Saturday, April 19, 2008

Polygamists, Child Custody, and You

Much has been made in the media about the dozens of kids taken from the polygamists' compound in Texas the other day. And now, much is being made about the subsequent custody battle. Should their mothers be entrusted with the kids, or should the kids be placed in foster homes?

In recent years, the trend in custody-related cases has been to put kids with their own biological parents as much as possible, on the belief that this was best for the kids. Of course, in many cases, it wasn't; so there were some decisions that, in retrospect, would be changed.

The main issue regarding the children from the Texas compound was not that there was "physical abuse" by the mothers, but that the children were pressured to marry at illegally young ages. I can certainly see where the state legal system would not want to put the children back with the men, but I do not see why the mothers, in general, could not retain the children if they did not return to the compound.

The "other" issue is this: IF the mothers are eventually denied custody of their children for the primary reason that polygamy and young marriage is promoted among them, then is it not logical that in the near future, Christians could be denied custody of their children because "politically incorrect" ideas are promoted? Could we see our children taken away because we believe that homosexuality is evil, wives should obey their husbands, or corporal punishment (properly applied) is appropriate?

1 comment:

Brenda Brough said...

Yes, absolutely it could. I have been thinking that too. I've seen lots of pictures of the mothers and children taken from this "community" and to most people they look a bit odd in the way they dress, do their hair, etc. But I know some very conservative people that dress similarly because of their convictions that have nothing to do with a cult. I'm sure that to strangers people might look at my family of six children behaving nicely as oddities to be suspicious of. We've been asked more than once if we are Mormon. I asked my husband about this situation and asked him to comment from a former church minister's side as well as from the present day police officer side. I agree with what he said. It's not so much an issue of this group looking and elieving "differently" from us, but that they ARE breaking the law. Here in Texas you just can't have sex with minors. It's illegal. This group feels they are obeying God rather than man, and I understand that, but it IS against the law. A law I personally agree with. I certainly don't think the mothers have "abused" their children, but some of them have no idea that that is an actual law, so they are ignorantly grooming their children toward this lifestyle. That is the real tradegy. Satan just loves to see these cults thrive where a man changes God's Word and ultimatly many lives are traumatized and even destroyed. That's the real heart-breaker.