People for The Castration of Warren Jeffs
Sunday, May 04, 2008
I purchased this startling book for our book club's 2007 holiday book exchange. Turns out, my friend Kate ended up with it. When I asked about it recently, she loaned it to me and said that I had to read it. Now, that is a ringing endorsement because girlfriend is B-U-S-Y. She travels all the time for work, she has a puppy and a broken-legged fiancee at home, and a wedding to plan. It's a miracle she had even read the book, let alone highly recommended it.

So I read it. In two days. The day after I finished it, the "Yearning for Zion" compound in Texas was raided and investigated. I cannot even begin to tell you what Carolyn Jessop wrote in her memoir, but I can tell you this: It scared the socks off of me. If there are more families in this FLDS culture that are anything like Jessop's, then we really need to get in there and help those children. All 20,000 of them. They aren't being schooled. They aren't being valued. Young men are being dropped off in the middle of nowhere, abandoned by the few people they had that truly loved them. Teenage women are being raped, beaten, verbally and emotionally abused. No pets are allowed. Wives are using their bodies as currency - playing head games, power games, and sexual games with one another in order to maintain the attention of their husbands. Nutrition for both children and breeding mothers is nearly non-existent. And all in the name of religion.

So is that okay? Can we really ignore what is going on because their religious freedom is constitutionally protected? My stance is this - if they want to be protected by the constitution, and claim their right to practice their own religion, then they need to step up and display full compliance with state and federal laws. Period. Just like anybody else in this country.

The book made me angry, sad, furious, frustrated, and completely proud of Carolyn Jessop. What she went through - all to protect her children - is just staggering. She stood up for her own rights, the rights of mothers everywhere, and the right of every human being to have the kind of life they want and deserve.

Please read this book.