This is a trampling of religious liberty. If you are not standing up for the
rights of the FLDS, you are not standing up for freedom of religion. This is a
miscarriage of justice, and people sitting on their hands who then complain
about religious liberty being trampled by the gays are hypocrites.
I would like to see them sell the land and give the money to the victims.
@ rhappahannockI hope your comment was meant to be sarcastic.
Religious liberty ends when it infringes upon another's rights. Forcing
underage girls into marriage is not okay; period. Using your logic, we trample
religious liberty every single time we stop a terrorist plot that would be
carried out by religious extremists.
@rhappahannock--Seriously? So you believe it's OK to victimize pre-teen and
early teen girls for one's sexual pleasure under the guise of religious
liberty? If that is allowed it then becomes the blueprint for any pedophile to
create his or her own "religion" so they can have a hedonistic heyday
with no consequences. Sounds great for the perpetrator, but what about the young
girls? Perhaps you'd feel differently were they your children?
I don't think preventing or prosecuting sexual abuse is violating religious
freedom. Being forced to perform a gay marriage by law when it violates a
person's belief is different than child abuse. Comparing sexual abuse to
personal belief is a stretch for me. I'm not surprised the state at least
wanted to go back and make sure it wasn't happening again, especially since
DNA testing had already proved abuse had happened there. Whether or not the
ranch should have been totally seized is very debatable, but certainly not to be
compared to a gay rights debate.
rhappahannock,So, you believe that "religious liberty"
includes sex with teen and preteen girls?Thankfully, we don't
get to write our own rulebook under the guise of "religious liberty".It is scary to know that you actually feel that way (and that 3 others
"liked" your post).
rhappahannock is correct.From the story: It also cited sexual assaults
committed on the property. Under Texas law, authorities can seize property that
was used to commit or facilitate certain criminal conduct. A judge granted the
state's request in January."If this was about equal
application of the law, then Catholic churches should also be seized if
misconduct of their priest has been established. Not everyone of these FLDS are
married to children or criminals. This case was handled with a drag net instead
of as individuals breaking different laws."Forcing underage
girls into marriage is not okay; period."I have no love for religion
in general, but fair is fair.Go after the criminals, not the group, many
being victims themselves so long, they don't know any differently.
I don't believe that Texas had the right to seize that ranch. It was
private property and the people still living there were not criminals. Warren
Jeffs is in jail and so are the other officials who were guilty of child abuse.
But the ranch didn't belong to Texas. The law under which they seized it
doesn't seem to apply to the people still living there simply because they
weren't the ones who broke it. I think Texas went over and above in
enforcing this specific law on seemingly innocent people and displacing them
from their homes. This seems to be a case of pure vendetta and witch hunting.
I suppose that when an organization--church or otherwise--is set up to engage in
behavior which is criminal, the entire organization can be treated as a criminal
enterprise which the authorities can shut down, then and seize its property.We could argue about whether the FLDS's principal aim, as the
religion was practiced under Jeffs, was the practice of taking underage girls as
polygamist wives. It seems obvious that the Catholic church is organized for
aims other than to have pedophile priests preying on young boys or girls. That
practice was not promoted by the Catholic church, but discouraged or outlawed.
By contrast, clearly Jeffs and his cohorts promoted the taking of underage wives
and the oppression of women and other underlings (e.g., teenage boys being
driven out) as a key component of the practice of their religion. Shut 'em
This is what happens to you if your religion is not government approved! Your
religion is in constant danger too!
I believe the article stated that the property was seized because the funds used
to purchase it were money laundered and obtained illegally. I don't
believe the seizure was due to sexual crimes that had been committed by Jeffs or
others. The penalty for those crimes is imprisonment, not seizure of property.
People still living on the ranch did know that Warren Jeffs took child
brides,they knew that he could tell who to marry who, they knew what was going
on. They just looked the other way. I don't know where they will all go,
maybe they have another compound somewhere. Maybe some of the kids will leave
this cult while they have the chance during the move.
