Synopses & Reviews
Few people realize that polygamy continues to exist in the United States. Thus, world-wide attention focused on the State of Texas in 2008 as agents surrounded the compound of The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) and took custody of more than 400 children. Several members of this schismatic religious group, whose women adorned themselves in "prairie dresses," admitted to practicing polygamy. The state justified the raid on charges that underage marriage was being forced on young women. A year later, however, all but one of the children had been returned to their parents and only ten men were charged with crimes, some barely related to the original charges. This book reveals the history, culture, and sometimes an insider's look at the polygamous groups located primarily in the western parts of the United States.
The contributors to this volume are historians, anthropologists, and sociologists familiar with the various groups. A legal scholar also addresses the legality of the Texas raid and a geneticist examines the paternity issues. Together, these authors provide a much needed understanding of the surprisingly large number of groups and individuals who live a quiet polygamous life style in the United States.
Though many people around the world are oblivious to it, polygamy continues to be practiced in the United States. The state of Texas drew world-wide attention in 2008, as federal agents surrounded the compound of The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) and took custody of more than 400 children. Several members of the schismatic religious group, whose women attire themselves in old-fashioned "prairie dresses," admitted that they practice polygamy. The state justified the raid by alleging that underage marriage was being forced on young women; however, a year later, all but one of the children had been returned to their parents and only ten men were charged with crimes, some barely related to the original charges. This volume offers valuable insights into the history and culture of the many people, including members of the FLDS, who lead polygamous lives in the United States in the twenty-first century.
About the Author
Cardell K. Jacobson
is a Karl G. Maeser General Education Professor and Professor of Sociology at Brigham Young University, where he teaches and researches social psychology, race and ethnic relations, and the sociology of religion. He is the author or editor of several books and professional articles.
Lara Burton earned an MFA in English in 2009 from Brigham Young University, where she is an adjunct faculty member in the English Department. She has authored five published essays and was the National First Place Winner in the 2009 Iron Horse Literary Review Discovered Voices contest. She is an eighth generation Mormon.
Table of Contents
Prologue and Introduction: The Incident At Eldorado, Texas Cardell K. Jacobson and Lara Burton
Section 1: Historical and Cultural Patterns of Polygamy in the United States: Estranged Groups
1. A Repeat of History: A Comparison of the Short Creek and El Dorado Raids on the FLDS Martha Sonntag Bradley
2. One Vision: The Making, Unmaking, and Remaking of a Fundamentalist Polygamous Community Heber B. Hammon and William Jankowiak
3. Life Among the FLDS: Not Perfect, But Not Deluded and Not Monsters Ken Driggs
4. History, Culture, and Variability of Mormon Schismatic Groups Janet Bennion
5. Differing Polygamous Patterns: Nineteenth Century LDS and Twenty-First Century FLDS Marriage Systems Kathryn Daynes
Section 2: Social Scientists Examine Polygamy and the Seizure of the FLDS Children
6. Demographic, Social and Economic Characteristics of a Polygamist Community Tim B. Heaton and Cardell K. Jacobson
7. The Many Faces of Polygamy: An Analysis of the Variability in Modern Mormon Fundamentalism in the Intermountain West Janet Bennion
8. "What's Love Got to Do with It?": Earthly Experience of Celestial Marriage, Past and Present Carrie A. Miles
9. Social Scientific Perspectives on the FLDS Raid and the Corresponding Media Coverage Ryan T. Cragun and Michael Nielsen
10. Learning the Wrong Lessons: A Comparison of FLDS, Family International, and Branch Davidian Child-Protection Interventions Gary Shepherd and Gordon Shepherd
11. The International Fight Against Barbarism: Historical and Comparative Perspectives on Marriage Timing, Consent, and Polygamy. Arland Thornton
Section 3: Legal and Ethical Issues Surrounding the Seizure of the FLDS Children
12. The Intricacies and Ethics of Parental Genetic Testing Deborah L. Cragun and Ryan T. Cragun
13. Child Protection Law and the FLDS Raid in Texas Linda F. Smith