Sunday, April 20, 2008

On a lighter note...

I seriously love 30 Rock...

Re-Visiting the Polygamy Debate

After expressing some opinion here recently about the fiasco in Texas with the FLDS church I've spent a fair amount of time trying to really educate myself about what is going on in that community. I read Carolyn Jessops book "Escape" - she grew up in Colorado City, married a much older man, had 8 kids, and eventually fled to Salt Lake taking her children with her. Her oldest daughter left and went back to the polygamist lifestyle even after going to high school in salt lake for a couple of years. (I mention that because I think most people would imagine that a teenage girl, having tasted the freedom of "normal life" would not choose to return to that insular community and lifestyle...but she did). Many of the women mentioned in that book, Carolyn's sister wives, are now in Texas in the FLDS YFZ Ranch complex. And their children have been taken.

Here is my dilemma:

1. I think the FLDS church under Warren Jeffs has become a messed up situation - I think he's possibly quite a very evil man.

2. While I believe there are many things about this life style I disagree with - I keep thinking that it's wrong to persecute or prosecute these people for their religious beliefs - which I think, is in a sense, what is happening.

3. I don't think teenage girls should be forced in to marriage. I think it's wrong. I hate to see women being used as 'property' and think that's what polygamy can de-volve into.

4. Teenage girls all over this country get pregnant at young ages all the time, in all kinds of neighborhoods. They just don't happen to be fundamentalist polygamist families. And do we take away all the children of any family where this kind of thing happens? How about we take their close friends and neighbors children? This is what it seems is happening here. 415 children taken. Do we really think every single one of those children is better off NOT being with their mothers? I just can't buy into this theory.

5. I think the state of Texas is going to find itself in a lot of legal trouble over this situation. Ultimately, I think they went in there based on a false phone call. There's no evidence this girl exists. But there is evidence of a woman here in Arizona making these kinds of phone calls erroneously.

6. As much as I was sickened by some of what I read in Carolyn Jessops book - I also couldn't help but think as I read it about how many of these women in these polygamist families are really good people just trying to do what they think is right.

7. I haven't seen a single shred of evidence that the bed in the temple was used to have sex with anyone. All that's been reported in the media regarding that bed has been hearsay "he said someone else said they heard from somebody". They have said the bed is for nothing of the sort. In the St. George temple there was a bed for years for tired workers to use. I asked my mom and she said they have a sort of cot/bed in the temple where she and my dad work in case someone isn't feeling well or needs to lie down for a while. It's not that weird that they would have a bed there.

8. There was record of a lot of young girls married to old guys. No matter how you look at it that is just creepy.

Ultimately, I just find myself confused about what is really in the best interest of the people involved.

At the hearing one of the women begged to have her daughter back and she promised she would leave the polygamist lifestyle and support herself on her own if she could just have her 7 year old daugther back.

The judge denied her request. Her daughter will remain in foster care.

These images taken in the past few years by Salt Lake Tribune photographer Trent Nelson are so powerful:
This is a 'big love' polygamist family in Salt Lake City. Three wives. This is one wife holding the birthday cake, the other wife blowing out her candles and wife number three is in the backgound watching.
FLDS community in Canada (they have a large group up there too) baking their daily bread.

An FLDS girl catches a salamander and shows it to photographers in the Canadian community

FLDS women in Texas after their children are taken

Courthouse in Texas
Convicted "prophet" of the FLDS church Warren Jeffs - who has fathered around 100 children

A woman testifies at the Jeffs trial

Polygamist Couple
Travel on the roads at Short Creek (Colorado City and Hildale)

Polygamist Family

polygamist children playing

Polygamist young men on their "mission" - where they work construction and do service hours.
Polygamist home behind walls

Kids play at home in Short Creek
Polygamist mom and her daughter go for a hike near Short Creek.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sorry for the Ranting and News of New Blog

Okay so that last post was a little ranty. I have further thoughts on the subject which I will share shortly in another entry when I have more time.

In the meantime, I've started a new blog related to my weight loss so if you want to hear me go on and on about the merits of lettuce - please see Bandanamom's New Weight Loss Ramblings Here.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Stuff that "Bugs"

Am I just getting old and cranky?

