristics) and improved -- perhaps not idealized but improved -- their prospects in life or at least removed them from their abusers.

There's no question this YfZ event is overwhelming and messy and mere human beings are sorting it through. (I think they're somewhat valiant to try instead of deciding in advance that it's messy and turning a blind eye as UT and AZ choose to do but I admit that's a personal evaluation.)

I suppose you see it as a mess of TX' making. I see it as a mess created by rapacious men who used religious authority to prey on vulnerable people. When the facts are in evidence we'll know more. Meanwhile, the question having come before them, I think TX is doing the right thing in trying to establish the facts in what can only be called extraordinary and Herculean circumstances.

Good faith is required any way you look at this. The question is who chooses to apply it to the CPS and who chooses to apply it to the YfZ and which has greater prospects for the public good and the good of the vulnerable.

anonymous alice

Mormanity said...

Alice: ". . . then I suppose it follows that you'd deny that there is a culture of wholesomeness or a culture of family within the LDS."

I already pointed out a wide variety of cultures I'm aware of, all filled with individual variety, good and bad. Street gangs that have a culture of criminality have some glowing exceptions in their midst. I would object to arresting someone and hauling them away from their mother just because the child or the mother dressed in gang colors and made gang signs. Of course there are cultures with different influences. And yes, I could have added a culture of wholesomeness among Latter-day Saints - can't deny it, as you correctly noted. But to take legal action against people on the basis of stereotypes about their culture - however accurate - is wrong. It would be just as wrong to ignore allegations of child abuse by specific Mormons because we have a "culture of wholesomeness" as it is to raid an entire community and haul away their kids because of their alleged culture of unwholesomeness. Justice takes place at the individual level, at the case level. We don't punish entire groups for their culture, but individuals for their crimes. We don't, but some radical "progressives" do - and that's why I'm a bit spooked at the precedents we are setting here.

Some of the moms who are mourning for their children may be wonderful, safe moms. By what evidence and what authority do we dare to deprive them all of their children?

Tracy Keeney said...

You know what I find particularly odd about all this?
Why did they go and remove the women and children? Why didn't the POLICE go in and arrest the men who were "supposedly" abusing and raping the young girls?
If they had actual NAMES of specific men, shouldn't THEY have been the ones removed from the home?
If they knew of specific WOMEN who were abusing their children, and specific men who were abusing and/or having sex with minors, then removing those children from THOSE specific women and men is understandable.
But removing ALL the women and ALL the children, and taking ALL the children from ALL their mothers is nothing short of cruel.
Why not remove the abusive men instead of taking children away from their mothers?
And, having dealt with the foster care system, I can attest, that THAT system can be just as abusive- if not sexually or physically (which also happens)-- mentally and psychologically for sure.

Anonymous said...

From the CPS worker:

Wow. While I think it is healthy to distrust the government, I encourage you all to research federal law pertaining to child welfare.

I also encourage you all to sign up for the CASA (court-appointed special advocate) program present in every state which will allow you to serve as an advocate for a child that has been removed from his or her family. You will be able to be present at all court hearings in the case.

Once you do so, I would be interested to hear whether or not you still believe that it is easy to terminate parental rights.
Comparing the Elian Gonzales case to the CPS system makes about as much sense as comparing the Iraq war to your municipal waste management system.

Anonymous said...

PS- from the CPS worker

I am not a Democrat. The Democrats have done just as much harm as the Republicans in many areas.

In the case of ASFA, the Republicans prevented the state CPS agencies from having the resources to keep families together. I think that was wrong.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Tracy Keeney!

Anonymous said...

"Once you do so, I would be interested to hear whether or not you still believe that it is easy to terminate parental rights.
Comparing the Elian Gonzales case to the CPS system makes about as much sense as comparing the Iraq war to your municipal waste management system."

I am not sure it was stated how easy it was to terminate parental rights (except in the case of FLDS) with one court order. I know it is only for a short time, may be. Some of these things drag on for years and as has been pointed out kids fall through the cracks and also get abused in the system. I know a great deal of good is preformed by family law and CPS. It is always easy to point out the good and just not want to talk about the harm that the goverment is doing in the name of good. As far as Elian Gonzales case, this was not to make a comparison, which I may have done but to show how far a goverment can will go.

Anonymous said...

"As far as Elian Gonzales case, this was not to make a comparison, which I may have done but to show how far a goverment can will go."

Of course, in that case, the government acted to return a child to his parent.

anonymous alice

Anonymous said...

"Of course, in that case, the government acted to return a child to his parent."

Also to communist dictatorship. Talk about "culture of abuse." For me I would rather not have my goverment making those decisions for me so I am looking for my compound in another country inorder to get away from those that think this kind of goverment is ok.

O' is me.

Anonymous said...

Tracy Keeney said...

"You know what I find particularly odd about all this?
Why did they go and remove the women and children? Why didn't the POLICE go in and arrest the men who were "supposedly" abusing and raping the young girls?"

I think this is the biggest concern because abuse cases are worked on every day in this country without the goverment rolling in with tanks and guns. Get a court order to seperate all the men leaving the women and children collect evidence and interview. Again I bet you will find there is a political motive like some one running for public office.

Did they leave the adult women to be raped by their men foke in a state of polygamy or did the goverment lock up all the men? So to recap all these polygmist men are out roming the streets picking up on other women. Save us from our big brother the goverment.

O' is me!

Halibut said...

My heart is full of sadness. As far as I can see there was NO reason to take small children from their parents.

Historically it reminded me of the Nazi's loading the Jews on trains and seperating them before........

And then of course there was Herod and the day he had the children....

Anonymous said...

"Historically it reminded me of the Nazi's loading the Jews on trains and seperating them before........"

"And then of course there was Herod and the day he had the children...."

I think these are over statments of FLDS compound, but I always worry when our goverment takes peoples rights, freedoms and privileges away. In this case it was clearly that it could and should have been handled better.

O' is me!

Anonymous said...

"Also to communist dictatorship. Talk about 'culture of abuse.' "

But, surely, you recognize the irony in that the government not only returned Elian Gonzales to his natural father as you recommend TX CPS agents do in the case of YfZ, but YfZ actually is a communist or at least overtly socialist economic entity operating under the sole direction or "dictatorship", if you will, of a prophet in whose selection the YfZ people have no part.

anonymous alice

Doug Forbes said...

Be patient folks. The Texas authorities are sleep-walking into a massive embarrassment. Birthrates for girls 10-17 in the USA is 22.8 per 1000. It may turn out that the FLDS rate is lower.

Anonymous said...

Alice, said:

"but YfZ actually is a communist or at least overtly socialist economic entity operating under the sole direction or "dictatorship", if you will,"

Under the freedom of relgion and other freedoms, rights under the constitution. Some how we keep for getting this document. O' I guess most of us have not read it or don't care what it states.

RaiMary said...

For a person who is new to reading this blog, I find it interesting how many apparently well educated people contribute to it. I feel very encouraged that so many are willing to speak out in some forum or another regarding things that affect us all. My congratulations on having such an effective blog.

Regarding the whole mess with the FLDS compound, can I point out something that it seems to me a massive amount of media and other well educated people are missing?

The communities that the FLDS followers of Warren Jeffs are living in have been followed and researched and investigated for years. Yes, oft times this was done by or for people who were bitter about previous experiences with Jeff's followers. Yes, oft times these investigations were because of accusations of paranoid or frightened neighbors. And yes, most all of the investigations to which I refer are being revealed in Utah where our information can be (obviously) a little biased.

