Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Child Protective Services raids polygamist compound, removes 500+ women and children

You've probably all heard about this since it's been all over and other news sites for the past week, but the Texas Children's Protective Services has carried out a massive raid on a compound holding members of a secretive, radical branch of the Mormon Church, the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS). The FLDS continues to practice polygamy, has long been disavowed by mainstream Mormons, and is reputed to arrange marriages of its members to girls as young as 13, or possibly younger. These practices are hard to prove as many of the children have been born into the sect and lack proper documentation of their ages, and members of the sect rarely make contact with the outside world. The current spiritual leader, Warren Jeffs, has been convicted of accomplice to rape and sentenced to 10 years in prison for coercing a 14 year old girl to marry her 19 year old cousin. The entire sect is ruled by the church elders, who have absolute control over their followers. The FLDS has been left in relative isolation since a similar raid half a century ago in Arizona that was tarnished by a negative media backlash. So far the Texas government has removed over 500 women and children from the compound on suspicions of physical and/or sexual abuse, after they were called by a sixteen year old girl, pregnant with her second child, who reported being abused.

At what point should the ability to practice religion freely be limited by the need to protect basic human rights? Should the government force extremist religious groups to be more transparent in order to prevent abuse? Why has the FLDS, which has long been associated with physical and sexual abuse of its women and children, been tolerated for this long?


Anonymous said...

Smells like they're burning the witches again. not to mention that it was legal in Utah for 14 yrs old to marry (with parental consent) until about 2 yrs ago when the lesbians, feminists and their enablers got attorney general mark "zeig heil" shurtleff to raise the age.

oppressors always resort to making the religion of their enemies a crime. Isn't that what happened in babylon under nebachadnezer? weren't the jews almost exterminated because they refused to worhip the king ahead of god?

if it was okay to marry a 14 year old two years ago then it is okay today--the only thing that has changed is that the lesbians and feminist managed to amend the marriage statute. is time to amend it back.

Seth Goldin said...

I considered deleting this comment from an obviously deranged bigot. While no government has the right to censor people, this is a private blog that does not need to allow such despicable, hateful, and nonsensical speech. I'm going to leave it up though, as proof of the crazies that are out there. Also, for further ridicule, here is the bigot's IP address, for all to see.

Seth Goldin said...

The bigot was from Salt Lake City. Draw your own conclusions.

USpace said...

Good piece, I totally agree. Let's hope Law Enforcement is not corrupted in bringing all these evil pedophile monkeys to justice.

GD sick religion!
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
KILL most pedophiles

ALL the religious ones
no matter what their race

absurd thought -
God of the Universe wants
all pedophiles castrated

although not necessary
if they get LIFE IN PRISON


Caroline said...

Wow. I like that in Utah, only "lesbians, feminists and their enablers" are willing to stand up for the interests of 14 year old girls. So much for chivalry, eh?

I hate defacto, culturally-sanctioned rape as much as the next enlightened person, but I get sqeamish about the use of the awesome power of the State to enforce the recieved views on childrearing. It's much more legitimate to use force where there are victims outside the "oppressed" minority.

So forget about the 14-year-old girls for a second. The FLDS throws out a substantial fraction of its young men, and these lost souls wash up jobless and clueless in communities nearby. By disowning them, the FLDS has made them members of the "majority", and by preventing their education beyond the 8th grade, has done them substantial harm.

As a thought experiment, suppose we were to use the power of the State not to "liberate" the women and children, but to insist that this "minority community" look after it's own. If they can't throw out the boys, then polygyny becomes a non-starter pretty quickly. The pressure for child-marriages stops once men get one wife apeice,and without the child marriages, what's not to like about FLDS?

Anonymous said...

The mothers want their children back:

State now a danger to children, sect's mothers say

ELDORADO, Texas (CNN) -- The mothers of some of the 416 children taken from a polygamous sect's ranch say authorities have denied them their constitutional rights and they want their children back.