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The proposterous nature of polygamy

September 20th, 2007

Jesus Christ had many wives and dozens of children.
At least, according to a religious sect based in Salt Lake City, Utah called the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS).
This present day community has become a front runner in national news recently. Its leader and “prophet” Warren Jeffs, began his trial last week on accounts that he forced underage marriages and participated in rapes amongst the women within the sect (among other things).
But what this has done more so has brought to light the topic of polygamy—a practice seen as unorthodox, culturally immoral, degrading and illegal, in the United States.
I really didn’t think this practice of having several wives and dozens upon dozens of children existed in our country today. But, in small, isolated parts of Utah and Arizona (and in some other areas of the Mid-west as well) there are little communities that live by this doctrine. The people there are taught that Jeffs is a direct descendent of Jesus Christ and that, to get into heaven, you must have at least three wives and give birth every year to “replenish the earth,” thus fostering the setting of massive families.
Ridiculous? Yeah, I thought the same thing as well. But it wasn’t until I began hearing about the outpour of atrocities of these communities’ young people and women, that I developed a strong sense of utter disbelieve.
There are extensive reports of incest, child molestation and spousal abuse. Over 400 young men, now coined “The Lost Boys,” have been exiled.
At this point, the only question I have to pose is that if this practice is illegal in the U.S. then why has this been going on for generations? Why haven’t officials stepped in and dissolved these cult-like communities?
This matter to me has become a moral issue far beyond a religious issue. All things aside, there is a lack of civil rights, rampant sexism, and various kinds of abuse being carried on by the men and officials in these areas of the country. Issues, that, in the United States, are deemed unacceptable and intolerable.
Many of the exiled Lost Boys are now turning to alcohol and drugs and various psychological effects are being exposed. These people have been brainwashed and manipulated by the leaders of their church and whatever “prophet” that rules over the community.
How can anyone, at this point, say it’s just a religious denomination living in peaceful and humane conditions? I beg to differ.
It beseeches me to think about the children who are born innocently into these lifestyles. They’re taught to believe that outsiders are bad, men are superior, and sex is a means of reproduction regardless of how old you are or what your feelings may be.
These children also have no choice in the lives they lead and if they do run away, they only find themselves in the harsh reality of a civilized society that practices customs and beliefs that are shunned from their small communities.
I only hope that the ensuing trial of Warren Jeffs in these next few months becomes the catalyst for the complete dissolving of these communities.