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Women from polygamist sect say officials misled them
Houston Chronicle/AP ^ | 4-15-08 | JENNIFER DOBNER and MICHAEL GRACZYK

Posted on 04/15/2008 10:27:22 AM PDT by Snickering Hound

ELDORADO — Mothers separated from their children as part of a wide-ranging abuse investigation within a polygamist retreat accuse state officials of misleading them before taking their offspring into custody.

Authorities raided the sect's ranch more than a week ago in response to allegations that underage girls were forced to marry older men. Women and children from the secretive community were taken to a West Texas fort-turned-museum and a rodeo pavilion, but on Monday officials began separating women and some of their offspring without warning, members of the sect said.

While some women and children were taken from the shelters to the nearby San Angelo Coliseum, other women were allowed to return to the ranch — but only those who were childless or had children under the age of 5.

About three dozen of the women who returned to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ranch spoke out Monday, after 11 days in temporary shelters. They said in interviews that police surrounded them Monday and gave them a choice between returning home, or relocating to a women's shelter.

"It just feels like someone is trying to hurt us," said Paula, 38, who like other members of the sect declined to give her full name. "I do not understand how they can do this when they don't have a for sure knowledge that anyone has abused these children."

Marissa Gonzales, a spokeswoman for the Department of Family and Protective Services, said the move was a typical procedure taken by the agency.

"It is not the normal practice to allow parents to accompany the child when an abuse allegation is made," Gonzales said.

Brenda, a 37-year-old mother of two teenage boys, said the women were threatened with arrest if they resisted the court order. Previously, the women had been told they would stay with the children at least until Thursday, when a custody hearing is scheduled, she said.

A call to CPS for comment late Monday on the women's claims was not immediately returned.

CPS's closing of the shelters came a day after three mothers from the ranch petitioned Gov. Rick Perry to inspect the shelters to see firsthand how families were being treated. The women said the living conditions were cramped and that some of the children had become sick.

About 20 children were recovering from a mild case of chicken pox, said Dr. Sandra Guerra-Cantu with the state Health Department.

Perry spokesman Robert Black said the governor did not believe the children were being housed in poor conditions at the West Texas fort.

"Let's be honest here, this is not the Ritz," Black said. But he called the accommodations "clean and neat."

CPS said officials have been planning the move for a week but that the coliseum was unavailable earlier. About two dozen teenage boys were moved to a facility outside San Angelo with the judge's permission, CPS said. The location was not released.

The state is accusing the sect of physically and sexually abusing the youngsters and wants to strip their parents of custody and place the children in foster care or put them up for adoption. The sheer size of the case was an obstacle.

"Quite frankly, I'm not sure what we're going to do," state District Judge Barbara Walther said after a conference that included three to four dozen attorneys either representing or hoping to represent youngsters.

Brenda and others were critical of CPS, saying the agency misled them as to what was to happen Monday, weren't told why the children were removed from the compound and given inaccurate messages about opportunities to meet attorneys.

"We got to where we said, 'We cannot believe a word you say. We cannot trust you,'" she said.

Officials said the investigation began with a call from a young girl who has yet to be located by CPS. The women in the sect said they suspect she may be a bitter ex-member of the church.

The FLDS practice polygamy in arranged marriages, sometimes between underage girls and older men. The group has thousands of followers in two side-by-side towns in Arizona and Utah.

The church has repeatedly fought because of its lifestyle before. Men, women and children have been swept up in raids that took place in 1935, 1944 and 1953.

"It's been all through history, " said Brenda, the mother of two. "We were just here trying to live a peaceful, happy, sweet life. We don't understand why we can't do this freely."


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: allyourkidsare; belongtogovernment; churchandstate; cps; flds; guiltyuntildisproven; jeffs; lds; mormons; parentalrights
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Well, at least they weren't burned alive this time
1 posted on 04/15/2008 10:27:22 AM PDT by Snickering Hound
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: Snickering Hound

When will the law go after Muslim polygamists/child abusers?


