Thursday, April 24, 2008

#24 Girls



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.
.

10 comments:

Jo said...

Well said, I heard about this here, shocking, truly shocking.

slickdpdx said...

The State can't raid a Grateful Dead concert based on "everyone knows there's drugs and underage sex going on..."

The law applies to the FLDS, but it also applies to the State of Texas. Child welfare authorities often have surprisingly broad powers but they are generally to be utilized to keep families together, as well as end abuse when they have found abuse - not to define what a "family" is.

That said, those people are nuts.

pepektheassassin said...

Hi, Jo. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

And to you as well, slick! I was wondering what your take on this situation would be...they may indeed be nuts, but they should have the same constitutional rights as everybody else, most of whom are nutty in their own way....

Tammy said...

I don't like how this was done at all either. I feel for any child abused so I hope they prosecute quickly.

HUG

January said...

I, too, hope for a quick resolution. But I don't think that will happen. Too much to sort out, and still there's a lot we don't know.

Hate to see the children separated from the mothers.

Yes, quite a contrast from my ants poem.

pepektheassassin said...

One Texas lawyer who volunteers his services on behalf of the community has written that the Texas raid was a "fiasco" and observed: "Once again, Texas state government has shown it couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were printed on the heel."

poetwithadayjob said...

Thanks for writing this. I have been watching but not too closely...and I agree with you. It doesn't matter what I think about people, what matters is that people are allowed to choose as they wish, and if no harm is being done to anyone, then God bless em.

SeaPhoenix said...

Speaking as a former Mormon...I have to wonder if the mainstream LDS church broke away from the polygamy not because they considered it wrong, but some forward thinking individual thought that someday it might interfere in their tax free status? I have bitter memories of the LDS church, like the time the "Branch President" came to the house and toled us, "Based on the jobs you told us you have, you are X dollars behind on your tithing." I shall not be forced to attend their church. At the time, we didn't have the extra money to spend on that. We spent more than enough time at that church, which was fledgling in our community at that time, just before that, they were meeting in the back of a local restaurant every Sunday and I was the one who got them a nice big double-wide modular unit with plenty of room, restrooms and water fountains. I helped them paint, clean and mow at this place..I would think that would count for 10 percent of SOMETHING! There, rant complete, thanks for listening!

pepektheassassin said...

I am sorry that your experiences with the "fledgling" LDS church were not good ones. People everywhere are about the same I think. Most are honest and good, but there are always some bad apples in the basket. Some years I paid no tithing, some part, and for the last 15 years or so, full. During that time I've lived in several places in two states, and no one EVER came to tell me I wasn't paying enough. That guy was a bad apple, and most bad apples spread their rotten stuff to other apples around them.

Re: polygamy--I think it was useful back in the early days when they were coming west, and women alone had no means of support. I think it was discontinued at a good time, when Utah was looking toward statehood (and believed in honoring obeying and sustaining the law). I truly value my church membership. It's the best thing in my life--along with my kids and grandkids!

That said, I think consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want to do in private. Child abuse is a terrible thing, and those who do it under any pretext ought to be in jail.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Come back any time!

pepektheassassin said...

tammy, january, I feel sorry for the children, who are caught in something beyond their control, beyond their wildest imaginings. I think most of the adult women there have made conscious choices to live that lifestyle. No one should be forced to live it.

PWDJ, I agree.