A Texas Appeals court ruled Thursday that the state had illegally seized up to 468 children from their homes at a polygamist ranch in West Texas. According to the NY Times, “The decision abruptly threw the largest custody case in recent American history into turmoil.”
I think the reason the Texas authorities went in and seized the children was valid.
In a statement after the ruling on Thursday, the Department of Family and Protective Services said: “Child Protective Services has one duty: to protect children. When we see evidence that children have been sexually abused and remain at risk of further abuse, we will act.”
The agency said it removed the children “after finding a pervasive pattern of sexual abuse that puts every child at the ranch at risk.” The officials said interviews “revealed a pattern of under-age girls being ‘spiritually united’ with older men and having children with the men.”
There is little doubt these young girls, who are married off, are being abused, whether they realize it or not. And there is little doubt that in a patriarchal society, where one believes one’s children belong to them, incest often happens. I’m sure there are abuses going on.
But if the call received by Texas authorities was a hoax, why did they act? Surely they knew it was going to require some actual PROOF to make this action stand.
It will be interesting to see what comes of this. It’s entirely possible these children will be returned to their FLDS families, and the YFZ Ranch, within ten days.