Thursday, April 24, 2008
She's the kind of girl who will rescue stranded earthworms on rainy days.
. . .
At the school bus stop early this morning--yes, it's raining again--a worm fell into a puddle in the gutter. Everyone there surrounded the puddle to watch. One of the dad's there saw it as a teaching opportunity and they began a discussion on respiration. My first impulse was to pull the worm out, but I (being the self-conscious old codger that I am) was too concerned that this guy would think I was a crazy lady. I decided to wait until everyone was gone to do it. By that time the poor worm would have drowned. So, one of the little girls there did it! She walked right in, took him in hand and laid him in the grass. Hurrah for her! Boo for me....
Speaking of girls...my first reaction to this Texas/polygamy thing was acute embarrassment. I just wanted this whole affair being blasted out into the world by CNN and everyone else to go away. IT won't. And yes, I was embarrassed by my peculiar FLDS fringe-cousins (most of you already know I am LDS) with their peculiar hair-dos, and their funny dresses and wierd lifestyle....and I am appalled at the idea of a thirteen-year-old girl marrying a fifty-year-old man and having babies. Even though one of my great-grandfathers had two wives at once, I find the principle of polygamy incomprehensible. Most of us believe in obeying the laws. These people live in a world apart (or think they do).
BUT--they are a part of American society, if not culture. Their constitutional rights have been grossly violated, and the seven hundred Texas authorities were WRONG to go like gangbusters into this community with their tanks and machine guns and M-16 rifles and badges and helmets and begin storming into homes (and their temple) on the flimsy evidence of one phone call that turned out to be a hoax. The caller was NOT an abused 16-year-old, but a disturbed 33-year-old Colorado woman who has done this sort of thing before.
STILL--the state's police and do-gooder child protection people continued to remove 437 (Can they count? They first said 416!) innocent children from their homes and families. I think this is outrageous! The authorities broke into private homes and essentially kidnapped hundreds of children! WITHOUT EVIDENCE. Think: The invasion of Iraq and WMD's that were never found. What an arrogant and unmitigated disaster that was. Think: The Gulf of Tonkin incident (never happened) that led us into Viet Nam. People looking for excuses to do the WRONG thing.
If there are people guilty of doing bad things they should be punished, and their crimes stopped. But not like this. These are Americans, people, just like you and me. If they can break into their homes without evidence, they can break into yours. If they can break into their sacred places, they can break into mine. Who will be next? Probably me, because my brand of Christianity is not "mainstream" and I wear funny underwear. You might be next, because you are Amish, or Muslim, or Seventh Day Adventist, or because you home-school your children, or because you protest the war, or are Gay or Jewish.... It doesn't take a great leap of imagination to see where this might go. And it must not!
My mother taught me that two wrongs do not make a right. My church teaches me that I must obey the laws of whatever country I reside in, that I claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of my own conscience, and allow all men to do the same. If there is abuse going on, by all means, help those who are being abused, and punish the guilty. But don't violate an entire community with an armed invasion and steal its children. These children are gentle and polite, used to praying twice a day and eating fruits and vegetables from gardens they have tended. They haven't seen TV, so they don't hero-worship the Power Rangers and Hannah Montana. They are used to playing outdoors, to giving and getting hugs. They are tender, and kept squeaky clean and combed. They are loved! One Texas lawyer who volunteers his services on behalf of the community has written the Texas raid was a "fiasco" and observed: "Once again, the Texas state government has shown it couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel."
Shame on you, Texas! Let the children go back to their mothers.