But please let me point out this: all these investigations had to be done in private, by private individuals because of the secretiveness of these compounds/communities. Because of the wonderful protection of personal privacy given to us by our government (yes I realize this is a right, though there are many countries where it is treated rather as a privilege), the followers of Warren Jeffs are able to keep their lives mostly secret to most of the ‘outside world’. I know that many most likely do this out of fear of judgment by this self-same government, as well as rash or even violent judgments/actions of their neighbors. Especially considering that many of Jeffs’ followers are actually living out an act daily which should (according to law) have many of them thrown in jail (yes, I’m speaking of polygamy which at least in Utah is a felony and carries jail time). This being said, all of the people that live on the compounds are living behind some fence or another. Trespassing laws being what they are plus civil rights being what they are regarding search warrants and such, bringing proof of any illegal activity that may or may not be happening is incredibly difficult against them when you don’t have any evidence to give cause for such searches. When you add that to Texas’ history with similar groups to the compound in Colorado City (Waco, to list the worst) you begin to see why all of the children would be removed by CPS. Especially considering that there were police forces standing by with many weapons and such just in case of such a violent reaction. It is not as though the government (in any form whether it be police, or CPS, or what have you) could reasonably expect to be able to peaceably approach and try to investigate one accusation much less many. Especially when all of your witnesses have been literally taught from birth to not tell ‘outside people’ anything that happens inside the compound. Or when, according to a recent court case against Warren Jeffs, some of them have already been living in conditions which to us constitute abuse but to them are literally an act of obedience to the prophet and God.

It has made me wonder how much of the CPS case was prompted by the accusation of abuse, rather than the accusation of the mysterious woman being that which was really the final step needed to bring these children and women out of the compound long enough to verify if everything was safe. Especially with the history of accusations that have come from runaways from the Jeffs compounds in the past, as well as other FLDS compounds and/or ranches.

Personally, as a young teenager I have met with groups similar to Jeffs’ when I was living in southeastern Utah, as well as young girls who were trying to get away from similar groups. I even had friends who belonged to at least one particular FLDS group that came through our area. The secrecy in their case was because of illegal and dangerous actions that had nothing to do with the charge of polygamy. Especially considering that I was a kid, and had witnessed many of these activities with out realizing that they were wrong and was thus allowed to witness, the courts had hoped that they could use my testimony to stop these activities. But my parents were unwilling (for my sake) to have me do this so the investigation was dropped. In later years, I also had a friend bring charges of abuse against an adult. In this case, she allowed me to help as she started the process, and thus I could see just how hard it was for her even as I tried to be as supportive as I could. I have since known and tried to help many kids reach out for help as a volunteer or friend. I have been able to look back and in many ways I wish that I could have helped more against this FLDS group as they were doing these illegal activities which needed to be stopped (though, especially since I have 3 kids of my own, I also understand why my parents didn’t allow it). Thanks to this, I can definitely understand more why CPS would remove all the children as they did. How could they know exactly which kids were possibly being abused or worse? I can only imagine the relief of some when the anonymous call came in which allowed CPS to finally move on a group which they have heard so many rumors about and which has already had a case brought against them where the men were declared guilty.

I can only hope and pray that a truly merciful justice can be done quickly with these families, and that if there are any abuse victims that they will quickly be found and helped while the others are quickly returned to safe and loving parents! I can’t imagine being the doctors that are examining these children and trying to find if they have problems and what the truth is. But I do know that I feel a little safer knowing that abuse victims are at least being given more of a voice these days, even if it does mean that we have to wrestle with the issues and balances more as a society. Or even if I have to watch myself more as a parent...but then, isn't that a good thing?

Anonymous said...

RaiMary said...


"I can only hope and pray that a truly merciful justice can be done quickly with these families, and..."

"SAN ANGELO, Texas — Mothers in the polygamous FLDS sect on Monday filed a motion for a temporary restraining order demanding access to attorneys, privacy in prayer and a halt to Texas child-welfare workers plans to separate them from their breast-feeding children."

If this is Texas or United State justice get me a one way ticket out of here.

Anonymous said...

"This attorney stopped handling CPS cases a few years ago because the attorney felt the case worker this attorney had dealt with were bigoted, racist, elitist and discriminatory. The attorney did not feel CPS had any legal justification for what it is currently doing to these FLDS families."

And you all think that CPS is a carring goverment orginzation. Between them and this judge you might as well move to Cuba for justist.

Anonymous said...

HI All,

I wanted to weigh in here. To the CPS worker who shared the information, good posting. I thought perhaps I was the only one here willing to defend the government's actions. I do agree with a point Jeff made initially. That is that each of these cases should be evaluated on an individual case by case basis. What I think most people seem to be missing, is that these will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

What I've seen in this posting, as well as in the other two postings, is an inherent distrust of the government. Perhaps that stems from many years of discrimination in the early history of the LDS Church, but I do want to point out, not everything the government does is bad, or should be distrusted. There are some things the government does very well. Furthermore, for all the problems that our democratic government has, it still is the best in the world.

People may disagree with me on this point, but everyone of these kids, and everyone of these parents is entitled to due process of law. That actually does mean something in the US. In other countries, due process is something that is promised, but not given. For all the faults our government has, these people will all get hearings, and will all get the opportunity to be heard on everyone of these cases. That is one of the things our government does very well.

Our government, at least in theory will work to protect the individual rights of all of these people. That won't be successful in every case, because what our government is not very good at, is accounting for biases in the system, and individual values of caseworkers and law enforcement officials, and attorneys handling these cases. Its a cookie cutter system and the system isn't designed to address these failings.

I tend to agree with the idea that much of the problem with the CPS System lies at the hands of the Republicans who haven't funded it sufficiently. The Democrats have their own issues though and shouldn't be held harmless. In terms of politics, fixing the social services system makes for a great sound bite. Or adding funding to the social services system sounds good. The problem is that neither the democrats nor the republicans understand what the social services system is actually for. In theory, the system is designed to assist those in our society who can not care for themselves without help. But, in attempting make the system equal and more accessible to the masses, the Dems funded the system so much, that its actually lucrative to stay on assistance instead of getting work. The Repubs, in attempting to correct the problem, simply enact new laws but then don't fund anything. The bottom line is neither side really knows what they are doing, and the people effected most by their ineptitude, don't vote and have no money, so nothing gets fixed.

I work with CPS workers all of the time. Everyone that I have worked with does genuinely care for the people they are working with. They are human however, and subject to human failings. But, unless you've done their job, you have no idea what the job entails. These case workers spend their days wallowing in the poverty of others. They watch kids live in squallor, abuse, and denial. CPS workers go into homes where parents choose their molesting livein boyfriends over the welfare of their own children. It isn't at all uncommon for a CPS worker to meet with a mothers who turn a blind eye to the abuse their own children are being subjected to in order to keep their boyfriends in the home. Most of you out there will sit in judgement over these CPS workers, but will never even attempt to walk a mile in their shoes and see what they see on a daily basis. Drug abuse, mental illness, rape, domestic violence, poverty, squallor, these are all things that a CPS worker has to contend with everyday. Many burn out in a short few years. Those that don't either become detached, or develop a warped sense of humour just to make it through the stress of doing the job. At dinner parties, people will ask what these CPS workers do for a living, and then will end the conversation abruptly because they never really wanted to know what these CPS workers do.

In closing, my suggestion to all of you who are so ready to criticize the government, and CPS for their actions, is to take a day off from your regular jobs, and ride along with your local CPS caseworker to get a real veiwpoint of what's happening in our society. Until you do that, you really have no idea what you are talking about.

Sincerely

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

CD, said:

"What I think most people seem to be missing, is that these will be evaluated on a case by case basis."

Try not to call me stupid. We know how CPS and the family court works and we know that there will an evaluation on a case by case basis.
Our point is that it did not have to seperate mothers from children with guns and tanks. Also because of many past examples of "our friend the goverment" has shown us how badly they can mess things up. You do not know what damage the goverment will do in this case and I know you personally will do nothing to correct the wrongs the goverment does in this case by case bases.

