Sunday, April 20, 2008

Very disturbing

I’ve been watching what is happening in Texas with the children being removed from the FLDS compound there. Over 400 children. There are so many aspects of this that are disturbing and I am torn.

There is the aspect of freedom of religion and if these people want to live in a communal way and stay separated from the rest of society, they have the right to do that. But if their religion includes forcing young girls to marry older men and to have babies by them? Well, that kind of cancels out the freedom of religion part.

Still, knowing that all the children have been removed and are going to be placed with families they don’t know and who surely do not live as these children are used to living is fairly horrifying to me.

All the women in their long pastel dresses saying “we just want our children back” complete the surreal aspect of the whole story. These women are like robots or stepford wives or something. They sniffle a bit but I have seen no tears. The tape of one of them showing the press around their living quarters is scary to say the least. How is it that what they say is their religion seems to have stolen their souls?

Of course these women want their children back. They are mothers. They have most likely grown up in that atmosphere themselves and it is all they know. The fact that they are not reacting like you or I would if someone took our children – doesn’t mean they don’t feel. But boy oh boy it sure appears that way.

The sparseness of their existence, the absolute devotion to their beliefs is their right whether any of us think it’s bizarre or not. But they can’t raise children to believe it’s okay to force girls barely into puberty to marry men to become one of his several wives, and to be fruitful and multiply. That’s just wrong.

Still – I can’t help thinking about the trauma the children are going through. They are going to be placed in homes where there will be TV which they are not accustomed to, and people who do not dress like them, talk like them, and don’t worship as they do. They are not only used to having a mother, they are used to having several mothers. What kind of psychological damage is this going to cause them?

I know that what is being done is in the best interests of these children but oh my gosh – how much help can they be given before it starts to hurt?

I don’t have any answers. I have no idea what would be a better way to handle the situation. For the most part I am disturbed that the situation exists at all. But it does and I don’t think there is a way to deal with it without hurting someone.

I just wish it weren’t the children.


  1. Yeah, it's a pretty upsetting situation. Jon Krakauer wrote a fascinating book about the FLDS. I can't remember what it's called, but it was really interesting.

  2. I'd not heard of this before...

    I have an award for you :)

  3. I am glad I'm not the judge in this case. It's overwhelming.

    I feel sorry for the kids. They must feel so very lost.

  4. I too find it very disturbing. There are indeed no easy answers and no straightforward solutions.

  5. My husband and I were discussing these very issues just the other night. I agree that the kids will be hurt the most, and that is truly unfortunate. The silver lining, I hope, is that future generations will be saved from having to go through this. I'm all for freedom of religion, but when that religion includes cutting it's people off from any outside influence, it almost always includes some kind of brain washing. From what I understand, the women weren't allowed to leave the compound. Why? What were they afraid of? If they are so secure in their religion, why can't they trust it? The Amish choose to live differently from the main stream, but they do not cut themselves off from the outside, and they are not abusing their own as a part of their "lifestyle".

    I also have no answers, and forgive me if I sound preachy, I am merely adding a few more thoughts to a very difficult situation.

  6. Mollyfa - I agree with you. It's all so heartbreaking to me. I try to picture one of my kids being wrenched away from me when they were small and given to strangers. It's horrible! I understand why it's being done. I just can't stop thinking about the little ones that have no idea what's going on.

    But really - those moms are a bit scary. No minds of their own. Again, sad.

  7. Hi,

    It's my first time here. I found you through LadyBananananana Opps, I over did it again.

    This bothers me for many of the same reasons it does you. On one hand, if only one child was being abused something needed to be done. On the other hand, forcibly taking over 400 children seems uncalled for. They should have figured out another way. The courts can't handle this volume of people. Meanwhile, the parents and children are separated. God knows for how long. Everyone involved is bound to be traumatized. And after this is all over, how could they ever trust outsiders again?