Monday, August 06, 2007

Little Greenies

This is exciting news. Apparently Tom Green is up for release. Tom Green was convicted in 2002 for being an embarrassment for the LDS Church. Mr. Green had been in several documentaries promoting the LDS Polygamist lifestyle and was rapidly gaining international notoriety. The guy has some five wives and 30 odd kids. One of the wives was 13 when she stopped being a little girl and was turned into a Mormon baby production unit.

Since polygamy is officially illegal in Utah, the wives are officially single welfare-collecting moms, and not polygamist wives.

I understand that Mr. Green has learned his lesson and will avoid the limelight and any further embarrassment to the LDS Church. With a little luck, Green will simply take whatever hush money the state offers and will sink back into anonymity.

Mormons throughout the US will simultaneously undergo a denial that polygamy is an important part of the LDS Church, while filing Mr. Green's imprisonment in the collective fantasy that the Mormons are the most persecuted people of all times. Gentiles in Utah will point to the Green affair and mutter the lament "This is what you have to live with in Utah."


Tyler Farrer said...

I don't know where to start....

Wrong in so many ways.

But, I suppose you've heard it all before, and the rest of the world knows the truth.

I'll spare you the lecture.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, Tyler. It seems the author has some deep seeded personal frustrations that s/he is attempting to project through this story and commentary.


Charles D said...

Is there a law in Utah that makes being an embarrassment to the LDS Church a crime?

Certainly having sex with 13 year olds and fraudulent collection of welfare payments are crimes and should be, but is there any reason the government should care whether a man has 3 wives or a woman 3 husbands (assuming all are consenting adults)? At least polygamists are being honest about their non-monogamous behavior which is more than many married men can claim.

Seems like the conservative,libertarian thing to do in Utah would be to make polygamy legal.

y-intercept said...

Polygamy laws only seem to be enforced when the person committing the crime becomes an embarrassment.

DL, you are completely correct in noting that laws that are only selectively enforced lead to problems.

The selective enforcement of laws is what makes our immigration system a nightmare and really has the potential of destroying a society.

Having millions live in legal limbo is both bad for the millions and for society at large because politicians can use the status to manipulate the people.

I agree that the "conservative/libertarian" thing to do is to limit the number of laws and make sure they are enforced.

The polygamy thing is a bit problematic. The clans seem to work as micro governments where the clan supresses the individual rights of the people in the clan.

This, of course, is the reflexive paradox. Should people have the freedom to deny freedom from others. Are you really free if you are prevented from denying freedom to the people around you? Modern thinkers can push this thread until they arrive at the conclusion that freedom is slavery and slavery freedom.

As for the "single moms" on welfare ... I don't know if that is really fraud. It is not uncommon for progressive couples to get a legal divorce, so the mom could collect welfare, or so that they can reduce their tax burden.

Progressive thinking simply states that the kids living in the polygamist clans are disadvantaged; therefore, we should tax non-polygamists and give money to the polygamists.

Charles D said...

I wonder whether the secretive and insular nature of the polygamist clans is a result of banning polygamy.

One of the responsibilities of every family, it seems to me, is to take care not to bring children into the world that you are not prepared to support financially and otherwise. Certainly polygamous families seem likely to have more children than monogamous families, but if they don't have the resources to take care of them, they shouldn't have them.

That said, it is hardly just to permit the children to suffer because the parents are irresponsible. It's a difficult situation I would agree.

y-intercept said...

The secret nature of polygamy in Utah seems to make an already insular belief system even more insular. This thing where we arrest polygamist when they are outspoken has created a subculture where people mutter some really nasty things in private.

Of course, when you look at the middle east, where polygamy is legally practiced by the warlords of the various clans, you can't help but come to the conclusion that all of these polygamous clan structures lead to an oppressive society. When you are raised in a clan structure, you are set to either finding a way to dominate the clan as an Alpha male or essentially living as a eunuch.

Many of the polygamist structures were built on the idea that most men would die in wars, and held that kidnapping women for wives was fine and dandy. The mathematics of it tells me that you will end up with a violent society if only one in five men get to mate. People, like bin Laden, who are raised in such a culture naturally develop the idea that they must either dominate or perish in the attempt.

My experience with people running from new age clans seems to indicate that the same pressures exist even when the polygamists are members of the progressive side of the Democratic party.

As for the kids: Unfortunately, people who believe they must have the resources to raise kids before having kids are rare.

I suspect that Tom Green will have another half dozen or so kids now that he is out of prison. It turns my stomach.