Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Protecting the Most Vulnerable Among Us

The Child Protective Service (CPS) in Texas will tell you they have a sacred obligation to protect the weakest and most vulnerable among us. They could not ignore the accusation of rape from the now curiously missing sixteen year old girl and they absolutely couldn't leave the 416 children at the Yearning for Zion compound in west Texas in harm's way.

Now we see the beautiful, well groomed, nostalgically dressed mother's and grandmothers weeping in genuine agony, their children ripped from them. We are left to imagine the tears and absolute terror of the children who have suddenly had their entire lives destroyed.

Television and reporters are now revealing to us the Yearning For Zion compound. Like the mothers weeping in the foreground, the compound is beautifully manicured, quaintly nostalgic and perfectly maintained. It reminds one of an Amish community.

And the similarity doesn't end there. As I write tonight there is an Amish teenage girl being forced into a marriage she doesn't want, being forced into a life she yearns to escape. A virgin, with virtually no sex education, she is terrified of the wedding bed. Her lifelong religious upbringing prevents her from seeing the event as rape, but many outside her community might see it as such.

This young Amish girl longs to go to college, longs to escape a life that seems like slavery to her. But society, her parents, her family, her church, her traditions will not allow her to escape.

And Child Protective Services will never be called. And, if they were, they would never intervene.

Meanwhile, in Detroit, a young teenage girl is preparing for a day in school. She is dressed in conservative traditional Islamic garb, but she has hidden modern clothing and she will change clothes as soon as she is out of her father's sight.

What this poor girl doesn't know is that her father knows of her sin and plans to take corrective action immediately. Instead of going to school, the girl will be swept off to Pakistan without warning, without a goodbye to friends or family. She will immediately be forced into marriage to a fifty five year old man.

It must be done today, before the young girl's flirtations with secular life goes to far and the family might be forced into taking more horrific action to save their honor. They genuinely believe they are saving the girl's life.

And Child Protective Services will never be called. And, if they were, they would never intervene. After all, a parent has the right to move anywhere they wish, even Pakistan. The child is a minor. We don't arbitrarily rip a child from her parents for something that might happen. Do we?

Meanwhile, just a few blocks away, another child prepares to make a really horrific journey. She is going, alone, to have an abortion. Society will protect her for a few hours. She will be able to abort her unborn child without ever telling her parents. But she is terrified and lonely and, after the abortion, she will return to the drug invested, gang ruled neighborhood that led to her pregnancy in the first place.

She has no way out, at least no way she can see. To survive she will once again give her body to the gang. She sees no option.

Because society has decided abortion is such a sacred right, no one will dare call Child Protective Services. But, if they did, no one will help. They are no laws being violated.

As a society we've deciding polygamy is wrong. And there are only a few hundred members of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints. They have no version of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to lobby for their protection or to improve their public image.

But this much is certain. Somewhere tonight a six year old child cries for his mother. He is sick, lonely and frightened. He doesn't understand why the state of Texas decided his entire life should be destroyed.

I'm having a little trouble with it myself.


Vigilante said...

I watched these women on Larry King last night (or the night before) and I could not muster much empathy for them. They're definitely victims, in my mind. But they're only claiming the state as their oppressor. Sorry as I am for their kids, I'm not persuaded that their health is best derved by returning them to their mothering they came from.

Utah Savage said...

So right you are Vig

Vigilante said...

On this 1th anniversary, it's appropriate to recall that the Branch Davidians in Waco constituted just another closed, secretive, sexually abusive cult that was left to fester unattended too long, with horrific consequences. David Koresh was a charlatan and a false prophet. The tragedy at Mount Carmel in '93 will forever be on his head.