Stuff that is bugging me!

1. Scouts

This could be a big huge entry unto itself this week. But rather than airing the specifics of my irritation on the internet I will just say that no one should ever give me a calling in Scouts! I have a laundry lists of complaints, 'nuff said.

2. Yesterday I got an email from a welling meaning member of my Stake asking me to add my name to a petition that we needed to send to President Bush, or the FCC or someone (that part was completely unclear, as I should mention was the part where you tried to figure out how this magical petition that you were suppose to forward, was every going to end up in the intended proper hands) and the petition was to ask the FCC and the President and Congress and whoever else wants to listen to not banish LDS Conference and Music and the Spoken Word from the television. WHAT? This just sounds really weird to me. I am looking at a petition with over a thousand names on it, I am looking at this very long list of people it was just forwarded to and I am thinking....this sounds really weird. The email goes on to say that this bill (I can't remember Rtwenty something twenty something) is to try to pass it so that the mention of God cannot be made on the airwaves. In addition this bill is being sponsered by head atheist Madelyn O'Hare (who I happen to remember is dead). WHAT? So I am suppose to add my name to this list because if I don't all kinds of terrible things will happen. Also - the liberals are about to take over the country, yada yada yada. WHAT? AND at the bottom above the petition names it says "sign to return prayer to our schools!". WHAT? Clearly the whole email looks like a hodge-podge of other weird emails I've gotten before. So I spend two seconds looking up the facts.

It's a hoax.

This hoax has existed in some form since 1975. The bill referenced in the email was knocked down in 1975 and has never been brought up again. No one ever took it seriously to begin with. The FCC has received over 3 million pieces of mail about this since 1975...people KEEP perpetuating this rumor over and over.

And by the way - why is it that mormons never realize that one of the families who sued over the prayer in school was a mormon family in Texas who felt persecuted by public prayers asking for 'help' from God to deliver this same mormon family from the evil grips of their church. THIS is why prayer in schools is not such a hot idea.

Which brings me to my next point:

3. TEXAS & the Polygamists

I am not going to just believe every cruddy thing I am hearing about these poor people in Texas. Warren Jeffs might be a complete jerk and I am sure there are probably some girls who end up in polygamist marraiges who are less than thrilled about it all. BUT I am not going to quickly condemn every father and mother in this compound because the authorities in Texas tell me I should. Did you hear the news yesterday about the bed found in the temple? Crap like that has been said about mormons forever, and not just the polygamist kind- who knows what they found. Could it be an alter? We don't know and the deputy of the deputy of the Sherrif who heard it from an alleged 'source' needs to quit putting these terrible ideas out without substantiation.

A woman from a different polygamist community in Utah yesterday made a wise comment. She said something along the lines of "Most men know it's very unwise to take a wife who isn't 100% committed to a polygamist marriage. It's hard enough as it is. The law is not on the side of our husbands. They know that if one thing goes wrong a woman can call tapestry or the authorities and something exactly like this raid in Texas is always a possibility. "

Maybe it's my polygamist roots showing, but I think the way this thing is playing out is just entirely wrong.

"The authorities in Texas say that the mothers are staying voluntarily in custody."

Really? Or could it be because they will have to LEAVE THEIR CHILDREN there if they decide to leave 'custody'. What mother is going to do that?

And well meaning baptists have taken in these children - some have said the following "they don't even know what crayons are! they just stare at them!"

REALLY? Or do you think maybe they don't feel like coloring right now when their families have been completely ripped apart.

I could go on for days.

I am not saying that I agree with the lifestyle of these people and I am not saying that there isn't any abuse going on - there might be. BUT I guarantee you taking 400 children from their parents is massively over-reaching.

The only thing I can't figure out is why the FLDS church decided to build in the same county as WACO? Did they not learn anything from the Branch Davidian fiasco? Or were they naive enough to think that could never happen again and the local baptists of Texas would just leave them alone?

Friday, April 04, 2008

Que Sera Sera

It's been a weird week.

It's been busy. I stressed out about silly things I probably shouldn't have.

Sometimes I find that I no longer have a good way to de-stress.

It used to be that a good bubble bath worked - and I still really like a bubble bath. But sometimes when I am really busy a bubble bath feels like laziness and that stresses me out more.

