Polygamist Pop Quiz

The raid on the LDS compound in El Dorado, TX shows me that:
(select any or all that apply)

a. Our government does everything it can to save and/or protect kids

b. Our government might be prosecuting religious organizations too strongly. What is next?

c. Religious organizations should be able to practice religious activities in private

d. Everything in Religious organizations should be made public so that we can make sure there is nothing illegal going on.

e. the obligatory “other” ___________________

=robin

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About pastorrobin

Hello. I pastor PromiseLand Church in San Marcos, TX. I am married to Erica, and we have 3 kids: Kennady, Jude, and Avery. All little ones! Visit our church site at www.psmchurch.com

Posted on April 16, 2008, in Pop Quizes. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. That’s a very difficult question to answer.

    On the one hand, I am very reticent to say that they should be allowed to practice completely in private if they are endangering lives or abusing people.

    On the other hand, I’m sort of the opinion that the government pries way too much (way beyond the limits of the Constitution) into some private affairs, and I don’t know where that line should be drawn.

    I think my final answer would be that I just don’t know enough of the facts (only hearing what is reported in the media — not very well-known for being unbiased!!) to really pass judgment on this issue. I do have a rather unsettled feeling about it, but I can’t figure out if that’s because of the government’s action, or because of what is alleged to have been happening in the sect.

    My fear is that we may see another Waco-type incident, and I hope it does not get to that point.

  2. Wow. Steve, good to hear from you. what a thorough and open response. I agree with you.

  3. I have to agree with Brother Steve here. I had to think about this for a bit when I read it this morning, and I think Steve hit all the points I would have hit. I will be interested in what others have to think about this.

  4. I’ll go for ‘C’, but the raid did not occur until there was a report of abuse, so I do not consider this as a religious prosecution. If an activity is considered a religious practice by someone but is against the law, then those activities should be curtailed until such a time as the law is changed. If a law is broken, the officials were correct to step in and investigate. I wonder if this group of people considers the rape of children to be a religious activity. What is ironic is the fact that if the folk’s activities at the compound could have withstood public scrutiny, and they all voted in unison, they could have controlled the local politics because of the sparse population in the county and their large numbers.

  5. The outcry which necessitated the search warrant happened with one individual they cannot locate now.

    It is now known the government has been accumulating evidence against this group for a number of years. I wonder if they jumped at the chance or I wonder if the initial complaint is recorded. If I were the media I would do an open records request of the outcry.

    I am of the opinion if there were crimes committed (young girls sexually abused) then perpetrators and also mothers who knew and neglected to keep them safe should be prosecuted. If the officials find that there were no abuses, then return the children to their parents regardless of whether I agree with their form of worship.

    I answer C as long as defenseless minors are not hurt.

  6. Rob and Carolyn are hitting on the issue that might be a “deal” for other religious organizations. Most people (religious or not) agree that dangerous situations for minors is morally wrong.

    The debatable situation is: what is morally wrong. The Christian community has a different viewpoint than non-Christians. Will the non-Christian viewpoint at some point restrict Christians from practicing their worship freely? Will they consider some of our practices discriminatory?

    Are these questions valid concerns or just conspiracy theories?

  7. It is a very real issue that will impact our Christian heritage very soon if it has not already done so. The Biblical point of view on homosexual activity is at odds with the vocal minority pushing this agenda. It has been pushed so hard in the media and in schools that legislation has been proposed (H. R. 254) labeling anti-homosexual rhetoric as hate speech. You can check out comment on this bill at: http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=54260

  8. This is the question I have been pondering in my head since the onset of this situation. My main concern is the “truth” that is being given by the media. At my last church, we had much media scrutiny about the Brownsville revival “breakout” with our youth. One parent, who was an atheist, did not like that his son was walking away from sports, old friends, and old social habits of his family (drinking and social partying) and he got the media involved and made it look like we were being extreme, manipulative, and even, at times, abusive with the teenagers.

    One report that surfaced in the newspaper was a letter to the editor accusing the youth pastor (I was the associate youth pastor at the time) of being inappropriate with a young lady in our ministry…which was never proven and I know for a fact was false. This started an entire rampage of media coverage from the local news to “20/20” and “A Current Affair”. Our ministry was questioned, falsly accused, scrutinized, and lied about. Of course, the public believed the negative about the church because it was much more interesting than the truth.

    In the end, Romans 8:28 proved correct…it all worked out for good. People started coming to the churhc to see what was “REALLY” happening and when they got in the door, they felt the love of Jesus and never left. Our attendance went from around 650 weekly to around 2000. Many news reporters and camera operators gave their hearts to Jesus. In fact, one Head Newscaster quit her job as a journalist and started working for the church and became the director of the media ministry!

