The Skunk and Tiger

"Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge."-Horace Mann

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The FLDS and the Pope

I love the Nation but its hard to find time to read it every week. I did get to read a short artical pointing on some of the similarities between the philosihies of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and other more accepted Christian faiths, yet the FLDS is much more scrutinized and criticized by the public and the media.

Men of the Cloth
by Katha Pollitt

I've written before about the evils of fundamentalist Mormon polygyny, which is thought to have some 10,000 followers in closed communities in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, South Dakota and Texas. I will never understand why the people who attack Islam as oppressive to women have nothing to say about the FLDS. The cultural relativist arguments they reject when applied to foreign countries are even less applicable here: everyone in the story is American, supposedly living under American law. Yet for decades state and local authorities have looked the other way when girls are pulled out of school to be "home-schooled," i.e., prepared for marriage to their uncles, and teenage boys are kicked out of the community so as not to compete with the elder men. Indeed, in areas near FLDS communities, public services have been infiltrated by their members: the public schools teach their religious doctrines; the police are on the lookout for girls and women who try to escape.
Still, appalling as is FLDS's extreme male dominance, there was another news story unfolding at the same time that had certain affinities but got a very different slant: Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United States. What a lovefest! We heard endlessly about Benedict's intellect, charm and elegant red shoes. "Cat Lovers Appreciate Soul Mate in Vatican" made the New York Times most e-mailed list. How little the Pope had to do to win applause as a wise conciliator: having begun his reign trying to suppress the priestly pedophilia scandal, he met with the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and reminded Catholics that homosexuals and pedophiles, while both bad, are not the same. Having kept in the liturgy a prayer "for the Jews" so that God might "enlighten their hearts," he visited New York's Park East synagogue, where the rabbi did not similarly call on Catholics to give up their worship of Christ.

But what about women? Oh, them and their messy bodies! As blogger Dana Goldstein pointed out, only Barbara Boxer said boo when Republican Senator Sam Brownback, who supports a constitutional amendment banning abortion, proposed a resolution welcoming the Pope in coded antichoice language and asserting that religion, not the Constitution, was the foundation of our government. (Boxer led a movement that held up the vote for three days until the wording was changed.)...

Here is the complete article. I also enjoyed this unrelated comic strip below.

Click on the comic if you can't read it. Its by Ward Sutton from this week's The Nation


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