Friday, April 11, 2008

Child's Voice?

I know this is probably becoming on of those topics that people are tired of hearing about. But,...I have so many thoughts that it's becoming impossible not to blog about it. As some are aware, two polygamist wives posted in my last entry (and maybe the one before that, too). On top of those, I have had twenty-two emails from other people who claim to be polygamists. These e-mails have left me stunned, sickened, and angry. I've taken the liberty of pulling the worst comments/questions to answer here. Some, I've paraphrased because they popped up time after time.

We have just as many rights as you do. How would you feel if California came and took your children for no good reason except they don't like your religion?
You know what? Your children have rights, too! Are you insinuating that a child has less right to protection than an adult? If the state came to my house and took my children purely because I was an atheist, then you bet your ass I'd be mad. However, this is not the case with the YFZ ranch or even FLDS. Your children were removed because you're using your abusing your right to practice your religion as promised by the Constitution. When you start using your religion to justify rape and child abuse, it's no longer an issue of religious freedom - it's a matter of cyclical abuse.

We have clean, well-behave children. If we were bad parents our kids wouldn't be better than the kids in the secular world.
Here's the thing - abusers, especially the most insidious sexual predators, clean up their mess. They understand that leaving a child in tattered rags is likely to draw attention. So, like good groomers, they create the ILLUSION of happiness and care. You can put a twelve year old in a dress, comb/plait her hair, and teach her to "keep sweet". But, doing those things is nothing more than an attempt to hide the fact that you're marrying that twelve year old to an old man. I don't care if your children can whistle Zip-a-dee-doo-dah out their rear ends... the illusion of happiness is not happiness. And, who are they going to complain to? Their parents? The church elders? Children don't routinely seek help from the very same people who abuse them.

The media is playing up our faults and not the good things about the FLDS!
Aside from rocking the waist-length french braid, what exactly is good about the FLDS? You throw your sons out when they're old enough to take a girl/woman from the older, "worthy" men. You pack off your thirteen year old to start her new life as a wife and mother without bothering to get her unpressed consent. You tell girls that there's ONE path to righteousness and it's through the priesthood holder in their lives. You keep them out of school. You raise them in forced poverty and teach them that the world is evil...but, it's okay to take "the devil's money". You hide pedophiles and rapists within your community and teach your children to be obedient to these monsters. But, yeah... having forty siblings to play with ought to make up for those things, eh'? You're just one big, happy, dysfunctional family. Kudos!

No girl is forced into a marriage. It is a sacred calling that god sends to her.
No girl is forced into marriage? Are you kidding me? The interesting thing about ex-FLDS, polygamous women is the over-whelming similarities in their stories. Almost all of them speak of being taken before the prophet (or other church authority) and told to "pray about" marrying so-and-so. They talk about being lectured on what will happen to them if they deny this "calling" or "blessing" from God. In some cases, they're pulled from their beds in the middle of the night and married off against their will, without the presence of family or friends. If your lifestyle is such a joyous, beautiful thing...why would you have need to hide it? Furthermore, children CAN'T consent to marriage. How do you expect a sixteen year old to know what it means to be a plural wife and mother? How can she be prepared to be a sexual partner when every person who's escaped says they were never taught about sex?

A woman's body is ready to have children at the time of their first menses! This is how it was done in Biblical times.
Pregnancy and parenting are, without question, more than physical conditions. There are nine year olds who have a period...does that mean they're ready to nurse a baby at two in the morning or stay up all night with a colicky infant or sick toddler? Also, shall we look at the complication rate of babies having babies? Teen girls are still growing - even after that first period. When you purposefully impregnate a teen aged girl, you are running the risk of long term health problems. Considering that the FLDS want these girls to have MULTIPLE pregnancy before adulthood compounds those health risks. Just because you CAN have a baby doesn't mean you should.

Our girls mature faster because we surround them with the reality of motherhood instead of sending them out into the world and showing them things that they won't use in marriage or child-bearing.
The reality of motherhood? What the hell? So, basically, your argument is: if we show them no other life, then they will be less likely to be disappointed or shocked when they're sold into eternal servitude to protect a man's position in the afterlife? Yeah...I've heard that things like math and science take away from the "important" womanly lessons of; laundry, cooking, cleaning, raising children, happy marriages, and putting Band-aids on boo boos. NOT! I hate to burst your FLDS bubble, but there are many women on this earth (and reading this blog) who have somehow managed to use their brains and have children. And, in general, the more a woman knows about the world, and the more confidence she has in that knowledge, the better mother she makes.