Put aside that this is the vilified FLDS church and look at it in general
terms...Is THIS what we want our government doing? Seizing private
property of people/groups who are different, or groups they don't
understand, or groups they don't like?===It's
OK as long as it's just happening to those weird FLDS people. But what
about when it happens to you? Many in America think you're pretty weird
you know.For instance this quote from the article... "men in
largely identical, long sleeve shirts flooded national TV airwaves"...The same images and quotes could have been about the General Priesthood
Session of conference a few weeks ago!Would you be outraged IF the
government seized the Conference Center... or the Temple???I
don't see why people are OK with the way our government is treating these
people (partly because they are different). They are a different religion, a
different culture, have different styles, customs and traditions. But that
doesn't justify how they are being treated.Their leader broke
the law... that doesn't mean they ALL deserve to be treated like sub-human
non-citizens, by our government.
2 bits. You make it sound as if one guy married an underage girl and the whole
group was penalized for it. Don't you think that this was a
culture in this group?Weren't non minor girls "forced" to
marry people they may not have chosen?Were those who didn't want to
marry old codgers, free to leave? Or was there intimidation?And even if a
15 year old was technically free to leave, was it really a viable option?I really don't have an issue with what adults do, as long as they
are free make their own choices.Minors are a completely different
matter. And from what I can tell, this whole thing was about
protecting minors who were being abused under the guise of Religion.
@JoeBlow,How does the government ceasing their homes protect minors?===Do you think they won't move somewhere else?IF they are breaking the law... prove it and put them all in jail.
Don't just cease their homes and their temple (because you're the
Texas government, they aren't your kind, and you can).===Remember... the whole premise for the original raid was a fake phone
call from somebody pretending they were an under age girl, but in reality it was
somebody in Colorado who had nothing to do with the FLDS.They
eventually did save face and find something. But is what they found
justification for ceasing every person in the community's homes??Again, pretend it's not the FLDS. If some people in YOUR
faith were accused of child abuse... would that justify the government ceasing
every home of every person of your faith??
I realize that you did not make this distinction, but I will point it out just
to be sure it is not blamed on Obama."The state asked a judge to
allow the forfeiture, alleging that FLDS leaders financed a $1.1 million
purchase of the land in 2003 through money laundering. It also cited sexual
assaults committed on the property. Under Texas law, authorities can seize
property that was used to commit or facilitate certain criminal conduct. A judge
granted the state's request in January."While it was
"the government" it was the State of Texas government."They eventually did save face and find something "Are
suggesting that it is was not commonplace in the FLDS community, that young
girls, sometimes underage, are forced to marry against their will?
Joe,Were any money laundering charges PROVEN?So the State can
take property without proving their case? Not under the Constitution I
know.I don't remember any money laundering trial OR
verdict...===Again... I'm trying to get you to put
aside that it's the FLDS. If the Government can do THIS to them... they
can do it to you...I know the FLDS are bad... but IF it were another
group... does this seem constitutional? Taking all their homes,
because SOME had bad marriages. Heck.. these marriages could be LEGAL soon (if
the Court decides a State has no right to limit who can marry)...===I don't know if it's common place. I know ZERO of
the people they took on the original raid turned out to be under age.They did find a picture though.. and something in a diary. And that was
it.I don't know if it was commonplace or if that matters
(doesn't void your constitutional right to property).What law
says you can take the property of people who didn't have underage
marriages... because SOME in the group did...===PS...
didn't blame Obama... just Texas...
"SAN ANGELO, Texas — The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints failed to file a response by the Friday deadline to the
state's threat to seize its 1,600-acre ranch in Schleicher County."Looks like the FLDS lost by default. Their attorney could not be Also, from the San Angelo article "evidence taken in the
raid formed the basis for a protracted series of prosecutions that eventually
resulted in the imprisonment of a dozen men from the sect, including its leader
Warren Jeffs."Looks like many had their day in court and lost.
Sorry, but I have no sympathy for this group, FLDS or not, Religious or not.
And no, I did not mean to suggest that you blamed Obama. I was
making the clarification for others who demonize the Federal Government
regardless of a connection or not.FYI, I always enjoy our banter.
