The right to pursue happiness is what defines Liberty
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life,_liberty_and_the_pursuit_of_happiness
Regardless of how any of us as individual citizens define freedom for ourselves, the Declaration of Independence is what we, as a nation, as a people of laws, agree should define our society.
These laws are all supposed to be based on how "We the people's" original documents define them.
The pursuit of Happiness, like Liberty is not supposed to be removed from any of our citizens.
The FLDS goons have always loved to kill innocent animals. The history of their leader, Warren Jeffs is replete with tales of horrific animal cruelty. I can hardly think of a member who has left the FLDS that does not have a few stories to tell about what happened to the animals of their community.
Most people are unaware that at one time, Shortcreek once even had it's own zoo.
John Locke, whom many credit with the inspiration for this guarantee, wrote "That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.."
Intellectually it is clear that the children of Mohave County, Arizona, Hildale, Utah, Bountiful B.C., Schleicher County, Texas and many other FLDS enclaves across the nation where they live, are deprived of these things from the occasion of their birth.
If you are an apostate from the FLDS, or an activist you will eventually get the dead kitties on your doorstep treatment.
People have asked me what it was like when my turn came, and I have to tell them, if Flora hadn't been with me, I'm not sure how well I would have held it together. We were in Kerrville for the book signing, and another survivor had just joined us on the trip. She arrived soon after the book signing got underway at the Hastings. Flora and I had come straight over from a meeting with representative Harvey Hilderbrand, and he came with us as an escort from the meeting to the book store.
I had a friend there, an off duty police officer, who was willing to act as private security for us during the signing. A few minutes into the signing, Flora elbowed me and said, "Heads up, the family is here." I looked up, followed her gaze, and sure enough there was an FLDS man and two FLDS boys with him. They quickly disappeared behind book shelves. Flora kept talking and signing, and somewhere in there our other survivor arrived fresh from the airport. Flora told her, amid the business of the signing that they were there, and she recognized the man but could not place him. Our other survivor scanned the store with us and her mouth flew open and she yelled across the store at the man and boys, calling the man by his first name. Then, without hesitation she almost flew at them and you could hear her breathlessly ask, "Where is my sister? Is she okay? Is she here in Texas?!" Flora and I had to keep talking and signing books, but we could see her talking to the man and boys, although they hung back and were trying to leave and get away from her. You could tell they were suddenly very uncomfortable and wanted out of the store.
They had spent their time before she got there hiding behind shelves and peering over at us, as though they were either spying or trying to intimidate us. I'm still not sure which they were supposed to be doing. I was supposed to be afraid of 16 or 17-year-old boys, and a fat old man? But our private security was all over it and he was quite amused by what he perceived as clear attempts to intimidate us. We were in the store for hours answering questions and signing books.
Our safe house that night was a beautiful cabin owned by a dear friend of mine and tucked away on the banks of the Guadalupe River. When we came home that night, my friend's old dog walked up from the back porch to us, gently cradling in her mouth, a baby kitten. It was clearly dying and almost dead. We were horrified but it got worse. Right after retrieving the poor dying creature, which we absolutely knew the dog had not attacked or harmed in any way, she walked to the other end of the porch and brought us another. This one was already dead.
It's really hard in a moment like that to think much of anything as you watch something completely harmless and innocent with its little life, destroyed and to suddenly understand that someone put it there, so you would know what they wanted for you, and your life, too. They want you destroyed.
Because I had two survivors, FLDS "apostates" with me, and I had brought them to this place, I felt utterly responsible for their welfare.
We didn't get much sleep that night. Flora, bless her brave little heart, got a shovel from the garage and dug a grave for the kittens, and quietly buried them in the dark. I sat with the other survivor, and our generous host and carried on and kept calm as it were. Though of course, I didn't really feel that way inside at all.
The first one had died within minutes of our finding it. We don't know what killed them. They could have been beaten, or starved or poisoned. I don't think any of us, in the emotional state of mind we were in as we looked at them, could have figured out what it was that made them die. They were just plain dead any way you looked at it. Their tiny little lives were snuffed out as easily as candles.
Someone, please, look at the picture up there of that poor baby creature and tell me that the children of the FLDS are receiving the Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness guaranteed to them by our Declaration of Independence.
Only members of the governments of Utah or Arizona could look you in the eye, like Nancy McClain, Orrin Hatch and Doris Goodale, and say these children's Civil rights are not being violated, daily.
Nobody in Texas believes that, do you, really?