Saturday, May 24, 2008


Several weeks ago some 400 plus children,. plus their mothers, were forcibly removed from Longing for Zion compound in Texas by Child Protective Services. The situation is not easy to deal with--if you stand up for Constitutional rights, it seems that you don't care about the welfare of a bunch of young women (usually called girls by the media) who are being forced to have sex (ie raped) by men old enough to be their fathers or grandfathers. If you stand up against child abuse, it sounds like you don't care about religious liberty and the right to be left alone by the government.

I have wavered and gone back and forth on this--wow, it's really bad how much control those guys have over the women and children, but then wow, it's really bad that the government took all those kids away from their parents without any proof of individual wrong-doing.

Just now it dawned on me what is wrong with what happened: look at who was taken away--the victims. The women and the children. Presumably these are the very ones whom the state is trying to protect. Look who was left in their own homes: the men. If a crime was committed (or many crimes), who should be arrested and taken away? The men. The ones accused of rape. Not the victims. If the crime is having sex with underage girls, why take the girls into custody? Oh sure, I know the answer: to protect them. But if the perpetrators were arrested, the girls would be even safer, not being placed in foster care, where sexual abuse is a well-known possibility.

Why were the men not arrested? Obviously, because you need to have some sort of evidence, some proof, some accusation at least, that this specific man had sex with this specific underage girl. That's what they didn't have.

This is of a piece with the loss of civil liberties since 9/11. Instead of the government having the burden of proof that this specific individual committed this crime, whole classes of people are picked up based on their membership in the class, and assumed to be guilty, with no probable cause, no evidence, and no opportunity for the accused to hear the evidence against them.

Clearly, in Texas, there was no urgency to remove those kids from those homes. This lifestyle has been practiced by these people for 100 years. It would not have hurt to wait long enough to pinpoint an accuser, and have her named the man whom she claimed abused her, and then arrested him and charged him with a crime. And let the girl remain in her own home. Let him be taken away and placed with strangers. Let him do the perp walk in front of cameras while everyone looks at how he dresses and how he wears his hair.

I will never forget a woman telling me about how back in the 1950s, she reported to her teacher that her father was raping her. And how the police car came to her house and took....her. That feeling of guilt and shame never left her. She was the bad girl who had to be taken away.

If a crime has been committed, let's arrest the rapists, the pedophiles, the polygamists. Not the girls.

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