    What I am trying to say in all this is that before we pass judgement, we need to know all the facts. We have to make sure that our religious freedom is protected because Satan wants that stripped from us. We CANNOT allow anyone, especially children, to be harmed in the name of religion, but we cannot allow anyone to be hindered in their worship if we don’t agree with their style. I don’t know if the Polygamist Sect is hurting children or not. If they are, they need to be stopped. I do not agree with their theology on marriage, but that does not give me the right to say they cannot worship freely in America. If their religious freedom is hindered, ours will be next.

    The man that started the entire mess with my old church felt his son was being hurt because he no longer wanted to play football and he was convicted by the drinking. He thought we had to be stopped before we “hurt anyone else.” However, what I saw was a sixteen year old falling in love with Jesus and wanting to be everything he could be to bring Him glory.

  9. Wow, Pastor Dan…that was alot to go through. For every Godly ministry out there, there are just as many harmful ministries. The thing that makes me so angry about these “investigations” is there is never follow up. I bet 20/20 didn’t come back and clear up anyone’s name when they had been cleared.

    I’ve worked with several youth ministries and at one a young lady (too young to legally make the decision) had a consenting relationship with one of the youth workers…it was WRONG and ugly but thankfully NOT in the news. At another church, a parent accused the youth team of wrong doing (not legally wrong) and that team had not done anything wrong but one youth worker was put through the ringer anyway.

    Churches must be held accountable when it comes to adults and minors. Ideally, the church should hold the adults accountable but we’ve all heard horror stories about kids being abused by adults under the name of “religion”.

    As far as this situation, I do think it needs or needed to be investigated. I do question exactly what laws have been broken. Polygemy is stupid (opinion) but as long as the people involved are consenting adults, then who cares, they will answer to God. EXCEPT, the laws of our country make this illegal and the Bible clearly tells us to follow the law. What concerns me is the children…

    Are they being abused? Are they being forced into marriage before the legal age? If so, then the adults in this situation should be held accountable under the law.

    If it is proven that no laws have been broken those who approved the “raid” and violated the civil rights of these people should be held accountable. In this country we are SUPPOSE to be INNOCENT until proof is provided in a court setting that we are guilty.

  10. I have been watching the overexposure from the media concerning this topic and it is heartbreaking regarding the children. I can hear their cries. I feel sympathy for the women too but then I truly believe there is an avenue to escape or report it if they desire (maybe I am unfamiliar with the beliefs/theology ). What is the presidential candidates’ view over this matter?

  11. In watching the women on TV, their faces reminded me of a movie I watched years ago called “The Stafford Wives”
    Where are their husbands, Are the Leaders why aren`t they not speaking up, ( if they have not done nothing wrong? Why want the women answer the one question put to them over and over. Have you every seen any young girls abused or made to marry ?
    They go back to their same answer, our children are innocent,ect,ect, Know i know that the mothers are concern for their children but something just does not seem right to me. (My opinoin)

  12. think about this:

    CPS (or our government) is saying that it is morally UNacceptable for a 50 year old man to marry a 15 yr old girl.

    However, they say it is morally Acceptable for us to kill the 15 yr old girl while she was still in the womb.

    ???

    We do legislate morality…

  13. I agree this topic is a hard one to “side” I dont think there is a right or wrong way to go.

    Yes! if the children are really being abused then of course soemone needed to step in. But who gets to say what religous practices are abuse?? There are many type and religous practices that you or I might may think are “strange” and we would not practice. Just as they probley think how we get in the spirt is “strange”

    But who are we to tell someone what they HAVE to belive. I know that I wouldn’t want someone to come to me and tell me that I am WRONG and I belive in whats wrong. OF course I would take their opinoin and agree to disagree. 🙂

    In the end its not us who people have to anwser to and God is the only one who should judge.

    I do think that soemthings do not add up in this and that there ios more then the public knows.

    I only pray for the children! I could not imagine how they must feel right now to be RIPPED away from the only thing they have known and thrown into a world of the “system’ How lost and scarde they must be feeling. My GOD be with them give them comfort and peace as they go threw this whole ordeal!!

  14. Bryan Thornton

    I believe where religious groups begin to have problems is when they deciede that they need to become closed off from the public and this is where they begin down a dark journey. As GOD’S children we have nothing to hide and As long as we stay open to the people as JESUS stay open to us then we have nothing to worry about. Our religion never needs to be private and hidden but parts of our relationship with GOD can be.

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