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U.S. Government vs. Fundamentalist Mormons

What's Best for the Children?

Publication Date:
4/30/2008
Pages:
0
Session(s)
1
Product Type:
Internet Download
Adult Study, Adult Study
Product Number:
TC0277

On April 3, 2008, Texas police and other officials searched the temple at the Yearning for Zion ranch, a retreat in Eldorado, Texas built by a polygamist sect that is affiliated with the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or FLDS. Americans were struck with a morbid curiosity.

The FLDS is known for its firm belief in plural marriage, and its members have often been accused of excommunicating its boys to allow other FLDS men to maintain multiple wives, marrying off underage girls to older men, and excommunicating troublesome men and reassigning their wives to others.

The April 3 search was prompted by allegations of sexual abuse supposedly reported to the authorities by a sixteen-year-old girl. Authorities found enough evidence of unsafe conditions to remove the women and children from the ranch. By April 25, a total of 462 children had been removed from the ranch and put into the state of Texas's foster care system.

The answer to what is best for these children, however, isn't simple. It involves a lengthy discussion of the differences between the LDS and the FLDS, the history of polygamy, its acceptance in our culture and in other cultures around the world, and the dangers it poses. It also requires a thoughtful and careful consideration of when government should step in and intervene in people's lives and their religions.

Megan Pillow Davis is a journalist and freelance writer who lives in China Grove, North Carolina.


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