[FLDS Raid] The towns of Eldorado and San Angelo, Tex., are swarming with reporters after state authorities last week swept into the YFZ Ranch and removed 416 children of FLDS polygamists.
One of the best analysis pieces I've seen yet came last night on KSL television. John Hollenhorst reported that Texas law enforcement and social service authorities are fully aware of the grand scale of this child protection action--the largest ever in Texas. They're doing so because, based on interviews with children so far and other evidence sought through detailed search warrants, authorities believe the entire FLDS culture thrives--exists, even--on a foundation of routinely abusing children.
The theory is this: Young girls are taught from the cradle to submit to the demands of their husbands. Their marriages are arranged, and typically, a much-older husband "grooms" the young girl from an early age for his sexual gratification. FLDS boys don't fare much better. They learn from childhood to use girls and women in the same manner as their fathers and other men they are taught to emulate.
Texas officials have hopes of rooting out child abuse that is deeply ingrained within FLDS culture. It will be a huge legal challenge; as of this moment, attorneys for several of the men at the Eldorado compound are arguing their civil rights were violated during the raid and continue to be ignored. Read Hollenhorst's intriguing take on the legal maneuvering here.
What do you think? Is the Texas approach to breaking down an entire culture appropriate? Does it make legal sense? Is the FLDS system so morally bankrupt it should be eradicated?