Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Vatican West Texas is not

I have been to West. Rather I have driven through it and stopped to buy purogies. West Texas is not the Vatican. It is dusty, Central Texas farm town. However Gary Goldstein, a lawyer for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is fighting the recent raid of the church's compound saying just that, reports the AP in the Houston Chronicle.
Their pioneer-style dress, multiple marriages and cloistered ways may be unusual, but church lawyers argued in court Wednesday that the polygamist sect has a right to its faith and privacy.

Gary Goldstein, a San Antonio lawyer representing the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, told a judge that the search of the temple in the sect's West Texas compound is analagous to a law enforcement search of the Vatican or other holy places.

He urged authorities to handle any documents seized with respect., I am fine with Religious Liberty; it is supported by the first amendment to the constitution. However, forcible marriage of minors is really not in anyone's interest except for the pedophiles who are getting lucky with 14 year olds.

However, this story is also hits on my point that I wrote about in the post on pride of Jewish people. Gary Goldstein, Jewish or not, has a Jewish name. Regardless of what happens people will read this and say, "Of course a Jew Lawyer would argue that." This is one of those things that will make us cringe a little when we read that Gary Goldstein is the defense council. When I read the first paragraph, I was hoping the lawyers last name was Smith.


Phyllis Sommer said...

you might be right. do you think that average Joe American is really thinking that about the lawyer? i'm just not sure i have enough insight into their brains to know it. am i proud that a jew is on the "other" side in this case? hmm...not so much.

Liberal Jew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liberal Jew said...

Rabbi Sommer-

I can be proud about the fact that he is standing on the side of religious freedom...but not so much on the side of child abuse. But there is little doubt in my mind that many people reading this story will be carefully looking at the religious connotations of the case. This is a creepy religious sub-sect that could even be called a cult. It is infused with religious questions and problems...the fact that there is a Jew involved isn't good for the Jews.

Anonymous said...

Here is the deal for me. Maybe it takes a Jew, schooled through ancestral ties to oppression, to offer the professional services of a competent counsel to even those who we loath. As we all know, under our system, even those we loath are supposed to get a fair trial. Lawyers don't always have to, in fact I would say they seldom do, believe that their clients are just, right, honest...whatever, they just have to believe in the process of jurisprudence. Mr. Goldstein might very well be the next Aticus Finch.

Liberal Jew said...

annoy- I see what you are saying and he may be the next Aticus Finch, but more likely he is an enterprising lawyer...I don't see him as a revolutionary or a freedom fighter.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, just reaching for the positive spin. I guess every group is hated for something, I try not to be jaded or loose my sensitivity to other people, but I'm almost numb to all the ignorance and misinformation now. I'm a lesbian (woman) and a Jew living in the South, there is nothing that phases me now.

Liberal Jew said...

Southern Jewish Lesbian friend-

I would love to see the best in everything. However at some point you must ask if there is an absolute right or wrong. In cases of child abuse, I am in the camp of no wiggle room. Framing this in the freedom lens is silly because you can simply ask, is it freedom for adults to abuse children or freedom to live life free from that same abuse.

have a nice Passover!

Anonymous said...

We are in total agreement on the issue of child abuse. I guess we started by talking about the lawyer, and his position defending the FLDS people. For the whole judicial process to work, someone must step forward and defend the indefensible. The original question was does that make the lawyer a "bad" Jew, conniving, opportunistic? I'm not so sure. I understand that it many people will jump to that conclusion, but as I said, we can all be singled out for something. I hope the children of FLDS receive justice, and can over time find peace. And I hope the parents, and/or perpetrator of abuse have a solid defence, so that the penalties instituted by the courts will stand to all constitutional scrutiny.
Happy Passover to you too.

Liberal Jew said...


It is all about guilt by association. The lawyer isn't a bad Jew, he makes us look bad. Nothing about who he is, just what others say about the Jews due to him being Jewish. That is all.