Wednesday, May 28, 2008

On the web

Some Muslims in U.S. Quietly Engage in Polygamy by Barbara Bradley Hagerty on NPR
I do, I do, I do. The last taboo and GTA's secret world of polygamy by Noor Javed in The Star (Toronto)
All of these articles discuss Muslim Polygamy. None of them talk about how removing criminal offenses for polygamy would greatly help the situation. Bringing it above board would do considerable good, especially for abused women.

FLDS mom, 18, says state wanted her baby from CNN
The state apparently agreed that Jessop was not a minor. A caseworker signed a statement saying Jessop gave her age as 18. Her birth certificate says so, along with a "bishop's list" collected as evidence from the sect's records.
Birthdays without Pressure
I don't know how many times I have been to a birthday party where the parents spent over and above their means to overindulge children and impress the parents. I wish people would chill a little where birthday parties are concerned. It should be about the kids having fun, not spoiling them or impressing parents.
If you think children’s birthday parties are getting out of control, you’ve come to the right place. We want to raise awareness of this problem and offer alternatives for parents and kids who want birthdays without pressure.
The savage travesty is unraveling from Wendy McElroy, self proclaimed feminist and Libertarian
As the media ceases to tiptoe like scared mice around the blatant, raging abuse of power that is the CPS in Texas (and elsewhere) other details might emerge. ... Is anyone in Mudville's media brave enough to inquire WHY the removal of children is entrusted to bureaucrats who can't even count how many children they kidnapped on one particular day? ... Are we going to have a State-imposed purity test for ideology before allowing parents to raise their children? ... Frankly, sometimes I don't like the fact that human rights are universal. But I always find solace in the fact that universal rights are tremendously better than the alternative.
"Heroes In Error", Again (Media Update) by William N. Grigg on Pro Liberate Blog
If they're looking for a slam-dunk criminal indictment, they could have one against Flora Jessop: She has publicly confessed to making a "False report regarding [a] missing child or missing person," as defined by Chapter 37, section 081 of the Texas Penal Code. Given that Flora Jessop appears to be the proverbial poisoned tree in this entire matter, she is the only legitimate target for a criminal probe -- unless, of course, the probe turns up tangible evidence of deliberate criminal misconduct on the part of CPS officials.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More links for today

FLDS: Court victory but no closer to home from Austin News - KXAN
The couple also believe the raid was a form of religious persecution. Joseph Jessop said he remains convinced the state would not back off its case, no matter what evidence the couple might have presented that they were monogamous and their children were not abused.
Are FLDS sect's beliefs sufficient grounds for taking the kids? from The Christian Science Monitor
It also now appears that evidence about the sect's belief system that the state collected during the raid – and presented to a district court to justify its temporary removal of the children – is probably flawed.
Lawyers cry foul in FLDS seizures covered by many, including the Houston Chronicle
"They have created chaos. They don't know what to do. This case has holes in it the size of the Grand Canyon," said Laura Shockley, a Dallas family law specialist with six clients in the case. "There is no way to fix this." She and other lawyers say some of the seized people, especially those who it turns out are 18 or older, have potent federal civil rights lawsuits against the state.
Texas justice: Court says state acted illegally against FLDS Salt Lake Tribune editorial

In essence, here's what the court said: You can't grab people's kids and put them in foster care unless you first prove that each one is in imminent danger. And even if, for example, you have proof that an underage girl has been forced into marriage with an adult male, you can't then claim that every other child is likewise endangered and place them in state custody.
That's Texas law, the court said, and FPS didn't follow it. Nor did a district judge, who refused to return the children to their parents, even though the state hadn't proven its claim of systemic child abuse within the FLDS compound.
Texas' FLDS vendetta Robert Murton Letter to the Editor in the Salt Lake Tribune
Perhaps he has realized that Texas will not be able to justify the extreme actions of its Child Protection Services and some quirk in the Texas law will allow it to take some innocent people's property to pay for this government excess.
CPS commits moral crime against FLDS Alberta Spence Letter to the Editor in the San Angelo Standard-Times
I am not a FLDS member, just a mother and grandmother, but I know how I would feel as would most of you. We must all protest this type of gestapo action. We are not a third world country, but if we allow this to happen we are on our way.
Watchdog criticizes FLDS hearings in the Salt Lake Tribune
These people do this everyday for a living but CPS is going to give them training?

