Child Abuse and Polygamy
Child abuse and polygamy - polygamy and child abuse: Are these words synonymous? It certainly would appear so, based on the preliminary information obtained by officials following the apprehension of 463 children from the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas.
Reports indicate that of the 53 underage girls, 31 have had children or are currently pregnant. Two of these underage girls have had 3 children, and 6 of these girls have had 2 children. While in custody of the state, one of the girls gave birth to a boy.
In addition to this disturbing information, reports indicate that at least 41 of the children have or have had broken bones.
There is also an ongoing investigation into the possible sexual abuse of boys.
There has been an amazing lack of co-operation from the sect members, and officials are having a difficult time identifying the ages of all the children and which child belongs to which parent.
The people living at the Yearning for Zion Ranch are members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS). The FLDS is a polygamist sect. FLDS men have one legal wife, and permit themselves to take others as "spiritual wives." Age is of no concern to these men.
The FLDS is a group that split from the Mormon Church in the 1930's because the Mormon Church denounced polygamy and excommunicated practitioners of plural marriages.
The investigation is ongoing, and I am sure more information will be forthcoming. In the meantime, the children are being placed in foster homes.
I applaud the State of Texas for initiating steps to stop the rampant child abuse taking place in the name of polygamy.
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