Girls Removed From Polygamist Ranch - AOL News
If you want more information on the mindset that produced Warren Jeffs, Rulon Jeffs, the YFZ ranch, polygamy, or The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), or what could possess a man to keep 52 underage girls in a dormitory, I've got the book for you.
The best book I've ever read on religious fundamentalism of any kind is Jon Krakauer's "Under The Banner of Heaven". Most people know Krakauer only through "Into Thin Air" or "Into The Wild".
"Under The Banner of Heaven" tells the story of Allen Lafferty, his wife Brenda, his daughter Erica, and his brothers Ron and Dan. Semi-devout LDS members all. But Brenda began leading Allen away from the church.
So Ron and Dan, acting under orders from God, killed her. For whatever reason, they also killed Erica, the couples' infant daughter.
"Under The Banner of Heaven" gives you a capsule history of the LDS church, polygamy, and the fundamentalist split of Rulon and Warren Jeffs with the larger moderate LDS church. It's an outstanding book by an outstanding writer.
I've made my feelings known how I feel about people who hear the voice of God, especially when it relates to murder, violence, foreign invasions, and using Downs Syndrome Victims as human bombs.
But here's where you get into difficulties trying to be a "Moderate" religious voice in a largely fundamentalist world. If you're a moderate, you can be wrong. Fundamentalists, on the other hand, can't. Therefore, if a fundamentalist claims to be speaking or acting within the confines of revealed scripture or God's will, he isn't be wrong. You're not just disagreeing with him. You're arguing with the Creator.
You're for a Middle East Peace Process? Forget it. Muhammed said we should fight the infidel. Argue against that, and you're a heretic.
You believe women are the equal of men? Nope. Paul wrote otherwise. You obviously have unconfessed sin in your heart.
Want a ham sandwich? No way. Pork is forbidden, you gentile libertine.
Round earth? Can't be. The church opposed that "theory" since the Bible refers to the earth's four corners. If you have pictures that show something different, it's an illusion. You should stay in your place and stop asking questions.
You think I shouldn't be allowed to keep 52 girls in a dorm? You're wrong. See Joseph Smith. Celestial Marriage. You can look it up. If you weren't evil, you would know this already.
(Note that the police are using a Baptist Church bus to carry the girls away from the Mormon ranch. )
Addition from April 10th: CNN is now saying that authorities have discovered a wedding bed in the church, where these guys could instantly consumate their celestial marriage to underage bride #20 without a tiresome honeymoon trip.