Sunday, March 27, 2011
Mormons: More Equal than the Rest of Us?
I don’t write often about non-mainstream religions and cults. I’ll do it when they make news, like when they kill themselves in a religious frenzy as is their want; or when they withhold medical assistance from their dying child. But since they have less of an impact on how science is taught in the schools, or how our freedoms are interpreted, and our government runs... I tend to not worry as much about them as I do mainstream religious denominations. However, something has come to my attention that makes me say: “What the fuck??”
TLC / The Learning Channel (as of late a rather ironic misnomer) airs a show called “Sister Wives.” This fundamentalist Mormon family living in Utah is comprised of three (possibly now four) women married to one man. They have in the neighborhood of thirteen kids. Being married to more than one woman in this country is called Bigamy. It’s illegal. Always has been.
Now personally, I don’t have real strong feelings about polygamy / bigamy. I’m not positive exactly why it is illegal, not sure who the victim is, and not entirely sure it should be illegal. It’s entirely possible that the Western marriage concept of one wife to one husband at a time is simply a religiously inspired convention. But let’s put that aside. The issue here is that polygamy is against the law and that this family is openly breaking the law of the land. They are doing so presumably to make money, and if you ask them, also to make some statement / point. I don’t give a damn what their point is.
Utah is infested with Mormons, many of whom belong to ultra-conservative offshoot sects of Mormonism that never gave up the practice of polygamy. These groups deem Brigham Young’s “Revelation from God” to stop the practice of multiple marriages a “false revelation.” Indeed, they are correct, but not for reasons they think. God didn’t hand down any instructions to old Brigham, God doesn’t exist. But the Federal government exists and it was THEIR revelation that Utah would never become a state until polygamy was abandoned by the Mormons. Miraculously, Brigham Young promptly received his instructions from God that polygamy was no longer sanctioned. Quite a coincidence.
In any state other state in the union this blatant demonstration of illegal activity would result in investigation, arrest and prosecution. But not in Utah. Oh, it’s illegal in Utah as well, but according to authorities there, there are so many polygamous families that they lack the resources to pursue them. Thus, they are ignored unless another crime, like child abuse or endangerment, raises the authorities’ antennae.
So while I would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law should my wife agree to allow me to take Jennifer Anniston as a second wife (not a likely circumstance and the mention of which will likely cause me to be on the receiving end of significant spousal ire) Mormons get special treatment. They are ostensibly exempt from prosecution, because so many of them do it, or so the authorities say. But, if the excessive number of people breaking any given law negated the possibility of prosecution, no one would ever be arrested for smoking pot.
No, what’s happening in Utah, the adopted state of a cult whose founder was a convicted conman; the land of magic underwear, and the home of millions of future god’s of their own planets - is special treatment. A blind eye to illegality because the authorities are largely Mormon. It’s like having the inmates supervising the asylum.
No law enforcement agency, mayor, chief of police, state’s attorney, judge, or state legislator ... no one who holds elected office is about to start arresting and imprisoning the thousands of illegal Mormon bigamists whose votes put them into office, and whose tax money pays their salaries.
And so, Mormon’s get a pass as they thumb their nose at the law, breed kids like promiscuous possums, and teach their brood that this is right and good, guaranteeing another generation of religious nut polygamists.
I wonder how Jen and Mrs. Hump #1 would feel about living in Provo.