Pappas: A tainted womb

By By Nicholas Pappas

By Nicholas Pappas

I was a handful when I was young. I hated losing at anything. I threw fits at every checkmate, intercepted ball or sunken battleship. My mother never let me win, either. She wanted me to know that in life nothing is easy and nothing is free.

It was just one of the many lessons I learned from my mother. All children should have a figure in their life who loves them unconditionally and always wants the best for them.

On April 3, Texas officials stormed an FLDS compound in Eldorado, Texas, and took temporary legal custody of 401 children. With them, 133 women came to provide care.

Texas Child Protective Services has vowed that each of the children will get an attorney to represent his or her interests in court. It is possible that many of them will be separated from their families.

The thought of this has caused outrage. The majority will not accuse the mothers of any wrongdoing and consider it a travesty that the government can tear a family apart.

Nothing could be further from the truth. These women are not innocent. Yes, they might have been indoctrinated in the faith, but they are not fools. Regardless of faith, rape is rape. Abuse is abuse. A mother who truly loves her children will not shrink in the corner and let them be molested. God has nothing to do with it.

It is exactly this bleeding-heart mentality that has allowed the abuse to continue for generations. In 1953, Arizona Gov. Howard Pyle was the prime mover on a polygamist raid in Short Creek, Ariz., that took about 263 women and children into custody. In a statement, he exposed the fundamentalists’ activities as “insurrection within our borders.”

The raid was a political disaster. Pyle invited more than 100 reporters to chronicle his pursuit of justice, but most were sympathetic to the polygamist families. The public reacted negatively against reports and photographs of children being taken from their mothers and placed in foster homes or public institutions against their will. Historian Juanita Brooks chastised those who would approve of “such a basically cruel and wicked thing as the taking of little children from their mothers.”

When Pyle lost his bid for reelection in 1954, he blamed the raid for his fall.

Most of the children were returned to their families. Short Creek became Colorado City. The polygamist colony was rejuvenated and remained untouched for almost half a century. That’s 50 years of slavery, brainwashing, rape and incest-all because children should remain with their mothers.

Texas did the right thing by tearing the compound apart. This is not a family. The YFZ Ranch is a cult, and, like any cult, its members need to stop looking at shadows on the wall and walk out of the cave-even if it means being separated from those who pretend to care.

History, it seems, repeats itself. When the dust has cleared, Texas will give in to a pleading public and make sure the children stay with their mothers. The mothers, enablers, will bring them back home, and the mental and physical abuse will continue.

These children need a life outside of the nightmare they’ve woken up to every day. It’s a lesson any good mother will teach. Doing the right thing won’t always be easy, it won’t always be free, but it will be worth it.

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