You make generally cogent arguments based on logic and information without the
inflammatory rhetoric. Always appreciated and often lacking in many posts on
Good job Texas! Way to show those Warren Jeff loving Texas compound folks. Too
bad Utah and Arizona don't have Texas Rangers, judges and courts to take
over Colorado City and Hilldale. It's especially frustrating to have the
police and leaders of those towns carrying out Warren Jeffs orders while he is
in prison. The FLDS "God Squads" are Nazi like and have robbed many of
their freedom. Enough is enough and all FLDS Warren Jeffs associated
communities and communes need to be shut down Texas style.
If anybody has paid attention to what has been stated by the FLDS church, than
they would know that it was okay to seize the property. The FLDS church itself
owned the property. The people living there are only stewards of the property.
many young girls physical development these days is out of sync. to propose its
ok to impregnate them because theyre menstruating is ignorent in the extreme.
Hips are narrow and boyish and mental prep. is almost non existent. They are
being severely abused. 'Oh well, if they bear babies and die or the babies
do - theyve got their physical bodies....' So thats all right then, is it?
State slavery is alive and kicking and going on right under the lot of your
It is vitally important that religious liberty be protected. By bringing the
case, the Texas government showed bad faith. Many more underage pregnancies
happened in Texas public high schools than happened on the FLDS ranch.
Additionally, it was shown that rumors of baby grave yards, welfare abuse, and
many other spectacular rumors were all false. Finally, Rozita Swinton, who made
the fraudulent phone call, was never charged with a crime or brought to justice,
and Dan Fischer has never been brought to justice despite admitting to child
abuse, identity theft, and fraud.There were all kinds of activities
going on at the ranch that had nothing to do with any illegal activity. These
were hardworking people that just wanted to be left alone. There
were a number of kangaroo courts involving the FLDS. One of the best was where
the the judge condoned the officers of not accepting valid Texas drivers
licenses as proof of being over 18. Shouldn't the state have to prove
it's fraudulent? Losing religious liberty rights affects everyone, as seen
by the photographer who stuck to her conscience and turned down the gay wedding.
What happened to all the people living there? Why were only a few living there
still? They are not inhibited from worshiping God by losing the ranch. The ranch
is the place their children were sent to live without them. Or they were went to
live without their children. They took money from members and then took their
families and threw them out penniless reassigning as they desired. That
doesn't sound like religion. Deciding who and what to think about God is
religion. The places they reside is not a church or rectory. You can't just
build a religious building wherever you want. The FLDS can worship God. Or not
worship God. Further local officials must be able to enter any structure and
provide permission for structures to be habitable. They need to be safe for
people. To avoid a tragedy and to respond to a tragedy like a fire.
The FLDS Church is a criminal syndicate dedicated to illegally acquiring power,
money, and access to young women for its aging leaders. Just another organized
crime problem among many here and abroad. Also there is no private ownership of
property among them.Had the FLDS leadership practiced high ethical
and moral behavior (as for example among the Amish), that leadership would never
have been targeted by government. Moreover, the government (whether local,
state, or federal) is our government, elected by us, paid for by us, and
responsible to us. We rightly expect prosecution and property seizures whenever
we are confronted by rampant abuse of the law by drug cartels, mafiosi,
terrorists, or Wall Street financiers. The FLDS Church has become just another
mafia organization, and it needs to be disassembled.
2 Bits. Already happened to the Mormon Church. It was called the
Edmunds-Tucker act which was upheld in the courts back in the 1880-1890's.
All church property over a certain dollar amount was forfeit to the gubment. As
far as I know, these laws are still on the books, but not enforced after the
The Edmunds-Tucker act was fine, it was when the act was made retroactive that
it created the problems with those who were already married to more than one
woman. The law made the men push out the other women and kids to fend for
Where are all my 'right-wing' buddies?I thought we'd
have hundred of comments on here about the 'big, bad government'.I'm disappointed... maybe their too busy grazing in Nevada for
The FLDS used to foreclose on the property of young men and other people kicked
out in Southern Utah. The public sale at the Courthouse used to be full of
notices of communal foreclosures.