Friday, April 18, 2008

Decency?

I received the following e-mail just minutes ago. I am not sure who this woman is, but I thought I'd address her points here, publicly, for reasons I'll explain in a moment.

Are you happy now? Texas is keeping our children. Satan has grabbed
control of the government and rights no longer exist. Atheists like you have ruined what is decent about our lives. No one was forced into marriage that I know of. How can you defend children being removed since you have children yourself. As a mother I beeseech you to answer this question.


Taking this line for line...
Are you happy now?


Honestly? It doesn't matter whether the public, myself included, is happy or sad. It's irrelevant to the fact that little girls were being raped. That that was occurring under the guise of religious freedom made me concerned and sad for those girls. But, to see four hundred children ripped from the lives they knew, even if that life was poisonous and damaging, does not inspire anything resembling happiness. It's sad. Those children, undoubtedly, miss their mothers. They're probably scared and confused. But, that's as much YOUR fault, for raising them in a criminal environment, as it is the fault of the court system that is attempting to help them.

Texas is keeping our children.

If they are YOUR children, then why won't you claim them? Why haven't you participated 100%, as a group, to identify and clarify the parental lineage of each child? Texas is attempting to do what you, as a parent, failed to do: break a cycle of abuse. In my opinion, and you're lucky I'm not the judge in this case, any mother who is okay with their thirteen year old marrying a fifty year old fails to meet the standard for protecting their daughter. And, any mother who would sooner see her son kicked out of the community than stand up to her husband is a sad excuse for a mother. Why is it that your husband is more important to you than your child(ren)? You've somehow managed to elude accountability for your bullshit, child abusing ways. Maybe it was due to the unjustifiable, mystic respect for the religion of others? Maybe it was because it was easier to focus on the abuse of women and children in other countries? After all, no one wants to see this in their own backyard!! But, it's time for you, and your beliefs, to stand in the eye of justice.


Satan has grabbed control of the government and rights no longer
exist.

Whose rights are we talking about here? Yours? Lady, you have a right to sleep with any man you desire to sleep with. I'm not even concerned that that man may have other wives. If you're cool with sharing your husband with other women and see it as a sacred practice, then more power to you. I fully support your right to place yourself in that situation. You do not, however, have the right to force CHILDREN to live polygamy. You have no right to sell your daughters into sexual slavery. Your children have a right to grow up in a non-abusive, loving, nurturing, safe environment and, the way I see it, you've violated two, possibly three, of those rights. What I want to know is how you were successful in turning off your maternal instincts? I feel sorry for you. What hell must you know that you genuinely think you're providing your daughters with a glorious life? You are a member of a cult whose leaders would just as soon dump your sons on the side of the road than deal with them and rape your daughters. How, as a mother, can you be okay with that?

Atheists like you have ruined what is decent about our
lives.

Cry me a river, lady! I have a thirteen year old daughter! Let's look at her life against the life of a thirteen year old in your compound. Let's behold the "decency" of your life.
My daughter is a whole person. Your daughter has been trained like a dog to "Keep Sweet" and serve the men in her family.
My daughter is in school. She's getting an education that will prepare her to follow any dreams she has for her future. Your daughter is given ONE option - get married and have babies. Case closed. You want to talk about rights? Explain to me how what you're doing isn't a violation of your daughter's rights?
My daughter has never known a a man's touch. She has never been forced to perform sexual acts with men old enough to be her grandfather. Can you say the same thing about your daughter?
While my daughter is currently chaste, she has been given information about her body. When she decides to have sex, she will be knowledgeable enough to know what's going on. Your daughter has never been told what happens during sex. From all accounts I've heard, that first encounter with their husband is often terrifying and physically painful.
My daughter has never been locked in a closet, held under a running tap, or beaten. Can you say the same?
My daughter, likely, won't have children until she's physically and mentally ready to do so. Your daughter will be encouraged to breed as soon as she bleeds. Which of those is more "decent"?
My husband and I take full responsibility for the financial, physical, emotional, and mental needs of our daughter. We're not "bleeding the beast". What is it about welfare fraud that you consider to be "decent"?
Forgive me for saying so, but I don't think Satan (if he existed) could think up the twisted, manipulative, abusive situation that has been teased out of life by the people of your faith.

