A staggering abuse of authority

To the editor:

Thank you for John L. Smith's excellent June 3 column about the Texas Child Protective Services' mistreatment of the very children it set out to "protect."

One has to ask, after reading stories about the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Texas, whatever happened to the separation of church and state? Or the concept of innocent until proven guilty? This appears to be a clear case of the government persecuting an out-of-favor church (one which, by the way, does not represent a large voter bloc), regardless of the other issues.

People came to America for the freedom to practice the religion of their choice, free from government persecution and discrimination. We might not choose to be FLDS ourselves, but the FLDS followers do have the right to exist. If one were to read this story without the names, dates and places, one might well assume that these events took place in Nazi Germany, not here and now.

It is certainly true that the FLDS church and some of its members face some very serious legal and criminal challenges, which should in no way be minimized. These issues need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis in a court of law, and those who are proved guilty of wrongdoing should be held accountable. But to grant the state carte-blanche power to invade the homes of all people who are part of this faith community, remove all these children from the care of their parents, and then cast these traumatized, fragmented families out into a gigantic concrete diaspora is discriminatory, unethical and unconstitutional (unless one's interpretation of the Constitution is quite elastic).

Today, the FLDS. Next time, the Methodists? The Lutherans?

Jan Waples


Sexual abuse

To the editor:

The Roman Catholic Church, with its own pedophilia litigation for abuse of minors, has handed out about half a billion dollars to the many claimants nationwide. The cases are still ongoing, with Texas also being a participant.

Yet we have this secretive FLDS group practicing a morally offensive form of sexual abuse, again involving minors -- namely young girls -- being reared to serve the future needs of the male elders or pseudo-prophets in arranged, ritualistic marriages under the guise of a religious dogma. Mothers are serving as vessels to give up their daughters, with vows of silence, for the enjoyment of some low-life.

Mental and physical abuse is torture without being forced into carnal enslavement of a cult. Society in no way should have to tolerate this type of sexual abuse of its minors in the name of God.




To the editor:

I have for a number of years thought that letters to the editor contributor Randall Buie was the answer to the normally rhetorical question "How confused can you be?" He continually blasts Republicans for not doing enough for the people but forgets the words of Democratic President John F. Kennedy: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

Further, he seems to forget that our Constitution states that we are a government supported by the people -- not a people supported by the government.

I'll only address the two issues from his Thursday rant that made me go "huh?" the loudest. The terrorist attack on our own soil that he blames on President Bush and any other Republican politician he can think of -- I am at a complete loss for how any American, Democrat or Republican, is responsible for that. I can see blaming Bill Clinton, because he sat on his hands after the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. President Clinton let that attack and attacks on American troops overseas and at sea go unpunished. Don't think that emboldened the terrorists any, do you Mr. Buie? As for our reputation with "world leaders" such as the French, I wouldn't worry. They've been there every time they needed us.

I'll close with some words of wisdom from Barry Goldwater: "A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have."

Stand on your own two feet, Mr. Buie. It feels good, and the exercise you get may lessen the need for Medicare and prescription drugs.

Richard Wassmuth


Drill now

To the editor:

Is Harry Reid watching the news? Gasoline in Mexico is selling in the mid $2-per-gallon range. Mexico is the number five oil-producing nation in the world.

Two plus two equals four. We must drill for oil here now.

Richard Santa Maria