Friday, May 23, 2008

FLDS need to set their house in order

There are some things we can't change when we try to defend our parent rights. We can't change bigotry. We can't change books other people write. We can't instantly change past court decisions.

However, it is extremely, extremely important to take the legal protections that you can. I'm glad the FLDS are starting to do this. With the help of their lawyers they have appealed, and are now starting to register to vote. I hope they make it a "memorial day" activity to commemorate those damaged by raids.

But, I see a big, huge, gigantic way they can protect themselves. Right now they are still susceptible to the "one household" argument, and "one household" search warrants. How hard would it be to take the church parcel, and put it under a separate holding, deeding the land to the "YFZ FLDS chapel." Then, take the temple and give it to the "YFZ FLDS Temple." Finally, take the school, and put it under the "YFZ charter school." Not only would it force future warrants to specify those areas, it would allow them to be taxed as a church -- i.e. not at all. They will certainly need the money to pay for the lawyers. Finally, it greatly lowers the risk of the state seizing the buildings.

Then, they need to extend that to the homes. Put the homes, or at least the complexes under separate management entities. How can you possibly claim it is one community when each building or apartment is owned by a different entity?

If you are an FLDS member, or know an FLDS member, please remind them of these facts. They can protect their children, and what they have worked so hard to build, both now and in the future. What's more, they can pay the attorneys with the tax money they will legally save.

Walther out for revenge?

Walther has been, in my estimation, severely reprimanded by the appeals court - a unanimous decision voiding her judgment. It is clearly a great embarrassment, and political failure. It certainly impacts her legacy, and leaves her looking the fool on national TV.

When such things happen to humans (myself included), we tend to respond in a human way - revenge, and seek to strike out at whatever hurt us. It is the typical "fight or flight" defense, and since the judge has not stepped aside, I would suggest she is in fight mode.

Today, she heard the 14-day hearing of a set of parents. She was very careful, and said the hearing will take as long as it needs to take. She was also careful to avoid deciding the case before the long weekend, allowing the baby to stay in CPS custody another day. By taking her time, and allowing the appearance of due process, she is appeasing the appeals court, and reducing the chance that such a court will find she violated due process.

However, I fear it is all about appearance. There is no real justice. She has a fixed interest in seeing all FLDS placed in CPS custody to support her earlier ruling. There can be no real due process when the judge can unilaterally decide to support her earlier decision, and then put on a show trial.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Links for Today

Let's start off with some humor:

Dave's Political Satire has Polygamy Made Legal
Male politicians are also warming to Utah’s new offering. Rather than engage in risky extra-marital affairs and dalliances, certain high-needs officeholders can now satisfy their urges within the law.
FACT has Top Ten Signs You Are A Victim of Religious Persecution
9. Your religion is constantly referred to as a cult.
4. The state accepts birth certificates as proof of age for everyone
except those practicing your religion.
2. You have to prove to the State you can raise children, when you
have been raising them just fine.
Legal Documents relating to the reversal:
Appeals Court Decision
Amicus Curae letter of support
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid was the legal group that helped in the filing.
County Sheriff Travis McPherson - "I think that TRLA is the problem because they're supplying these people with the information and they're telling them all about the Federal laws and everything."
Polygamy? It's positively biblical on The Philadelphia Inquirer opinion page by Martha Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago
Yet in 1878, the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold an anti-polygamy statute with these words, extraordinary from justices who were supposedly Bible readers: "Polygamy has always been odious among the northern and western nations of Europe, and, until the establishment of the Mormon Church, was almost exclusively a feature of the life of Asiatic and of African people."
I would like to personally thank the FLDS for standing up to the state. You have defended the family rights of everyone!

