Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Religious Persecution

I was watching CNN last night, and the breaking news about the Texas sheriff's raid on the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints' compound, then the busing away of 401 children.

I'm disgusted by the media coverage. It's unbalanced and inflammatory. One commentator called the polygamists a cult. Another talked about statutory rape and abuse, but no one was defining those terms, or telling the public what is really going on.

Admittedly, polygamy, especially from the outside, looks like an ugly, difficult life. But these people are practicing their religion, and they fervently believe it. Furthermore, it's been their way of life for at least a hundred years. This didn't just start happening yesterday! Most apalling to me is that the Texas authorities are seriously thinking about taking children from their parents and placing them in foster care, because of "imminent danger."

Religious freedom doesn't count for much, if you can't practice your religion, no matter how odd that religion seems to the rest of us. Certainly, some of the girls did enter into early marriages, but by the standards of their religion and culture, it certainly isn't rape. What's going on in Texas amounts to state-sanctioned religious persecution.