Anonymous said...

"There are some things the government does very well."

Where?

"People may disagree with me on this point, but everyone of these kids, and everyone of these parents is entitled to due process of law."

That includes not being falsely accused seperated from family before you are found guilty ect. Or have you forgot that?

Anonymous said...

"Our government, at least in theory will work to protect the individual rights of all of these people."

I don't care about theory but reality.

Anonymous said...

"I tend to agree with the idea that much of the problem with the CPS System lies at the hands of the Republicans who haven't funded it sufficiently."

Give it a rest. I live in a state where the the both Houses and the Govenership is controled by Democrats and has been for 20 or more years. Every year we here stories of miss management by CPS and other goverment agencies. The problem with your mind set is if we just throw enough money at a problem then we can fix it. Not if the methods you use or the system is faulty.

Anonymous said...

This is not just about the CPS but did the goverment need to come in with tanks and guns and seperate the mothers from the children. The only reason to do what they did to to break this group up once for all. You can keep this type of goverment but it is not what this country was founded on.

Anonymous said...

Catholic Defender, said:


"I tend to agree with the idea that much of the problem with the CPS System lies at the hands of the Republicans who haven't funded it sufficiently."


What planet are you living on. The statement below about Texas is true for the state I live in and almost all states that I know about. So you need to get your facts straight.

"Show me the money. Texas is adding to the national debt because of Hillary’s facist book called It takes a Village. As a result every child that is taken into state custody gets a check for $4-8K per child within 24 hrs 416 X 6K = big money. Foster Care Parents will recieve about 600.oo per month. SSI and Medicade will be taped as well as an order for the parents to pay for the privilege."

Mormanity said...

CD said: "take a day off from your regular jobs, and ride along with your local CPS caseworker to get a real veiwpoint of what's happening in our society. Until you do that, you really have no idea what you are talking about."

CD, this strikes me as a logically bankrupt way of dismissing other views. You may have had some special experiences riding around with caseworkers or may be a caseworker, but such experience is not demanded to weigh in on the propriety of violent, heavy-handed actions resulting in a community of children being stripped from their mothers. Anyone with children can appreciate the trauma. Anyone who has been a child ought to be able to appreciate the devastating impact of being separated from both parents. Anyone with a sense of justice ought to be able to ask questions about the propriety of such heavy-handed action applied to a whole community.

Mormanity said...

Does having CPS experience really lead one to favor the "punish everyone first, create individual evidence later" approach?

Experience with the problems in our society - the abuse, the poverty, the crime - actually highlights the apparent error of Texas in this matter. Where else in this nation, with all the problems in inner cities and among many other groups, do we see authorities sweep in and take out the kids of AN ENTIRE COMMUNITY based on allegations regarding a few individuals, or even many individuals? The inner city of Milwaukee, for example, is filled with problems. There is no question that some teenagers are pregnant, that some kids are being abused, that some parents are drug dealers, and that some of the men are fathering kids with multiple women, some of whom have really had hairstyles and ugly dresses. Do we send in the dogs and tanks and machine guns and strip away all the kids?? Do we get the morally questionable Bill O'Reilly ranting about the inner city sex camps and sex slaves as if he were a paragon of virtue? Actually, the same problems can be found in many of the suburbs, too, but they have better lawyers and more political clout, so leave them alone.

State officials and CPS workers generally treat families everywhere with enough respect that they consider allegation and charges on a case-by-case basis, not a blanket community basis. That kind of fairness is generally found everywhere except Texas, I guess.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to be rude, but they had every reason to have tanks and guns standing by for a 'just in case' scenario. Please look a little into history and see what happened at Waco, if you really need an example. I'm not saying that everything has been handled perfectly, but as has been pointed out a few times just in this running conversation...the government is made of human people who are fallible but trying to do their best based on what they know. The same as you...but then, how many kids have you had to go 'under fire' to pull from an abusive home? Please don't hate a government that you choose to live under until you are personally going to do something about that which you are complaining about...besides complaining!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff and all,

I knew when I through my hat in the ring so to speak that I’d be ruffling feathers. I want to clarify a few points since I’ve managed to be successful in that endeavour. Jeff, you are correct in assuming that I have had some involvement with CPS. I have an intimate knowledge of the system having worked as a caseworker in two different states; one of those being a predominantly republican state, and the other being a predominantly democratic state. I’ll come back to that point in a few moments.

One thing I would point out, and it really is the crux of what I was saying, is that it is very easy for all of us to sit here in this ivory tower we call the internet and judge the actions of law enforcement and CPS caseworkers, and for that matter the involved parents and children. It is quite another story to actually walk in their shoes and do the job they are called upon to do. Frankly, unless you’ve actually done the job, or lived through the experience, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Some of you are making huge blanket statements about government overreaching, and abuse of government authority. I surmise most of that is based upon the misleading information you are getting from all the media hype this FLDS matter is receiving. What you don’t know, and this is what those caseworkers and police officers are experiencing, is that no one is happy with the very difficult and hard work these folks are doing.

Every step along the way, someone is second guessing the decisions of each of these CPS workers and police officers. Be it the media, the courts, the public, the legislature, the attorneys for the involved people, the parents, the children, or some pinheaded policy maker in their central offices, there is someone who is not happy with the job these folks have done. What I would say to all of them, and all of you, is this: “you weren’t there and you have no idea what these folks encountered when they got out to this compound.” So we can sit here on this safe blogging site and second guess the decisions made by these hard working people, and none of us, myself included, can really grasp what happened in this compound on the day of this raid, because none of us were there.

It is very possible that law enforcement was justified in bringing tanks and and swat teams in to handle this matter. It is also very possible that this was an over the top action. But, given the history of these kinds of actions, and the secrecy of this group, it is highly probable that someone made a decision to bring in as many officers as necessary in order to keep the peace. That is a decision made as much for officer safety as it is for the safety of every one of the involved children and parents. Consider what we'd be talking about if the police brought in a few officers and CPS caseworkers and someone started a riot. Then everyone of you would be second guessing and saying, the police should've known better, they should've brought in more men. Like I've said, its very easy to judge from this vantage point, try it from the vantage point of actually being there and see what its like.

Additionally, coming back to my point regarding working under a democrat government versus a republican one. I made it clear that both have their problems. Democrats do spend to much money, Republicans though, if you look at what's happening to our econmony aren't doing much better. With social service programs though, the democrats are more supportive of those programs, not the republicans. At least that was my experience. Frankly though, neither party is any good, and we should start actually voting for the person and what they stand for instead of what party the belong to. That's my two cents for now.

Catholic Defender

Raimary said...

Thank you CD for stating much more eloquently than I could what I was attempting to say earlier!

Anonymous said...

"I'm not saying that everything has been handled perfectly,..."

Typical, when the goverment burns up a bunch of peoply it is not "handled perfectly..." If I did this I would be inprison or put to death. No big deal.

Anonymous said...

"...us to sit here in this ivory tower we call the internet and judge the actions of law enforcement and CPS caseworkers,..."

What makes you think I am in an ivory tower or I don't know what I am talking about. I to have worked in CPS and have many examples of how out of control they are and out goverment. I still think they should round up all the kids in the Catholic church for sending them to Churches that abuse them or may be they could be abused. It doesn't matter just in case we should put them in foster care.

Anonymous said...

"I surmise most of that is based upon the misleading information you are getting from all the media hype this FLDS matter is receiving."

No it is a life time of living in this country, where have you been living in a cave?

Anonymous said...

"“you weren’t there and you have no idea what these folks encountered when they got out to this compound.” "

Were you. Then by your standards you have not place to make any statements. If you did not live this experience at the compound you can't have a thought on the matter. That is like going to war, if you haven't been in one then you can't have any say in the matter. Try to get in the real world. You don't need to have experenced everything to make sound judgements about a subject.

