Pharyngula

Here, let me ruin your morning, just in case you hadn’t already heard the story of this raid on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

A raid was finally triggered April 3, after a family violence shelter received a hushed phone call from a terrified 16-year-old girl saying her 50-year-old husband had beaten and raped her.

State troopers put into action the plan they had on the shelf to enter the compound, and 416 children, most of them girls, were swept into state custody on suspicions that they were being sexually and physically abused.

Doran said it was not until after the raid began that he learned that the sect was, in fact, marrying off underage girls at the compound and had a bed in its soaring limestone temple where the girls were required to immediately consummate their marriages. Also, investigators said a number of teenage girls there are pregnant.

I think “fundamentalist” has become a synonym for “misogynistic pedophile”.

Comments

  1. #1 danley
    April 13, 2008

    LDS…come to pappa.

  2. #2 gg
    April 13, 2008

    “I think “fundamentalist” has become a synonym for “misogynistic pedophile”.”

    Bill Maher took it even a step further in a recent New Rules segment. Whenever someone says that Pharynguloids are the ‘extreme fringe’ when it comes to anti-religious views, one should point them at this clip!

  3. #3 Ted D
    April 13, 2008

    I’m starting to think some christians are trying to prove their beliefs correct by creating hell on earth.

  4. #4 NIcki
    April 13, 2008

    Pmomma has been bloging about this for a few days makes me really sad to think of what happened and is still happening to these girls and the women still living there and in other compounds around the world i think there are some up here in Canada hiding in BC. I wish there was someway to help its good that they are free of the place for now but the long term psychological and emotional problems they will have to face just makes it worse.

    Sorry I’m just depressed and saddened by the horrible things people do in the name of an all “loving” god, and we are the ones to cause so much problems with our curse of atheism.

    Here’s hope that some hugs will make it just a little better

    Nicki
    Nicki

  5. #5 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    Misogynistic certainly, abuse most definitely, and abhorrent without a doubt, though I’m not sure it really qualifies as pedophelia. Sure, the girls are underage, not yet ready to cope with marriage or any sort of physical relationship with someone many decades their senior, but a 16 year old girl has most likely physically matured and gone through puberty. Not that this in any way makes what this cult did any less disgusting or sickening, but the basic sexual attraction to someone who is sexually mature is not truly pedophelia.

  6. #6 Bob Dowling
    April 13, 2008

    I think “fundamentalist” has become a synonym for “misogynistic pedophile”.

    Unfair!

    There may be a large overlap but I doubt either is a subset of the other.

    In the records of convicted misogynistic paedophiles, is there a record made of religion? Is the proportion of fundamentalists higher (or lower) in that population than in the general population? It’s a fair question but I don’t think you have the answer handy and, like I said, I doubt it’s 100%.

  7. #7 raven
    April 13, 2008

    Hard to miss this sterling example of a yet another wacko religious cult.

    I read somewhere that one of the women is 16 and has 4 children. Do the math, she was probably married off at 12.

    Some of the women have huge numbers of kids, one had 12.

    So where does the money come from to support hundreds of people in the west Texas desert? In Utah, the state did a study once of their Colorado city center and discovered that somewhere between 80 and 90% of the residents were receiving federal and state welfare. These are remote areas where jobs are few and far between. IIRC, the state of Utah wasn’t too pleased to be supporting thousands of cultists procreating like rabbits. Not sure if they could or did anything about it though.

  8. #8 JimC
    April 13, 2008

    Whenever someone says that Pharynguloids are the ‘extreme fringe’ when it comes to anti-religious views

    Those people are out to lunch. This extremely large group that uses this blog I suspect is pretty mainstream given the range of topics discussed here.

  9. #9 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    Also equally saddening is the fact that such behavior (marrying girls off as soon as they hit puberty, or sometimes even before) has not been historically uncommon at all.

  10. #10 Sastra
    April 13, 2008

    Ah, but it’s an absolute morality imposed from the top, and it doesn’t depend on whether or not any individuals underneath like it. So it’s not arbitrary, like secular systems. You can’t argue with God. On the contrary, we were sent to earth to learn habits of obedience.

    In his speech to the FFRF (now available in Freethought Today) Christopher Hitchens points out that most religions contain an element which is neither moral nor defensible — “an implicit appeal to the totalitarian.”

