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Published:May 23rd, 2008 09:25 EST
Court Rules Texas Had No Right To Take Sect Children

Court Rules Texas Had No Right To Take Sect Children

By Robert Paul Reyes

A few weeks ago when I saw the images on TV of 400 children forcibly removed from a polygamist sect's ranch, I was devastated by the miscarriage of justice. How dare the government separate children from their parents without any legal grounds? If the government had proof that a kid was sexually abused, then the state would have every right to remove him from a dangerous environment. But to kidnap 400 youngsters because of rumors that some of them were being abused is a larger crime than anything that went on inside that religious compound.

It's interesting to note that what precipitated the government raid on the sect's ranch was not hard evidence, but an imposter claiming to be a teenager who was abused at the ranch.

My family and friends did not share my empathy for the devastated mothers. "They're polygamists and cultist weirdos, why are you defending them", they argued.

It's ironic that a freethinker, who thinks that religion is a blight on humankind, was one of the few individuals standing up for the rights of the cultists.

Thank goodness that we finally see a semblance of sanity in this tragic episode:

"Texas appeals court said Thursday that the state had no right to take more than 400 children from a polygamist sect's ranch, a ruling that could unravel one of the biggest child-custody cases in U.S. history.
The Third Court of Appeals in Austin ruled that the state offered "legally and factually insufficient" grounds for the "extreme" measure of removing all children from the ranch, from babies to teenagers.

The state never provided evidence that the children were in any immediate danger, the only grounds in Texas law for taking children from their parents without court approval, the appeals court said.

It was not immediately clear whether the children scattered across foster facilities statewide might soon be reunited with parents.

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I hope the children are quickly reunited with their parents, and I pray that their inevitable lawsuits will bankrupt the state of Texas.