There is the aspect of freedom of religion and if these people want to live in a communal way and stay separated from the rest of society, they have the right to do that. But if their religion includes forcing young girls to marry older men and to have babies by them? Well, that kind of cancels out the freedom of religion part.
Still, knowing that all the children have been removed and are going to be placed with families they don’t know and who surely do not live as these children are used to living is fairly horrifying to me.
All the women in their long pastel dresses saying “we just want our children back” complete the surreal aspect of the whole story. These women are like robots or stepford wives or something. They sniffle a bit but I have seen no tears. The tape of one of them showing the press around their living quarters is scary to say the least. How is it that what they say is their religion seems to have stolen their souls?
Of course these women want their children back. They are mothers. They have most likely grown up in that atmosphere themselves and it is all they know. The fact that they are not reacting like you or I would if someone took our children – doesn’t mean they don’t feel. But boy oh boy it sure appears that way.
The sparseness of their existence, the absolute devotion to their beliefs is their right whether any of us think it’s bizarre or not. But they can’t raise children to believe it’s okay to force girls barely into puberty to marry men to become one of his several wives, and to be fruitful and multiply. That’s just wrong.
Still – I can’t help thinking about the trauma the children are going through. They are going to be placed in homes where there will be TV which they are not accustomed to, and people who do not dress like them, talk like them, and don’t worship as they do. They are not only used to having a mother, they are used to having several mothers. What kind of psychological damage is this going to cause them?
I know that what is being done is in the best interests of these children but oh my gosh – how much help can they be given before it starts to hurt?
I don’t have any answers. I have no idea what would be a better way to handle the situation. For the most part I am disturbed that the situation exists at all. But it does and I don’t think there is a way to deal with it without hurting someone.
I just wish it weren’t the children.