Polygamy update: phone call maybe faked, abuses not.

Filed in Gather News Channel by on April 20, 2008 0 Comments

There was a fascinating twist to the news story of the YFZ (Yearning for Zion) Ranch in Texas, hangout of the FLDS (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints) Church.  The Texas authorities have not been able to come up with the identity of the 16 year old girl who made the original phone call to authorities caliming that she was abused and impregnated by a 50 year old male. There is now some suspicion that the phone call could have been made by a woman who does not live at the ranch. Hmm. As a defense lawyer, what do you make of that one? Do you claim illegal search and seizure because authorities had no real just cause to enter the compound?

From the standpoint of the Texas authorities, there is plenty of fire underneath the smoke. They are having to resort to DNA analysis to figure out the Dads of some of the babies that were born to underage girls at YFZ. That is a cut and dried case of law breaking, because it is not legal to impregnate a girl under age 16 in Texas as I understand it.

It is a tough situation for 416 kids who are now facing foster care. On the other hand, consider the other possible solution- let the FLDS people run their own business. Looks like that would not work. In the anonymity of the Ranch, men were able to do as they wished and women considered themselves honor bound to let it happen.

In other polygamy news, it is clear that there also exist a number of people in the southern utah area who practice unofficial, separate household Polygamy. The husbands in this group drive from home to home as nomads, staying long enough to impregnate the "wives", but serving as an absentee dad to most of the kids. These families sort of blend into the landscape- niehgbors may wonder, but in these days of single moms, where is the smoking gun? I am not sure how you can hope to stop people from doing this. The YFZ Ranch was a practical target for authorities because the people chose to live together. When they disperse and hide their polygamy how do you address it? You probably don't unless you can find a girl younger than 16 with a baby.

It just bothers me these days that males or females would cling to this concept, associated with early Mormonism but now repudiated by that religion, that polygamy is the key to eternal salvation. It is stupid really. If you check a history book, you discover that this belief was simply a belief of convenience, when early Mormonism attracted many more women than men. Once again, the human skill of self deception reigns supreme.

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A guy who believes somehow in the rule of law, the future of the human race, and that the electoral college is not forever.

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