Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sectual abuse

News outlets are reporting that a Texas appellate court judge has ruled state officials had insufficient cause to take custody of 460 children from members of the Yearning For Zion Ranch.

According to the report...
The Third Court of Appeals ... ruled that the grounds for removing the children were "legally and factually insufficient" under Texas law. ...

The ruling comes the same day as authorities learned that half the mothers in the sect that Texas child welfare authorities put in foster care as children have now been declared adults.

Attorneys for Child Protective Services say 15 of the 31 mothers are adults. One is actually 27. Another girl listed as an underage mother is 14, but the state has conceded she is not pregnant and does not have a child.
This is a dicey issue, despite the knee-jerk reactions of those who would like the government to come in and solve all their problems for them.

On one hand, we as a society must defend those least able to defend themselves.

My Supermodel Wife and I took a training seminar a few weeks ago that certifies us to work at our church with children, youth and dependent adults. During the seminar, we learned that in 2001, Kansas had a higher rate of child abuse and neglect (12.4 per 1000 children) than the national average (11.8 per 1000 children) (source pdf).

So there's a lot of work for us all to do to make sure we are doing all we can to raising a generation of healthy individuals.

On the other hand, we have increasingly been ceding our responsibilities and freedoms to The Government. We want The Government to feed the poor so we don't have to. We want The Government to make us stop smoking. We want The Government to monitor internet communications to protect us from people who write mean things.

The problem is that The Government is really good at taking power and abusing it. We end up on a slippery slope where we have given The Government power to do things we never intended it to do. The plight of Christopher Ratte is a great example.
Almost everyone Chris Ratte met the night they took Leo away conceded the state was probably overreacting.

The sympathetic cop who interviewed Ratte and his son at the hospital said she was convinced what happened had been an accident, but that her supervisor was insisting the matter be referred to Child Protective Services.

And Ratte thought the two child protection workers who came to take Leo away seemed more annoyed with the police than with him. "This is so unnecessary," one told Ratte before driving away with his son.

But there was really nothing any of them could do, they all said. They were just adhering to protocol, following orders.
So we find ourselves caught with opposing imperatives. We need to do as much as we can to make sure that women and children aren't being oppressed and worse, but we can't trust an overbearing bureaucracy to keep the personal rights of individual citizens in mind.

I don't know what the answer is. But I do know that we as individuals should focus more on our responsibilities. We should ask what we can do for each other, rather than what the government can do for us.

I'm reminded of this quote from Thomas Jefferson...
Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have ... The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.
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5 comments:

  1. seems like many issues are decided based on someone's belief that they know better than you do:they rate your movies,they close porn stores, they decide what your child can eat and drink, or if you can spank your kid. the problem is most of the time these are ignorant assholes with no qualifications and nothing better to do. there was a case when someone reported a father for having his daughter sit in his lap at the stadium and the custody was taken away. they thought it looked like he was molesting a kid.damn dogooders.btw, I am leaving crappy comments everywhere today,so feel free to delete it.

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  2. Have you read what Trashman has said about this? I have a tendency to think along his way of thinking as well.

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  3. All I can say is that I don't care what religion I grew up involved in...having sex at 13 or 14 with a possible RELATIVE would suck. major. donkey. balls.

    Hell, having sex with another 13 or 14 year old would have sucked!

    But being forced to have sex with someone more than twice their age, getting pregnant and having the baby? Gah. That's abuse, pure and simple.

    How does it get fixed? Well, therein lies the issue. How would I fix it if I had the opportunity? Well, I'd teach those 12 - 14 year old girls a thing or two about kneeing someone in the balls, is what. (I'm afraid that might only get them into trouble, though. Which is even more sad. I need to stop thinking about this...)

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  4. It's a tough call, but in the end these whacko's are using underage girls as sex slaves. Sometimes you have to ignore the rights of some to protect others. I'm sure the 13 year old girl being used by some creep old enough to be her father would agree.

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