3 posted on 04/15/2008 10:33:16 AM PDT by Lexington Green (The Rev. Jeremiah Wright = Grand Wizard of the Klan-With-A-Tan)
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To: Snickering Hound
What I do not understand is why any of these women given the choice would leave their children with authorities. Seems really strange to be itching about authorities and then walk away from their own children to be left with the authorities.

On another point why were the women and children loaded up and removed??? Why not remove all men instead???

4 posted on 04/15/2008 10:33:33 AM PDT by Just mythoughts (Isa.3:4 And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.)
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To: Snickering Hound

Boy, I sure feel safer now. Don’t you?


5 posted on 04/15/2008 10:34:29 AM PDT by Nachum
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To: puffer

Just a simple thing I’ve noticed....but they haven’t “fronted” a single girl who said she married at 13 or 14 or 15 or 16. So I think this may turn into a large mess for the prosecutors to clean up later.


6 posted on 04/15/2008 10:35:14 AM PDT by pepsionice
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To: Snickering Hound
Poor babies.

"I was just trying to get my eleven year old ready to be raped by her new husband, my great-uncle, and those Gentile police told me I could either stay with my child or go back to the ranch! Waaaahhhhh!"

Karla Faye Tucker tears from these filthy b*****s.

7 posted on 04/15/2008 10:36:56 AM PDT by wideawake (Why is it that those who call themselves Constitutionalists know the least about the Constitution?)
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To: Snickering Hound

First they came for the Branch Davidians, and I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t a Branch Davidian.

Then they came for the Mormon polygamists, and I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t a Mormon polygamist.

Then they came for the...


8 posted on 04/15/2008 10:39:49 AM PDT by GourmetDan (Eccl 10:2 - The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.)
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To: GourmetDan

....mormon pedophiles but I didn’t say anything...


9 posted on 04/15/2008 10:40:51 AM PDT by bonfire
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To: bonfire

They are not Mormons, and you know it. Either they were never members of the Mormon church, or they have been excommunicated for joining a polygamist group.


10 posted on 04/15/2008 10:42:41 AM PDT by lady lawyer
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To: puffer
Yeah, either way you sleice it- this is a mess.

Pretty much. Either the authorities allow what is essentially a pedophile ring to continue existing or they break it up, disrupting the lives of the brainwashed women and children who were taught to believe that there is nothing wrong with this practice.

11 posted on 04/15/2008 10:44:42 AM PDT by Drew68
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To: Lexington Green

Muslims who keep SLAVES in America are caught and essentially made to cough up YEARS of “back pay” at minimum wage.


12 posted on 04/15/2008 10:45:20 AM PDT by weegee (Religion is the opiate of the masses MARX1843 They get bitter, they cling to...religion OBAMA2008)
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To: bonfire
I marriage between queers is considered acceptable, what is the medias problem with polygamy? Seems like a double standard.
13 posted on 04/15/2008 10:45:46 AM PDT by We Dare Defend Our Rights
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To: GourmetDan

Then they came for the pederasts, and I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t a pederast.

Please!!!


14 posted on 04/15/2008 10:47:47 AM PDT by Lord_Calvinus
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To: Snickering Hound

We’re from the government and we’re here to help you.


15 posted on 04/15/2008 10:48:51 AM PDT by JLS
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To: Snickering Hound

Police are allowed to lie in order to obtain a conviction. (at least a confession) The USSC says so.


16 posted on 04/15/2008 10:49:35 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: We Dare Defend Our Rights

It’s illegal. They are having sex with underage CHILDREN.

Did you know they have beds in their temple just for that purpose??

Read the various threads here. Lots of information.


17 posted on 04/15/2008 10:51:26 AM PDT by bonfire
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To: Snickering Hound

I fear I have missed some important info from the beginning on this case, but it has troubled me. Is it really possible that just by labelling an area of land a “compound” (the pics I saw depicted what looked like a town to me btw) and the residents “cultists,” does that really mean that the police can take an entire community’s children? I am not claiming these people aren’t actually crazy cultists, but does that mean that they are presumed guilty because they live near an alleged abuser and go to his church? If my neighbor is accused of abuse, and happens to go to my church, does that mean that they will take my kids too?

