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Voice of the Voter - This Week's Articles

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Polygamy and Modern America

Unless you’ve been under a rock of late you have likely seen the news stories coming out of Texas about the fundamentalist Mormons compound being raided by Texas law enforcement based on the report made by a 16 year old girl that she was being abused and forced to have children for her husband who is reportedly over 50. As the story has unfolded it has been revealed that over 400 children have been placed in protective custody by Texas child welfare officials while this matter is under investigation.

The compound near El Dorado, Texas was founded by currently jailed Warren Jeffs in an attempt to relocate his Arizona colony that had come under scrutiny by Arizona officials. Jeffs, convicted of multiple charges of crimes involving illegal marriages and sexual conduct with minors, is the leader of the FLDS or Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, an organization that believes in polygamy and teaches that only through polygamy can people obtain everlasting salvation. He took over the organization from his father Rulon Jeffs when Rulon died in 2002. Since his takeover of the organization, he has reportedly ruled it with an iron fist and removed through excommunication any members that have challenged his authority. It is suspected by some officials that Jeffs has also misappropriated school funds while in Colorado City, Arizona and encouraged women under his leadership to commit various forms of public assistance fraud.

The burning question has to be how can this type of thing still happen in 21st Century America? While some cite religious freedom, there has to be a question of the validity of religious belief when it subjugates large populations of people and supports the sexual abuse of minors. Should sects such as this be deemed cults and stripped of any legitimate religious protections or are these legitimate beliefs that should be protected under the Constitution? When do the rights of the believers become outweighed by the rights and needs of the children under their control? In the past some activities have been deemed to be too dangerous to be allowed even for religious purposes and outlawed. Polygamy is in fact illegal in all 50 states as is sex with minors. How is it that these colonies have been allowed to exist despite the knowledge of officials about what is going on in them?

With Texas doing the right thing and removing these children and women from the control of their abusers perhaps it is time for all states to take similar action and enforce the laws related to polygamy and “stepfather marriages” involving marriages sometimes between actual blood relatives but often between stepfathers and daughters. Religious freedom must be tempered with sanity and protecting the public from harm. Some of these women and children have never known anything but the abusive and restrictive way in which they have been raised under monsters who abuse them for their own pleasure. There comes a time when a society has to step up and end the traditions of abuse no matter what has spawned them. These groups must not be allowed to continue if we are to maintain a civilized society. American values do not include marrying and sexually exploiting children. These are not legitimate religious practices and should not be tolerated not matter what Joseph Smith thought God told him. Perhaps Joseph Smith was a nut job or sexual deviant or maybe the people who follow his teachings on marriage have simply been misled by charlatans and con artists only interested in enjoying sex with multiple women whenever it suits their fancy.

To their credit, the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) overall has condemned polygamy and excommunicates those within their faith who try to revive the practice. They should not be painted with the same brush or ridiculed because they follow the same basic tenets as most legitimate religious bodies. They are good to their fellow man, they believe in fellowship and peaceful coexistence with man and nature and they do good works in the communities that they live in. The FLDS however is not part of the legitimate Mormon church and should be dismantled and given no quarter in any civilized nation on Earth. They abuse women and children, they require ignorance of the larger world and they use fear to keep power for the very few to the detriment of the majority. They have no place in civilized society and thank goodness, at least in Texas, they have been shut down.

The Realist - Patriot at Large | Give your feedback on this article.

What Is Washington Doing with Our Money?

So we enter year six of the war in Iraq and still our soldiers are dying on our dime while the families of the Washington elite have no thoughts of sending their children off to die in the “War on Terror” we are supposedly fighting. Why is it that the poorest Americans seem fated to bear the burden of fighting for our freedom while the multi-billionaires who reap the biggest rewards from our freedom don’t do anything to aid in the fight?

The answer is sadly clear. The poorest Americans see the military as a chance at a better life than they currently have and for some it is the only option to avoid being victims of the streets they live on. For the wealthy the military is not a consideration for the most part. Why would you risk dying when you can party all night at the hottest clubs and never have to worry about how the bills get paid? It was once related to me by a military recruiter who worked in Detroit that the kids going off to war would probably live longer than a lot of their friends stuck in the gangs. How amazingly tragic is it that people at the early stages of their lives would face such horrible choices in the richest nation on Earth? So what is Washington doing about it? Nothing, pretty much. They continue to fund this pointless war while cutting funding to help the people most in need and turn a blind eye to the needs of the future.

The war in Iraq is projected to cost the American people well over a trillion dollars. To put that in perspective at $10/hr for your average low-wage earner it would take 48 million years of full time work to pay for the war. For a person making $200,000/year it would take about 5 million years. Think about that for a minute. That translates to the combined efforts of 48 million people making $10/hr working for nothing but paying for the war over the course of a year. That’s about a hundred billion man hours to pay for a war none of us want.

Meanwhile, American schools and the future of our nation go under-funded with the main excuse being no room in the budget to fund the schools. We can afford billions of dollars in tax breaks for oil companies, we can afford a trillion dollar war but we can’t seem to find the money to pay for our children to get a decent education!?! This is insane and it’s time for it to stop! We need to get our national priorities straight and stop being duped by the people in Washington. If they want this war, they need to pony up their kids for it and make sure that the people who will benefit from it like the oil companies pay for the lion’s share of the cost.

While our young people die and our taxes pay for it, the leaders in Washington sit in their comfortable offices making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in Congressional salary alone. Enough is enough folks! We need real leadership and real change before our nation is left in ruins by the short-sightedness of Washington elitists. If they want to fully fund the war they also need to fully fund education and make sure that there are no tax breaks for the wealthy until everything is paid for. I for one have had about enough of working to pay for their personal agendas while having to fight to get my son a decent education because the school district can’t afford pencils let alone special needs staff for their special needs students.

When Washington politicians say they can’t find room in the budget for schools they are full of garbage! They choose to put that money into pet projects and useless wars. They choose that! They are making choices and we are suffering for them. It’s time to clean house and put some people in there that make the right choices. I submit to you that we as a nation should vote against incumbents who have voted for war over schools across the board. If they won’t fund our kids then we won’t fund their pension. We need to have the strength of resolve to say no more hollow promises and if you don’t get results we will replace your sorry, useless selves with someone who will.

LJ Finstermore - World Citizen | Give your feedback on this article.



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net

 

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