A life-long friend and dedicated reader from Southern California, known on the Bosque Boys as "Football Coach," wrote last week (his thoughts in italics) concerning the ongoing situation with the "Yearning for Zion Ranch" case:

*** It concerns me that a state as Libertarian as Texas took 400+ kids away from their parents because of one phone call and a basic dislike for the lifestyle of the people involved. If that can happen in Texas, what can happen in the Democratic Peoples Republic of California?

Reality Check: the rugged "frontierism" of "libertarian" Texas is mostly myth and memory these days. Big Government in Texas is not so unlike Big Government in California. Perhaps the popularly elected state judiciary has resisted this trend somewhat (in some cases) over the last decade or so--but that has proven anomalous within an otherwise thoroughly modern conception of government within the Lone Star State.

*** While I certainly disagree with their theology and lifestyle, the group appears to be following firmly held religious beliefs. Most of us would agree that polygamy is wrong (ironically however, we’re told that homosexual marriage is OK), but what about other religious parenting issues, such as spanking? Many well-meaning Christians would disagree on the issue, but you can make a pretty strong case from the book of Proverbs that corporal punishment is Biblically mandated.

Excellent point, Coach. The general problem with polygamy, of course, is underage victims forced against their will to submit to unions ordered by church authority. But, in this day and age, how long can folks continue to inveigh against plural marriage for consenting adults?

One other point worth noting: the ACLU has been instrumental in fighting for the rights of these accused and accursed religious "others."

Speaking only for myself, for all their silliness, thank God for the principled atheists at the ACLU.

Note: the latest on the reunification of families from the AP.