Tracy said...

This is such a passionate issue, on both sides and I think some, in their passion, aren't being fair.
Let's try not to put words in people's mouths. I don't think anyone here said anything about "hating" the government.
People can strongly disagree on a particular action the government has taken (federal, or in this particular matter, the state), without hating the government they choose to live under.
Even if some disagree the argument made was a legitimate one, with a sound basis.
I live in an area that has recently been deemed a part of the "inner core" of the city, specifically because of the high concentration of people on welfare, high incidence of crime, and concerntration of minorites. On top of that, my husband is a police officer who's worked the area. There's a particular neighborhood where he said you could almost guarantee that 75% of the parents are on drugs and/or commit crimes both petty and very serious, and where there is a very high concentration of calls regarding child neglect and abuse, both physical and sexual. He knows because worked the area for years. I remember once going down a street over there to pick up a kid for church, (who's mother my husband had arrested for possession of crack)and my husband said "I hate that he lives down here." He slowed down and pointed to each house "I arrested someone there for crack", "I arrested a woman there for prostitution", "there was an execution style shooting of 3 teen boys there-- all bound, gagged and shot in the back of the head"... I'm not kidding, and I'm not making it up. Every single house on that strip of road, except for two. There were only two homes on the whole street where he hadn't gotten calls for abuse, drugs, drunken fights, you name it. When you go to familywatchdog.us, which is a national sex offender registry, there are 27 convicted/registered child sex offenders in that small half of a square mile area of homes. That's JUST child sex offenders, that's not all the drug users, drug dealers, child abusers, gang members, etc.
So here's my point- and the point that Jeff was making, which is a VALID and LEGITIMATE point.
I don't think anyone here, or any newsbroadcaster, radio commentator,etc, would EVER condone, support or defend the Department of Family Services going into such neighborhoods and removing every single child from every single home in the entire housing development just because it's inundated with crime,violence, drugs and convicted child sex offenders.
The police KNOW how bad the area is, as does DFS, but they can't go in and remove all the children.
They get calls EVERY SINGLE DAY to that area, MANY calls a day, they don't take one call with a report of abuse and say, "Hey, here's our chance, let's go in and remove all the kids, someone is reporting abuse."
Has there been child sexual abuse in the polygamist compound? It certainly appears to be the case. Have there been illegal marriages performed? Evidently so.
But I can almost guarantee you, that the crime happening in that compound isn't doesn't even COMPARE to the crime that happens right down the street from me. But no one is barging in there and removing all the children. They CAN'T and they KNOW they can't.
WOULD those kids be better off out of that neighborhood? Yes, they probably would. Would they be safer? Less likely to end up yet another victim of one of the 27 convicted sex offenders all within a half of square mile area? Yes! But they can't go in and forcibly remove all the kids in an entire neighborhood just because it's filled with gang members, sexual predators, drugs and shootings. I don't think they'd even dare to consider it.
And I think that's a very LEGITIMATE argument to make in regards to what happened in the polygamist compound.

Anonymous said...

"Consider what we'd be talking about if the police brought in a few officers and CPS caseworkers and someone started a riot."

What you are saying is so out of line. What we have been saying if you have not been listening or reading is, DON'T SEPERATE THE MOTHERS FOR THE CHILDREN" and leave the women and children at the compound. This is nothing more that the dismanteling of a town. Welcome to your version of the united states. Please send me a oneway ticke out.

O' is me!

Anonymous said...

"Every step along the way, someone is second guessing..."

If you are not second guessing your goverment every step of the way then you need to go back and reread you history of the world. I would say you have a right no and obligation to question your goverment.

Anonymous said...

Most people in this country has forgot your goverment works for you but they will control everyone if you let them get away with it.

Anonymous said...

"They don't eat a lot of processed food and we're not going to encourage that," Pulliam said, but noted that if the children want to eat processed or junk food, no one is going to stop them.

Those who cling to the old traditions may pose another problem for the state -- they might run away. Driggs said polygamists' children have fled foster homes before because "they want to go home, and they want to go to people and circumstances they're used to."

The children have been educated in a schoolhouse on the compound using a home-school curriculum and may be ahead of public-school students their ages, lawyers said.


First it is the junk food the it is on to drugs. What is the state to do.

Anonymous said...

Hi All,

Believe it or not, I do actually understand the point Jeff has been making in this post. Suffice to say, I don't agree with him, or what seems to be the majority of you folks. I do not believe the government overreacted in pulling all of these kids from both parents under these circumstances. The father's in these cases, from what we can tell so far, were engaging in criminal behaviour with their children. The mother's, from what we can tell, were engaging in criminal behaviour too. The criminal behaviour that was occurring posed a significant risk to the health, safety, and emotional well-being of these children. That's what we can tell so far from the facts we are given. When more facts come forth, that may not be true in every case.

The argument was raised that we should just round up Catholic Children because they might be molested by a priest if they stay in their parents homes. There is a difference between that case and this case. In your scenario, you're talking about raiding individual homes spread over the country. In this case, we're talking about a compound of people. The entire compound is the "individual home." Some of you don't see that difference, but it really is a difference. These folks were all living as one big family. This is an extremely complex issue and concept, but its an important distinction.

And by the way, I am right about the second guessing. Had the government done nothing, and instead 20/20 or dateline, or another big investigative show done an expose' on this group, the criticism of your government would be why didn't they act, why haven't they broken up this group who're giving the mainstream LDS church a bad name. People may disagree with me on this, but examine human nature over history and you will see that I am correct.

Catholic Defender

Tracy said...

Catholic Defender said:

"In this case, we're talking about a compound of people. The entire compound is the "individual home." Some of you don't see that difference, but it really is a difference. These folks were all living as one big family."

Is that really accurate? --Honest question, because I hadn't heard that before. I DO know that polygamist families will live all in one large home-- the husband, his wives and all their combined children.
But I'd not heard that all the men, all the women, and all the children in the entire town were all living in one building, like a David Koresh-ian style compound.
If it's as I thought it was, with a man, his wives and their children all living together in one home, then another man, his wives and their children all living together in a different home, then CD's point is invalid.

Mormanity said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mormanity said...

I deleted a comment that I thought inappropriately slammed the Catholic Church. CD is welcome to opine here without having to have his religion mocked. On the other hand, it is appropriate to explore what past problems of record might mean if the standards in the Texas case were suddenly applied to a community of Catholics. Fair question - as long as we try to be moderately respectful of the beliefs of others.

Mormanity said...

CD, could you explain again what crime the mothers were committing against those six-year-old boys that required immediate separation?

Anonymous said...

The mothers are guilty of polygamy and not protecting their children. Ignorance of the law is not a defense for breaking the law. Under CPS you are guilty until you are proven innocent. This is why most of us are safe from most laws except those that work in CPS or just ride along and then justify the taking of kids from their parents even if it is contrary to Texas RCT law or constitutional law, that state they are to try to keep families together.

Anonymous said...

The mothers are guilty of polygamy and not protecting their children. Ignorance of the law is not a defense for breaking the law. Under CPS you are guilty until you are proven innocent. This is why most of us are safe from most laws except those that work in CPS or just ride along and then justify the taking of kids from their parents even if it is contrary to Texas RCT law or constitutional law, that state they are to try to keep families together.

I was a member of the LDS church for over 30 years and heard all the same accusations and solutions that are talked about the FLDS and justified by some on this blog in the breaking up the FLDS compound. There were stories about abuse in the LDS church and years later it came out in the press. These stories did not get any attention until the other great church from across the pond was found to have..., well need I say more?