So far all I hear about is one allegation of abuse by one child. How does that mean that 416 were allegedly abused? Isn’t that a massive leap? Why should we accept this kind of thing just because it involves a “cult” and a “compound?” Are there no legal qualifications to be met in this kind of thing?


18 posted on 04/15/2008 10:52:24 AM PDT by cothrige (Freedom and whisky gang thegither. -- Robert Burns)
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To: cothrige
I read somewhere last weekend that Warren Jeffords or whatever the cult leader's name is had gone to the other cult places before the move to Texas and taken children under 6yrs old and brought them to the complex without their parents. Now, I wonder why he did that and now it makes sense why none of the children seem to know their names or their parents!
19 posted on 04/15/2008 11:01:47 AM PDT by NativeTxn
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To: lady lawyer

Yes they ARE Mormons. They are Fundamentalists MORMONS. Just as there are Shia and Sunni Moslems, there are fundamentalist and mainstream Mormons.

Get used to it dear, you are bound to see this often.


20 posted on 04/15/2008 11:05:12 AM PDT by colorcountry (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: GourmetDan

Don’t think of it so much as a ‘church’ but as an ongoing conspiracy to commit child rape and welfare fraud; then the actions of the State of Texas become a lot clearer.


21 posted on 04/15/2008 11:06:35 AM PDT by allmendream
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To: colorcountry

No they are not. They are not Mormons anymore than the RLDS, or the campbellites, or the Temple Lot people, or any of the other breakoffs are Mormons.

We will only see it often because people like you have an interest in saying it.


22 posted on 04/15/2008 11:13:57 AM PDT by lady lawyer
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To: cothrige

And they haven’t found the person who allegedly made the complaint. Even though she gave enough specific info that they should have been able to identify her if she existed. Furthermore, they had the name of her alleged husband wrong. He is a man who hasn’t left Arizona in years. The whole thing stinks to high heaven.


23 posted on 04/15/2008 11:15:50 AM PDT by lady lawyer
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To: Snickering Hound; All
I am not a Mormon, a bigamist, nor a pedophile.

However, this scares me; it's another Waco, only the Feds wised-up and had the state troopers do the dirty work this time. Just as they used the excuse of “child abuse” at Waco they're doing the same in this case. I doubt there was a phone call from an abused teen.

As for the age these girls are allegedly getting married, I remind everyone (before you get outraged, and call them pedophiles) that only in the past 150 years or so have we kept our children helpless until age 18. In the Biblical days, 13 was the age of majority, and it remained so through the Middle Ages. Mary was about 15 or 16 when she gave birth to Jesus. In more recent history, young people of 16 years were typically married and productive members of society in colonial America.
In light of the historical (and Biblical) context, I believe these folks have a legitimate right to live according to their beliefs. After all, I haven't heard of anyone who was forced to be a member of their community. We have other Christian communities in this country that seem strange to outsiders; among them: the Amish, Mennonites, Hutterites, and a New England group that seems like the old Shakers. They keep to themselves and have never bothered anyone, I would be willing to bet that a few of these other groups practice early marriage as well.
Meanwhile, our society is bending over backwards to please the homosexuals and other perverts, but we feel we MUST destroy an otherwise peaceful community based on innuendo!

24 posted on 04/15/2008 11:16:42 AM PDT by ROLF of the HILL COUNTRY ( Terrorism is a symptom, ISLAM IS THE DISEASE!)
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To: bonfire

The stuff about the supposed used of beds in the temple came from a disaffected member who left the group before it even had a temple. It may or may not be true.


25 posted on 04/15/2008 11:17:22 AM PDT by lady lawyer
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To: colorcountry

Yes they ARE Mormons. They are Fundamentalists MORMONS. Just as there are Shia and Sunni Moslems, there are fundamentalist and mainstream Mormons.

