Saturday, 16 May 2020

Mormons for Child Abuse

Fundamentalist Mormons demonstrating in support of polygamy (and the right of their men to abuse women and children).
Utah decriminalises polygamy. Opponents are outraged | Barry Duke

According to this report by CNN, the state of Utah has reduced to penalty for polygamy from being a third degree felony punishable with up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine to that of a misdemeanor on the same scale as a traffic offence.

Polygamy, allowing a man to have several wives, had once been a central tenet of Mormonism and the practice that led to their moving to Utah to found their own colonies, free from the persecution of the mostly Christian states which outlawed the practice. It was the issue that kept Utah out of the Union until, in the nick of time, God revealed to the leaders of the church that marriage was now the union of one man with one woman, for life, just as it was in the other states.

However, a break-away, fundamentalist sect, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) rejected the change and continues to practice polygamy up to the present day.

This is not, however, the libertarian move it would appear to be, and for a bill sponsored by a Republican State Senator, is surprisingly liberal. It has been prompted by the child abuse that this practice had facilitated in this fundamentalist sect, and especially the fear of coming forward to report them that a major criminal trial would have involved. The law as it stood had forced the fundamentalist groups underground into a shadowy existence where abuse and exploitation could carry on unnoticed.

Needless to say, it has produced howls of protest and accusations of victimisation by those deprived of the opportunities the law provided as well as those who oppose any move to legalise polygamy.

Vigorous enforcement of the law during the mid-twentieth century did not deter the practice of plural marriage. Instead, these government actions drove polygamous families underground into a shadow society where the vulnerable make easy prey. Branding all polygamists as felons has facilitated abuse, not eliminated polygamy.

Republican State Senator Deidre Henderson

FLDS President Warren Steed Jeffs, multiple convictions for child abuse.
Currently serving life + 20 years in a Texas jail.
The abuses it facilitated are illustrated by the case of the President of the FLDS, Warren Steed Jeffs, who is currently serving a life + 20 years sentence, imposed in 2011, for two felony counts. In 2006 he was on the FBI's 'Most Wanted' list, having fled from justice on a charge that he had arranged illegal marriages between his male followers and underaged girls in Utah.

In 2007 in Arizona, he was charged with eight additional counts in two separate cases, including incest and sexual conduct with minors. and again in 2007 he was convicted of two counts of rape as an accomplice, for which he was sentenced to imprisonment for ten years to life in Utah State Prison. This conviction was overturned by the Utah Supreme Court in 2010 due to flawed jury instructions.

He was then extradited to Texas where he was convicted of the sexual assault of a 15 year-old girl who he had 'married' and of another 'wife', a 12 year-old girl. He was given a life + 20 years sentence and fined $10,000.

This is just another example of how religion facilitates the abuse of women and children by predatory men.

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  1. They think they have a right to practise their religious beliefs because it's their Constitutional right even if their beliefs are in breach of the law.

    1. Like many theists, they feel their rights are above the law, and even that they have the right to make laws for the rest of us to follow.


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