I had a huge moment of celebration when I learned that polygamist leaders Winston Blackmore, 52, and James Oler, 44, were arrested by the RCMP. It is said that Blackmore has over 100 children by his 20 wives. For over sixty years these men have hidden behind freedom of religion to "marry" young girls in celestial marriages. In some cases, they were decades older than the young girls.
They call themselves fundamentalist Mormons, but I call them pedophiles. They Sneak girls across the Canadian/US border to reduce inbreeding; the resemblance to sex trafficking is obvious. Raised in the faith, children grow to believe that these leaders are God like figures. The abuses on these compounds have been well documented by those who have managed to escape.
There is a push behind by the polygamists for acceptance of their behaviour by linking it to the drive to legalize same gender marriage. I find this argument to be completely repellent. In same gender marriage, you have two consenting adults agreeing to share their lives together, whereas; in the polygamist system which Blackmore and Oler run, young girls are married off without their consent and forced to function as brood mares to these men.
Though a lot of part of the push to stop this abuse is to bring a halt the rape and abuse of young girls, what happens to the boys is equally as tragic. When the boys hit puberty, they are no longer viewed as the children of prophets. The elders begin to see them as competition for the affections of the young women on the compound and force them off of the land. They are known as the lost boys. Without any survival skills for the modern world, many end up living on the streets, dealing drugs, or resorting to prostitution to survive. Their stories are hardly ever mentioned in the media, as the meme is about saving innocent young girls.
In Canada, education falls under provincial legislation and the government of BC has allowed these people to educate their children. Often, the only education these children get is in the biblical interpretations of Blackmore, thus ensuring that those who do escape, are woefully unprepared to deal with our advanced technological world. Our tax dollars are financing the indoctrination of these children.
Lawyers have already stated that this case will probably go all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada because the defence is freedom of religion. I do not believe that when the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was written, that it was intended to allow the kind of abuse that regularly occurs in Bountiful. I fully respect the right of someone to practice their religion; however, the moment it begins to infringe upon the rights and liberties of another, it becomes oppression. This is no different than charging parents with abuse and neglect when they turn to faith healers instead of traditional medicine, thus resulting in the death of their child. The government must first protect its most vulnerable citizens and in Bountiful, those are the children.
Whatever the cost, this needs to be brought to an end. We need to stop allowing our tax dollars to be used to fund the systemic rape of young girls and the neglect of young boys. No matter what excuse these leaders use to justify their behaviour, I cannot in good conscience believe that this is what God intended. Today I will celebrate and smile, because I know that for tonight at least, a child is not going to raped by these so-called prophets. For tonight, at least a young boy will not have to worry about being thrown out of the only home that he has ever known. Bountiful is finally Bountiful.