[Vision2020] condemning rape redux/FLDS

keely emerinemix kjajmix1 at msn.com
Wed Apr 23 19:37:35 PDT 2008

Out of curiosity, I checked out Dale Courtney's blog and didn't see any further comment of his or his readers regarding the Vision 2020 discussion we've been having about condemning rape, a Christian pastoral response to sex predators, and a local perspective thereof.  Nothing new about the Sitler case or my original comments, but something related was there that, I think, sheds some light on the guarded, suspicious, even paranoid nature of some of Christ Church's leaders -- particularly toward civil authority, which seems relevant to the thread I began a few days ago.

I was dismayed but not entirely shocked to see that Courtney has raised questions about the legality of the recent raid on the FLDS compound from which 416 children were removed.  It appears that the call tipping police off to the sexual abuse of children might have originated outside of the Yearning For Zion Ranch -- which in this case leads Dale to remind his readers of the ominous and obvious similarities to, say, the FBI's raid on Waco's Branch Davidians.  One of his earnest readers even said it was just like rounding Jewish people up and putting them in railroad cars to ship off to the gas chambers, a statement so stupid as to beg credulity, but one Courtney chooses not to correct.  The spectre he raises is one of an insatiable government out to get the differently-devout by fabricating bizarre charges of abuse, and then either killing them or taking their kids away.  Dale sees a pattern where more prudent souls would scoff at the idea, and less polite ones, like me, would snort in disbelief.  

Charity would require that Dale consider his readers to be reasonably thoughtful, capable of exercising even a vague sense of historical perspective.  Caution ought to urge him to think through what looks at first to be an easy opportunity to rail against liberals or government.  And common sense ought to reveal to his readers that Dale is barking up the wrong tree in this one.  

The authorities had received information from numerous parties that these polygamous men were "celestially marrying" and impregnating multiple wives.  That's offensive to me, and, I would assume, to an elder at a conservative Christian church.  I would guess that we agree that adultery is a sin, but that sin isn't always a criminal offense -- nor should it be.  But adultery between consenting adults is not something local and federal authorities should raid private property to prevent.  I'm willing to suspend belief for just a moment here and assume that the women were freely choosing to share husbands and live in isolation and give up their freedom and bear numerous children who were raised by whoever else in the group the men chose.  I suspect they didn't, but let's assume they did, just for the sake of argument.  My point to Dale and his blogmates is this:

When girls under the age of consent get pregnant, they get pregnant from having sexual relations with men -- who committed  a crime by  having sexual relations with girls who are legally and morally incapable of giving consent,  the consent that we have reason to doubt their adult mothers are able to grant.   The lack of post-pubescent, sexually mature boys under 18 in the compound suggests that the testimony of those who have left the group is at least reasonably believable -- these boys are thrown out of the FLDS in order to reduce competition with the perverted patriarchs who seize girls for sex.  (I'm not sure what legal statute that violates, but I'm gonna guess that Dale and I would agree that it's a terribly family-unfriendly act, although Dale may first choose to see it as the leaders' usurpation of head of household prerogative, at which point my head would surely spin right off . . . ).  Either way, though, it's clear that where you have pregnant children, you
have sexually mature males who impregnated them.  And when adult males have sex with young girls, they commit an illegal act.  This is a nice, tidy argument that even a public school grad such as
myself feels safe making, and while my assertion may make Courtney uncomfortable, it would be better if it made him think.    There once was a time when Christian elders saved their outrage for those who rape children, rather than the governments who try, however imperfectly, to prosecute those rapes.  I can't help but hope Dale will fall back into his right mind.

Perhaps my next post should be "My Breath, And Why I'm Not Holding It . . ."


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