Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Megan Basham on Polygamy on National Review Online: "On March 3, Utah attorney general Mark Shurtleff and Arizona attorney general Terry Goddard held a joint summit in St. George, Utah, to deal with allegations of abuse, molestation, incest, and fraud coming from within the twin border cities of Hildale and Colorado City. Approximately 10,000 members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) reside in the country's largest polygamist communities and for decades (thanks to a disastrous police raid in 1953) have remained largely beyond the short appendages of local law. The government offensive on the area that was then called Short Creek turned out to be a public-relations nightmare in which the press depicted the state as a malicious invader that ripped screaming children from the arms of their parents and separated loving husbands from their devoted wives. The event was defining enough that even 52 years later Goddard made a point of opening the conference by calling the Short Creek raid a 'shameful mistake' and asking polygamists present to 'let the past be the past.' From that time on, both Utah and Arizona's tacit polygamy policy remained 'don't ask, don't tell.'"