I'm not sure that I have ever been so relieved to see a headline. "Court Rules Removal of Children From FLDS Compound was Illegal."
Halleluiah. A court finally got one right.
The mass abduction of hundreds of children who lived at the "Yearning for Zion" ranch in Eldorado, Texas was just the beginning of predictably disgraceful behavior by the state's Child Protective Services agency. CPS is an agency that frequently runs amok in many states, an out-of-control organization that regularly tramples on the rights of adults accused of abusing children. The horror stories of parents humiliated by the storm trooper tactics of this bunch of state bureaucrats are lengthy.
I certainly understand that CPS has an unenviable task. It is extraordinarily difficult to weed out fact from fiction, particularly in a culture where more and more children are perfectly capable of spinning tall tales in order to exact revenge upon a strict parent.
But the mantra of "protecting our children" shouldn't give a state agency the ability to shred the constitutional rights of each and every adult who comes into CPS's crosshairs.
I've been repeatedly saying that the story of the FDLS child abuse "investigation" stinks to high heaven to anyone who would listen, particularly my radio audience. Nothing about the case seemed right: the supposed cry for help from a mysterious 16 year old girl who repeatedly called an agency hotline to complain of sexual abuse; the Gestapo-like tactics authorities used to raid the religious compound as a result of those phone calls, including the use of a tank and semi-automatic weapons as terrified children were stripped from their mothers' arms and spirited away; the appalling conditions these children have been held in, including published reports of toddlers crying for their missing mothers to rock them to sleep while CPS workers, refusing to have physical contact with the children, simply observed and took notes; the attempts by mothers and fathers to at least visit their sons and daughters being held by the state by traveling all over the Southeast to meet with them, only to be told that the children "haven't been assigned a case worker yet" and therefore were turned away; and the disturbing memos by mental health professionals who observed the children and determined that they were perfectly healthy, well-adjusted, polite children who should never have been taken from their home in the first place. One mental health worker wrote that she "has never been more ashamed of my country" by witnessing what the state of Texas has done to these children and their parents.