Monday, May 19, 2008

What are you doing that could be called child abuse?

How can facts be twisted? What common activities sound like child abuse? Here are some things that I do that government agencies could likely construe as reasons to take away my children:

  • I endanger my children's life through illegal behavior. Sound like abuse? Reality – I exceed the speed limit.
  • My home has evidence of extensive criminal behavior. Sound like a bad environment? Reality – I have downloaded youtube music videos with copyrighted music.
  • I have encouraged my children to participate in criminal activities. Sound like I am a terrible parent? Reality – We sing “Happy Birthday to you,” a copyrighted song, without paying royalties.
  • I kick and punch my children, and yell at them. Can't get much worse than that, can you? Reality – As you may be able to tell from my blogger name and other blog, my children and I do karate together.
  • My children have to endure forced child labor. Sound like a third world dictator? Reality – I actually make my children clean their room, work in the yard, take out the recycling, and do the laundry.
Are you guilty of these same things, or similar things? I hope so. We need to change laws to protect good parenting.

Links for today

NPR has a nice little article on "The Merry Wives
Polygamy Cafe Feeds the Hungry and Curious
In trying to find info on it, I noticed that it has already been covered by Brooke Adams and the Deseret News. If you would like to visit, eat there, or ask a question, their phone number is (435) 874-1425, and here is a map.

The FLDS have started a website with news and opinions, Truth will Prevail, as has been noted by many others. This recent article makes a strong legal point:
YFZ Children Lived in Separate Homes
Anyone visiting the YFZ community and examining the conditions under which the children lived knows that this perception is false and is either the result of ignorance or of a purposeful distortion of the facts. Those attorneys for the women and children who actually made such a visit were surprised, after hearing the news reports, to find that the families lived in separate homes where each family was an individual entity. It might also be remarked that they found the homes all to be well built, neat, and orderly---a far cry from the facilities in which the children have been living for the last six weeks and hardly the type of environment one would associate with child abuse.
Finally, the CPS has admitted in court that, essentially, Sarah does not exist, by admitting that her child does not exist. It is about time!
Live from the Courthouse (Note that this link may only be temporary)
Revisiting a case that the court quickly reviewed at the start of the morning, Judge Ben Woodward signed paperwork to put a case on hold involving a child called "Baby Girl Jessop." Child Protective Services reported this morning that its workers do not believe the child exists.
I think the press should report this with the same vigor they reported the original phone call, as well as the many instances of CPS insisting that Sarah was real.

Taking Liberties by Akka Gordon
Talks about problems from her time with ACS in New York. It clearly shows that parents need a Bill of Rights to protect us from unchecked and arbitrary acts of governmental agencies that serve as both prosecutor and judge.
But it did not take long for me to see that there was no adventure here. Many of these families were harassed, their rights systematically violated by ACS. Their children were being swallowed up by an agency that too often operated on virtually unchecked authority, wielded arbitrarily. And I represented that agency.

"Cult" is hate speech

What does the word “cult” mean? Many people have labeled the FLDS a cult, and used it as justification for the State of Texas in taking the children away. Many other Christian religions have been labeled “cults,” perhaps the most ironic is various Evangelicals labeling Catholics as a cult. However, I am not sure if they actually know what the word means. I think it is used merely as a religious slur, just like “nig***” is used as a racial slur. Thus, the real definition of “cult” is irrelevant, as those who spew it forth are intentionally spreading hate speech.

