Friday, April 18, 2008
Religious Liberty or Pedophilia?
If you haven't followed the situation in Texas, it's ugly. There is a Mormon sect there where the state alleges that girls as young as 13 were forced to marry older men and have children early and often. The State of Texas has removed more than 400 children from the compound and is in the process of holding mass custody hearings trying to protect the kids from what they allege is an abusive situation.
I'm a bit conflicted by this. I understand that a 13 year old cannot consent to marriage in the United States. And 50 year old men marrying them are pedophiles in my opinion. And I truly feel sorry for these young girls who are in essences brainwashed and abused, while their mothers sit idly by and watch it happen. But I don't like the idea of the state interfering in religious practice, because you don't know where it will stop.
I'm not condoning what went on at this compound in Texas. I just don't trust the government to stay out of religious issues. With the emergence of Obama's pastor's rants as a political issue, the church is receiving some interesting scrutiny. It is one thing when a rogue religion violates the law of the land on child abuse and polygamy. But I don't want to see government expand its powers to begin infringing on religious practices. Rev. Wright's sermons and events like this invite well-intentioned legislators to meddle in things where they should tread lightly. And government walks with a heavy foot.