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America Children Christianity/Religion Photography Social The World

Families from Polygamist Ranch Reunited

art.reunion.ap.jpg

It’s been back and forth for several days now–first, they would be released, then, no they would not. From the beginning of the story many of us have cautiously questioned the right of the state of Texas to take more than 400 children from their parents. Child Protective Services pointed to dangerous, unsafe conditions with incest likely in the mix.

My own take on the situation was while I cringe from the thought of private home invasions, children are relatively helpless, and if there is danger, they should be protected. The major question, though: how can we be sure of the extent of the problem. People should be free to practice religion as they see fit, shouldn’t they? But if young girls are being mistreated? If they are forced into marriage at 14? If the law is being broken? …what to do?

Right in the middle of the polygamist ranch issue, arose the story of the Fritzl family where for 23 years, both children and adult had been abused, and no one had done anything about it. What then of the situation in Texas? Was there enough evidence to remove the children from their parents?

It is horrid to consider children–babies, even–separated from their mothers. No doubt the foster families were kind and considerate, but the trauma experienced by these children must have been intense.

Now, at least for the moment, the children are reunited with their parents. “It’s the happiest day of my life,” one mother said as she wrapped her arms around her daughter.

  • AP photo
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America Children Christianity/Religion Courage Culture Evil God Grief Life Marriage/anniversaries Outrageous Photography Religion Social The World

To Speak Against Evil

In a column I wrote a few days I raised the question as to whether those who believe in allowing same sex marriages would also condone the marriage of a father and daughter, and, I further asked, “Why? Why not?” Nearly everyone who has responded to that discussion has expressed disgust and revulsion at the thought of a parent/child relationship, although no one has identified himself as approving same sex marriages.

Over recent days, another story concerning sexual and other abuse has developed. A raid of a polygamist ranch in Eldorado, Texas, and the rescuing of several hundred children and women who were there has gripped the hearts of the world, for now it comes to light that when girls in the compound reached puberty they were then “spiritually” married to much older men. Several of these rescued girls are now found to be pregnant.

ELDORADO, Texas — A polygamist compound with hundreds of children was rife with sexual abuse, child welfare officials allege in court documents, with girls spiritually married to much older men as soon as they reached puberty and boys groomed to perpetuate the cycle.

The documents released Tuesday also gave details about the hushed phone calls that triggered the raid, by a 16-year-old girl at the West Texas ranch who said her 50-year-old husband beat and raped her.

More here.

A reader of my previous column to which I have referred made the following comment that I want to share with you here.

Our revulsion to such things is not merely a matter of Christian faith, but nature itself is opposed to it. I suspect that human frailty is being manipulated by a supernatural evil that brings darkness to the truth. Men and women were made for each other. Their very bodies allow a marital unity that fosters both true fidelity and the fruitfulness of children. Homosexuality feigns the marital act with violence and perversion. Fathers and mothers are to regard their children always as their children, safeguarding their innocence and purity, preparing them to be good and wholesome adults. A true father and mother gain a son or daughter with marriage. They must never allow themselves to think of their children in a sexual way. Our culture is over-sexed. Pornography breaks down the family bonds. Sexuality is reduced to pleasure for its own sake. We worship youth and the body. This graphic sexuality is the root of pederasty, pedophilia and incest. Again, I think the devil has a hand in darkening consciences. A parent should be willing to die to preserve his child’s well being. Incest does incalculable harm and distorts the personality. Nature itself is offended and genetic problems often emerge in the children produced.

These staggering stories scream for us to continue to speak to the evil of the world, and to refuse to be intimidated by those who would say it is none of our business. It is our business. We are our brothers keepers. As I considered this issue, I thought of the following poem:

Martin Niemöller
First they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out–because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Social Democrats
and I did not speak out–because I was not a Social Democrat.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out–because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out–because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–
and there was no one left to speak out for me

We must speak out for children, for the abused, for the weak, the fearful and frightened. We must speak against evil and against moral decay. We must speak up for God, for His Word, and for righteousness. For if we do not…finally, there will be no one to speak for us.

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My devotional blog is here.