Archive for the ‘Texas’ Category

Another Bad Idea from Texas

April 5, 2008

Texas authorities have kidnapped (using mechanisms that purport to be legal) 52 girls of all ages (up to 17, naturally) from a fundamentalist Mormon (LDS) compound, which appears to be the entire female population under 18 in that place. This seems to be a remarkably bad idea, done with good intentions. There are few things that one can do to radicalize a population of men than to steal their women, and especially their daughters. There are few things that one can do to anger women than to take away their children, especially their daughters. If the authorities had done this to a compound of fundamentalist Muslims, one would expect immediate violent consequences. I think these Mormons will be somewhat more restrained.

The basis for the mass kidnapping was that a single girl aged 16 had alleged physical abuse. From this tenuous and dubious thread, the authorities apparently took every last girl they could find from the compound. Quite possibly the authorities had the best intentions of trying to do good to these girls. Fundamentalist (and mainstream) Mormonism is an evil cult, and promotes illegal marriages. It is even possible that the allegation of physical abuse by the single 16 year old girl was a true allegation.

The major problem, however, is that this sort of action fundamentally interferes with the sphere of authority of parents in raising their children. It is not the government’s right or responsibility (in Texas or anywhere) generally to interfere with parents raising their children. This kind of event is easy to dismiss, because the government is interfering with a fairly oddball cult.

The problem is that if this sort of precedent is upheld, we can expect to see the same mechanism applied to other religious groups – including both Muslim and Christian religious groups, depending on who is the prevailing group controlling the government.

I hope that the Texas government will realize their mistake and rectify it quickly. This persecution of the Fundamentalist LDS folks may be well intentioned, but it is improper and heads us down a slippery slope. I’m not sticking up for the LDS in any way. Their religion is corrupt and false.

By God’s grace, perhaps some of these kidnapped girls will end up in Christian foster families where they will hear the gospel and be saved. If so, God be praised! He can use the sinful acts of men for His own glory. Indeed, I hope that will be the end result of the process. I hope souls will be brought to Christ even through this debacle.

As a practical note, we should be prepared for the opposite situation. We should be prepared that our children – the children of our churches – may someday be taken from us and scattered above. With that in mind, we should do what we can to give them the gospel early and often – to put the word of God in their hearts and minds, so that if they are placed in a gospel-free environment they will be a salt and light to it, as opposed to absorbing the teachings of their new captors.

Perhaps this is a one-off occurance that will never happen again. I am not suggesting that the end is near or the sky is falling. I certainly do find the actions of these Texas officials to be most imprudent and unlawful. I certainly can see how anti-Christians governments could apply this sort of precedent to shatter Christian communities, and that is troubling.

One of the most troubling things about the situation is that it is eerily reminiscent of the situation that transpired in Waco, Texas with the Branch Davidian cult. In that case, the results were much more dramatically bad in terms of their physical consequences in loss of life. I am very thankful that the FLDS folks did not defend their rights with guns, because it would probably have meant their immediate extermination.

Let us pray for the Texas officials that God will give them wisdom to do what is right, and for the broken families that they will be brought to the truth of the gospel.


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