April 5th, 2013
Discipline Paper II: “Issues” Paper
An article stated in 2004 that people who represent the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) bought a land located in Eldorado in west Texas. According to the representatives of the FLDS Church, they said they wanted to build a hunting lodge, but the locals weren’t sure that the representatives were saying the truth. Later on, those who built the hunting lodge came in with hundreds of its members in the lodge and kept low profile until March 29th. The article explains that on March 29th, a 16-year-old girl called the authority for help. She states to have been forced to marry at the age of 15 and has the child to prove it. This article is an example of the many extreme cases of abuse that have occurred in the FLDS Church due to their Bishop’s abuse of power on the followers.
This religion has been subject to many critics due to their distinctive doctrines and ideologies. Welfare cases, racism, birth defect and polygamy are negative activities in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They’ve been criticized by lawyers, feminists, human right activist and social workers. Specialists have stated that this cult and not religion is applying polygamy, forced marriage and repressive attitude towards sexuality.
The leaders of the church have encouraged their followers to take advantage of having government assistance as welfare. Because now that most men in the religion has married more than one woman, the government recognizes that only one woman as the legal wife of a man, the other wives are considered single mother and are legally able to receive government assistance. In 2003, six million dollars was spent on the single mothers located in Colorado City, Arizona, because the more wives and children they have, the more the government sends them welfare checks and possibly food stamps. The FLDS Church has a reputation of being a “hate group” according the “Intelligence Report” which is the Southern Poverty Law Center’s magazine. Since 2005 Texas authorities have been stating that they are considered as a “hate group” due to their teachings on race by which they’ve included how they disapprove interracial relationships. During a recorded reunion their ex-leader Warren Jeffs stated: “If you marry a person who has connections with a Negro, you would become cursed."
Biological and psychological problems have been a big issue in the community of the fundamentalist Mormons. Since the FLDS Church is extremely repressive on the subject of sexuality, these caused psychological problems for the young followers which have, according to social workers, resulted in suicide. For the biological problems it’s due to the prevalence of cousin marriage between family members of the two locations’ founding fathers, Joseph Smith Jessop and John Yeates Barlow. These towns, Colorado City and Hildale are the places which has the highest cases of fumarase deficiency, according to health specialist like geneticists. Many medical reports have stated this situation has caused mental retardation, seizures, encephalopathy and unusual cranial features.
Because of the bad example of Warren Jeffs, ex-leader of FLDS Church, polygamy is now perceived to be a potential threat to the women in the religion. The average Canadian and American knows little about the origins of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints group. Most of people associate LDS group to be those who practices polygamy, which has abolished a long time ago. They do share the same sacred book but, the FLDS Church left LDS since the twentieth century since they did not have the same morals on polygamy. The LDS Church went against polygamy legally in 1890 and again in 1906. Many lawyers are talking about the conflict between the government‘s law of religious freedoms and individual right. For the FLDS they believe in having many wives but the