Monday, May 05, 2008

The Eyes of the World Are on Texas

America’s (if not the world’s) attention lately has been on a small Texas town and a wack-o renegade Mormon fundamentalist sect of polygamists.

At last count 462 children have been taken into custody, stripped from their crying mother’s arms. Media anchors and pundits have had a field day dutifully echoing the concerns raised by government officials and religious leaders.

Accusations of abuse (with no proof or at the least misunderstood facts) and threats have led to calls for punishment, if not permanent incarceration for someone, mostly the cult’s leaders. I thoroughly understand everyone’s concern and frustration, but they are worrying about the wrong evils here.

The main discussion and dispute is of thirteen to seventeen year old young women baring children to older fathers. There are loud calls for retribution for the siring men, and on the surface it is easy to say this is all wrong and they should be punished. Maybe they should, but the responsibility is not entirely theirs.

In the “normal” society of America we have tried to keep our children as children until they are twenty-one years old or more. We have stunted their social and mental growth to the point that most are not fit for employment until their mid-twenties, if then. We (our education system mainly) put off teaching responsibility and many times keep them at home under our wings until they are wimpy adults, barely able to survive on their own.

This kooky sect asks that their children, mostly girls, to hit that mark at thirteen. The truth, as always, lies somewhere in the middle. Both this sect and general society are both profoundly wrong.

Even more terrifying and threatening to out nation, is the quick rush to judgment and the action of ripping these families apart with no regard to their well-being. The social service department of any state or city should be the last organization to make this decision or care for the kids. Most are under-funded and staffed by inept or overworked employees.

In this case, it was as if one tribe captured the women and children of an enemy tribe, rending their social unit with the intent of destroying the men of that tribe in the process. It may take you a while to understand this analogy, but that is exactly what happened.

These people obviously have a culture that functions differently from most of the rest of the country. Does this make it all wrong? One of the most important questions to be answered is the extent the government has control over religion.

I have always questioned government’s role (especially the Feds) in determining family structure through marriage law. It is absolutely not a bureaucratic responsibility, at any level of government to determine family structure or composition. Segments of society can codify that within their belief credos and limited scope of authority, such religious, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds, and have separate marriage vows to conform to those beliefs.

Most marriage laws were written by fat old men with ever present nagging wives, who couldn’t get a second wife if they paid for one. Government should have a contractual arrangement for two or more people, of whatever sex, for economic security, such as health and life insurance, home ownership, and the like, nothing more: end of problems

When something is illegal or forbidden (such as drugs), it immediately becomes extremely desirable and can attract the lowest forms of life into its midst.

Polygamy is no different. If polygamists were allowed to live normal lives in the open, the alleged captivity aspect of this sect could no longer exist. If members could come and go as they please within their belief system, the sect’s control over their lives would be lost. That they could operate as they do is directly the fault of the general laws of the land. Free will should be the underpinnings of all law.

Because of the underlying principals involved, and the general and specific arguments that will be made in court, reinforced and debated by the media talking heads, we are going to see, if not now, in the very near future, some drastic changes in this area. I predict (or hope) in the long run for the better.

Government simply can not continue to regulate our lives from morning to night, from home to work, and in our living rooms and bedrooms. It will surely not be tolerated much longer.

Whether you agree with this sect (I certainly do not), or the surrounding issues of the ability to regulate, or destroy families (I don’t), I am hopeful that we will come to our senses and put government and those multitude of bureaucrats in their place. They should be our servants, not our masters.

This is by necessity a broad overview. I will be discussing each section in detail shortly. There are just too many urgent and immensely important issues here.

Be prepared for the future,

The Hammer


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