Thursday, May 01, 2008

Cream O' Controversy


I'm in desperate need of a distraction (or two). And what, my friends, distracts better than a good controversy?

Well there are a few things (shopping for shoes, a giant pair of Princess Leigh Bun headphones, going through the "blogs I frequent list" and finding new stuff to read... to name a few). However, in the interest of Distract Me Now Damn-It, I need to open a 16 ounce can of Cream o' Controversy.

Here we go: Good golly Texas, you have really messed up this time. (As if the last time wasn't a mess up either - remember Waco?)

Go ahead, gasp for air in trajectory astonishment over my polygamy-loving stance. You can even spit some disdain in my general direction (just remember, it's you that will need to wipe that monitor!)

I've been delightfully entertained by the raid of that Texas FLDS compound. Not because I get enjoyment from the news coverage or because I agree with either sides of the fence on this one, but because it's downright unconstitutional! (as in "Four score and six years ago..." oops! What I mean is "We The People...".)

Let's back up a few, shall we? I am not a supporter or sympathizer of those who wish to have plural spouses. And I am flat (we all know that I'm flat), I am flat out angered by the marrying off of 13-year-old daughters to Uncle Cleave, or Cousin Tom or half brother Boris. (While we're on the subject of what is so wrong about the FLDS community, let's talk about the horror of those dresses. Eek! frightful!)

Let's start with a few facts: 1) 450+ children were taken away from their mothers. 2) The children were removed because an alleged 16 year-old within the compound phoned authorities in distress over abuse. 3) It turns out the phone call came from a 33 year old woman in Colorado named Rhonda Swinton.

So based on some crack pot phone call, the cops were able to bang down the draw bridge of the compound and haul everyone out on buses.

How does this apply to you and I? Let me illustrate. You have a neighbor, we'll call her Tyrannsaurus Rex (Rexy for short). Rexy doesn't like you. Rexy wants to get even because your grass is always greener and your garage is always cleaner. Rexy makes a phone call to DCFS (Department of Child and Family Services) with allegations of abuse. DCFS shows up on your doorstep and takes your beloved Yahoos. Your life is hell for at least a year.

Here's where I show you Amendment IV from our Constitution:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. "

Now that we have that business out of the way, let's talk about who the victims are. Obviously the children, but who else? The Women!

It's safe to assume that a majority of these women were coerced strongly into becoming part of their assigned clan. Either that or they were born into that way of living and know of nothing else. Being astute and disciplined, these women obliged and made the best of it. They had children and loved them.

Now some fun foster parent gets to take care of 'em. Nice.


Mandee said...

My feelings exactly. Thanks for expressing them so well.

Ellvie said...

I agree with you. I am so conflicted over this situation and I can't stop watching it unfold. I feel so sorry for those mothers and especially for the kids. They must be terrified having been yanked out of the life they know.

But how do you stop sexual and physical abuse of children when the perpetrators claim it is their religious right? I don't want to disregard the constitutional rights of the FLDS but I wish the victims could get help (and realise that they are victims).

If these women were only allowed to wait until they were 18 to marry and then had a choice on whether to stay in this lifestyle or not, I would have no problem with polygamy. But raising your daughter to be your brothers 13 year old baby mama just seems like manipulation. Its hard to make decisions for yourself when you are a pregnant teenager controlled by middle aged men and bitter older women who already have been through the same situtation and think that now you should too.

I know that these people's faith is strong, but it seems like your faith would be stronger if you had the right to choose and you decided on this life regardless of all the other options rather than by force or brainwashing or because its what your parents believe.

The fact that they are all on wellfare is a whole other can of worms. My brain hurts now.

rabidrunner said...

Excellent points! (Like we'd expect anything less from you.)

I agree something must be done about it, but I feel the women are being punished more in this scenario than the "men".

So Shurtleff (Utah attorney general) has been criticized strongly over his lack of involvement with the whole polygamy mess. But he might be on to something with his top-down approach to bringing them down - their faithful leader Warren Jeffs is in the slammer.

