In a comment to the last post, my friend Koolaid asks about the recent raid of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints compound in Eldorado, Texas.
Here’s how the Trib reported it:
[Judge] Walther signed an emergency order nearly two weeks ago giving the state custody of the children after a 16-year-old girl called an abuse hot line claiming her husband, a 50-year-old member of the sect, beat and raped her. This raid was not, as Koolaid seems to surmise, the result of a teenager complaining about being grounded by her parents.
The concern about FCJCLDS, as the Trib also explains, is that they allegedly coerce underage girls into polygamous marriage with much older men. Koolaid points out that the men don’t legally marry more than one of the youngsters. He’s right — they just treat the rest of ’em like “wives”, principally by having sex with them. You can call that “joining with them in a spiritual manner;” I call it statutory rape.
Koolaid asks two additional questions: “Do they say that low income people who raise their kids in drug-infested neighborhoods need to be separated from their children as well? Do they next tell us that only one adult male and one adult female can live in a single dwelling?”
The answer to the first question is that we already have a child welfare system that sometimes seeks to separate children from their parents for the protection of the kids, and that poor families are much more likely to find themselves involved in the system than wealthy ones. Dianne Redleaf, a good lefty Chicago civil rights lawyer, recently founded the Family Defense Center to advocate for parents in custody disputes with the state. If you’re concerned about state encroachment on family life, consider supporting this worthy organization.
The answer to the second question is pretty much the same. There are already zoning ordinances in many communities that restrict the number of adults in a dwelling unit. Often, they are meant to keep large groups of immigrants, who often try to save money by cramming into a single house or apartment, out of a neighborhood. You’re not the only one concerned about pernicious uses of zoning ordinances, either.