Skip to comments.Legalized polygamy opens the door to theocracy
Posted on 10/22/2010 5:53:55 AM PDT by Colofornian
It's not surprising that breakaway Mormons say they love their polygamous lives in the affidavits they've sworn to support their position that practising it is their constitutional right.
What is surprising is that the affidavits are steeped in the myth of persecution. Filed in advance of the constitutional reference case, which is scheduled to be heard starting Nov. 22 in B.C. Supreme Court, they reveal that almost all of the breakaway Mormons say they live in fear of being jailed or having their children taken away from them.
Yet, the first time such men were charged in Canada with polygamy was two years ago. The case against prominent polygamists James Oler and Winston Blackmore - leaders of the Bountiful community near Creston, B.C. - was thrown out of court in September 2009.
B.C. Attorney General Mike de Jong then asked the B.C. Supreme Court to rule on the legality of Canada's law against polygamy.
Even though the federal and provincial governments did take First Nations and Sons of Freedom children from their families and put them in residential schools, that has never happened to members of breakaway Mormon sects.
There are other surprises. The affidavits clearly indicate that these groups believe that if the anti-polygamy section of the Criminal Code is struck down in B.C. Supreme Court, they will get all of the benefits of Canadian society and more.
They believe it would mean an unfettered guarantee of religious freedom. And, unlike polyamorists who also want the section struck down, breakaway Mormons want as little as possible to do with secular Canadian society.
In her affidavit, a 24-year-old woman from the fundamentalist enclave of Bountiful says attending Cranbrook's College of the Rockies was "going into what I see as a wild and unstable world."
"Out there people were behaving in ways that are not in accord with my beliefs - fighting, impatient, yelling, dating and breaking up, drinking, using foul language."
In another affidavit, a woman identified as Witness No. 2 complains that Revenue Canada has cut back child-tax benefits to some plural wives. It says they are living common-law and must claim the income of the father of their child, regardless of whether others are already claiming it.
"This has been a real hardship," she says.
In the doctrine of these breakaway groups - unlike in the Quran - there is no requirement that men must be financially able to support all of their wives and children. There is also no limit on the number of wives male members of these sects can have.
Witness No. 2 is the first of two wives. Married at 16, she has nine children ranging in age from seven to 26 and is a nurse and midwife.
(In an unusual ruling last month, Chief Justice Robert Bauman agreed that members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints could file anonymous affidavits and testify behind screens. Only Bauman will know who the witnesses are.)
Witness No. 2 complains that the breakaway Mormons "have an extremely hard time helping women immigrate when they marry as a plural spouse as it is very hard to get medical insurance."
She complains that education is too expensive and "the kind of jobs we can get working with our own people are mostly not high-paying jobs as we live in a small rural community."
But integration is out of the question.
"This rural life is precious to us," she says.
So, if polygamy is legalized, she wants money for education programs for polygamous women "tailored to our needs."
Bountiful's bishop Oler was one of the two men charged in 2008 and one of the few to file an affidavit in his own name.
Oler explains that the members of his sect believe that God decides who marries whom. God tells the prophet, who relays the message to the bride and groom.
A woman has "the privilege" of praying for inspiration of whom she should marry, says Oler. If she receives "inspiration," she can tell the prophet.
"I am not personally aware of any case where the Prophet has refused to honour that inspiration," Oler says in his affidavit.
The current prophet is Warren Jeffs. He is in jail in Utah awaiting retrial on charges of being an accomplice to rape after forcing a 14-year-old girl to marry her 19-year-old first cousin. He is also awaiting extradition to Texas where he is charged with bigamy and two counts of sexually assaulting two of his child brides.
Even though Oler says both men and women "have free agency to chose whether to marry or not," men cannot ask to marry a particular woman. They can only express a desire to be married.
In a separate affidavit, a 25-year-old unmarried Bountiful man argues that is free choice.
"I will have a choice on (sic) who I will marry because I want to marry whoever God reveals to the Prophet."
If the church leaders find out that a man is abusing his wife or children, he says, "His family will be taken from him and given to a man who will love and care for them carefully.
"I know this seems harsh," he adds. It's not clear whether his empathy is for the men or for the women and children.
But what is clear is that fundamentalist Mormons members believe that a win in court would clear the way for them to set up a distinct society - a theocracy within our secular, liberal democracy.
Uh, let's set the record straight:
(1) There are very few fundamentalist Mormons alive today who were ever mainstream Mormons...so they are not "breakaway Mormons."
(2) That's even almost completely the case of their parents. So their parents weren't "breakaway Mormons," either.
