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Polygamist Parents Must Learn "Evils of Polygamy"

Polygamist Parents Must Learn "Evils of Polygamy"

Chaotic custody hearings for the children removed from a polygamist compound began yesterday and will continue for three weeks. Texas' Child Protective Services (CPS) has come up with a vague plan for what to do with the 460 children removed from the polygamous compound: return as many children to the FLDS parents as possible.

If all the children were to remain in the most basic level of foster care next year, it would cost the state $21 million. While the details are still being worked out, CPS has articulated some of the conditions for custody. To see what they are,


Parents who want their children to return will have to: live independently and off the compound, find a job, and attend counseling and parent classes. A lawyer for one of the eight-year-old girls told NPR that the state wants the parents to understand the "evils of polygamy."

Currently, polygamous parents are traveling across vast Texas to take advantage of the hour visitation time granted for each child each week. Do you think they will be wiling to meet the state's custody preconditions? Would it be better to try to place as many children as possible with relatives outside of the FLDS?

Does the framework, which seems to dictate a lifestyle that does not include communal living, offend your notion of individual freedom? What about freedom of religion or a parent's right to raise their children? Have the parents sacrificed these rights by subjecting their children to crimes like abuse and rape?


Join The Conversation
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
ITA KrisSugar, these women have no practical skills to get a job. They cook, clean and take care of kids. Anyone can do that, and look at the state of the economy and the job market. Those women don't stand a chance. It just isn't realistic to tell them that a good parent would leave the compound and change all their ways. Training all these women would take time and lots of government money. And they would be living off welfare until they finally get a job anyways. Added to the fact that these women grew up facing the same fate as their daughters, they don't realize that something is wrong. How can they stop "abuse" when they don't know that what's happening is wrong? They have been indoctrinated since birth that the FLDS way is the right way. And I agree with the above poster. This is just another case of the government thinking that they know best and damn everyone else's beliefs because they're just plain wrong. It annoys me so much when politicos get soo judgmental-- not everyone freakin' agrees with you!!
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
oh as far as the "governments rules", if homosexuals were allowed to adopt should they have to read a pamphlet on how government feels about their lifestyle and how "evil" it is.
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
caterpillar 1-finding a bed in a chapel is not evidence of sexual abuse 2-most those "underage pregnant girls" turned out to be of legal age of consent (16 or 17). 3-they found all these these things after the fact. they had no evidence of abuse when taking the kids out of the compound, just suspicion. their search should of been limited to the fake 16 year old who called. you may like the idea of the government being able to take your kids because they dislike your lifestyle and the way you raise your kids, but it scares the crap outta me. due process is still the law of the land even if you are a polygamist.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
A few more thoughts... The only evidence of abuse I've heard suggested at this point is the presence of pregnant minors. Pregnancy - even in a minor - is not in and of itself evidence of a crime. Unless one is willing to allow the government to yank any and all pregnant teenagers out of their parents' homes - along with their younger siblings - on the possibility they were impregnated by an adult, I don't understand why one is willing to forego the whole due process thing in this case. If and when they are able to confirm parentage and it confirms abuse, I hope they lock the bastards up for a very long time. But, until that point, there's been a lot of trauma inflicted based on maybe. From what I understand, the original calls have been traced to at least one woman living outside of the state let alone the compound. If the calls turn up abuse even while untrue themselves, fantastic. But, the fact that they were willing to charge in there with zero confirmation or evidence of abuse and yank 450 children out of their parents' homes on what has turned out to be completely false reports should give any reasonable person pause. That's a heck of a lot of leeway to give the government.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Thanks, megnmac! I can't say that I disagree with the court. Obviously, any abuse that's found must be punished and the government should do what it can to prevent it in the future. But, to rip breastfeeding infants out of their mothers' care on the possibility that 15 years down the line they might be abused is just ridiculous. And, frankly, I've been incredibly disturbed by the number of people who were willing to let the government completely strip these people of their rights simply because they don't like the religion or the lifestyle. Talk about "first they came for the blah blah blah..."
megnmac megnmac 9 years
This just in... appeals court rules Texas had no right to seize hundreds of children from polygamous sect.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 9 years
Flutterpie, they did find who made the original phone call and it was a prank call, but since they found underage pregnant girls in the compound, the original caller became irrelevant.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Are we forgetting that these people exercising thier "individual freedoms" were exercising it on RAPING AND MOLESTING CHILDREN! What about the freedoms of those girls? or the brainwashing? There is evidence that this has occured FLUTTERPIE, there were underage girls with children ! that is pretty darn good evidence to me! By taking the kids, and believe me working with foster care i know that you just cant seize custody on a hunch (the hoops you have to jump through) they are saving them from future abuse both physically and mentally, and if these parents give a rip they will follow the goverments rules on how to retain custody. Was I the only one that read about the BED IN THE CHAPEL? anyone?
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
im not someone who is going to say that polygamy is is conducive to a happy healthy home but who am i to say? the government has no right to dictate how people live their lives and while i think that anyone who raped or allowed the rape of a child, should be punished. so far there isnt any hard evidence that this occurred. there isnt even any evidence that the whole "16 year old bride gave anonymous phone call" even truly happened. i think that unless someone is charged with something soon, the government needs to just let them be
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
That's hilarious, partysugar. Maybe next they can dress up as mothers whose children were kidnapped and scream "bring my baby home". That would be really funny, too. Yesteryear - Would you reverse that and say that anyone against polygamy better also be against gay marriage? For the record, yes I am completely for gay marriage. I don't think the government should be in the business of determining which adults can marry. I think zeze stated her comment very well, and frankly I'm thankful because I was puzzling over how to phrase my opinion here. Obviously, the abuse needs to be punished and prevented in the future. Outside of that, I think it's a pretty lame lifestyle. But, I don't think the government should have the power to disallow or even strongly discourage legal but lame lifestyles.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 9 years