No one was forced into marriage that I know
of.


"That you know of..." being the key phrase. And, frankly, I don't believe you. There are too many who were once in your exact position that claim otherwise. If I close my eyes to a neighbor who beats their child, that doesn't mean the abuse stops because I refuse to see it. Similarly, just because you're not present at every "spiritual marriage" does not mean there's no force involved.

How can you defend children being removed since you have children yourself. As a mother I beeseech you to answer this question.

It's because I have children that I fully support the state of Texas and the rights of your children. When I imagine my own daughters being raised as chattel or "jewels in the crown of a man", I get a sick feeling in my stomach. When I think of a "leader" who would tell me to drop my boys off at the side of the road, I get angry. When I see young boys being groomed to disrespect women (including their mothers), I shake my head and wonder how anyone could defend that. Mother to mother, I'm asking you to explain, to me, how you sleep at night? Mother to mother, I want to know what you thought when they placed your child in your arms - did you immediately imagine a "spiritual marriage" or a life of excommunication? Did you automatically consider who you'd marry that sweet baby girl off to? When I had my children, each and every birth was extraordinary and daunting (at the same time). I knew those wonderful little people were completely dependent on my husband and I for protection. When did that instinct escape you? Mother to mother, I can't comprehend any justification for what you are doing and, so, I will defend the state of Texas for removing your children from potential harm.

I'm making this public because I think your lifestyle has been cloacked in secrecy for far too long. It's not sacred - it's child abuse. You can dress it up in holy underwear and hang religion on it...it's still child abuse.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Whoa, Ms Atheist. Think this over a minute. A single anonymous phone call results in the state seizure of 416 children from their mothers without any evidentary hearing. Meanwhile, dozens of commentators and "experts" rush to the TV studios to justify this seizure because of the evil beliefs and practices of the "cult" these kids are presumably living in.

So what happens to you and your kid when some local judge is convinced that your atheist beliefs and practices are threatening the social development of your child?

If these folks in Texas, for whom I have no affinity whatsoever, aren't entitled to the legal presumption of innocence, and if they aren't entitled to pursue their lives without persecution or harassment until proven guilty in a court of law, then neither you as an atheist, nor I as a Catholic are completely safe in our civil rights either.

I think you may have jumped on a very dangerous bandwagon here. Just sayin.

Gramomster said...

It was not a single anonymous phone call. It was several over a 2 day period. And the authorities have stated that they had been aware of 'things' going on in the compound, but couldn't go in until there was a complaint.

I spent about 12 hours last week reading a bunch of stuff online dealing with this group and their practices, including innumerable stories from people who have left/been kicked out. I would encourage you to look up some information about this group other than the current news mania.

Half rabbit said...

Remember the rules. "No anonymous comments" It would be good to claim your comment whoever wrote it before it's deleted.

About the issue I won't comment as I haven't read all the evidence. However it was more than just a single phone call that caused the raid (don't have time now to find other links) http://www.religionnewsblog.com/21207/flds-83

MM said...

The information you are referring to has a legal definition. It is "heresay". I'm not defending child abusers, I'm just saying the process is so flawed in this case that anybody who believes in liberty and due process needs to speak up.

(Sorry about that "anonymous" posting earlier. Pushed the wrong buttons.)

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Just so everyone knows, Anonymous e-mailed me his name so his comment won't be deleted.

Meanwhile, dozens of commentators and "experts" rush to the TV studios to justify this seizure because of the evil beliefs and practices of the "cult" these kids are presumably living in.

There's little presumption about what their beliefs are and how they hold those beliefs. I'm not jumping on a bandwagon. I've been a volunteer for an organization that helps women get out of polygamy for years. What we've seen on television is only half of it...and it's not the worst half. Furthermore, there are at least a hundred years of prior data points that weren't all that private in the past. It's only been in the last few years that the situation has become so insular.

