Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I was silent...

I was reading an article this morning from the American Chronicle. A couple of things caught my eye. This poem is one that's been on my mind since the whole FLDS thing started.

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

by Martin Niemöller

It is our responsibility to speak out about the abuses heaped on the FLDS. If we don't, we essentially give up our franchise, and cease to be a democratic republic. From the Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

It is my opinion that our Founders made only one small error in that statement. They said that it is the "Right of the People" where they should have made it stronger by saying "the Responsibility of the People." They were working under the assumption that people were naturally going to be responsible, though, as that was the norm in their society. It never occurred to them that people would require reminders that they are responsible for their own government.

So much about the FLDS raid is wrong. Surely Warren Jeffs was involved in abuse, and either turned a blind eye to it or encouraged it, but that doesn't mean the entire community was involved. He was one man, even if he was the prophet, and he couldn't be everywhere at once. There seem to be many hundreds of people who have come forward to comment how things changed under Jeffs, and how they would not and DO not put up with abuse. Why should we punish the innocent?

Worse yet, why should we punish all those innocent children and many of the innocent adults, before they've been accused of a crime? If there's no crime of abuse, and no charges have been leveled yet, then all those children are being traumatized for the ego trip of the governing Texan bodies.
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