Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I'm sure you've all seen the news story about the Polygamist ranch where hundreds of children were removed. If not HERE is a link.

This is a difficult issue for me and I'll admit I get a bit of flack over it. Because there is a part of me (a very tiny one) that believes those children shouldn't have been so hastily removed. I realize they made the choice to try and maintain Mother to child contact with children 5 and under but what about the children Arwen's age. I couldn't imagine the fear those children must be facing right now.

With that small part however there is a bit of anger about this whole Polygamy lifestyle. For me, personally, it appears to be a religion in which men benefit and women are merely prizes and vessels to produce a large batch of children each year. Let's face it, even in arranged marriages you normally find children attached at birth to one another. However in polygamy it's the norm for a 50 year old grandfather to marry a girl 30+ years his junior. I'm sure you don't hear of many love stories in which these young women fall deeply in love with these old farts and daydream about their future together along with all of his other wives.

Then you have the family dynamics of this kind of living. There is the "1st Wife" who is basically a commander and chief for the "household". What she says goes. She makes the rules, budgets and decides the status and jobs of each of her "sister wives". Could you live like that? I did for a while and my Mom agrees with me, two women under one roof is just one too many. We both were chomping at the bit for me to get out on my own when I hit 18. I'm not even going to begin to delve into the entire issue of Mothers and their Daughters (from a different man) sharing a same husband. I've heard this does happen.

The thing that really gets me about this is Polygamy is illegal in the United States but the compounds here are well known. It's not hard to find them and they are not hidden from the public eye. So why does the government only intervene when they "get a call of abuse". Isn't it abuse to allow these children to have no future other than what their church and profit decrees? Why does it take a phone call for you to step forward?

One thing is for sure. I hope some of those young women they managed to free decide to be brave and refuse to return. They deserve the chance to live a life in which their wishes are respected. It would be even better if they choose to bring their children (if they have any) out of the polygamy world as well.

One thing I did find laughable about all of this is an interview with a wife on who claimed their "constitutional rights" had been violated. Can you really say you have constitutional rights when you want your church to be recognized separately because you believe your husband should be able to marry multiple times? You can't have it both ways you know.


Lawfrog said...

I agree with all that you said. These polygamist sects are frightening in so many ways.

Unfortunately, one of the reasons the government doesn't intervene more often is because the only witnesses to the polygamy issue refuse to talk - that would be the wives and the surrounding town folk as it were. It's very sad really - the authorities are limited in what they can do in terms of stopping this because prosecution of it (their only real weapon) is so difficult given the lack of witnesses who will come forward.