Clearly I can’t leave well enough alone. This is just a quick link to an MSNBC article about FLDS parents driving hundreds of miles to see their children, as the sibling groups have been scattered to all corners of the Lone Star state. The FLDS spokesman claims to see something fishy in this, and although I’m more disposed to suspect any spokesman than I am the individual parents, I have to agree. Forget about the parents. Does anyone honestly think it’s good for children from tightly-knit families to be separated from their siblings? We’re talking about elementary-age children here. And again, why the big emphasis on keeping the mothers, not accused of any crime, away from the children, unless the real point of all of this is to reprogram them into proper modern children?

Just basic constitutional principles here. No one should be deprived of life or liberty without due process of law. Both children and parents here are being deprived of liberty, and with only a farce of a legal hearing so far. What kind of a precedent is this setting? What if the Arkansas authorities decide that being forced to grow up in a family of 18 children constitutes abuse, or brainwashing? Can they just go and confiscate the Duggars’ children? What about Amish children, brought up in isolation from the world, without simple amenities like electricity and TV? Should we forcibly assimilate them, distribute them through foster homes? What about homeschooled children? Back in the ’70s and early ’80s, they were indeed kidnapped away from their families, and parents spent weeks, even months in jail, for the crime of not conforming to the government-run school system. Maybe we should reopen this. They get spanked, after all, and taught all kinds of weird things: creationism, obedience to their parents (rather than teenage rebellion), the biblical perspective on all subjects, and forbidden to date. Maybe we need to move towards imitating the German government’s approach, where they recently put a teenaged girl in a mental asylum because her parents were brainwashing her by teaching her at home. (in case you thought the Germans had gotten over the fascist approach to the state’s privileges)

Whatever happened to the old-fashioned idea of burden of proof? Doesn’t the Texas government need to prove its allegations in order to keep these children locked up away from their mothers, brothers, and sisters?