Get used to it dear, you are bound to see this often.
______________________________________________________

These people ARE NOT members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (what you refer to as “Mormons”). Get a grip......


26 posted on 04/15/2008 11:17:29 AM PDT by yellowroses (a Yankee in Texas)
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To: lady lawyer

LDS are not Mormons either. It is a nickname, so yes, FLDS members are fundamentalist Mormons. They believe that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, and Brigham Young, and John Taylor. They follow the standard “Works” (scriptures) of Mormonism - the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine & Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price. In fact they will argue that it is THEY and NOT you LDS, that are the “true” Mormons.

We’ve seen LDS members argue on FreeRepublic, that they are not, in fact Mormons, but are Latter-Day-Saints.

But go figure, obviously you don’t want to be connected to them, yet here you are, condoning polygamy as Biblical.

You Mormons are a funny bunch. Funny, as in strange....not as in ROTFL.


27 posted on 04/15/2008 11:19:16 AM PDT by colorcountry (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: pepsionice
Just a simple thing I’ve noticed....but they haven’t “fronted” a single girl who said she married at 13 or 14 or 15 or 16. So I think this may turn into a large mess for the prosecutors to clean up later.

Dang, you must be a really powerful and connected individual. To know this kind of information before it is presented to a judge. You just may be required to turn in your double secret decoder ring.

28 posted on 04/15/2008 11:19:18 AM PDT by org.whodat (What's the difference between a Democrat and a republican????)
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To: colorcountry

Polygamy is biblical. That can’t be denied.

If you were half as clever as you think you are, you’d be dangerous. LOL.


29 posted on 04/15/2008 11:22:37 AM PDT by lady lawyer
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To: lady lawyer; greyfoxx39; colorcountry; conservativegramma

They are not Mormons, and you know it. Either they were never members of the Mormon church, or they have been excommunicated for joining a polygamist group.
___________________________________________

They are true followers of the false prophet Joseph Smith...

They follow his mormon teachings...

doctrines and covenents 132 spells out the requirement for the practice of polygamy to be a good mormon...

Although polygamy was “suspended” fgor a while, it’s still a vital part of the mormon cult doctrine...

The pedophiles at the Texas compound act just like the false prophet Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and the other debauchers did towards women..


30 posted on 04/15/2008 11:28:46 AM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: Just mythoughts
Just mythoughts said: "Why not remove all men instead??? "

You don't suppose it is because vague, anonymous non-specific charges can be used to take the children but that arresting the men would require real evidence?

31 posted on 04/15/2008 11:29:21 AM PDT by William Tell (RKBA for California (rkba.members.sonic.net) - Volunteer by contacting Dave at rkba@sonic.net)
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To: lady lawyer; colorcountry

Polygamy is biblical. That can’t be denied.
______________________________________

Yes, the Bible does mention somethin g like that...

Thou shalt not commit adultery..Exodus 20:14

Neither shalt thou commit adultery..Deuteronomy 5:18


32 posted on 04/15/2008 11:33:28 AM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: ROLF of the HILL COUNTRY
ROLF of the HILL COUNTRY said: "However, this scares me; it's another Waco ..."

I wonder if the people in this group are not believers in the right to keep and bear arms and have religious scruples against taking drugs. I don't think even caffeine is acceptable to Mormons.

This could well explain the inability of the government to mount an attack by the BATFE or the FBI. All of us would probably be safer if we just stopped exercising our rights.

33 posted on 04/15/2008 11:34:13 AM PDT by William Tell (RKBA for California (rkba.members.sonic.net) - Volunteer by contacting Dave at rkba@sonic.net)
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To: lady lawyer; colorcountry

If you were half as clever as you think you are
________________________________________

It’s a good thing that God is cleverer than the false prophet Joseph Smith and ALL his followers...

His first folowers and the latter...


34 posted on 04/15/2008 11:35:22 AM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: lady lawyer
Polygamy is biblical.

In the same way that slavery and murder are Biblical. Yes, polygamy IS mentioned in the Bible. The keyword in my statement was "condoned."