I personally think that breaking up the compound is the only way to stop what laws are being broken there.
I personally think that those that criticize other religions should feel free to blog about such criticisms.
I personally think that those that criticize other religions should spend their time cleaning up their own church before being to critical of others.
I personally think that after the crimes of any church has been all over the press it is time to man up and call it like it is without hiding behind sensitive training.
I personally think that once the origination has been found to be involved in criminal activates they should not be exempt from criticism.
I personally think those that belong to a church where such abuse is taking place should consider getting out like my family did.
I personally don't care what happens to those citizens in the compound because the kids will be better off full of junk food, cable TV and new friends outside the compound.
I personally don't care what any of the three above mentioned religions do after my experiences in the LDS church and the other great church across the pond.
I personally don't care about the pain of the mothers or fathers because they will grow from it and get over it.
I personally don't care that their constitutional rights are violated.
I personally only care if mine or my families constitutional rights are violated and then not before I leave this country.

Anonymous said...

“There is that sweeping statement that they’ve concluded as a matter of law that if you’re a child in a polygamous family, that alone means you’re abused,” Shurtleff said. “We’ve never concluded that here.”

“There is that sweeping statement that they’ve concluded as a matter of law that if you’re a child in a religious family, that alone means you’re abused,” Shurtleff said. “We’ve never concluded that here.”

Anonymous said...

"I deleted a comment that I thought inappropriately slammed the Catholic Church. CD is welcome to opine here without having to have his religion mocked. On the other hand, it is appropriate to explore what past problems of record might mean if the standards in the Texas case were suddenly applied to a community of Catholics. Fair question - as long as we try to be moderately respectful of the beliefs of others."

I do not wish to inappropriately slam any church or religion but, all anyone has to do is google "sexual child abuse and (the name of a church). Get the details and then see how their religion is getting a pass compared to the FLDS. Then when they say it is a good thing what is happing to the FLDS but cannot defend the indefinable of their religion and hide behind the false concept that 700 people are all one family causes me to suspend all disbelieve that they are not trying to be completely disrespectful of my religion. The problem is, those of that another religion cannot defend the action of sexual child abuse of that religion and then unfairly apply the different standards to what is happening to FLDS; unless they are pushing for the stigmatic rounding up of all members of their religion and having all the children placed in foster care until all parents are vetted for purity and quality. I have great respect for the theology of other religions and the free exercise of their religious believes, but not for those that can, but will not fight the criminal acts of their own religion. It is not a matter of their theology but of the business decisions that was made, to in order to hide their crimes. The crimes are still out there and little is being done. If that person is working with the CPS's legal family system to clean up their own religion then I say they should advocate the confiscations of all children until we are sure the parents are fit. Further, I never wish to keep anyone from opining or mocking my religion, me or to stifle any free thought. I apologize to CD, Jeff Lindsay and anyone else for any personal statements or attacks but, I can not apologize to my own former beloved religion that lets crimes go on in it's organization.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,

I appreciate the defense, as well as the welcome to opine here. You asked about the crime the mothers are committing against the 6 year olds. In all likelihood, the mothers are not committing a crime against the six year olds, although Texas law may say something different that I may be unaware of. The crime that is being committed by the mothers is against their 14 year old daughters. Basically that crime is one of facilitation of rape. These mothers, albeit with a certain ignorance or perhaps disagreement with the law, are basically turning a blind eye to the abuse their daughters are subjected to. Its that willingness to turn a blind eye that places the 6 year olds at risk. I will probably expand on this later, but I have only a short amount of time today, and this is the short answer to your question.

Catholic Defender

Mormanity said...

You know, there's a lot of stupid things we parents do that put our kids at risk. So if a mother has a 14-year-old daughter that she has foolishly allowed to be abused, that's terrible - and perhaps you might argue that such foolishness puts her younger children at risk in the long term. But does it put them in such immediate danger that they must be removed from their mother right away, before the facts of the individual case can be considered?

And what about the mothers that don't have 14-year-old daughters being abused? There are some mothers whose oldest child might be six or seven. Some with boys only. Can you explain to me why those children need to be stripped away from both parents, especially the mom, and be thrown into a world of strangers who are less likely to love them than their mother?

This is what my complaint is. The presumption that essentially ALL mothers in the FLDS community in Texas must be immediately removed from their children for the safety of those children. Come on, this is indefensible. Insane. I don't care how many joy rides a person takes with the fine CPS folks of Texas or any other state, you don't have to be a CPS worker or CPS joy rider buddy to conclude that the blanket treatment and immediate removal of young children appears to fly in the face of logic, compassion, and the law.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,

In answer to some of your question, yes, the fact that a mother turns a blind eye to the abuse of her 14 year old daughter does create a risk of harm that warrants removing her children immediately. I say absolutely yes, but, that doesn't necessarily warrant keeping the children out indefinitely or not returning them at all. That's an entirely different question, which can only be answer by additional facts. Those are things such as how much did mom know, how culpable is she really, can you correct the problem, etc. The answer to those questions won't really be available until the court does do a case by case analysis of the facts. Some kids will go home, some probably will not. None will ever go home to the home they remember because the events which caused their removal have now had light shed on them.

With regard to the other mothers who's daughters haven't been abused, that is a much stickier issue for the state. In some circumstances the removal might be justified, in others they might not be. The problem we out here have, and its part of what my earlier comments about not being there were about, is that we don't know what law enforcement and CPS know that justifies their actions. It may very well be that the state can't justify the actions. It may be that the state can though, and if they can, then the children should be removed.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

CD,

Not to offend, but just more CPS double talk.

Anonymous said...

CD, said:

"It may very well be that the state can't justify the actions."

Then are you and your CPS guilt first goverment going to restore their lives and rights? O' O' choose me! I have my hand up! NO!

Mormanity said...

Catholic Defender, you've supported the mass rounding up of mothers and children, and the mass separation of children from their mothers, based at least in part on your claim that there aren't real families and homes among the FLDS:

"The argument was raised that we should just round up Catholic Children because they might be molested by a priest if they stay in their parents homes. There is a difference between that case and this case. In your scenario, you're talking about raiding individual homes spread over the country. In this case, we're talking about a compound of people. The entire compound is the "individual home." Some of you don't see that difference, but it really is a difference. These folks were all living as one big family. This is an extremely complex issue and concept, but its an important distinction."

Tracy asked if this is in fact so, but you have not responded. I'm also curious. Certainly there is a communal lifestyle there, but do you really think there are no individual families and that everyone lives under one roof in the their temple? Maybe they do, but I see references to "homes" in some stories about the FLDS, including the article on Wikipedia, and I have seen homes in their Colorado City community that my parents took me to see once out of curiosity.

If it turns out that there are families where kids know who their parents are, and mothers know who their children are, and that they live in a variety of different buildings or apartments, would you admit that the important distinction you have drawn is not all that vital after all? Not that we should round up Catholic kids who all live under one roof in some kind of apartment building or Catholic community, but that we shouldn't round up all children in any community and separate them from their mothers without individual and compelling evidence to support such extreme means.

Mormanity said...

In support of the existence of multiple homes where FLDS people live, one of several such stories is from the Associated Press, April 20 (printed in the Daily Herald):

But the sight of the confused, anxious faces of women and children gazing out the bus windows as they were transported to local churches, then mass shelters in San Angelo, was enough to shake Eldorado's townfolk, and stir a debate over whether the authorities may have gone too far.

Some were uncomfortable that the 16-year-old who reportedly called the child abuse hot line wasn't identified. A man authorities thought could be her alleged abuser had not set foot in Texas in the last five years. No arrests have been made on any abuse charges in the compound.

Others wondered if it was legal for the agents to keep the sect's men in their homes the first 24 hours after the raid, without charges. Later, at the group shelter in San Angelo, authorities took the cell phones away from mothers who remained in contact with their husbands back at the ranch.