A single anonymous phone call results in the state seizure of 416 children from their mothers without any evidentary hearing.
I agree that the phone call was hedgy, but in this case, the call doesn't have to be legitimate. You have thirteen year old girls walking around pregnant. That, in and of itself, is enough to raise some eyebrows.


So what happens to you and your kid when some local judge is convinced that your atheist beliefs and practices are threatening the social development of your child?

If the judge had the volumes of evidence against atheists or my parenting that we have about the FLDS, then I would say the investigation was justified. To me, it's apples and oranges. Atheists don't have a history, supported by mounds of data, that systematically prepares children to marry elderly men and start bearing children in puberty.


If these folks in Texas, for whom I have no affinity whatsoever, aren't entitled to the legal presumption of innocence, and if they aren't entitled to pursue their lives without persecution or harassment until proven guilty in a court of law, then neither you as an atheist, nor I as a Catholic are completely safe in our civil rights either.

I think you're ignoring the fact that there's a great deal of evidence showing that this isn't a witch hunt. I would counter by asking: if you see your neighbor's child walk out with a bloody lip, bruises, and untended wounds, do you say, "Well...let's just assume the parent is innocent." Or, do you check out the situation and gather some more evidence? In my opinion, and that's all it is, these women who won't divulge which kids are theirs or who their husbands are or avoid the questions about children being married off are commiting conspiracy. As citizens, we are to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. If you don't think the evidence we have is enough evidence to look deeper, then you are entitled to that opinion. But, no parent has been "tried" here in terms of guilt or innocence. As far as I know, there's only been a couple of people charged by police. What the state of Texas is doing is collecting evidence. Unfortunately, given the deceptive claims of these women (they were lying about their names and how many kids they had for cripe's sake), I don't see how you could've done a proper investigation without removing the children. Don't we also have a duty to protect children from sexual crimes and physical abuse? Again, I don't see this as a judgement of the religion, but as a judgement on allowing children to be traded, neglected, raped, abused, and forced into marriages. Furthermore, the amount of welfare fraud is astounding and, if I'm not mistaken, that's a crime, too.

If I jumped on any bandwagon, then I jumped on ten years ago. I've spoke with women (and girls and boys) who've left the FLDS. If you go back in this journal, then you can read posts where I've discussed this issue before. But, thank you for your opinion and contribution.

CrypticLife said...

She blames atheists for this? That's rather misplaced.

ozatheist said...

excellent post and response Possum.
keep up the good work.

nanceconfer said...

"What I want to know is how you were successful in turning off your maternal instincts?"

An excellent and troubling question.

Nance

Bifrost said...

Wouldn’t it be reasonable, under allegations of abuse, to remove the children from that environment for their protection until an investigation is complete? If the allegation is unfounded, the children will be returned to their parents. If the allegation is true, then the children are protected. I have no problem with the State of Texas taking action to protect the children of this cult.

IMO the lack of cooperation in the investigation by the adults in their community makes it appear they have much to hide.

Humanist Mama said...

Thanks for saying everything I've been thinking as this story has unfolded. I'm still surprised when people defend this group after all that has come out. Thirteen year old girls are pregnant...have people forgotten that these children have rights too? I think it's most important to consider the children's rights at this point instead of assuming that the parents are innocent. These children are innocent and need protection from the state. If these women want their children back, why aren't they cooperating?

reVAMPed said...

Yeah and what about the "waterboarding" kind of "torture" being used on very young children? Then they fear elders and they don't know why, because they don't remember.

Dissociation.... is a powerful tool for them. YUCK!

Psychodiva said...

"What I want to know is how you were successful in turning off your maternal instincts?"

Through a process of grooming- it perpetuates throught the generations- once you have a few women trained in this way any man can successfully leave it to perpetuate itself through the women. :(

Like all religions- you have to subjugate the women first- after all, they are the ones who have the most time with the next gereation- so you stop educating them, you restrict their movements, you restrict their thought- you punsih, you split and divide, you play on favourites - and you end up with a controllable entity that will do the work for you - like Islam, Christianity and any other religion you care to mention- including the so-called 'spritiual' ones like Buddhism etc- they all seek tocontrol women first before they move out into the world to consolidate their power- any religion that fails to control women- does not have control :(