You are only exactly as clever as you appear to be.....unfortunately.

35 posted on 04/15/2008 11:36:27 AM PDT by colorcountry (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: colorcountry
Yes they ARE Mormons. They are Fundamentalists MORMONS.

Yeah, that's why they were excommunicated from the Mormon church, and prosecuted so vigorously by the state of Utah, that they fled to Texas.

These are middle aged men, who marry multiple girls (frequently nieces), who have been held captive for their entire lives.

36 posted on 04/15/2008 11:38:16 AM PDT by 3niner (War is one game where the home team always loses.)
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To: yellowroses

they are fLDS members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints....as in fundamentalist Mormons.

Get a grip on your own sweet self. :-)


37 posted on 04/15/2008 11:40:15 AM PDT by colorcountry (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: GourmetDan

Then they came for the Mormon polygamists


Really...... I thought they came after the children based upon a child abuse call.... Maybe I’m wrong, if so can you show me the intent via legal documents that they were after polygamists?....

I don’t think any of these people have more than one civil marriage at best. The rest of the sleeping around is something other than a recognized legal civil agreement.


38 posted on 04/15/2008 11:40:37 AM PDT by deport ( -- Cue Spooky Music --)
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To: 3niner
Yeah, that's why they were excommunicated from the Mormon church, and prosecuted so vigorously by the state of Utah, that they fled to Texas.

Do you have any proof whatsoever that they were excommunicated by the LDS (not Mormon) Church? Especially the children? If so, I would like a link.

39 posted on 04/15/2008 11:44:09 AM PDT by colorcountry (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: 3niner

This is a repost, but it bears repeating.

I grew up in a very orthodox Mormon family, full of the usual stories about “the Prophet,” his greatness, and all he did.

I learned how the Mormons had been badly persecuted, and how everyone who spoke against the church was a “liar.” So many liars. So very many liars.

I was told that Joseph Smith had numerous wives. But I was told the sanitized version, with “marriages” that did not involve sex, 14 year old girls, the wives of other men, and a life of lying, cheating, and skulking around from bed to bed.

I was even taught most of the problems were Emma’s fault. She was the “weaker vessel,” who could not come to terms with the Lord’s program. She was so weak, I was taught, she left the fold when Joseph died. Brigham Young said “Joseph will have to go into hell to get her.”

Whatever.

I was constantly asked about polygamy. I gave the standard answers. I believed them myself. I could not understand it, but it “came from the Lord.”

The first sense of just how awful it all was came years after later, when I read “The Giant Joshua,” Maurine Whipple’s novel about early Mormonism and polygamy in St. George. I first learned about the way arrangements were made, and how they were enforced——”blood atonement.”

It made me question. I was not taught this. It sounded awful, but it made sense. How else could the stupid and pathetic practice of polygamy be enforced? It had to involve threats.

I have since read the good books about Mormon polygamy. That includes “Under the Banner of Heaven,” ‘Tell it All,” and “Wife No. 19.” It hit me very hard. Polygamy, as practiced by Warren Jeffs, is the same kind of polygamy practiced by Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. It did not change at all. The same methods used by the early church are used now. To make it work, you must remove all freedom from the women. They must become property.

Women were, and are, chattel. Girls are married off young, and assigned to the role of slaking the lust of 50 year old lechers who should be arrested and castrated. They are not patriarchs, they are child molesters. They operate under the guise of the ‘holy Priesthood,” which is just an excuse to pick and choose the nubile girls. Some sacred authority that is.

The whole thing is sick. It is beyond pathetic. But it goes on and on and on. Joseph Smith started it, and it never would go away. It took on a life of its own, and became a huge monster that cannot be controlled. One man’s desire for sexual experimentation led to hundreds of ruined lives, child molestation, and a sick, sick theology. How utterly nauseating it is.

I cannot stand to hear Mormons talk about it now. “We will practice it in the Celestial Kingdom,” or “It will come back when we are worthy,”

Can’t these dopes figure it out? It is not holy, pure, or moral. It is just sick. It has, at least done one thing. It has prevented the Mormon church from ever having a shot at being mainstream.

