Religion

The Cost of Yearning for Zion

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Michelle Shinghal blogs, re: what happened to the kids who were in the Yearning for Zion Ranch, the polygamist compound recently raided in Texas:

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that the cost of foster care for the kidnapped FLDS children will be nearly $1 million a month. The total cost to taxpayers for this fiasco could top $21 million.

More here.

reason's Jacob Sullum looked at "Latter-Day Taint" here.

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  1. Raising other people’s kids could be a sweet little cottage industry.

  2. Can I just point out that there are many single mothers in this country that would love, love, love to see a $1200 monthly- per child- support check? And, the monthly emergency shelter rate of $3379 plus approximately $700 monthly in paid health care is more than some dual income families make in a single month. You’d think that the jackasses at CPS who are supposed to be so much better at parenting would have learned to budget a little better.

    Well, I hope nobody comes up with the pragmatic notion that the last time some government decided to save children from their whacko religious parents they found it more cost-effective to burn their church down around them and be done with it.

    Enjoy paying your taxes this year! They’re going for a series of really good causes, aren’t they?

  3. As a member of the Church of Zod of Latter-Day Taint, I am offended by this reference…

  4. They just can’t get it right can they?
    Florida acts to keep Elian Gonzalez from an abusive situation but the Feds step in and ship the poor kid back to a totalitarian climate. Now Texas rips all the kids from a community where some allegedly were abused and the Feds stand by and allow it to go on.
    If the State of Texas is so concerned – it’s for the kids afterall – then why aren’t they rounding up all the kids in various neighborhoods in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, etc. where parenting skills are so absent as to constitute abuse? With the Texas GOP state convention coming up in June, maybe some delegates will have the guts to introduce a resolution to end the madness.

  5. The total cost to taxpayers for this fiasco could top $21 million.

    Which, of course, will be blamed on the polygamists, and serve to justify throwing the book at them even more.

  6. hmmmm…..Neil before Zod?

    No, no, Zod before Neil.

  7. Well, nobody could ever make money or have a career if he/she got

    http://www.cmt.com/artists/az/lynn_loretta/bio.jhtml

    married at 13!

  8. then why aren’t they rounding up all the kids in various neighborhoods in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, etc. where parenting skills are so absent as to constitute abuse?

    I made a similar point in a LTE. If teenage pregnancy is an issue, why are there on campus childcare facilities at Texas high schools?

  9. “Emergency shelters”? Is that a euphemism for camps?

  10. I want to know how many nursing infants, babies and toddlers have been separated from their mothers.

    Talk about child abuse.

    I can’t even talk about this clusterfuck, it makes me too upset.

  11. It’s one religious group using “the law” as cover under which to fuck with another religious group. Southern Baptists are creepy that way.

  12. hmmmm…..Neil before Zod?
    No, no, Zod before Neil.

    The rule is Aieee! before Eeeek! and Zod before sodomy after Neil kneels.

  13. Well, nobody could ever make money or have a career if he/she got

    http://www.cmt.com/artists/az/lynn_loretta/bio.jhtml

    married at 13!

    Funny you say that. I know a nice woman who got married at the age of 13. She managed to raise 4 decent kids, outlive 4 husbands, and owned her own business until she decided to retire last year.

    Anecdote is not data, etc., etc., but she is an interesting counterpoint to some of the wilder claims the state is putting out.

  14. FLDS is a misogynistic lunatic cult.
    Unless age of consent laws have been systematically violated (no charges filed to date), the state of Texas has no business taking these kids into protective custody.

    I gave the Texas authorities the benefit of the doubt when this first went down because lunatic cults do have a history of destroting children. Benefit of the doubt is not to be confused with carte blanche. Texas, it’s time to put up or shut up and resign.

  15. The facts of this case just keep getting worse.

    From the original caller apparently being a hoax–I understand the girl who called the shelter that sparked the raid, claiming to be a pregnant under age bride, has been identified as a 37 year old woman with a history of making bogus calls claiming to be an abused teen, to the recent revelation that at least one of the pregnant teens was actually 22 years old–and had identification to prove it…

    The State of Texas ‘s got some ‘splainin’ to do.