(3) The fundamentalist Mormons never left their "scriptural authority" -- Joseph Smith and his Doctrine & Covenants 132 revelation -- to practice polygamy. The mainstream Mormons -- despite never sidelining D&C 132 -- are the ones who "broke away" from their founder.
Yep, "fear of my family life being interrupted", is one of the things that keeps me from committing crimes too.
Poor persecuted Mormons should be above the law, kind of like democrats, they are "victims" too.
It's not surprising to me. They've learned well from their American cousins -- both the fundamentalist Mormons and mainstream Mormons -- and how they portray their own polygamous past...as one of "persecution"...when the federal marshals would track down polygamists in the 1880s and put them in jail.
And even during the Joseph Smith era -- the era before most outsiders learned of Mormonism's early polygamist roots, Mormons still love to play up a history of persecution myths:
(1): See, for example, the first entry at: Setting the record straight on the 'Hawn's' Mill Massacre In the article, it explains how the Mormons love to cite Jacob Haun (real name was spelled Jacob Hawn with a "w"), who was the owner of the Hawn's Mill. But Jacob Hawn was never a Mormon...(In that article, a historian discusses why Jacob and Harriet Hawn were never Mormons. "I like many other historians mainly assumed they were Mormons." But among other proofs, Baugh explained that they arrived earlier to Caldwell County before the Mormons, and no family records report that they were Mormons. So the mill that was attacked wasn't even a Mormon mill, after all. [Rewrite the history books]
(2) From the above-linked article: With 17 Mormons killed and 14 Mormons injured, the historian explained that the massacre on October 30, 1838 was the "singular most tragic event in terms of loss of life and injury enacted by an anti-Mormon element against the Latter-day Saints in our entire church's history." Well, I would hope that historians would present history in a more balanced way. What's NOT mentioned in that article is that 12 days before this attack:
On October 18, 1838, Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Lyman Wight, D. W. Patten at the head of 40 men made a descent on Gallatin, the county seat of Daviess, and they burned the only store and stole their goods. Previous to the 25th of October a great part of the Mormons residing in Caldwell County had returned home with their dividend of plunder.
* 6 days before this attack: On October 25, 1838, the Battle of Crooked River: Mormon forces attacked (unknowingly?) the Missouri state militia under the command of Samuel Bogart. This incident became one of the principal points of conflicts in 1838 Missouri. The battle resulted in the death of three militia and the LDS leader, David Patten. One of the militia was taken prisoner by the Mormons. Source: http://www.carm.org/religious-movements/mormonism/are-christians-persecuting-mormons
(3) Beyond that, Mormons overdramatize how long the persecution lasted in Missouri:
* It was about 100 days in Jackson Co late spring/early Summer & early fall of '33;
* Another month or so-- maybe 40-45 days in Sept/Oct 1838 -- violence all occurring in Oct.
* Less than 5 months actual real time, all told.
In the first 100 of those days by less than 50 people in 1 county (400-500 did attend a council in mid-July but we have no record of how many in attendance of a meeting acted upon it...showing up at an event doesn't make you an oppressor or persecutor)
...and the committee who then attempted to foist themselves upon the Mormons were only 12 men...(Joseph Fielding Smith, Essentials in Church History, p. 133-134) --- out of a state-wide/county-wide pop of how many?
Joseph Fielding Smith says mob of 500 (p. 135) but no violence...did threaten it July 23, 1833. Smith says "about 1200 members forced to leave Jackson co." (p. 209). But the committee which forced them out only specified 11 families according to Smith earlier in the book. They forced 9 of 11 families to leave within a few mos. warning -- and the two remaining would finish up their business goods (Smith, p. 135).
Of course, some things happened in Nauvoo in 1844-1845...but not Kirtland, Ohio, which is sometimes included in the Mormon laundry list of persecuted places.
It won’t be done for Mormons, it will be done for Muslims.
I believe only Lds apostle Orson Hyde (and a few others) taught that Jesus was a polygamist. So, most Lds don't currently believe that. Yet, you don't see them denouncing past "apostles" like Hyde (or others) as false prophets because of that. (They like to have their cake and eat it, too).
It's imbedded in Sharia Law, which Mormons are trying to get recognized in almost every country.
Joseph Smith was far from the only itinerant bank scammer in the nineteenth century Midwest - plenty of similar operators were also the occasion of public meetings, organizations of posses, tar and featherings, assassinations and expulsions.
There is an economic narrative to this that seems to rarely be discussed.
Did you know that in Canadian courts a Muslim woman does not have to take off her mask? How can you face your accuser that way? How can we prove the woman really is who she says she is?
