More than half the teen girls taken from a polygamist compound in west Texas have children or are pregnant, state officials said Monday.
A total of 53 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 are in state custody after a raid 3 1/2 weeks ago at the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado. Of those girls, 31 either have children or are pregnant, said Child Protective Services spokesman Darrell Azar. Two of those are pregnant now, he said; it was unclear whether either of those two already have children.
"It shows you a pretty distinct pattern, that it was pretty pervasive," he said.
You read that right. And, yes, the age of consent in Texas is 17.
But what did serial wingnut Ben Stein say on Sunday morning?
What the heck is going on in Texas with the kids caught up in the polygamy ranch disaster?
Look, I am not a fan of polygamy. For one thing, it's all any man can do keeping up with one wife. For another, it's against the law in this country.
But the polygamists that have been in the news have been operating for decades. The authorities knew about it, and them. They didn't do a thing about it for all those years!
Then, on a totally unsubstantiated telephone call about sex abuse - which apparently did not come from anyone even connected to the polygamist compound - the state closed down the compound, and (what is totally incomprehensible) took the small children of the settlement away from their mothers and fathers.
Why? What crime had the kids committed? Why are they being dealt the most drastic punishment imaginable - separation from their mothers and fathers - for no known reason?
The state of Texas has not found one single crime against these children yet. Even if they do find one or two, how can that be a reason for taking dozens, maybe hundreds of children away from their mothers?
Now you know, Ben. Now you know. Rarely is someone smacked down harder than that, and I suspect the state of Texas had to let the information out because of wingnuts like Stein who were questioning whether it was necessary to separate so many children from their parents.
In fact, Stein went so far as to bring Mr. Godwin into all of this:
Look, I am a huge fan of Texas. I have many friends there and love being there. But what is the attorney general of Texas doing? This is an Orwellian nightmare. For no reason except what looks like a crank call, the lives of these children have been turned upside down and into a screaming horror movie.
Can't someone say the obvious here? That in this case, it's not the Mormons who are the criminals, it's the government of Texas.
Governor Perry, wake up and give those kids back to their mothers until you have some compelling, proven reason to do otherwise. What your state is doing here is Gestapo tactics pure and simple.
That crank call may have prevented a whole hell of a lot more abuse, so thank God for it. I know you didn't want to hear that answer, Ben, but thanks for asking. Now, if you could just shut the hell up...
...and let the state of Texas do what it needs to do in this tragic case, well, we'd all be better off.
I mean, what more proof do we need that you don't know what you're talking about?