Since the women hadn't been charged with a crime, folks asked, did the police have that right?

"A lot of people here are starting to ask those questions," says Griffin, the oil dealer. "If those women weren't under arrest, how could the police do that to them?"

Others were less bothered by it. "It's about time they went in there and busted that thing up," says Lisa Lopez, a 43-year-old homemaker. "I couldn't understand how people in Eldorado could sit back and let them have sex with underage girls for so long."

You've got it all wrong, say the people of the YFZ ranch, finding their voices after years of near silence. Children were not abused here. Eldorado -- indeed, all the outside world -- does not understand.

"We are all Heavenly Father's children," says an FLDS mother of two boys, ages 11 and 14, who identified herself only as Brenda. "You have your religion. I have mine. You choose to live how you want. I choose how I live mine. Is this not freedom? Can't we choose?"

Mormanity said...

The key sentence in that story: Others wondered if it was legal for the agents to keep the sect's men in their homes the first 24 hours after the raid, without charges.

In addition to support for the rather obvious notion of "homes" among the FLDS, it also points to some other actions - such as taking away cell phones from women and holding men captive without charges. Rights violated, I fear.

Anonymous said...

"We are all Heavenly Father's children," says an FLDS mother of two boys, ages 11 and 14, who identified herself only as Brenda. "You have your religion. I have mine. You choose to live how you want. I choose how I live mine. Is this not freedom? Can't we choose?"


not in the united state any more.

Mormanity said...

Tonight on CNN, Nancy Grace and some other guy ranted about the FLDS and explained that the police needed to hold the men and take away the cell phones of the moms and take away the kids in order to prevent the parents from telling their kids what to say. In other words, the State's desire to get evidence trumped any rights of these people.

Yes, it's true that for any investigation of any suspected criminals, you will get the best evidence if you march in, lock everybody up, separate everybody, and prevent witnesses from talking to each other. (And maybe a little waterboarding could help dig out more evidence.) But it seems like this "end justifies the means" approach and related techniques have been the subject of many court cases and a few of the Bill of Rights. Due process is trampled on, yet the nation is trained to accept it as normal and healthy since we don't like the people being raided. Always easy to stir up hostility toward outside groups, whether its polygamist wackos, Bible thumpin' wackos, right-wing wackos, home-schooling wackos, CEO wackos, Republican wackos, etc. Raid first, find evidence later. Next?

Anonymous said...

"Rights violated, I fear"

Boy is this an under statement. Most of the time the parents must give permission for the kids to be interviewed by the goverment. I hope they sue the state of Texas until it go broke then we buy it cheap start our own country with the constitution and the bill of rights. Some state are held harmless and can not be sued for damages. Boy how CD and our goverment makes me proud to be american.

Anonymous said...

"An attorney who represents two mothers from the polygamist retreat alleges child welfare authorities cannot account for two boys. The boys, a 16-month-old and 11 year-old, are not on any of the state's placement lists."

Great CD, can you help me find my babies?

Mormanity said...

A story that briefly mentions the two allegedly missing boys is at FoxNews.

Anonymous said...

"The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services have demonstrated, in a most blatant way, their inability to properly care for, or even account for our children. Many have been left in critical medical conditions, resulting in permanent mental damage through threats, intimidation, and ultimately separating them from their parents," Jessop wrote.

Please give me some more of that good goverment CPS help, Please.

Anonymous said...

My question is: after the Texas FLDS comound raid how would you react if you were a mother or father in another compound weather you are FLDS or just like living in a group compound. Knock! Knock! Knock! We just want to come and look around because someone call but we don't want anything like your children.

Anonymous said...

HI Jeff and Everyone Else,

I highly doubt that I suggested the rounding up of masses of children and their mothers, and I know that I never suggested that there were no real families in the FLDS compound. What makes up a family is a highly subjective question. Two unmarried people raising children does in fact make a family in some circumstances. Gay couples can raise children and call it a family. Family friends in some cultures are referred to as auntie because of the closeness of the connection to the family. This really isn't about rounding up families, its about breaking the law. These folks were in fact breaking multiple laws, plain and simple. I fully expect the state to prove their case or cases as it may be, and if the state fails to prove their case, then I fully expect these kids to go home. That is the way our system of government is supposed to work. I recognize that the system is broken in a great many ways, but it is a good system, and is better than any other system in the world. If you folks don't like the laws here, elect people who will change them to your liking. If you really think things are fairer somewhere else, then move there. But stop all your paranoia and stop all your complaining, and do something about the system.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

And more CPS double talk. Thinks

Anonymous said...

"That is the way our system of government is supposed to work."

What planet or country are you living in? I think you need to go back and study US history and the consistution and the bill of rights and do a check of "the way it is supposed to work" vs. the real history.

Anonymous said...

I have found CPS workers know little about the law because they don't need to follow the law.

Anonymous said...

CD, said,
"This really isn't about rounding up families, its about breaking the law."
Would this be the law to do search and seizures based on evidence and then convict based on evidence or the law that protect the rights of the innocence from illegal searches and seizures? Your points have been well noted and understood from the beginning but you do not understand the concept of or care about the rule of law as it pertains to protection the rights of the innocent. This is why your arguments are so ......lame! No serious person thinks that the guilty should not be convicted but the laws to protect the rights of the innocent should be protected in the process and have been completely violated in this FLDS raid. This is where the normal mind set of CPS worker comes from... your means justifies the ends, we do not care about the rights of the innocence.
I would also point out that the attorneys general of two states with much greater experience with the FLDS community, than Texas do not agree with Texas’ legal position. You have no such evidence, or even speculation that all adults in this FLDS community are guilty as accessories to rape. Now, if Texas takes children without a court order, which it appears they have done here, Texas family law statutes specifically require further petitions to be filed, and a hearing no later than the first working day after the date the child (in this case the 400 plus children) have been taken. Now, I have read no where that Texas has complied with that particular statute.
"But stop all your paranoia and stop all your complaining, and do something about the system."
This is a typical statement from someone that has no regard for the law, "the system is in place and can not be change"; the system is breaking it's own laws and people like you can only say it is ok. If they try to stand up for their rights they are called names (paranoid) or people like you say I don't care or you should just fix the system. This is so typical of those that don't care that innocent people rights are being violated. You should go back and read the history of Miranda rights and due process of the law, before you are round up and facing criminal prosecution. But of course you already know everything there is about this case, the laws of the United States and Texas and we are all just being paranoid. I can think of another system that needs to be cleaned up if you want to stop complaining.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Anonymous of April 29 @ 3:30 Am,

I actually know a great deal about the law, and the constitution. I won't claim to know Texas law, since I don't live in Texas. It appears that you know very little about the state of the law as it relates to protecting children. And it appears that you'd rather sit here complaining and criticizing on the internet as opposed to actually trying to change laws you don't like. Perhaps I am wrong on that, but I don't think so.

What you seem unable to grasp is that the rounding up of the children isn't a criminal case. That is a civil proceeding that is governed by an entirely different set of statutes, court rules, and case law. The constitutional protections you seem to be claiming, are not constitutional guarantees in the context of the CPS proceedings. Only some of those protections apply, others do not. For instance, in a CPS proceeding, a parent can be compelled to testify against their own interest, in the criminal proceeding, they could not be compelled to do so. There is no concept of innocent until proven guilty in the context of the CPS case because no one will be found guilty or not guilty in such a proceeding. All that will be determined is whether the kids were abused or not, and whether the abuse can be corrected. If you really want to know the state of the law regarding CPS matters, I suggest you go read Santosky v Kramer, 455 US 745(1982). When you read that, perhaps you'll actually grasp the nature of what's going on down in Texas and acrossed our country.

