Skip to comments.An Unusual Prosecution of a Way of Life (FLDS Polygamy)
Posted on 04/27/2008 4:39:12 AM PDT by Zakeet
Texas Will Attempt to Show That Polygamist Culture Itself Harms Children
ELDORADO, Tex. -- The ironic thing is that before the big sheriff's department armored personnel carrier appeared outside the Yearning for Zion Ranch, it was starting to seem as though America had finally figured out how to live with its polygamists.
For more than a century, authorities had alternately persecuted and ignored the groups practicing plural marriage around the West -- splinters from mainstream Mormonism, splinters of splinters. Mostly, they ignored them.
But, in the past few years, officials in some states have begun trying to bring these groups out of the shadows. They offered a deal: Marry however often you want, but don't marry children. A Supreme Court case on gay sex also provided unlikely help.
Then came Eldorado.
On April 3, Texas authorities raided the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' compound here, then removed more than 450 children. Now, Texas seems headed for exactly the kind of wrenching, head-on fight that other states have tried to avoid.
Their case will ask: Does this polygamous group deserve a place -- and the right to raise children -- in modern society?
Now comes a legal fight with a twist. The state will argue that the sect's children are at risk at the compound, but not because every one of them has been physically or sexually abused.
Instead, they will say that the culture of the church, which encouraged girls to marry and bear children in their early teens, was a danger to any child immersed in it.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints show strain after spending 11 days in a
shelter. Here, they are at the Yearning for Zion Ranch near
Eldorado, Tex., which law enforcement raided April 3.
Maybe the state govs are afraid the following may happen: (Beaver Island is in Lake Michigan, equidistant from Charlevoix, Northport and Manistique) Please note, the article says nothing about polygamy, and a lot about social control.
James Strang, who would create America’s only kingdom on Beaver Island, was born in New York in 1813. He expected great things of himself. He established a law practice at the age of 23, but it failed to satisfy his ambition.
When he met Joseph Smith in 1844, he converted to his new evangelical religion as a way of improving his position.
Strang’s debating skills impressed the Mormon leader, who assigned him to found a branch in Burlington, Wisconsin. While Strang was away, Smith was killed. Shortly thereafter Strang produced a letter naming him as Smith’s chosen heir. He was challenged by Brigham Young, who was more solidly entrenched. Strang led those who accepted him to Nauvoo, Illinois, and then Voree, Wisconsin, before deciding that God wanted him to bring his flock to Beaver Island.
Producing mysterious brass plates from the ground, and receiving directives from God, Strang formed a colony on Beaver Island in 1848. It grew year by year, and soon had the numbers to elect Strang to the state legislature. Trouble with the “gentiles” led to the “War of Whiskey Point”, which the Mormons won by firing a canon at the unruly gang gathered at the trading post.
By the early 1850s, most of the non-Mormons had left the Island. The ensuing degree of absolute power went to Strang’s head, and rumors spread about Mormon attrocities. Strang had himself crowned king, and began taking additional wives. Attempts to oust him by legal means failed, and in 1856 he was assassinated by two disgruntled follow ers. His people were driven off the Island by an unruly mob from Mackinac Island, which was instigated by speculators eager to grab the land. During their 8-year occupancy, the Mormons cleared and cultivated the ground, built roads and houses, and changed the Island from a wilderness to a moderate outpost of civilization. But fate conspired to keep them from reaping the benefits of their toil.
Beaver Island was blessed to be near some of the best fishing grounds in the world. The Mormons had excluded the gentiles from partaking in this bounty, but once the Mormons were gone, Irish fishermen began to appear. They came from Gull Island, Mackinac Island, various port cities on the mainland, and County Donegal in Ireland. Once they settled in, they wrote to their families and friends about “America’s Emerald Isle.”
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
(Acknowledging that the jury has yet to hear the evidence in this case)I wouldn’t speak out for child molesters. Would you?
Not even remotely close to what is happening in Eldorado. Texas is right in this case. Texas did NOT create the mess. Warren Jeffs and FLDS did.
Child molestation aside, how much worse is polygamy than a philandering husband (or wife)? Or a married person using prostitutes? ...not supporting polygamy, just saying there is some hypocrisy in many politicians, government officials and the media.
There is always hypocrisy in politicians. And worse.
When they came for the child-rapers, the old men who impregnate young girls and keep them as sex-slaves...
This is not about religion.
This is not even about polygamy.
This is about sexual slavery and raping children. To paint the shutdown of this sexual prison as religious persecution is bullsh!t.
The problem isn't polygamy, it's pedophilia.
Fifty year old men grooming prepubescent girls to become their wives as soon as those children can bear children is a crime.
Child molestation is not "aside". Child-rape (it is not "molestation" it is rape) and enforced sexual slavery are the central point of this action.
The FLDS would have been tolerated ad-infinitum if all they did was practice polygamy AMONG CONSENTING ADULTS and keep it to themselves.
How posed. gag.
There, fixed it. "Wives" is a euphemism. The whole point of "marrying" them was to put a pretty name on child-rape, which was done for the purpose of provideing sexual gratification for the men, and bearing children to increase their numbers of the group.
Let's not mince words.
BTW, is anybody going to mention here the fact that the in-breeding within FLDS has produced deformed, unhealthy, offspring and continues to do so? There's already an FR thread or two on this topic...
Bullseye! I could care less about the polygamy angle as long as it's between consenting adults and they are raising and educating their children in a reasonably healthy environment. Girls under the age of seventeen having children with men more than three years their senior is the threshold of statutory rape in Texas. A reasonable compromise in my opinion. Find the men who broke this law and prosecute them. Return the children to their mothers and make it clear that we are watching. At this point, I think that this would be the best way to go.
“The whole point of “marrying” them was to put a pretty name on child-rape”
I’m not defending their practices. If they have the evidence to prosecute them, go for it. But, frequently there is a fine line between prosecution and persecution. I’m making a point that all of the grandstanding over polygamy is hypocritical, not to mention, a ruse to stir up dislike of Mormons in general. All of the Mormons that I know have the strongest family values and sense of community of any religious group I have seen.
Agreed. While Mormonism is hardly my cup of tea, I would defend their right to practice their faith as they see fit as long as they do not violate any laws in the process. The vast majority of Mormons do not subscribe to the polygamist model that is in question here. Even having said that. If a man wants to shack up with three or four adult women in a consensual relationship and call no more than one of them his legal spouse, that's their business. As long as they don't want to teach my kids in school that it's just one more acceptable "lifestyle choice". When your talking about girls under the age of seventeen, then the law comes into play and should be vigorously enforced.
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