  16. Texas aint ‘splainin’ nothing! They will continue and successfully prosecute somebody, for something and say it was all justified “for the children”. Meanwhile the children’s whole world has been shattered and thier lives will start spiraling down the drain.

  17. It’s one religious group using “the law” as cover under which to fuck with another religious group. Southern Baptists are creepy that way.

    QFT, except I’m not sure that it’s just Baptists. I think it’s also a good proportion of all soccer moms and golfers. Otherness is often not tolerated.

    Same time, I’d have a lot more sympathy if I didn’t think that they were a bunch of misogynistic fucks who force girls into marriage at the first sign of menarche to keep them from developing any independence outside of their men.

  18. The State of Texas ‘s got some ‘splainin’ to do.

    ‘spainin’ isn’t the Texas way. Everything’s bigger in Texas, and state hubris is no exception.

  19. Same time, I’d have a lot more sympathy if I didn’t think that they were a bunch of misogynistic fucks who force girls into marriage at the first sign of menarche to keep them from developing any independence outside of their men.

    And if that is happening, where are the charges? I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but there is this burden of proof thingee in western jurisprudence that I kinda like.

  20. “Texas aint ‘splainin’ nothing! They will continue and successfully prosecute somebody, for something and say it was all justified “for the children”. Meanwhile the children’s whole world has been shattered and thier lives will start spiraling down the drain.”

    Child Protective Services devastate childrens’ lives for reasons they consider justified all over this great land of ours every day. Sure, improperly doing so is indefensible.

    We can blame the State of Texas for some of their bad arguments in this case–treating every child in the town as if they were in one family because they all lived on the ranch is one bad argument, and taking the boys, not because of anything they did or was done to them, but because they were allegedly being “groomed” to someday marry underage brides is another.

    But bad arguments pale in comparison to bad facts.

    And speaking of the facts, I was wrong about the 37 year-old woman–apparently she’s only 33.

    http://origin.sltrib.com/ci_9028130

    http://origin.sltrib.com/ci_9086740

    So, faulty arguments be damned, if the facts aren’t as the state says they are…

    If the original complaint was a crank call and a hoax, if the pregnant underage girls they took weren’t underage… Then Texas is going to have to explain the facts.

    They can blather on about the arguments forever, but the facts are the facts. …they can justify breaking families apart like they always do, but the facts are the facts.

  21. Jsub,

    Not disagreeing with you. Due process and burden of proof are good things. It’s looking more and more like Texas fucked up bigtime.

    I (at least tentatively, barring evidence I haven’t seen) decry Texas’ behavior. But don’t want that to be mistaken for supporting FLDS jerkoffery towards women.

  22. Maybe Child Protective Services should team up with the DEA, for the children.

  23. Ken Schultz,

    Have you not learned anything from the last 7 years?

    Facts are irrelevent, only opinion matters and argument.

    Whatever the “facts” are wont change the outcome. Not in this country, and certianly not in Texas.

    They will continue to demonize these people regardless of what the “facts” are. There will be a trial (or trials) and the state will get it’s guilty vedict, one way or another.

    The “facts” don’t matter to the state, nor it’s courts, not anymore.

  24. If’n ahn caint raise mah chillun in order to have me sum fuck-buddies, ah say that Americuh is a gol-durn fascisticial state. If’n fucken pre-teens is good enough for that there David Ko-resh, it’s good enough for me.

    And doan call it no clusterfuck, Browynie. Even ah draws the line at fucken embree-yos.

    Now I’se got to goen fuck mah youngest. Thanks for all the support, y’all.

  25. I (at least tentatively, barring evidence I haven’t seen) decry Texas’ behavior. But don’t want that to be mistaken for supporting FLDS jerkoffery towards women.

    Oh we agree on that.

    FLDS is a misogynistic lunatic cult.

  26. In my county, CPS has taken two kids from parents to put into foster homes who were subsequently murdered by the foster parents. That’s two different kids and two different foster parents. That kind of record really doesn’t instill much faith in the system. My take on CPS is that it is one screwed up system that at best, doesn’t make things any better than they were.

  27. It’s rarely asked whether the harm of removing a child from thier home and placing them with total strangers is worse than the harm being alleged to occur at home. Certainly never asked by anyone in CPS.

