Note: While this story does not mention Texas RioGrande Legal Aid by name, it is nevertheless a strong reflection of the work of TRLA to help the mothers of Eldorado.
Every now and then, an important news story reminds us how easy it is to slip back to the mentality of Salem and the politics of guilt by association. When this happens, we should note how well the legal profession responds to the call.
The mothers at the FLDS ranch were “easy pickins.” They dressed funny, and their hairstyles brought giggles on the “Today” show. But their stunned looks of grief at the loss of their children touched a raw nerve inside every loving parent. And in the days that followed, more and more people were troubled by the continuing news reports that contained … nothing new. But the gossip was lurid, a situation ripe for hysteria. But, thankfully, calm prevailed, primarily because of the lawyers and judges who refused to accept disaster as a given.
As a society, we make laws to serve and protect our citizens. At our best, we reflect man’s highest moral aspirations: equal protection, individual rights and personal security. The framers decided centuries ago that we would not regulate society in a way that infringes on people’s religious beliefs. But how do you balance a religious belief which conflicts with our duty to protect the young and vulnerable?
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