Let's not get confused there are no Mormons since 1887 who are polygamists. Any Mormons practicing polygamy since that date have been excommunicated. From what I've heard Salt Lake City has some of the most beautiful women in the world...can't say the same for polygamists.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
And who says Mormons are homely? I know loads of super hot Mormons.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
Not all Mormons are polygamists, so saying they dressed as Mormons is misleading. Kind of a tasteless costume though, really.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 9 years
partysugar that would have been hilarious. It must have been painful to look that homely!
Misskastar Misskastar 9 years
This whole thing is a disaster. The damage done is on so many levels and will leave an impression on those kids, women, everyone forever. I really hope they resolve things. hahaha! that's awesome partysugar. I wish I could have seen that! Maybe if this story is still relevant news in the fall, we'll see a lot of halloween polygamist costumes!!!
partysugar partysugar 9 years
One of the best costumes I saw at Bay 2 Breakers was a group of girls dressed up as the Mormons. They were screaming "we want our babies." I thought it was hysterical.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 9 years
According to an article by Brooke Adams, Salt Lake Tribune, there are only 17 out of the original 31 women who are in the disputed age group. I think the real injustice is not allowing those women proven to be 18 or older to return to their compound with their children since they haven't broke any laws. The children are currently not going to school and the state of Texas currently does not have an education plan for them. It is costing the state of Texas $1.7 million a month to care for them. Although, (from what I've read) it does appear that polygamy today is more of a cult for old men to prey upon underage girls, but apparently not in all cases. Polygamy originally practiced by the Mormons as a means to care for all the widows whose husbands were killed back east during all the anti-Mormon raids and discontinued in 1887 with the Edmunds-Tucker Act.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
oh yeah, I see your point! I would have said that myself if I had thought of it. I think we both pretty much see the same point, but it's sort of obtuse and difficult to explain. I am tired now and need a nap.
zeze zeze 9 years
yesteryear - like polygamy, I don't really agree with gay marriage in my personal beliefs, but I don't think the government should regulate what marriage is, marriage is spiritual/religious/personal, I feel the government should not be involved in people's lives to this extent, my solution to the gay marriage issue is to ban the entire notion of marriage as a legal process; so no gay marriage in the legal sense and no straight marriage, people can contract based on their relationship legally (meaning any people who wish to love together and protect their assets/rights to children etc... can have legal protection without the notion of marriage being involved. Just a note, I am not saying I discriminate or don't like gay people; only disagree, just as I would disagree with someone on any other personal preference. Kris: I understand your point, but I see a distinction here, I think parents should be able to raise their kids in any way w/in the law - if parents want to teach their children that this life style is acceptable, well it is no different then parents who teach their kids any other life style is acceptable. If there is force/abuse to stop older children/wives from leaving this sect, if there is force (not by convincing someone this is okay, but by physical/threat of abuse) then I would agree with you. For example, I don't think it is anyone's place to tell parents to teach their kids that sex with older/younger people is good or bad - regardless of how I view it - but if someone is locking people into rooms and not letting them out unless they do as they are told - there is a problem or if parents are teaching values inconsistent with child abuse laws (such as convincing children underage sex is something they must so) is also a problem. I'm not sure if I explained it well enough, but I hope you see my point.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
wait one minute. i sure hope all of you who are saying polygamy is OK are also OK with gay marriage... because that's just ridiculous. of COURSE this is about child abuse... but i think the government realizes they are dealing with a group of people who have been brainwashed to believe that what they are doing is right -- the children grew up this way! so there is a lot of education that needs to take place... for both the kids and the adults.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
and i think the sad consequence is that people at some point have to suffer to stop the abuse. women and children who didn't know any better will have to be separated, or thrown into a new life for it to stop.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
if they choose this as their lifestyle, then fine. but if they were never aware that they had a choice, that's not fair. even further, if they were forced at a ridiculously young age to have sexual relations with someone, because they did not know they had a choice, or were not old enough to comprehend that there was a choice, then it is abuse. and all of the examples of this show a young girl with a much older man. a very young girl being forced to sleep with a very young man is still wrong. and young men being raised to believe that it is okay for this to happen enables the abuse to continue. so, lifestyle is one thing if it's your choice, but a lifestyle because you don't know any different can be considered abuse. I think the shades of gray lie all around whether not knowing any better is just innocent coincidence, or if someone out to be blamed for it. seeing as there is no specific person to blame, who DO you blame? and if the women and children suffer from being apart or leaving the life they know, should that just be a sad consequence?
zeze zeze 9 years
UnDave: is it a rule that all polygamists live like this, or is it just a generalization based on some truths. (this isn't a rhetorical Q by the way, I really am wondering, b/c it seems to me that some people can live healthy lives with multiple spouses at the same time) Another thing I would add is that even if polygamy always has these "evils" - doesn't it depend on what you call evil, sure to the general public strict gender roles and seclusion is bad, but what if these people sincerely believe this is what is best for them and choose this as their lifestyle.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
I'm sure they'll find something, but it will be hard. in my hometown, one of the local pharmacies hires the Pentecostal women to work in the store. I know Pentecostal is a little different, but they are sort of in the same situation, dependent on having a husband. but they do a good job and are really nice and sweet. I have no idea who drives them to work though!
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Kris, I think you've just hit on what the true evils of polygamy are. The women are forced out of an educational system, which traps them in a form of slavery. You're absolutely right. What are these women going to do now?
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