The news over the last few days has been dominated by the police removal of over 400 children from the compound of Fundamental Latter Day Saints.
Last night I listened to the Larry King program, featuring former victims and social workers as his guests, followed by the program “360°” with more in-depth reporting. A friend of mine e-mailed and asked me what I thought about it. Incest is prohibited by all societies and child abuse is unacceptable under any circumstances. We are all outraged at this news of sexual child abuse. Who in a civilized society would not be?
Far be it from me to criticize anyone’s religion, yet this is not religion, but enslavement and rampant child abuse on a scale that staggers one’s imagination. The leader, Warren Jeffs, was tried and convicted last year and according to news reports, he has millions of followers and several similar compounds in numerous states.
Who in their right mind is not stunned and outraged at these reports? About the description of a wedding night matrimony bed inside their church temple used when a 14-year-old is forced to marry a 50-year-old? Or the bearing of children by teenagers, fathered by men old enough to be their grandfathers, in addition to having multiple wives!
I listened with a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach as the descriptive news of events unfolded last evening. “How could this happen on such a large scale, and in this country?” I asked myself. “Especially since the leader of the cult has been arrested, tried and convicted months ago?” The breaking news about this group was not an isolated incident.
How could we as individuals and a civilized society become so outnumbered by the brainwashing and rampant victimization of pedophiles in our midst? Thankfully, hundreds of children were rescued this week from that one compound. But how many others are out there in similar compounds? This kind of news smacks of happenings in some other country like Indonesia, but not here in this land of the free and the brave.
For most of us living east of the Mississippi, this news of a seemingly remote area of Texas feels so far away. But in actuality, it really isn’t. Child abuse is in the midst of many communities. Not on the scale as reported throughout the past few days regarding the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints cult, yet does exist.
I know personally about one child in the county where I reside, born 3 months premature, abused by a parent and thrown in a dumpster all before 2 years old. Rescued by the police and placed in foster care, the child has thrived in the loving care of a foster parent.
We can and must rescue these innocent children, deprogram the brainwashing and provide the care they need. There are many doing this, but not enough. The number of abused children exceeds the number willing to commit to the care. Money is not the incentive for those who do. Most only receive $10 or $12 a day from DFACTS, and out of that must furnish food, formulas, and diapers, among other things, in addition to greater expenses for older abandoned and abused children.
I know some loving, caring people stepping up to the plate to care for abused children, but we can and must do better. They are the next generation, in desperate need for so much lacking in their existence. In the greatest country on earth, there is a disproportionate gap in the way many young children are cared for.
Not too many years ago, local communities banned together to care for those in their communities. I recall growing up on a farm and anyone in the community suffering from lack became the concern of the whole community, especially children. As the economy slumps, we must take better care of each other to survive as a society.
Several years ago, I took care of several children at a time, horrified at the discovery of the abuse some small children were subjected to by their parents. At first, I was oblivious to what was going on.
Yet we must all take our heads out of the sand. We are better than that. This great nation is not some third world country. But we have failed in lacking the compassion for some of our children. It is the neglect of some that causes all of us to be less than what we are capable of being.
Let Freedom Ring!