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August 4, 2006

Another interesting Big Love sentencing

In this post a few months ago, I noted an intriguingly long state sentence for bigamy.  Now we can consider and compare this story reporting on an intriguingly short state sentence for sex with a teenager:

An Arizona judge has sentenced a polygamist to 45 days in county jail for having sex with a teenager he took as his third wife.  The sentence disappointed authorities in Kingman, Arizona, who had hoped a harsher punishment for defendant Kelly Fischer would discourage others in the church from taking teenage wives.

Fischer was the first of seven members of the Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints (FLDS) to be tried for plural marriages to minors.... Members of the group, which broke with mainstream Mormons in the 1890s over polygamy, believe that only those in plural marriages can reach the highest level of heaven.

August 4, 2006 at 08:08 AM | Permalink


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The acceptance of gay marraige in this countrys courts is the proverbial "slippery slope" The question must be asked: If it is alright for a man and a man to marry( thus shattering the concept of traditional unions) Then why not three men of four? Why not one man with two wives?
It is much easier for most Americans to accept the idea of a man having sex with his teenage bride than a man having sex with a teenage boy. Society allows NAMBLA to exist, why not FLDS?
As a life time student of the Mormon religion I find it very easy to believe that plural marraige will return as an essential doctrine of the church within the next 30 years. The LDS church had their "arm twisted" by the federal goverment in 1890 to abolish plural marraige.
If the goverment and the mainstream accept gay marraige then no one should have a problem with plural marraige. (for the record I'm Catholic)

Posted by: Jim Maloney | Aug 9, 2006 8:34:40 AM

With all of the talk about Sex Offender Legislation I don't hear any discussions about requiring Rental Property Owners being required to letting new prospective renters with children know that they are renting to a registered sex offender in the same rental property, or next door.

My daughter living in Golden Colorado moved into a duplex with her 17 year old son and 13 year old daughter after finding out that a registered sex offender lived right next door in the same duplex. If my daughter had know that in advance, she would never have moved in.

How about some attention being paid to this scenario?

Posted by: Dane | Sep 5, 2006 2:12:57 PM

I'm a professional Negotiator, Arbitrator and Mediator. I provide services for Negotiation and Intervention (NLP, Ericsonian Hypnosis

This post and the comments are all very interesting - I wish to add my 2 cents to it all. First I'll just state the obvious which applies to the post and the comments: The element that creates the most harm in each of these situations is the government. The laws of "our" government are influenced and shaped almost exclusively by a very small majority of rich folks with their own long term agenda.

The post 'asked' "If it's alright for a man and a man to marry..." No matter how secular the government tries to make marriage - marriage is a religious practice. Because most marriages are religiously done before the community - it is the community that the government piggy-backs on to even be involved in that relationship.

The government has programmed us to think of Marriage as a tax break, an economically smart move and good for inheritance. I don't remember any constitutional mention of marriage as the venue of the government. Though a wife has a right NOT to testify against the husband.

Our country has enough gay men and women in it that their presence is showing up on the overall radar. They have their own churches and many other gay-only groups. If they want to translate any traditional or non-traditional faith to mean they can get married - isn't that what "Freedom of Religion" and "...shall make NO LAW...or prohibiting the exercise thereof" mean?

I'm a constitutionalist - I believe FLDS have the constitutional right to practice polygamy. It's not black and white - there are other real considerations besides the First Amendment. I think that marriage should require you to be a truly consenting adult since it often shapes a person's life and shapes the children of that person's life.

Unfortunately I don't see how to reconcile that without involving the government and it's private agenda does not inspire more people to rush out and take vows and tie the knot.

The "error" in framing the report about the "polygamist" and his jail time is that they used the word "Polygamist". If Polygamy is against the law then there is no such legal thing. Recognizing someone who has multiple partners that he calls "wives" does not make it legally so. The report sounds like he was arrested for having sex with a minor. Giving him a lite sentence (45 days is very light in my home State of Texas for any Sex Offense)sounds like the Judge may have actually considered his Polygamy as a mitigating circumstance. If the man and minor both really believe they are married and are acting according to that religious belief - who is the government to say they are wrong?

Here's the twist - if marriage stays the venue of the government then if it ever allows polygamy - many non-religious people will take advantage of that law. I suspect something like that would surely destroy the relationship between those who live their lives according to their faith and the government. Because if one man can marry 3 women - why can't 3 women marry two men and so on.

If the spirit and the letter of the constitution were vigorously applied to all law then each man and woman of our great country would be equal citizens. This is not the case. The word privilege comes from two latin roots privi and ledger which literally means Private Law. Judges, courtrooms and law enforcement all exist in a VERY subjective world. Government serves itself to the point of putting itself above many of its citizens. In regards to all the ideas and points of view above - I leave you with a question or two: How free do you want to be? Do you believe the government serves you or you serve the government? Do you feel respected by your government? Do you truly respect your government? Respect and Power are the measures of a Free Society. Measure it for yourself - make your own determination.

Posted by: Bruce Burns | Jun 26, 2007 4:00:13 AM

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