Sunday, May 18, 2008

The FLDS want their rights

The comment below appeared in today's Salt Lake Tribune. I think the writer put into words some of the reasons that I have felt no sympathy for the FLDS. I was glad that Oprah recently did a show on what is going on down there and some of the history of the FLDS. I think many Americans outside the Southwest simply have no idea how large a phenomenon these polygamist communities are.

In response to "I am an FLDS woman and I am entitled to the same rights as you" (Opinion, May 11): When I heard about the men who were kicked out of your community and never given an explanation why, their wives and children given to other men, I did not hear you complain about rights.

When I read about FLDS girls under the age of 16 being married to men three times their age, I did not hear you complain about rights.

When your community kicked out numerous "lost boys," some as young as 14, I did not hear you complain about rights.

When I read about a husband never being able to see his young son again because of an alleged sin, I did not hear you complain about rights.

When I found out that many of the spiritual wives of your men were being supported by our welfare tax dollars, I did not hear you complain about rights.

Don't be surprised now if your call for rights falls on deaf ears.

Bryon Larson
Cedar Hills

Salt Lake Tribune May 18, 2008

When the writer above refers to "Lost Boys", these are the young men who get kicked out of a community. If you look at the picture above, the husband has six wives. In most polygamist communities, you have to have multiple wives in order to get to heaven. If biology dictates a 1:1 ratio, then some of the upcoming boys are going to be competition to the older men. This lets the community kick out a high number of their boys, and the ones who stay are the REALLY committed ones. These boys are then out of the community relatively uneducated, and completely unprepared for a world they have been taught to fear.

The FLDS way of life is something that should only be read in history books, but never have to be experienced by a human soul again.


Mystical Seeker said...

John Krakauer's book "Under the Banner of Heaven" from a few years ago does a good job of delving into the fundamentalist LDS community.

Adam Gonnerman said...

This is hardest for the poor kids. The distorted family relationships are all they have ever known, and yet the civil power has an obligation to get them out of that situation. Difficult.

Andrew said...

Mystical - I have read that and it is an amazing book. I am glad I didn't read it prior to coming to Utah because I think it would have jaded me against many of my LDS neighbors before I had a chance to know them.

Adam - Yeah, I debate this issue a bit and people tend to put the event in either or verbiage. I think the truth (as you elude) is that there was no "good" way to handle it. This hurts the innocent; but the alternative is to let the present and future innocents continue to be hurt.

Adam Gonnerman said...

Don't get me wrong. I agree entirely with removing the children from that situation. It just isn't easy. In movies there's almost always a tidy solution. In real life the situation of fallen humanity is a mess that refuses simple solutions.

Andrew said...

Yeah, I am trackin with you Adam. In the Salt Lake papers, everyone goes to polar extremes on this stuff. But I agree with you - it had to be done but there was never going to be any easy way to do it.

Mystical Seeker said...

Andrew, Krakauer is an amazing writer. I pretty much could not put down his book on the infamous Everest expedition of a few years ago

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