I may be defending the government action here, but I am not all blind or unconcerned about government overreaching in these cases. The fact is, until people start writing to their congressmen, and voting people into office who know what they are doing, and care about the original ideals that this country was founded on, nothing is going to change about the system.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

Whoo! Any idot like I am can look up the law on the internet but the point is not civil vs. criminal is were the innocents rights in this case violated?

According to the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Texas branch, the 416 children might have had their fundamental rights violated. On the night of Friday, April 18, Judge Barbara Walther ruled that the 416 children would be kept in state custody and would soon be placed into foster care. The ACLU said that the children’s rights were violated when the ranch was raided.

I won't go in to the laws because we won't know for years and it does not matter. Just like we put some people to death when they were innocent because their civil and crimial rights were violated.

Anonymous said...

In criminal law, Blackstone's formulation (also known as Blackstone's ratio or the Blackstone ratio) is the principle: "better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer", expressed by the English jurist William Blackstone in his Commentaries on the Laws of England, published in the 1760s.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anonymous,

Apparently you're one of those idiots who can look up, but refuses to do so. Plus I think you might be illiterate too since you spelled idiot wrong. But that not withstanding, I do think you are missing the point here. You won't go into laws here because we won't know for years and the law doesn't matter? What kind of cop-out is that? The law does matter, the rights do matter, and our voices are important. But the bottomwline is that the laws are written by people who do not know what they are doing, or who they are impacting. While that is occurring, people like you are sitting here complaining about the law, and the effect it has on innocent children without taking any action to fix the problem. Laws are living and breathing enties. They can change and often do. But those changes won't happen if people don't push for it to occur. Those changes also won't happen if the people writing the laws don't know what they are doing. Meanwhile, you'll sit here on your soapbox complaining, and citing to ACLU articles, all the while doing nothing to address the problem. Therein lies much of the problem with the broken system that we have in this country.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

I like the broken system you support with your ride alongs and can't wait to move out of you country. I also love my bad spelling.

AgainstAbuse said...

The call that sent them in was a hoax. They locked up the men in their homes without charges, took away cell phones from the moms contrary to law, on the basis of some potential abuse in some families they took away all the kids of all families. How can anyone justify this? It's outrageous. Do you really think that if we just took a little ride with the CPS workers we'd say sure, those seven-year old boys needed to be stripped away from their mothers on the spot. What kind of bigotry is this? The same as the Texas authorities are showing. Now they are desperate to paint everything as bad as possible. Every bruise, every past broken bone, every pregnancy, will be highlighted to condemn every mother and every father and justify taking away every child. Wholesale violation of the Constitution. And you can accept that if you'll only take a ride with the CPS long enough - perhaps in Cuba.

I understand defending your profession, if that's it, or your friends in that profession, but this isn't about CPS being evil. It's about authorities trampling on civil and human rights being evil.

Anonymous said...

Boy this is a dead horse we keep beating. Look, all of you are free to disagree with me, but, I'm not making a bigoted statement when I suggest that you take a day and walk in the shoes of a CPS Worker. All I am saying is that you can't possibly appreciate what they have to deal with, unless you look at things from their vantage point.

No, CPS workers are not always right, cops do make mistakes, and the government does overreach at times. But, not in every case, or even in the majority of cases, which seems to be what's being suggested here.

What I see occurring on this website is a bigotry of a different kind in the form of paranoia pertaining to anything remotely related to the government's behaviour. I realize that the US Government wasn't exactly warm and welcoming of the LDS Church. And I realize its hard to forget that kind of oppression. But, not everything the government does is wrong, unjustified, or oppressive. I get the sense though that no one here wants to consider the possibility that the government did act appropriately. That's unfortunate, because if people might step back from their emotions a bit, you might understand what's gone on a bit better.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

"I'm not making a bigoted statement when I suggest that you take a day and walk in the shoes of a CPS Worker. All I am saying is that you can't possibly appreciate what they have to deal with, unless you look at things from their vantage point."

How do you know we haven't? We don't think you are bigoted just wrong to think the goverment has rights that it does not and can break it own laws and does on a daily bases.

Anonymous said...

"No, CPS workers are not always right, cops do make mistakes, and the government does overreach at times. But, not in every case, or even in the majority of cases, which seems to be what's being suggested here."

We are not saying always we are talking about this FLDS case.

Anonymous said...

"But, not everything the government does is wrong, unjustified, or oppressive."


Typical statement, most of what the goverment does makes things worse. But we are talking about the FLDS raid. Wrong, Wrong, Wrong. But it is the kind of country you like and have helped built so live with it.

Anonymous said...

"That's unfortunate, because if people might step back from their emotions a bit, you might understand what's gone on a bit better."

We have shown the law, logic, reason but you love your goverment to raid anyone then worry about laws they have broken after they have cause damage. You have sold us that it is ok for the goverment to do as it pleases then hope it will all work out for the best. We get you point already. No emotions just fact.

Anonymous said...

Frankly Anonymous, you haven't shown anything other than a disdain for the country and the government that allows you the religious freedom to believe in Joseph Smith and his teachings. If this government is so bad, and so out of line, why don't you just move out of the country and try to practise your religion elsewhere. I doubt you'd find it very easy.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

"Frankly Anonymous, you haven't shown anything other than a disdain for the country..."

No distain for my country but people like you that think it is ok for our goverment to break the very laws they are to up hold. People like you that think the goverment should round up a small town without care for their civil rights. I plan on moving out in the next few years to do full time missionary work. I will keep watching as people like you defend your goverment even when they are wrong. I hope for the day you or a family member get wrongly accused and needs to try to defend yourself or them. And when you can then lets see you show us how smart you are. Yes I have been in this place before. So have fun with your ride arounds.

Anonymous said...

Who gave us our rights under the constitution? It is typical of a liberal, progressive, or someone that is ignorant of the constitution that gets this question wrong and makes statements like you did.



"…the country and the government that allows you the religious freedom…"



United States Declaration of Independence

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…"

YOUR GOD GAVE YOU YOUR RIGHTS AND NO GOVERNMENT CAN TAKE THEM AWAY. ALTHOUGH THEY DO SO MANY TIMES.



In a unrelated right to the FLDS is just one of the many ways your goverment keeps trying to take away your rights. I don't own a gun and why I don't just jump in and change your goverment is because they have the tanks and the guns.


Boston's Outrage Against the Constitution Government Warner Todd Huston, Featured Writer
November 26, 2007

The recent outrage against Constitutional liberty by the Boston Police raises some very interesting questions. Can we voluntarily give up our Constitutional rights? Further, can government legally violate our rights even if we ask them to do so? These are questions that we all need to consider before allowing police into our homes, invited or no.

Last week The Boston Globe reported that the Boston police are about to launch a program in "high-crime neighborhoods" where a roving band of policemen will walk door-to-door and ask parents if they have permission to search the home for guns. These police squads intend to conduct searches without warrants, claiming that the invitation by the homeowner is all they need to commence the search.

Like all steps down the road to tyranny, the pavement here is being laid by folks with good intentions, officials who are, after all, only trying to "help" the community.



Your idot beating a dead horse.

Anonymous said...

Hi Idot Beating a Dead Horse,

Seems I struck a nerve. Let me set you straight, you don't know anymore about me than I do about you. You also have missed most of the point of my comments because of your passion and zeal. If you don't tone that down a bit, your mission is going to fail because you're going to offend folks instead of convert them. I do agree that God has given us certain inalienable rights. But you need to recognize the fact that those rights are incorporated into the constitution because the people drafting the constitution recognized the importance of God. Had they not, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution would read entirely differently. Another history lesson you should keep in mind is the fact that the Christianity you and I believe so strongly in, has been used to justify the extermination of the people who were in this country long before we were. What about their inalienable rights. Think about that while you're on your soapbox.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

dc. Said:

*"Let me set you straight, "

I know enough about from your writings to know that you are not here to learn about Mormonism or your wife's religion or defend the Catholic Church as much as you are here to set us straight on a thing or two. Boy you sure showed me.