    The origins of totalitarianism, our greatest enemy, lie in this. We’re told that we wouldn’t know a right from wrong action, wouldn’t be able to tell, let alone perform one, if we were not already the property of a celestial dictator, whom we must love and fear at the same time.” — C. Hitchens

  11. #11 raven
    April 13, 2008

    To put this in perspective. Utah has between 30,000 and 50,000 polygamists and that number is increasing rapidly as they procreate like rabbits.

    The polygamists are divided into various cults and used to shoot it out among themselves and shoot it out with the cops.

    They are also very inbred. It isn’t like too many people are interesting in joining a wacko cult and living in the middle of nowhere.

  12. #12 ck1
    April 13, 2008

    This particular sect also mistreats boys. This is an older article about the same sect:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/jun/14/usa.julianborger

  13. #13 octopod
    April 13, 2008

    Why is it always little girls that are targeted? Because they lack both physical (little) and social (girl) power. Easy for the big bully on top to pick on — and a way for men to influence the female hierarchy, go figure!

    Also, attraction to adolescents = ephebophilia.

  14. #14 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    Do you find something morally amiss with the very idea of polygamy itself (when all parties are consenting adults, at least), or just the crazy superstitions and social stays they subscribe to?

  15. #15 GBruno
    April 13, 2008
  16. #16 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    The use of the term ephebophilia is absurd, considering the only difference between adults and an adolescent who has gone through puberty is their mental and emotional maturity. Both post-pubescent adolescents and adults have physically reached adulthood, attraction to physically maturity is not any sort of ‘deviation’.

  17. #17 Holbach
    April 13, 2008

    There are two things most blatant here: Males and religion. Separately they are equally pernicious; together they are extremely dangerous. It is always the females that suffer at the hands of the freaking males. As a character in Opus (not Opus, but a female) put it,”The male is an evolutionary aberration.” Ponder it all: Wars, murders, rapes, child molestation(male priests, not female nuns), majority of assaults, pornography, prostitution, most vandalism, urinating in public, fetishism, perversions, exposing themselves in public, spitting all over the place, most broken marriages, being brought down by a female liasion(Spitzer, et al), most embezzlements, having a hand in making females go bad(there were two males present at the beating of that 16 year old girl and I bet he urged them on to the whole nasty thing), males are more apt to be hygenically repulsive, more ready to make overt and sexual inuendos in any manner and place, and a list of so many more instances that render the male
    the slime of the sexes. Heck, it’s not cancer that kills most females, it’s the freaking male. Think about it.

  18. #18 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    *physical maturity, not physically, woops.

  19. #19 Quidam
    April 13, 2008

    Why are little girls always the target?

    Because who would want to rape fat ugly old men?

    Sorry if that sounds a little facetious, but it’s rather like the question “Why do you rob banks, Willy?” “Cause that’s where the money is”. (Willy Sutton)

    It’s also wrong. Little boys are often targets. Women are targets, the vulnerable are targets, the gullible are targets.

  20. #20 Sharon
    April 13, 2008

    #14: The “consenting adults” part is the crucial difference for me.

  21. #21 Kaerion
    April 13, 2008

    Also equally saddening is the fact that such behavior (marrying girls off as soon as they hit puberty, or sometimes even before) has not been historically uncommon at all.

    Yes, but at least these fine, upstanding, moral, Christian, abusive pedophiles aren’t ruining the sanctity of Marriage, like those horrible, evil, perverted, adult gays, who want to marry other adult gays that they love! And if these good men couldn’t marry young girls, why, they might just turn gay themselves! A few hundred raped and abused teenage girls is just the price we have to pay to defend the moral fabric of the nation! [/sarcasm]

  22. #22 Sastra
    April 13, 2008

    Why are little girls always the target?

    Because access to young, fertile females is a high status benefit, and a hierarchal top-down moral system based on the authority of “ownership” will always tend to award the best or most females to the dominant alpha males. He who controls sex controls the community.

    If you don’t like this, you need to look for moral systems which are built from the bottom up, where individuals collectively grant authority by their consent. For some reason, fundamentalist Christianity often has problems with this. Maybe it’s that “Jesus is LORD” and “God is our RULER” thing, drummed into the young. It’s the wrong attitude.

    Hey — who made God the king of the universe, anyway? I know I didn’t vote for him.