You're jealous.
Oh, of course!! I wake up every morning and think, "Wow...if only I had a sister-wife or nine who could share a life of meek servitude and have sex with my husband." *rolls eyes*


Xander said...

But of course this isn't True Religion™. True Religion™ is never responsible for anything bad, because then it wouldn't be True Religion™ (rolls eyes).

The defenders of religion who see it as a benign, even beneficial institution, really need to wake up and see the harm that religion does, especially to those most vulnerable such as children and women.

Too often I hear of sad, and maddening stories about women and children who have suffered at the hands of religion. Recently, for example, there was the 11 year old girl who died from treatable diabetes, the young boy who died in terrible pain coughing up his own intestines or the number of women and girls growing up in an Islamic society which despises even the merest glimpse of skin or independence.

Therefore, a parents right to believe in any kind of loony idea should not give them the right to cause irreparable mental and physical damage to their children. Their child has no choice into which family, and therefore what religion, they are born into.

The State must therefore have the right and ability to protect those most vulnerable from those who would abuse them.

Psychodiva said...

this just gets more and more sickening the more I read about it. How can these women defend this? well- look at the way genital mutilation is defended by women, the way the Hjib is defended by women- they are gromed into it as surely as any battered woman can be- there is nmore than one way of battering a woman and these girls must be rescued from it.

Psychodiva said...

that should have Hijab :)

Baal's Bum said...

A woman's body is ready to have children at the time of their first menses! This is how it was done in Biblical times.

I think this is the main problem, the point is This is not biblical times this is a whole new era, the world has finally starting to move on from the antiquated dogma of the past. We are not struggling for survival in a hostile environment with a life expectancy of thirty years or less. These people and the countless others of other religions are clinging hard to their beliefs, resisting the natural progression of society. This actually makes it almost understandable, and can be likened to the mentality of the "Luddites"[an early 19th century response to the industrial revolution] but it cannot and should not be condoned by anyone.
I glibly mentioned Stockholm Syndrome in an earlier reply, this should not be overlooked. As these women proudly stating "it is the way of god" are as much victims as the children they have brought into the world. It is the Church leaders and perverted sycophants that are the real criminals here, the fools that follow them need to be taught the modern ideal of individual rights, that the human race does not need and will not fall back on archaic belief structures to maintain order, as the order they want to maintain is warped, dysfunctional and ultimately unjust.

Psychodiva said...

there is a story in the UK Daily Mail by one woman who escaped the Texas compound:

Jess Wundrun said...

Reading this post I was struck by how similar these women are to dogs in a puppy mill.

Seven Crows said...

@Jess Wundrun - Good point. They are being treated like animals - with no more thought given to their hopes and individuality and sentience than a farmer gives to her cows. Matter of fact there is a milk farm in our town where the farmer shows more concern for her cows than this group gives to their children.

It is hard for me to fathom a group that treats all its children, female and male, so badly. Left on their own, without the larger world to gain new genetic material from, they would probably die out fairly quickly.

I think it's funny that they don't see the irony in this as well as in the fact that they have to rely on the state financially. It's like they are all so brainwashed that reality does not intrude on them at all.

April said...

Bill Maher ended his show last night with a commentary saying that the only difference between these people and the Catholic religion are the numbers. Apparently, the current Pope wrote a letter urging all the arch bishops to keep quiet on the child molestation that was going on until the statute of limitations ran out. (He also had Richard Dawkins on talking about The God Delusion.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link PsychoDiva it was a great but chilling read, the author also has a book out about her life in the FLDS called Escape. Really scary and heart breaking isn't there something we can do to help them?

Amy said...

A woman's body is ready to have children at the time of their first menses! This is how it was done in Biblical times.

I hate to point out to these oh so special ladies that in Biblical times girls didn't get their first periods until they were around 16-18. Just like today's hunter-gatherers the strenuous lifestyle combined with a lack of consistent nutrition (Also I'm guessing a lack of hormones being added to their meat) held first periods off until a girl was much more emotionally and physically ready to bear children.

VAMP said...

So I must've been REALLY old to have had my children when I was just shy of 36 and my other baby at 38. But, in biblical times, I'd be dead by now.

blue_o7 said...

What a waste...if you had been living your life the "proper" way you could be holding your great-grandchild in your arms this second.

And while this should realistically serve as a wake up call to some, sadly it can all just be conveniently washed away with a simple "Oh but that's not my religion, we're different".

Sunrunner said...

Thanks for taking all of this on, Possummomma. The whole thing just makes me see red! And thanks for letting me vent on your last post.