See while it's been known for a while that the FLDS practice polygamy, it's sort of been the underlying current to that (the one that isn't talked about publicly) that the "wives" that the men acquire are sometimes "acquired" when the "wives" are actually still "girls" that are legally unable to give consent. The FLDS members have told anyone who has asked them about this that the girls are not forced and that there is no force and there is only love. (If you listen to them justify their behaviors for more than about 2 minutes, you're going to twist off, I guarantee it.) Well, now there won't be any force and there won't be any love if the girl is not of the legal age to get married without consent. Because the truth has been handed down!
- The church's policies regarding marriage have been widely misrepresented and misunderstood. Indeed, much of the misinformation circulating on this subject seems designed intentionally to fuel the flames of prejudice against the church.
- The church's practices in this regard continue a long tradition of marriage in this country that would have been found to have been unremarkable in 19th century America. In the FLDS church all marriages are consensual. The church insists on appropriate consent, including that of the woman and the man in all circumstances.
- Nevertheless the church is clarifying its policy toward marriage. Therefore, in the future, the church commits that it will not preside over the marriage of any woman under the age of legal consent in the jurisdiction in which the marriage takes place. The church will counsel families that they neither request nor consent to any underage marriages. This policy will apply church-wide.
- The church believes in purity, cleanliness, and innocence. Our children and families are the cornerstones of our lives and our religion. We hope that this modest clarification in policy will alleviate recent concerns and allow the church and its families to reside in peace among our neighbors.
Good hell, where do I start? I guess at the beginning ::sigh:: Here we go...
Misinformation circulating? Care to be more specific? I find it interesting that he is proclaiming this is all a result of "misinformation", yet the purpose of his statement isn't to clear up any of the "misunderstandings", it's simply to say that they're changing their rules. OK, if I'M being "misunderstood", I'm not going to cave if it's not a matter of my being wrong, but is a matter of someone else not getting it. And as far as fueling flames of prejudice against the church? I had not given the FLDS two seconds of thought EVER before all of this occurred. There are no "flames" over here. There's not even a Bic Lighter over here. Relax, there Will.
He basically concludes that the church is going to not encourage it's members to run afoul of society's rules on being married to one spouse and one spouse only, even though it's all about the "misinformation" that the public has received. Um, OK. But here's my favorite part: "We hope that this modest clarification in policy will alleviate recent concerns and allow the church and its families to reside in peace among our neighbors." Translation? "Holy crap. When they find out how many of us have been sexing up young girls who were under age, we could find ourselves on the bitch side of prison polygamists. We'd better try and appease the masses. I know! We'll tell them we changed our mind and the prophet who has been dead for 164 years gave the OK. That should do it! Where's my quill and parchment? I need to start crafting this new "policy" immediately. Now, what should it say? Hmmm...." Or something like that.