Recently the state of Texas raided a Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints compound. As a result of the raid, the government of Texas has taken custody of nearly 400 children. But given the current state of the child welfare services, these children are being removed from the lion's den to be put in the tiger's lair. The tragedies of this raid are twofold:
One is left wondering why now. The American government has been aware of the systematic rape and abuse of children by the FLDS for decades. The leader of the sect, Warren Jeffs, was convicted of being an accomplice to rape a year ago. For decades there have been numerous books, articles, and news broadcasts documenting the many heinous crimes committed by the FLDS leadership. It is amazing that the federal government can find the man power to make dozens of raids on California medical marijuana clinics and perform tax audits on thousands of Americans, yet for years turned a blind eye to what has essentially been an independent, totalitarian country run by pedophiles on American soil.
The second great tragedy is the horrible state of our nation's child welfare services. The children, taken from a religion which has failed them, are being turned over to a government bureaucracy which is almost certain to fail them as well. The sins of the FLDS are numerous: failure to provide a healthy environment, failure to provide a proper education, failure to provide a future, and a long history of physical and sexual abuse. But our child welfare system is all too often guilty of the same crimes. These children are being taken from one horrible system to only be put at the mercy of another.