*"You also have missed most of the point of my comments because of your passion and zeal."

I don't think I have missed any of your points, I just disagree with most of them. Boy you sure showed me.

*"If you don't tone that down a bit, your mission is going to fail because you're going to offend folks instead of convert them."

I have been on missions before and because it was for Our Lord Jesus Christ I feel it was successful. I have found that the Lord knows His sheep and His sheep knows Him and as imperfect of an idot as I am His sheep will respond to His voice. Our Lord Jesus Christ will convert by the power of the Holy Spirit. Even God has a place for an idot like me. Boy you sure showed me.

*"I do agree that God has given us certain inalienable rights. But you need to recognize the fact that those rights are incorporated into the constitution because the people drafting the constitution recognized the importance of God. Had they not, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution would read entirely differently."

From our D&C.

“I (THE LORD GOD) established the Constitution of this land,” said the Lord, “by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose” (D&C 101:80).
Boy you sure showed me.

*"Another history lesson you should keep in mind is the fact that the Christianity you and I believe so strongly in, has been used to justify the extermination of the people who were in this country long before we were."
What is your point? Your Christian religion is evil? You need to take a long hard look at your Bible. If you look at it from "our standards" it is one of the most racist book that can be found. In it God has commanded the total destruction of millions of people.

In the Book of Mormon.


1 Nephi 12 Verses 13-23:
Nephi in the Book of Mormon sees his descendants and those of his brethren enter into wars that eventually bring about the destruction of the Nephite nation and they were at war with each other when we arrived here. The book also tell of the setting up of this nation because they rejected the gospel. By the way the Mormons did every thing possible to live at peace with the American Indians during the time your Christians were doing the extermination. If you were really interested in your wife's religion you might want to take the time to read the Book of Mormon with an open mind and get our view point about it. O' yes may be pray about it during this time. I know you have all ready done this. Boy you sure showed me.

The idot that fell off of his soapbox.


Ps. I am not trying to offend you just have some fun with you. I know that you are a righteous dude and a good husband so try not to take any of this blog personally.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning All,

I'm going to try this a different way. I've heard a great deal of criticism regarding the manner in which the government acted in Texas. I've heard condemnation, and paranoia and all kinds of other nasty things about how our government had no right to do what they did. What I haven't heard from anyone here, is a viable alternative to the way in which the Texas government responded.

I understand that many of you are appalled; and that many of you don't agree with my position that the government in this case acted appropriately. So lets assume for arguments sake that you're all correct, and I'm wrong. If that's the case then what should the government have done differently? I'll be curious to hear your responses.

In the meantime, Idot that fell off your soapbox I'd like to respond to a couple more points you made. First, I don't take anything personal anymore. As a Catholic, I've had so many derogatory statements about my religion made, that its just par for the course. Second, I do come here to learn about my wife's religion. Its what I learn here that tells me I've made the correct choice in staying Catholic. The more I learn about what you folks believe deep down, the less inclined I am to convert. That said, I respect your religion very much and the good works that you do. I actually think there are some things we Catholics could learn from you guys.

Third, I would point out that I spend my entire working day down in the trenches with the very folks you and others have criticized on this blog. This is a passionate issue for me, and I do feel compelled to defend those caseworkers because the confidentiality laws surrounding the work they do, does not allow them to defend themselves. Most people don't know that and assume that its just the government lying to them. As I've said though, that doesn't mean the government is always right. I have seen bad caseworkers, and I've seen bad policy decisions. Most of those bad caseworkers are promoted to management and administration positions because its easier to promote than fire a government worker. Hence the bad policy decisions at the top levels of state governments.

Fourth, your statemnent about God establishing the constitution assumes that one believes in the teachings of the BOM. I do not believe in the teachings of the BOM, so it stands to reason that I might not agree with your position on that.

Fifth, following along the above comments, the point I was making about Christianity and its use to exterminate the Indian population here was that the very values we hold can, and often are distorted to justify horrific things. I don't agree with your assessment that the Mormons were any better than the rest of the Christians here. Did the Mormons actively seek to exterminate the Indians, no. Did they do much to help them, that's debateable. Seems to me that one of the teachings in the BOM, or perhaps it was a discourse from Brigham Young, was that the Indians being of darker coloured skin, were the offspring of Cain and therefore not worthy of holding the priesthood blessings. Is that really treating the Indians any better than the rest of the Christians here? Seems that teaching would relegate the indians to a lesser standard, which is what the rest of the Christians did in the name of God. So its a matter of perspective. And all those inalienable rights your BOM says were established, apparently none of them applied to the Indians when those rights were established by God. A God mind you in who's image we were all created and who sees us all as colourless and equally in need of his love and grace.

You are right that the bible can be viewed as being very racist and discriminatory. I've also seen the bible used to justify gender discrimination, ethinic discrimination, polygamy, incest, rape, and out right hatred. That's also matter of perspective as well. But God's teachings are far more than what's in the bible and the BOM. Its we humans that distort them, not God. Take this FLDS compound. Assuming that Wilford Woodruff really did recieve an inspiration that said polygamy would leave the earth, then these folks are using your BOM to distort God's teachings. Your own prophet used the bible to establish polygamy in the first place. Again its a matter of perspective.

I think its good to disagree and argue points. That's part of what I enjoy about coming here. I do learn, and hopefully teach as well. But, when you're talking about concern over your governments actions, I think you need to take it a step further and proactively do something to change the things with which you disagree. Otherwise all of those rights in the Constitution will be worth little more than the paper they are printed on.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

Whoo! To many words for me.

Anonymous said...

Cd, said:

Such statements are so typical from someone that pretends to want to learn about us.


"Did they do much to help them, that's debatable. "

What is debatable? Have you even read any thing on the subject? By the standards of the time or the standards of today?

"Seems to me that one of the teachings in the BOM, or perhaps it was a discourse from Brigham Young, was that the Indians being of darker colored skin, were the offspring of Cain and therefore not worthy of holding the priesthood blessings. Is that really treating the Indians any better than the rest of the Christians here? Seems that teaching would relegate the Indians to a lesser standard, which is what the rest of the Christians did in the name of God."

Again, me thinks you need to do some more studying before you make such statements. That is of cores is if you really want to know more. But I am sure you will have some debatable just so you can set us straight. Again by what standard? Your standard, your church's standard and how they dealt with Indians of North, Central, and South America? I know that is not important just your judgments of the matter.

Anonymous said...

"...proactively do something to change the things with which you disagree..."

Talk about an under statement. How would anyone know if we are, have been or will be proactively changing things. Just let me get my tank gassed up.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anonymous

I notice you didn't correct what I said about Brigham Young. Is that because it is actually correct? Is that because your church did actually teach that indians were the children of Cain? I wasn't claiming my church's hands were clean, they are not. But no Christian's hands are clean of the blood spilled in the name of God, that includes your church. You challenge me to research more, yet when I've issued the same challenge to you in terms of researching the law, you've pretty much stated that you will not. Why should I then? I'm not trying to seem holier that thou, although that is the impression I'm getting from you. Try reading some objective history books about your church's history and leaders. You won't find clean hands there. And no, I don't believe you are proactive in addressing changes in the government. Everything you've written here suggests that you are more willing to whine than to do something about the problem. Perhaps I am wrong about that.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

"I notice you didn't correct what I said about Brigham Young. Is that because it is actually correct?"

You keep saying you want to learn about our church, why don't you read up on it and tell me all about. You are always telling us what you think why not find out the facts?

Anonymous said...

"willing to whine than to do something about the problem>"

As normal you have no idea what I have done on not done so I whine on.