Getting out my can opener...

Most people who know me "IRL" know that I am pretty conservative, but that I am also very "live and let live." I prefer not to have the government telling me what I should do and how I should do it, therefore, I don't think the gov't should tell other people what they should do and how. I do feel, however, that each "right" I claim carries with it an equal responsibility. That is, is I believe that I have a right to life, I have a responsibility to honor that right for someone else (i.e. do not kill him).

I do not want the government telling me what faith I can hold or how to practice it; consequently, I have a very difficult time stomaching telling someone else if or how he can practice his. This all brings me to some word vomit on my jumbled thoughts and feeling about the news out of West Texas:

1) I reaffirm my belief that the government should be out of the business of marrying people. Many of the "evils"of polygamy (from a social standpoint-- I am not talking religion here) stem from the fact that it must by virtue of the laws of our land be practiced in secret. Because polygamy is illegal, those who practice are removed from certain protections. I am speaking specifically here of the coercion of young girls into marriage as a third or fourth wife to someone not of their own choosing and of the shunning and exile of young men (because they are competition).

2) I hate to see babies taken from their mommas.

3) I am disappointed, though not surprised, in the tone taken by most media outlets. There is possibly more to this story than s*x. Is anyone else tired of hearing about the bed found in their temple?

4) If there is clear cut abuse, and I do mean clear cut, then each victim should be protected and the perpetrators convicted to the full extent of the law.

5) The net cast by law enforcement is a bit broad for my tastes.

Now that I have opened this can of worms, I am curious as to anyone else's thoughts. Maybe it will help me make sense of mine.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Yeah, this is a can of worms.

Seeing the 'mommas' on Larry King last night, I was thinking that separating them from their children is not in the children's best interest. The Texas CPS basically agreed, saying that they couldn't keep kin together and that the children would go through a very difficult transition to modern life. (Then I saw a laptop in the momma's room at the compound; so maybe they're not as deprived as early reported -- )

Oh, speaking of which, I nearly rolled my eyes right out of my head when early news reports kept repeating that these children "didn't have access to TV(!!) or the Internet(!!)" -- like sheltering children from the internet was part of the abuse they were being subjected to.

I also thought about historical context -- even in America, I'm guessing girls under 16 were routinely married off (under coercive conditions, to older men even) as recently as this century. I'm not defending real abuse either... so in some people's eyes women may have been routinely and systematically abused for generations, but then we have today's youth who are subjected to sexual objectification and Bratz and Britney and bashbooks -- which children (or societies) are worse off again?

[Yeah, can of worms... don't hold anything I wrote against me - it was kind of free-form thinking, not a coherent argument...]
Anonymous said…
I haven't really followed this story, because pretty much every major development occurred either on my days off or before I came in/after I left. So I'm pretty much going off of what I read in People.

I don't necessarily think polygamy is inherently a bad thing, but there's a world of difference between Big Love (four consenting adults) and this case (lots of teenage girls).

I think being forced to marry (with all that implies) someone you're not in love with when you're not old enough to legally see an R-rated movie and, in some cases, drive is abuse. And I think that if your parents and every adult you know is saying that this is a good thing and the only way to get into heaven...yeah, maybe you do need to be taken away from your parents.

The women in the compound who spoke to People said that the kids are having fun and they loved their lives on the compound. And yeah, I bet when you're five or six and you have, like, 300 kids to play with, it's pretty fantastic (even though it sounds like they have a LOT of chores). But when you're 13 and you have to marry the creepy guy who runs the store, I'm going to guess it's not as fun as you thought it was back when your biggest worry was how many cows you could milk before lunch.

FLDS is a total cult. (This should not be interpreted as me bashing real Mormons.)

Sorry for the rambling and any incoherency; I'm very much tired.

(Also I'm glad you're blogging again; I missed you.)

Kelly
Susan said…
This whole thing is very sad...because the culture shock for these children will not be easy no matter what. But, I agree with you, Kelly, that if they are being told this is the only way to heaven and they are not old enough to really make their own decisions, then it's an issue. It sounds to me like the decisions are made by the "alpha males" in the group. And as a strong independent female, that makes me sick.

Susan
Anonymous said…
I would also like to say that it came out Monday or Tuesday that over half of the teenage girls in the compound were pregnant or already had kids.

Kelly

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