Friday

Only in Texas


photo by Jessie McClain
"They came first for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists.....then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up." Pastor Martin Niemoller regarding the Nazi's rise to power in Germany.
What we are witnessing in Texas regarding the polygamist religious sect is unfathomable. The initiation of this event was a supposed call to 911 from a young woman who told of abuse by male members of this sect. This is considered the evidence the state needed to invade the compound of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So far they have not found the young woman who initiated the call. Will they ever? What is the truth regarding this invasion and detention of a sect that practices polygamy?
I don't think much of polygamy. If men can have multiple young wifes, then I would think that women should be able to have multiple young husbands. Of course I am joking, but I am caught in the culture I was born into, so polygamy seems so strange to me. Yet, in our strange society, a number of married men have multiple sexual partners and some quite young. Many men seem to be practising serial marriages. (women also) Men trade in their old wives for something young and new. So what is the difference between men who practice polygamy and men in our society? Maybe its honesty. The polygamist is honest about his need for multiple young women. I am not trying to make light of the allegations of sexual abuse at this compound. But our society while condemning sexual abuse/rape rarely prosecutes the rapist. Women rarely take the rapist to court because the victim is put on trial not the perpetrator. How many victims of theft have to prove they are purer than pure and that they fought off the attacker? What are the statistics on rape? I believe I have read that one out of four women in the USA will be raped. So why are we repulsed by this religious sect?
What seems to be the case whether a woman lives in a religious sect or within our "modern" culture, women and children are victimized by a dominant male culture and by the legal system.
Who were the perpetutors of this supposed crime? Men in this religious sect. Who gets punished? T he women and children. Herded up, rounded up and then torn from each other. Why? Who are the perpetutors? The victims are the mothers and children. Place the children in foster care? Are you kidding? It has been long known that the separation of children from their mothers is detrimental to the mental and physical well-being of children. Mental health experts know that there will be serious repercussions to this abrupt separation.
Is this a religious war our country is waging? Reading history and the rise to power of Hitler, one is struck by the similarities of a government's ease in rounding up people who are different. Watching this round up of innocent mothers and children, sends shivers up my back. If we allow this to happen without public outcry, we are following in the footsteps of other country's who committ atrocities to people who are different.
Some blog writers believe that all the babies of these mothers should be given pumped breastmilk from their mothers. While certainly health is an important aspect, and human milk will keep these infants healthy. The physical separation is what I believe we should be shouting about publicly . Pumping milk under government supervision seems to me to be an open invitation for government to find another use for this milk (afterall they own patents on human milk). Interestingly enough, the first patent on the real human milk component (a patent on life) is owned by Baylor College of Medicine....of Texas. I guess all manner of strange comes out of Texas. I always say...only in Texas....."They came for the Fundamentalist Mormons and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Fundamentalist Mormon."
Copyright 2008 Valerie W. McClain

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