I say pick away those perverted old farts one at a time.

But I'm no law enforcement official, attorney, child development proffessional, or psychologist (thank the Lord, eh!?)

Lois said...

I was watching "Dateline" the other night and I was scared because it was on the FLDS and who knows where they were going to take it. Well, they took it just where you're taking it. They talked all about how there were no warrants, the police wouldn't tell the women anything, threatened them with never returning their children, etc. It's horrible. Sure it's a bad situation, but you're right, they're punishing the women and children, NOT the perpetrators.

Hey, I think their dresses rock (Maybe there was a sale on that particular pattern at House of Fabrics).

Becca said...

I totally agree with you. I feel so bad for the mothers who have had their children taken away from them and while I don't support their religious belief in plural marriage, I don't think that the women and children should be the target's of this unfair raid and public scrutiny. And as far as all the kids go, I really don't believe that they are going to have it much better in foster care. But on the other hand, I know if they stayed where they were, they would victims for the rest of their lives. Really, its a loose-loose situation for the people involved in it.

On a happier note, maybe you have found an idea for this year's Halloween costume--I think that dress would look rather dashing on you!

Vera said...

Hum. Let us not forget the other victims, the young men in this religion. When do they get a wife? You never hear about that! All the babes (no pun) are given to an old fart.

While I agree for the most part with everything you all say, I have to wonder if these peoples’ lives’ are really that bad? They all say they are happy, even the lost boys they interviewed said how much they missed it. How does a 13/14 year old girl get pregnant in the "normal" society? Neglect, parental blindness, abuse? What happens to that girl? Her community shuns and ridicules her, makes her give it up or she gets an abortion.
What do these people do? Welcome her and help her build a family unit she can always count on. Many women have married someone they don’t love, aren’t happy with, and aren’t satisfied; yet they make the best of things for their yahoos. Most of these women know what they are missing or think they are missing). These people are fairly sheltered from a life of drugs, alcohol, porn and hopefully violence; at least more then the average family. There has to be a trade off in this life, is theirs so awful?

I 100% agree they should be 18 years old before they get married, and they should be educated. If the FLDS or any other religious cult can’t teach their women and wait until their 18, I have to question whether they are really in tune with the “Big Man”. Religion brainwash their young, and if you don’t believe it, take a good look around this fine state we live in.

Finally ….about those clothes…..they never have to wear makeup, they don’t have to stress about outfits and shoes, they all have the same hair….It’s like going to private school without worrying about your grades.

Somehow my serial killer theme party doesn’t sound fun anymore!

The McMillans said...

Thank you Vera!

You know, one of my long standing jokes, is that I judge women on whether they would make a good polygamist or not. Like whether we could get a long and raise kids
together and share the responsibility. But seriously I think part of me really means it. My husband is gone 60 hours a week, and there isn't much of a community in my neck of the woods. So the majority of the raising in on my shoulders. There are times when the pressure gets too much and I loose my cool. (I don't beat them, but my anger is high.) The thought that I am raising children in a society that feels they have the right to define my parenting by a small bout of frustration really scares me, and if you have any self concept you should be scared too. This whole thing is about parent's rights for me.

I am sure there is questionable behavior, as in any religion, in any society in any part of the world. However, there is a right way to handle things, and a wrong way. This is wrong. Please, don't make an example out of hundreds to sacrifice the evil of one or two beings!

The McMillans said...

Oh, and I sported the FLDS do on my head today, just to see what the appeal was.

rabidrunner said...

Lois: What might this pattern be called?

Becca: You're onto something with the Halloween costume. It might be a popular choice this year however.

Vera: I thought the Lost Boys were vampires not reject sons of polygamy! The no makeup stuff sounds appealing, but I'd still have to do something about my unibrow.

McMillans: Would I be good polygamist? Wait. Don't answer that!

Ellvie said...

Imagine a life in which every time you wanted to blog, your husband had to read, edit and approve the posting or comment.

The McMillans said...

Yeah, I would last like forty seconds. I am way too opinionated and I can't conform.