I was thinking today about how when I was in high school I absolutely, positively had to have plans on a Friday night. On Saturday night it was okay to have plans or not have plans - but on Friday you HAD to have plans, otherwise you felt like a giant loser. And usually those plans involved something with my girlfriends.

There were 5 of us who hung out together in a sort of group. Sometimes one of us might have a date or some other obligation, but usually, there was always someone to do something with. This group had a sort of dynamic to it that kept it kind of held together fairly well. My best friend was Alicia. Then there was Kari, Tirzah and Tina. My second best friend was Kari. Kari's best friend was Tirzah and vice versa. Tirzah was Alicia's second best friend and Tina was Tirzah's second best friend followed by Alicia. Tina and Tirzah were sort of tied as my third best. Tina was Kari's second best friend. I don't know who Tina thought her best friend was. I think it was her horse. (She loved her horse and her dog, then boys, then us, so I think her need for a best friend was proportionally diminished by the animals and the boys).

Anyway we did a lot of silly things.

Sometimes we just went to the movies.

Sometimes we dragged main (or in the past tense that's known as drug main as well or we might say we were dragging main) sometimes we had a slumber party or a sleep-over (a slumber party requires more than 1 girl - a sleep over is just 1) and talked a lot about boys.

We often played a game which was played with PIT cards, but which was not PIT, but rather some sort of fortune telling game. I won't even go into all the details of how that worked exactly, it started by accident one time and weirdly, many things that were foretold in that game eventually came to pass (I still put a fair amount of stock in the fact that I was suppose to be both the fattest adult and the thinnest...I am waiting for that thinnest part).

Sometimes we went to the dance clubs (which was usually a blast)- we had two clubs in town, the "Galleria" and the "Connection". Often we were dancing with college guys who thought we were college girls. There was usually a fair amount of disappointment on their faces when they asked you how old you were or where you lived and figured out you were still in high school.

We had a "funny" booth at McDonalds. We always sat in the same booth and it was called the "funny" booth because we did a fair amount of giggling and laughing there. So you could just say to your girlfriend "meet me at the funny booth" and we all knew exactly where that was.

We loved to go to JB's Big Boy late at night and order HOT FUDGE CAKE. I don't know if any dessert in my life has ever lived up to that chocolately hot goodness. JB's was the only restaurant in town that stayed open late.

There was often giggly calling up boys on the phone and taking pretend surveys about which girls at school they liked (as if they had no idea what we were doing!) We had this thing when we started driving where we would just drive by boy's houses that we liked. Kinda in a stalkerish way. My best friend Alica had a weird superstition that if her favorite song came on the radio we had to hurry and drive by the house of the boy she had a crush on. It was a little crazy. He lived about a mile out of town so we had to book it out to the South side of town fast and make it to his house before the song ended. It was a Kenny Loggins song. Everytime I hear that song I think of the red interior of her mom's white Ford Thunderbird and driving as fast as we can to get to Gordon Harmon's house before the song is over. We hardly ever saw the boys we liked when we did this stalking routine. And if we did we totally FREAKED out and ducked down in the seats. Mostly it seems like those years were filled with a lot of shreiking and general silliness.

There were stupid girl fights too. At various times I think I was mad at all 4 of them collectively and individually.

But that stuff diminishes in memory over time and you just remember things like the time we kidnapped Tirzah on her 16th birthday, had a chinese fire drill in Kari's parents Suburban and almost wrecked the car in the process, picked up some college boys while dragging main and made them take us to a movie (after which we quickly ditched them when we realized they expected something in return for the movie) or got lost in the dark countryside driving Kari's parents Toronado around looking for the "KNOCKING GRAVE". I miss all of these things sometimes.

I miss the luxury of time we had then.

Sometimes when it had been a stressful week, or boys seemed stupid, or we were just tired, Tirzah would suggest we should just get together on Friday night and watch a old Doris Day movie. So we would. Honestly, those might have been some of the best Friday nights ever.

Our lives really weren't that stressful - but that was our way of just de-stressing. It was a perfect solution to a hectic or otherwise less than stellar week.

I can't even remember the last time I saw a Doris Day movie.

Maybe that's what I need.


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