I think cult could be used accurately in political and business circles. Perhaps it could be said that today Barack Obama and Warren Buffet have cults. This is not a denigration or judgment of either person, merely an observation that their followers are extremely loyal. In entertainment, it was often said that the Beatles had a cult following, and perhaps still have one today. Ideally, one could use the term “cult” in the religious sense. However, in the religious sense it has been used exclusively as a slur and a denigration. It is not meant to describe a religion but to persecute it, qualifying the use of cult as intentional hate speech.

If we want to move beyond religious hate speech, I think it would be very hard to accurately describe the FLDS as a cult, or Mormon Polygamists in general as cults. Their original leadership was by council, not by single leader, which certainly is not a form of cult leadership by any definition. The various groups have had multiple leaders pass away, and new leaders step up in their place. If these were truly cults, the groups would have ceased after the departure of the leader. Third, the principle they have taught, that of plural marriage, has survived as an intentional spiritual practice despite intense persecution, predates the formation of these groups by thousands of years, is practiced by other religions, and is legal in many nations. Fourth, their theology clearly indicates they worship God, not man.

It has been disturbing to see politicians and members of the media derogatorily labeling the FLDS as a “cult,” thus spreading hate speech. Supposedly, these people are educated, and should know the public deserves better than to have hate speech forced upon us. Their public bigotry is disturbing, but perhaps even more disturbing is that they have not been held accountable for such speech. I encourage you to oppose such bigotry, and to combat the entrance of religious slurs into what should be logical and reasoned conversations.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Here is the "Cattle Call" of daily links

A Chronology of Federal Legislation on Polygamy by Perry L. Porter
Hopefully, he will have some new, more positive legislation to add in the near future.
The beginnings of this chronology of the anti-polygamy bills for the Utah Territory, come from a hand out I received in a Religion or History class at BYU in the mid 1970's. I have significantly augmented it from 3 pages to about 29 pages, with additional line items from various scholarly History books and professional articles.
Sect mom allowed to stay with all her children from the Houston Chronicle.
While the judge denied the ruling on procedural grounds, she sounds quite sympathetic. It seems to me that the further the FLDS get from San Angelo, the more they are likely to find unbiased justice.
"If you think (Judge Walther) is biased, file a motion to recuse her. If you don't like the order, tell her to fix it. Don't ask another trial judge to fix it. I am not going to retry this case."
Addressing Daniel Jessop, who sat beside his attorney, Byrne added that she sympathized with his plight. "I know you don't think I do, but I do," she said.

FLDS Human Rights Violations are Fraud Reminiscient of KGB by Frank Staheli on Simple Utah Mormon Politics
While the article is not entirely current, it is certainly timely. The current abuses in Texas mirror other abusive dictatorships.
Texas is now in full damage-control mode for a heinous abrogation of human rights at Eldorado. The best damage control would be for them to admit that it was all a mistake.
More/Corrected info on Wilford Black by PligChild on FLDS View
Story of how the 1953 raid created long-term problems in at least one boy.
When he was returned to his mother, he stopped communicating with others and started wandering away. He would walk away from home and would have to be found and brought back. ... Wilford had begun attending school before the Raid, so he could do some things. After he was returned to his parents, they tried to send him back to school, but they could not get him to do anything. He couldn’t seem to concentrate.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

More Great Articles

There are so many great articles and bloggers out there. Here are a few more.

Governor Perry Stays the Course by Modern Pharisee
Did you honestly think he would do the right thing? No. He's a bureaucrat and a politician. Public opinion has not yet swung sufficiently for Governor Perry to abandon his constituency, that would be, by the way, his bureaucracy.
Mental Health Chair Goes to Rick Perry & Legislators on FLDS mistreatment by Free the FLDS Children
John Knight is determined to get the word out that Child Protective Services in Texas is out of control.
Child Theft, "Concentration Camps": It's Happening Here by ProLiberate
What made it so "scary"?
Well, according to Voss, "I heard a report that a tank was coming on the property.... It was a situation of a very huge magnitude with so many law enforcement officers around."
FLDS woman in custody though certificate shows otherwise by KXAN-Austin News
Jessop's family said they believe CPS has been holding her, so the state could have custody of the son she gave birth to on Monday. ... Yet the Jessops showed the certificate to CPS two weeks ago at their first hearing in Austin.
Abuse of FLDS Children in Texas by Day of Praise
Religious persecution is alive and well in the Republic of Texas. ... How long will America just look away as this abuse of power intensifies and expands???
Abuse of Power in Texas by Joseph Farah on
Question: What's worse for children than to have parents who are members of a polygamy cult?
Answer: To have the state be their parent.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Small Victory for Open Discussions

