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. ...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.
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.
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.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.
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.
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.tagged: children, abuse, Yearning For Zion, Chris Ratte, Texas, Thomas Jefferson, custody