Now that I see things clearly, I am disgusted by Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. What they did was wrong, and there are no two ways about it. Anytime I hear someone say that Smith is a prophet of God, I am sick. Will Mormons ever be able to see that Joseph Smith was no different than Warren Jeffs? How can they, in their minds, justify that Smith is a prophet of God, and what happened at this polygamist compound is something entirely different? I hope it makes some Mormons stop and think about the true history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.


40 posted on 04/15/2008 11:50:48 AM PDT by colorcountry (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: lady lawyer
Polygamy is biblical. That can’t be denied.

Adultery is 'biblical' too, but it's frowned upon in the bible.

Seems pretty clear to me that God's plan was for "a man to leave his father and mother and cleave to his WIFE (not wives) and the TWO (not three or four) shall become one flesh".

Further, there are multiple verses in the New Testament that specifically state that men in leadership positions in the church are to be the husband of one wife.

Seems pretty clear, God's preference is for monogamy.

41 posted on 04/15/2008 11:50:55 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall cause you to vote against the Democrats.)
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To: lady lawyer

Are you suggesting that the State of TX should have done nothing?
susie


42 posted on 04/15/2008 11:52:49 AM PDT by brytlea (amnesty--an act of clemency by an authority by which pardon is granted esp. to a group of individual)
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To: colorcountry

Amen, cc. Thank you for your post!


43 posted on 04/15/2008 11:54:13 AM PDT by bonfire
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To: ROLF of the HILL COUNTRY
After all, I haven't heard of anyone who was forced to be a member of their community

Well, the children are....

susie

44 posted on 04/15/2008 11:54:20 AM PDT by brytlea (amnesty--an act of clemency by an authority by which pardon is granted esp. to a group of individual)
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To: lady lawyer

Slavery is also Biblical.
susie


45 posted on 04/15/2008 11:55:55 AM PDT by brytlea (amnesty--an act of clemency by an authority by which pardon is granted esp. to a group of individual)
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To: colorcountry; 3niner
Do you have any proof whatsoever that they were excommunicated by the LDS (not Mormon) Church? Especially the children? If so, I would like a link.

Besides they came from the Arizona Strip not Utah, where they have also been in a sort of prison. Jeffs was in the process of taking the younger ones to Texas for a new crop of sex brides. Problem with Arizona and Utah for that matter is they have been looking the other way for much too long regarding these sad and strange folks. My belief is that because the COJCLDS still believes that the practice will be theirs in the afterlife, they are sympathetic. Good luck having it both ways you bright apologists.

46 posted on 04/15/2008 11:57:26 AM PDT by Utah Binger (Southern Utah, where the world comes to see America!)
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To: lady lawyer

Polygamy is “Biblical” in the sense that it ALWAYS ends badly.

God’s plan is CLEARLY monogamous marriage.


47 posted on 04/15/2008 11:58:36 AM PDT by Politicalmom (Better a leftist Dem with energized GOP opposition, than a leftist "Republican" with no opposition.)
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To: Utah Binger

Thanks Bing. How is the weather down in Polygamy land?

It is overcast, windy and cold in Salt Lake City. Yesterday the temperature was 80*, today it is 48*.

Utah....we love thee!


48 posted on 04/15/2008 12:01:44 PM PDT by colorcountry (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: lady lawyer

Nope. Investigators found the beds in the temple.


49 posted on 04/15/2008 12:02:10 PM PDT by bonfire
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To: pepsionice
Well, there is a sixteen-year-old mother, and unless she's about to turn 17 and her baby's younger than 2-3 months, that pretty clearly indicates statutory rape (IIRC the age of consent in Texas is 16). Plus, if any of the '18-year-old' mothers have more than two children, that's also a clear tip-off. Unfortunately, I don't think there's any way to really reliably determine a teenager's or adult's age.
50 posted on 04/15/2008 12:04:32 PM PDT by Hyzenthlay (I aim to misbehave.)
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