    It’s something which deserves more consideration.

  28. Texas DPS is going to get sued and they are going to lose most of the criminal stuff as well. Why isn’t there someone in command that can step forward and cut their losses?

  29. They should have let the moms and kids stay home…ship the men out! Again women and kids are the victims.

  30. ktc2,

    It’s rarely asked whether the harm of removing a child from thier home and placing them with total strangers is worse than the harm being alleged to occur at home. Certainly never asked by anyone in CPS.

    It’s something which deserves more consideration.

    Actually, that consideration is a crucial part of the process and is given considerable weight in the design of procedural protections for parent’s rights. I would say that virtually no one working in CSP fails to ask that question on a daily basis, in regards to each case they are involved in…both formally and informally.

    The odd circumstances of the FLDS case have thrown the CPS process outta whack…it should not be considered representative of how things are done…even in Texas.

    Treating individuals according to their membership in a group is always a bad idea. Individual cases should have been assessed… mass round-up of individuals always raises the risk of false positives too high (in cases like this even 1 or 2 percent is unacceptable).

    False positives will lead to folks like Ken (justifiably) to cast aspersions on the whole operation. In the end it will be interesting to see how many of the cases are substantiated…I am sure their false positive rate will be double digit…if not a majority of the cases.

  31. FLDS is a misogynistic lunatic cult.

    If by that you mean “people who believe that Joseph Smith’s commandments about polygamy were the literal word of God, and thus should be obeyed”, then sure.

    I suspect, though, you mean “they are people with an alternate lifestyle I don’t understand or empathize with or approve of, and so let’s use derogatory words to describe it”.

    Apparently that’s OK, unless you’re talking about Teh Gais, in which case you’re unenlightened and need to go to cosmotarian reeducation camp.

  32. This is where libertarianism has it right: we need to reduce this bureaucratic, pluralist war machine and embrace local, independent communities, not bankrupt super states that arm themselves against symbolic enemies every 4th year.

  33. NM,

    Actually from my experience they remove first, ask questions later (if ever).

    Maybe I’m just jaded having had my 3 ex-wives and my wife’s ex-husband all get together for drinks and concoct a story to get custody back.

    Nobody looked for any evidence or asked any questions. It got ugly fast and wasn’t resolved for years at which point everything was classified as “unfounded” of course.

  34. I live in Texas, and this whole thing seriously has me second-guessing whether I should have kids.

    Any day, CPS could roll in here, and with no evidence beyond an invisible informant’s word, can take my children away from me and call me physically or sexually abusive. That is a stigma which cannot be removed from the public opinion – think about how Kobe Bryant is still seen as a rapist or OJ Simpson is still seen as a murderer. Yet, this is exactly what has happened in this case.

    I’ve never been paranoid about the government like this, but CPS just scares the crap out of me so bad…

  35. FLDS CPS is a misogynistic lunatic cult.

    fixed

  36. CPS should scare the crap out of you, they are subject to no constitutional restraints and if you piss them off they will take your kids. They have all the power in the world with very little oversight.

  37. Ha, look at this:

    When the hearings resumed Tuesday, the welfare agency acknowledged that another three young mothers are actually 18 or older. That acknowledgment, following earlier admissions about four other young mothers, means the state has no more than 24 underage mothers in state custody, not 31, as officials initially said. About 20 others may still be reclassified.

    Parker said the final number of underage mothers will likely be closer to five or six, though he acknowledged that some of the young mothers apparently were pregnant while younger than 17 – Texas’ age of consent.

  38. You said a mouthful, miche!

    Them durn Texans can only prove wese LDSers fucked five or six underage girlses — tops! Our boy Parker says the state kin only prove six statutory rapes, I means, underage deliveries! Hyuck, hyuck! Thet proves wese’s as innocent as an eight-year old bride!

    Course’n, we fucked a far sight more, but wese’s so inbred our seed don’t take too offen.
    And if they haint jail bait when they gives birth, hit doan matter how old they is when we bangs ‘um, am ah raht?

    We’d love to have yer daughters comen visit us, right soon! Or at least start breedin’ — I haint gettin’ any younger! All you libbertarianses bring the l’il uns and we’ll treat ’em right nice, ya hear?

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