Deep in the heart of Texas
I am sure many of you have been watching the events taking place in Eldorado Texas. I am grateful, as I am sure you are that this raid was accomplished without physical violence. I hope you have been praying for all concerned, as I have been doing.
While reading the first news reports I kept have a deja vu like feeling. I finally figured it out. In 1998 I rode my motorcycle up the road into San Angelo where this religious community seems to be (they were not there yet). I wrote about it in my column about Spiritual Adventure.
In today's news story there was this bit about the search of the temple on the ranch.
"Two people were arrested and 416 children were taken into state custody at the ranch -- which is run by founder Warren Steed Jeffs' Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. At the ranch, authorities say, men routinely took multiple wives, and girls as young as 13 were forced into sexual relationships with adult men.
Authorities say the most tense moment of the raid came Sunday night, when they went to search the group's temple. As in mainstream Mormon worship, the group considers its temple sacrosanct, and custom forbids any nonbeliever ...
We knew that the temple was going to be the most sensitive issue and building on the property...
Caver and Schleicher County Sheriff David Doran said they'd spoken repeatedly with Merrill Jessop, an elder in the church and supervisor of the ranch, in hopes the search would go as smoothly as possible.
But Caver said the elder told him the men of the church would draw a line at giving access to the temple.
They lined up about 57 people, as we counted them, around the walls of the temple,"
Caver said. "They told us if they did not do that, then they would basically be in violation of their beliefs by not defending their temple."
While some of the men cried and prayed, none violently opposed the officers."
I like to think of myself as open to learning from most faiths, and I am tolerant of my fellow humans freedom to have the relationships that they are led to have.
But a religion that takes the desecration of a building more seriously than the desecration of a child, has no claim to faith. Where were the tears, the prayers and the defense of these girls?