Earlier, I posted that our local library blocked They have now unblocked it. Here is the email I received.


Thank you for calling this to our attention. The Web Sense filter
blocked this site because of questionable content. Unfortunately, web
filters have their own mechanisms for determining which sites should be
blocked (and why), and sometimes their determination disagrees with our
own evaluation.

After reviewing, I agree that this site should
not have been blocked. I have instructed our I.T. department to remove
it from the blocked list for the library.

Again, thank you for notifying us.

Electronic Resources Librarian
Virtual Library

Possible (or Probable) Source for Sarah Story

Here is an "example incident" from the The Primer: Helping Victims of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse in Polygamous Communities. This is the June 2006 edition - plenty of time for Rozita to plan her attack.

Look at "incident #3" on page 50:
3. A 16-year-old girl, Sarah, has run away from her fundamentalist community and contacted authorities, alleging physical abuse by her polygamous father and claiming that her father had just told her she was to become the second wife of a fellow member of the community. She has 23 siblings and her older sister was married at 16 and now lives in Canada. There is no physical evidence of abuse, but Sarah’s story is very compelling. She begs authorities not to return her to her parents. What is the potential impact of returning or not returning on Sarah?
Does any of that seem to line up with the "Sarah" calls? It seems to me that Rozita used the primer to develop her story. Which also means that the Attorney Generals for Utah and Arizona should have picked up on the hoax call hate crime much earlier -- after all, they were responsible for the writing of the primer.

On the same page is an exercise that Texas should have finished before starting the raid:
Ask participants to brainstorm stereotypes associated with fundamentalist groups
Ask participants to list characteristics that they have seen or heard attributed to women and men from fundamentalist groups
Ask participants to cite sources of these stereotypes (ie, the media)
Discuss what information they have acquired that counters these stereotypes
Perhaps they would not have been so eager to violate the constitution if they knew more about the FLDS than "what was preached in the cult awareness seminar at my church."

Something Positive in the Deseret News

It seems to me that the Deseret News editorial board has taken a rather decided stance against the FLDS, and in their coverage and editorials have mostly tried to distinguish between LDS and FLDS. Thus it was encouraging to see this article:

Long litany of legal disputes begins in FLDS raid

It contained this tremendous one-liner:

Speculation does not suffice

I wish that saying were stamped in the minds of all judges who are trying these cases.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

More News Stories and Links

There are a bunch of good links and stories out there. I really want to include more, but these are just some I happened across today.

Do the FLDS in Texas Deserve Due Process? I Mean, Polygamy’s Worse Than Murder, Right?
It’s easy to pick on people that are different — and, as far as I can tell, that’s what’s happening to the FLDS in Texas. There’s been no court proceedings that have shown the individual parents of the abducted children have done anything untoward to their kids. (None that’ve been even suggested publicly, at least.) What there has been is a religious group that has different practices than are observed in the “mainstream”. And since they’re different, well then, there’s not going to be much of an outcry if we strip them of their rights, right?
Where's the evidence of abuse?