If the woman is “made to” remove it, its only done after all males are out of the court room.
(*Ezra Levant’s website)
I tend to think it would simply lead to further errosion of the family.
Well, that was certainly the case in Kirtland Ohio, where Smith skipped out of town in the middle of the night because of that.
BTW, a building did burn in Kirtland before leaving...as the financial problems "coerced" Smith to leave Kirtland.
Note this admission by this Mormon Utah journalist (Doug Gibson): ...opposition leaders sought to use a[n LDS] printing office to manufacture anti-LDS tracts. That printing office was destroyed by fire to prevent that, and historians believe it was the ever-faithful Sherman who set the blaze to thwart Smiths enemies. Early Mormon Sherman died without ever knowing he was called to be an apostle
Gibson is referencing Lyman Royal Sherman. Of course, we don't tend to hear these details from the Mormon historians or the common Mormon narrative, do we?
BTW, in that Doug Gibson column, he wrote: However, unknown to Smith, Shermans health was ruined after the Kirtland strife and he was dying.
("Unknown to Smith"...so the Mormon god "calls" Sherman through Lds leaders, but they don't have a "clue" that Sherman is dying? I thought the way the Mormons interpret Amos 3:7 would "kick in," that the Mormon god doesn't do anything without cluing in his "prophet"?)
That sounded an awful lot like the D&C passage where Smith says David W. Patten would go serve as a missionary. But then Patten dies in Missouri Oct., 1838. Without serving as a missionary, and letting this D&C passage serve as yet another Smith false prophesy.
James K. Walker writes of an example "of a close-dated unconditional prophecy [of Joseph Smith's] found in Doctrine & Covenants 114, which is Mormon "scripture."
Writes Walker: This two-verse prophecy given April 17, 1838 are instructions to David W. Patten, one of the LDS twelve Apostles. He was to prepare to go on a mission with the other eleven (Apostles) into "all the world." According to the revelation, the mission was to take place "next spring" which would give the prophecy a "closed-date" somewhere around April or May of 1839. Less than three months later, the "twelve" were given a specific date to leave (April 26, 1839) and one of the apostles, Thomas Marsh, was instructed to stay behind to "publish my word" (Doctrine and Covenants Section 118). The date of April 26, 1839 came and as History of the Church, written by Joseph Smith, records, "The Brethren arrived at Far West, and proceeded to transact the business of their mission" (Vol. 3 p.336). However, David W. Patten was not part of that mission. David Patten was not present because he had died in October of 1838. History of the Church reports: "Captain Patten was carried some of the way in a litter, but it caused so much distress that he begged to be left by the way side...he died that night" (Vol. 3, p. 171). Rather than going on a mission with the Twelve next spring, as Joseph Smith had prophesied in 1838, Patten died before the next year even came.
Source: James K. Walker, Watchman Expositor, vol. 9, #9, 1992 David W. Patten: False Prophecy in the Doctrine and Covenants
I guess the Mormon god is not omniscient and sovereign and has trouble gauging these kinds of things, eh?
See "If This Goes On..." in Robert A. Heinlein's anthology "The Past Through Tomorrow" for a remarkably similar plot of this hypothesis.
What is surprising is that the affidavits are steeped in the myth of persecution.
What is surprising is that the posts here are steeped in the myth of persecution.
Witness No. 2 complains that the breakaway Mormons “have an extremely hard time helping women immigrate when they marry as a plural spouse as it is very hard to get medical insurance.”
So is this an illegal alien problem or a moral problem ???
Mormons say they live in fear of being jailed or having their children taken away from them.
Yeah that imaginary family separation fear due to your own ongoing criminal action is a doozy...
Just ask the illegal aliens...
So, if polygamy is legalized, she wants money for education programs for polygamous women “tailored to our needs.”
the DREAM Act..
It seems their sex crimes reporter was out sick...
and the “immigration” reporter was having a slow day...
He or she just tweeked an old article of his or her own...
I guess the Mormon god is not omniscient and sovereign and has trouble gauging these kinds of things, eh?
The mormon god did not “follow the prophet”
so no temple recommend for him...
How can anyone be for same sex marriage and against Polygamy?
Certainly the one is more natural than the other.
THEOCRACY, baby! YEEEEAAAAHHH!!!!!
Isn't the state's enforcement of a monogamous, heterosexual marriage already a form of theocracy?
In a true "liberal democarcy" the people could vote for whatever they want, and the majority would rule. E.g., they would have the power to authorize polygamous zones within the state if they so wished.
Perhaps the claim of "secular, liberal democracy" by the paper is simply overblown rhetoric.