They'd Have to Kill Me First

One fundamentalist woman, still reeling from the FLDS raid in Texas, contemplates what she would do if the authorities barged into her home and seized her children. "I'm a mother bear," she says. "I'd fight them. They'd have to kill me first." Another woman at our lunch table nods in agreement. "I'd die before I'd let them take my children away." Other than the accounts heard in court of the Lebaron women using firearms, this is the only time I've heard fundamentalist women speak violence.

My daughter, mother to an adorable five-month old, says she would "freak out" if authorities tried to take her baby away. "I would throw a fit. They'd have to drag me away kicking and screaming. There would be so much drama everyone in the neighborhood would know about it. Frankly, I'd probably hurt the officers before I gave up my baby."

Someone else told me, "Once a child is in the foster care system, it's almost impossible to get him out. I'd do whatever I needed to do to keep my child from going into the system."

Given the reaction of these mothers, I'm pondering the tearful compliance of the FLDS women as they were herded away from their children. Were they told lies by the authorities? Did they expect this juncture, predicted so many times by their religious leaders? Is suffering so essential to martyrdom that certain people actually seek it? What would I do if someone came to take the children in my life away? What would you do?

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