The Grit's blogger comes through in this very excellent op-ed piece.
Excuse me, Judge? You issued a sweeping, house-to-house search warrant based on a highly questionable anonymous call that turned out to be phony. You refused to allow individual hearings for children, grouping them together like cattle. You accepted the testimony of an expert on "cults" who only learned about FLDS from media accounts, rather than an academic who'd studied them professionally for 18 years.
A Vermont Expert's Take on Polygamy
Lyndon State College Professor Janet Bennion
If you can establish abuse, of course intervention must be made, but use an intervention that doesn't break the constitution and that doesn't violate all these civil rights laws
Life on the rock: A different brand of polygamy
It's simply a place where we strive to respect each other's differences
Polygamy in Islamic Law
Dr. Jamal Badawi examines polygamy in the Muslim, Jewish and Christian traditions.

Texas judge's 'concern'
Editorial by Ed Firmage Jr., Salt Lake City
Why? Because Walther thinks that membership in a religious group alone is grounds for ripping your children, even your nursing babies, from your arms and giving them to proper parents. Her justification: Belonging to your religion may - may - lead to abuse.
Parents Bill of Rights
WE THE PEOPLE do hereby insist on a Parent's Bill of Rights as an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to protect in perpetuity the family.

Some of these are rather old, but I wanted links to them for the record.

Monday, May 12, 2008

News Articles this morning

Here is a collection of some interesting items that have popped up in the news. Thanks to Grits for Breakfast and The Plural Life and their comment sections for the original links.

Mental Health Workers Rip CPS
Houston Chronicle
San Antonio Express News
Dallas Morning News
Summary: Previously, FLDS complained about their treatment from CPS, which has often been dismissed as the FLDS trying to wage a "propaganda campaign." However, in this story nine different workers from Hill Country Community Mental Health-Mental Retardation Center sent anonymous letters to the Hill Country MHMR board, who made them public. One board member, Jack Dawson, is also a Comal County commissioner.

This illustrates a few points:
  1. It is not just the FLDS who thought the conditions at the shelter were poor, or that CPS mistreated them, lied to them, and lied in subsequent press releases/press conferences.
  2. These reports are coming from at least one Texas politician, and various Texas mental health workers. Thus, it shows that Texas is not unanimous in condemning the FLDS, and people are willing to support fairness of unpopular religions.
  3. The State CPS are not above reproach, and more evidence exists that they have lied.
  4. Criticism of the CPS are coming from multiple sources, and not just the FLDS. It is much easier to dismiss the opinions of an unpopular religion than experienced mental health workers and county commissioners.
Editorial from Maggie Jessop in the Salt Lake Tribune.

Here is an editorial from an FLDS mother. She attacks head-on some of the many negative rumors, slanders, and lies that have been published about the FLDS. I think I liked this line of sarcasm best:
However, I may not have it within my psychological or emotional capacity to communicate appropriately due to the widespread "fact" that I belong to an uneducated, underprivileged, information-deprived, brainless, spineless, poor, picked-on, dependent, misled class of women identified as "brain-washed." But, I'll give it my best shot.
She certainly lets loose some emotion. It is a rather potent denunciation of the actions of Texas, and the media for spreading unsubstantiated, incorrect, and sensational rumors.

Child protection law and the FLDS: There's a better way by Linda F. Smith, professor and clinical program director at the University of Utah's S. J. Quinney College of Law.

Here is the final two paragraphs:
If there are families within the FLDS community who do not impose under-age "marriages" on their children, the CPS workers should return their children to them and solicit their help to change this dynamic within the community.
Such an approach would more likely lead to eradicating what society clearly considers abusive than will a full-scale assault on the community's practice of plural marriage.
It seems to be a well-reasoned and well-informed article. She lists possible means of appeal, and what amounts to the really terrible method of the initial hearing that deprived the parents of their children without due process. It has encouraged me to once again write my state legislators and appeal for parental rights and the support of the constitution in child welfare cases.

