Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith

I have started a book that is nowhere near my usual pick of genres. I am usually found with my nose in a good crime drama/suspense. However, this book came highly recommended by two of my co-workers. And since the topic of religion is one that really gets me fired up, I decided to give it a shot.

This book is a true story. It is based on many, many disturbing events that occur within the LDS and F (fundamental) LDS religions. While I am of the opinion that the LDS religion takes its beliefs a tad far, the FLDS followers push it to the extreme - and then some.I am only 77 pages into this book, but I have already tagged numerous pages to dissect here in my first analysis of this book.

Here are some excerpts from the book that run a chill up my spine.

"I want to tell you that the greatest freedom you can enjoy is in obedience. Perfect obedience produces perfect faith."

Polygamy is illegal in both Utah and Arizona. To avoid prosecution, typically men in Colorado City will legally marry only the first of their wives; subsequent wives, although "spirtually married" to their husband...remain single mothers in the eyes of the state. This has the added benefit of allowing the enormous families...to qualify for welfare and other forms of public assistance. ...their polygamous community receives more than $6 million a year in public funds."

"We're taught that it's the Lord's way of manipulating the system to take care of his chosen people. FLDS call defrauding the government "bleeding the beast" and regard it as a virtuous act."

"According to UEP dogma, wives do not belong to their husbands, nor do children belong to their parents; all are property of the priesthood and may be claimed at any time."

Women thinking for themselves and asking questions are not considered attributes to the community.

Only prophets may receive reveltations that determine how the faithful are to conduct their lives, right down to the design of the sacred undergarments individuals are supposed to wear at all times.

The primary responsiblity of women in FLDS communities is to serve their husbands, conceive as many babies as possible, and raise those children to become obedient members of the religion.

Sexual education consists of teaching children that the human body is a shameful vessel that should be veiled from the eyes of others at all times.

According to the Law of Chastity, sexual intercourse is officially forbidden even between husband and wife unless the woman is ovulating.

The book goes on and on about the arranged marriages, most often between girls as young as 13, to men twice or three times their age. And at age 13 or 14, the girls begin having babies. They are often subjected to rape by other members of the religion, even members of their own family. And "family" is a term I use loosely, since most daughters are eventually married off to their own fathers, uncles, stepfathers, etc.

The facts in this book disgust me. Because they are real. These communities are real. This brainwashing is real. The horrible things being done to these children and women are real. And for some reason, the government continues, as it has done for decades, to look the other way.


♥Jacqueline♥ said...

That's absolutely dreadful! In any other scenario, that would be called child molestation! Even incest! The question should be, why is it OK that they can do it and get away with when others are being put in prison?? Shouldn't they be in prison too? UH! I'm so going to B&N tonight to buy that book...

Michelle said...

Its weird that people still believe and practice this! Creepy!