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Paul Hayden

Government-Approved Religions and Cults

May 5, 2008

So, let me make sure I have this straight. Hate-filled Islamic Madrassas are okay. To discriminate against them would be racial profiling.

Homes with two parents of the same sex are just fine. In fact, any "family" involving a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender relationship is to be tolerated - even encouraged. All enlightened people know this. To do anything but promote deviant lifestyles is narrow-minded, homophobic and borders on hate speech.

Even a cult like Scientology is winked at because it its most public practitioners are Hollywood stars who look prosperous and pretty, not dowdy and weird.

But God help any group which holds unusual religious views, whose fundamentalist Mormon adherents look strange and choose to withdraw from society to protect its children, and which runs afoul of the standard government definition of what comprises a religion.

I have deliberately waited several weeks to write about the raid by state authorities on the compound near Eldorado, Texas, but I am finally ready to opine on the subject.

I think it was Waco without the flames.

Make no mistake: there is no excuse for child sexual abuse. It should be punished with much greater severity than it is in most venues in this country. But as far as can be determined so far, the only evidence available in this case is an anonymous phone call from a female who claimed to be 16 years old and who said she was being forced to have sex with her 49-year-old "husband." On the strength of that phone call, Texas authorities raided the compound, took more than 400 children into state custody and denied them access to their mothers. Worse, it appears these children may be placed in foster homes or even put up for adoption.

(Interestingly, the only person so far connected with the anonymous phone call is Rozita Swinton, a Colorado woman who also happens to be a Barack Obama delegate to her state's Democratic convention. This is no reflection on Sen. Obama, but it would be interesting to see what the mainstream media might have done with the story had she been a Republican, especially if she had been committed to Mormon Mitt Romney.)

I personally know of situations where concerned neighbors and/or family members have tried in vain to get children removed from homes where one or both parents have been guilty of exposing their young children to dangerous drugs, including Meth. In one case, a case worker from Child Protective Services was quoted as saying, "We know they use drugs, but we can't do anything about it."

Why, then is a state government allowed to use military tactics and weaponry to raid a peaceful group of people on the strength of an anonymous phone call? For the same reason, Janet Reno's Justice Department got away with burning the Branch Davidian compound to the ground, killing men, women and children in the process. It is the same reason the Clinton-Reno regime was allowed to take Elian Gonzales at gunpoint and return him to the misery of Castro's Cuba. Because we, the people, allowed it. There was not a sufficient outcry from the public to stop it. Unfortunately, I don't believe there will be enough to stop this travesty, either.

If there is evidence of child abuse, or any other crime, by all means prosecute the perpetrators. But when government decides that hundreds of children should be taken from their mothers because the group to which those mothers belong is not on the sanctioned list of politically correct beliefs, America has crossed over into a dangerous area of government-approved religions and cults. And yours could be next.

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Copyright ©2008 Doug Patton

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at dpatton@cagle.comand/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.