Friday, April 18, 2008

where is the line?

ok, so one of the more prominent stories in the news these days is about the 400+ children who were removed from a polygamist compound in texas. now, i fully support freedom to practice whatever religion a person chooses. and i do not want the government infringing on my privacy, nor would i want them telling me how to raise my children. that being said, if someone is doing something that is 1. illegal and 2. has the potential to harm their children, they should not be surprised when the state intervenes on behalf of the children.

i believe that those women are brain-washed...but that's just my opinion. if they grew up in that compound and never knew anything else, how could they possibly know it was 1. illegal 2. had the potential to harm their children 3. the possibility existed that the government could take their children from them? i am sure that the children (and women too) are in great pain over this. their world has been turned upside down. everything and everyone they know has been taken from them. from birth, they have been told that the outside world is evil and that disobedience will lead to eternal damnation. they have been told that every single day of their lives. if these young women and girls have made a seemingly free choice (to marry at a young age and start bearing children) based on questionable teachings that have been taught to them since birth, maybe it's not a free choice after all.

now, as far as i've read the main defense seems to be that the state is violating their freedom to practice their religion. practicing your religion is one thing and fully supported by our constitution. but people don't get to break laws under the guise of freedom of religion. if this group was producing and selling meth, we wouldn't even blink an eye when the state intervened on behalf of the welfare of the children. but, because they are a religious group practicing their religious beliefs, people are crying foul. what if someone started a new religion and the teachings included the thought that all people who are left handed were evil and should be killed in order to be obedient to God? would we as a society allow that? um, probably not.
at least i hope not...we seem to be more and more tolerant of this type of aberrant behavior. people tape them selves having sex and post it on the internet and we watch it. talk show hosts call our military personnel murderers and rapists and we keep on tuning in every day. celebrities rant and rave about the war in iraq and make comments bashing the military and our country...and we keep paying to see their movies and concerts. teenagers think it is perfectably acceptable to tape themselves beating classmates so they can post it on youtube. think about that for a minute. who in their right mind would think that that was cool or acceptable?! we teach people how to treat us and talk to us. if we continue accepting unacceptable behavior under the guise of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, people will continue behaving in this manner. where is the line?