What does Texas church raid say about us? USA Today editorial by Mary Zeiss Stange, professor of Women's Studies and Religion at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Here is an official USA Today editorial ripping the situation in Texas, and bringing up the bigotry aspect.
What is clear, however, is that there is no objective justification for brushing off the mothers as a bunch of prairie-style Stepford wives, let alone for leaping to the conclusion that mounting an armed raid to take their children away was indeed proper to do on the strength of a metaphor grounded in a religious stereotype.
This is a professor and a feminist saying this, not a member of the FLDS, and probably someone who has no contact with them. From this I pick up a few important points:
  1. Feminists, who tend to extremely oppose polygamy, and are generally considered a hostile witness, oppose the actions of Texas. It is hard to argue that it is just the FLDS, religious extremists, "Utah Mormons," or pedophiles that oppose the raid.
  2. A professor opposes the actions of Texas, and says so in an editorial. Professors have many things to write about. That they would write about the Eldorado raid signifies that it is important to them, and that intelligent people oppose the actions of Texas.
  3. Problems with the Eldorado raid are recognized nationally. Just like Jim Crow laws and civil rights, those outside Texas saw the problems, and opposed the abuses.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Very Touching Video

I found this video to be extremely touching. It rather disproves much of the slander that has been slung at the FLDS. I like how it destroys that "relic of barbarism" -- bigotry.

FLDS Children

Tucson Public Libraries Block Principal Voices!

I have been quite busy the last few days. I came to the library, and was using their wireless to access the internet. I checked up on the news, which I hadn't done for a few days, and found that Principal Voices was blocked by their filtering software. I sent them this complaint:

Right now is blocked. However, it provides important information on the entire Eldorado raid debate. I've never seen any obscenity, hate speech, nudity, or calls to violence on the site. It is completely and utterly ridiculous to have this site blocked. Please unblock it immediately.

Hopefully, I will be able to report in a few days that access to the site has been restored. I wonder how many other libraries block the site.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Letter to Governor and Attorney General about Hate Crimes

I wrote these letters in response to remind our elected officials that many hate crimes have come from these raids, and that false reporting is a serious matter that needs to be attacked.

Subject: Hate Crimes in the wake of the FLDS raid

As a citizen of Arizona I have been concerned with a possible pattern of hate crimes. As you know, the FLDS compound in Eldorado, Texas was raided around a month ago, and much slander and false rumor has been circulated in press reports. Perhaps as a result, Mormons of all kinds in Texas have been targeted for hate crimes – LDS missionaries being threatened with weapons, LDS homeowners having their home vandalized, and anti-Mormon graffiti. Unfortunately, some of the same type of thing has been happening in Arizona, as an LDS missionary in Mesa was beaten up the day after the Eldorado raid.

Recently, a potential anti-Mormon hate crime also occurred in Tucson. The Binghampton Chapel was the first LDS chapel in Tucson, and has become a local icon. Recently, glass doors and windows were smashed in this historical building. The state should investigate this vandalism as a possible hate crime, given the recent prevalence of anti-Mormon sentiment.

Secondly, I would like to address another hate crime – that of false reporting. Just as the calls that sparked the Eldorado raid came from a false-reporting hate crime, the media reported that the State of Arizona received similar calls, and have received multiple such calls this year. I am wondering what is being done to prosecute these callers, and bring them to justice? For example, the penalties for setting off a fire alarm are very strict. However, calls such as these can deny parental rights without any due process, trial, or actual crime. Given the huge damage that can be inflicted by these calls, the state should aggressively prosecute and penalize hoax callers who do so with criminal and hateful intent. Perhaps Rozita Swinton would never have had the chance to destroy a community had Arizona treated false reporting with the seriousness it deserves.

In conclusion, I would like the Tucson vandalism to be investigated as a possible hate crime. I would also like to see the fraudulent phone calls that have already happened in Arizona to be prosecuted.


Some more good links

"I am not a member of the FLDS. I am a leftist radical. I care about the FLDS because they are human beings and their rights are being violated. I also care because I cannot avoid the question: "Whose rights next will be disregarded?" You should care too."

