Assuming most kids do want to go home to their parents (go ahead, trolling commenters, explain for the zillionth time how they're all suffering from "Stockholm Syndrome"), that means more than 82% of respondents think most FLDS families should be reunited.
As we await Judge Darlene Byrne's ruling today on the fate of a 22-year old FLDS woman
First, I'm glad to see FLDS members themselves are beginning to speak up in the blogsophere and on the web, beginning with interesting posts from "Pligchild" at FLDS View, including:
- Feminine Feminists
- Top 5 Lies About the FLDS
- FLDS vs. Forced Marriage
- Children's Songs
- The FLDS Life
- My Cousin Austin Weighs In
Similarly, see the "open letter" to Gov. Perry and Judge Walther from an octogenarian YFZ Ranch resident Samuel Roundy on the hopefully named website, Truth Will Prevail. Somebody needs to set Mr. Roundy up on a blog, pronto; I want to hear more of what he has to say about his religion and what's going on with the YFZ kids. Reporters, too, IMO should locate Mr. Roundy and put them on their contact list when discussing FLDS views. A lot of folks with hostile (or mercenary) intentions appear happy to accuse the group of countenancing every form of evil imaginable, and those views can't be effectively nuanced unless folks like Mr. Roundy, who have the ability and motivation to speak articulately in defense of their own rights, are given the chance to do so.
At CaptiveFLDSChildren.org, a site hosted by FLDS itself, the group posted children's usual daily schedules and activities for social workers who asked for information about their usual routines. Interesting reading, mostly for its utter normalcy and ultra-religiosity.
Beyond the FLDS itself, at the FAIR Blog (dedicated to "Defending Mormonism") I saw a fascinating historical discussion of the question of "Lost Boys" that's well worth a read. Another Mormon blogger quotes Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn from Gulag Archipelago, comparing the Soviet writer's predicament fighting public opinion and the state behemoth to that faced by fundamentalist Mormons in Texas. A related piece worth reading: Monogamist Pot, Meet Polygamist Kettle.
From Introspections of a Plural Wife (at Heart), we see an account of a Today Show appearance by FLDS members who explained the phony basis for state allegations about teen mothers at the ranch:
One mother said that she has a daughter in state custody who is 23, but who the state of Texas insists is 15 or 16 years old. She says her daughter has a birth certificate and a driver's license, and that she herself submitted her own driver's license and attested to her daughter's age, but the state will not accept any of the identification as legitimate.She's right about that. If DNA can't tell age, you won't accept documentary evidence (like a Texas driver's license) and your abuse case is premised on the idea that the women are lying so you can't use their testimony, how can the state prove anything one way or another?
What other kind of evidence can any person offer as to the age of an individual? Age is not something that DNA can establish.
Finally, since fundamentalist Mormon polygamy for most of us is an alien concept, I wanted to share this extensive chronology of federal legislation on polygamy.
This story is rapidly ballooning beyond my own ability to track all of its various moving parts, so I'm really glad to see so many voices chiming in.
MORE: From The Common Room.