"This site has been created to Promote Due Process, Religious Liberty, Human Rights, Constitutional Rights, and Freedom for the FLDS Community and All Of Us! "

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Second set of letters to United States Legislators

I have once again written to my US legislators. Once again, I hand delivered to my representative, and used the online forms for my senators. I hope everyone else is writing to their elected representatives as well.

I sent different letters to my Senators who are republican, and my representative who is Democrat. It just so happened that partisan politics helped my arguments, as opponents have been Democrats in the Senate, and Republicans in the house.

Once again, I would encourage everyone to write to their legislators and other elected officials. This is much, much more important than newspaper comments. We have to reach the actual decision makers.

Honorable Representative G:

I am writing you to express my concern over Civil Rights violations that appear to be happening in the aftermath of the Eldorado raid in Texas. However, I am not the only one, as the Texas ACLU and many national commentators and journalists from both parties have condemned the Civil Rights violations.

As you may recall, the raid was started by a hate crime – false reporting of child abuse for the specific intention of religious persecution. Since that time there have been other hate crimes throughout Texas, such as threats of violence against Mormons, anti-Mormon graffiti, vandalism of Mormon homes, and teachers in Texas public schools spreading anti-Mormon propaganda. Thus, the wildfire of hate crimes has spread far beyond the initial match, with even U. S. Representative Kay Granger (R-Texas) directly supporting religious discrimination in an official request.

Such an intolerant atmosphere makes the protections of the Bill of Rights even more important, as violations of rights are most likely to happen to unpopular people. In Nazi Germany it was the Gypsies and Jews who were first persecuted, and a similar pattern seems to be emerging here. Parents need a federal Bill of Rights to protect them from unreasonable seizure of their children without due process of law. As one of your constituents, I would appreciate it if you would do the following:

1- Sponsor a resolution in the House reprimanding Representative Granger for advocating religious preference in government contracts. The resolution should also call for an end to religious bigotry, and call for supporting first amendment rights for unpopular religions.

2- Start a Parent's Bill of Rights that protects families from unreasonable seizure of children, especially when anonymous reports may be given due to religious bigotry, racism, or political gain. (Note that the Texas CPS seizes a much higher rate of Latino than Caucasian children.)

Thank you very much for your consideration,


I changed "Representative Granger" to "Senator Reid," included more about citizens of Arizona being subject to religious persecution, and deleted a line about Texas CPS seizing Latino children for the letter to the Senators.

I am writing you to express my concern over Civil Rights violations that appear to be happening in the aftermath of the Eldorado raid in Texas. However, I am not the only one, as the Texas ACLU and many national commentators and journalists from both parties have condemned the Civil Rights violations.

As you may recall, the raid was started by a hate crime – false reporting of child abuse for the specific intention of religious persecution. Since that time there have been other hate crimes throughout Texas, such as threats of violence against Mormons, anti-Mormon graffiti, vandalism of Mormon homes, and teachers in Texas public schools spreading anti-Mormon propaganda. Thus, the wildfire of hate crimes has spread far beyond the initial match, with even U. S. Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) directly supporting religious discrimination against Arizona citizens.

Such an intolerant atmosphere makes the protections of the Bill of Rights even more important, as violations of rights are most likely to happen to unpopular people. In Nazi Germany it was the Gypsies and Jews who were first persecuted, and a similar pattern seems to be emerging here. Parents need a federal Bill of Rights to protect them from unreasonable seizure of their children without due process of law. As one of your constituents, I would appreciate it if you would do the following:

1- Sponsor a resolution in the House reprimanding Senator Reid for advocating religious intolerance of Arizona citizens. The resolution should also call for an end to religious bigotry, and call for supporting first amendment rights for unpopular religions.

2- Start a Parent's Bill of Rights that protects families from unreasonable seizure of children, especially when anonymous reports may be given due to religious bigotry, racism, or political gain.

Thank you very much for your consideration,