  23. #23 Carlie
    April 13, 2008

    They’re married off and supposed to start producing children between the ages of 10-13, basically as soon as they start to have periods. If raping a 10 year old isn’t pedophilia, then what is it? Even most 13 year olds still look like children.

  24. #24 Doug
    April 13, 2008

    If I find religion and get morals (currently I’m a godless, immoral Atheist) does this mean I get to molest children like all the other holy moral religious people?

  25. #25 GBruno
    April 13, 2008

    We should also recognize that in these cults, young boys are driven off because they compete with the older men for the girls.

    The young boys are left homeless with no family and no skills, and feelings of heavy guilt.

    It’s a lose-lose proposition.

  26. #26 Rowan
    April 13, 2008

    I’m wondering if there are any bodies buried in the backyard. What is the mortality rate of adolescents giving birth?? How many stillborns?? Where are the boys (assuming 50/50 birth rate) – obviously the teen boys are kicked out – where are the little ones? If they are having babies in hospitals shouldn’t the authorities takes note of 16 yr olds with multiple births? I think this is just the tip of the iceberg.

  27. #27 raven
    April 13, 2008

    They’re married off and supposed to start producing children between the ages of 10-13, basically as soon as they start to have periods.

    Medically that is extremely unwise. There is a lot higher morbidity and mortality in very young teen age pregnancies than in more mature women.

    Another triumph of cult ideology over common sense and morality.

    Just another method of control of women as well. Once the girls have a kid or two, they are far more dependent on the men and the babies make great hostages.

  28. #28 CalGeorge
    April 13, 2008

    So, have the “official” Latter Day Saints spoken up to say that this has noting to do with the religion they practice?

  29. #29 LeeLeeOne
    April 13, 2008

    Comment #19 Quidam

    Exactly!

    Stated succinctly and right on target.

    Thank you.

  30. #30 Mold
    April 13, 2008

    Just like the priests, these folks have child sex rings. The only way to deal with them is to place them in a controlled environment where they will have zero access to children.

  31. #31 Mike
    April 13, 2008

    I just think that anyone who uses their religion as a crutch to support their disgusting problems sickens me. It makes me proud to be an Atheist.

  32. #32 Nick
    April 13, 2008

    Ouch Holbach, you really don’t like guys do you? Come on, we’re not all that bad…

  33. #33 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    “They’re married off and supposed to start producing children between the ages of 10-13, basically as soon as they start to have periods. If raping a 10 year old isn’t pedophilia, then what is it? Even most 13 year olds still look like children.”

    There was no mention in the article of when most of the girls were married off, so if that is the case and the majority are married and bedded by 10 than that certainly is pedophelia. However, I was referring mostly to the 16 year old girl mentioned in the article, my basic point being that if an individual has reached physical/sexual maturity, then being attracted to them cannot be construed as pedophelia.

  34. #34 raven
    April 13, 2008

    So, have the “official” Latter Day Saints spoken up to say that this has noting to do with the religion they practice?

    Yes and no. The main church excommunicated them a century ago. And right now, I bet the leadership of the LDS are in their bunkers in SLC hoping the FLDS would just go away and disappear. It is bad PR.

    They aren’t too happy about the polygamists. They do occasionally try to keep them from running wild and fighting wars amongst themselves and killing the local cops.

    But it doesn’t look like they care that all that much or make a huge effort to address the social problems these cults create. After Waco, moving against wingnut religious cults became a lot harder. No one wants another Jonestown.

  35. #35 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    Holbach’s blanket condemnation of an entire sex based on personal bias and simplistic moralism is about as kooky as christianity.

  36. #36 biogeek
    April 13, 2008

    This polygamist stuff in the news always makes me think of Sheri S. Tepper’s amazing, and in part terrifying, novel of a post-apocalyptic future called The Gate to Women’s Country. If you haven’t read it, check it out. It shows what happens to these communities in the long run – too many men, not nearly enough women/girls. The choice that is made in Women’s Country is startling, yet makes a profound sense evolutionarily. I used this book in a Biotechnology and Society seminar I used to teach. Great book, and it does give me some hope to know that these polygamist societies are doomed to be short term experiments. Doesn’t help the women/girls or boys who are unlucky enough to be born into them however.

  37. #37 Measure
    April 13, 2008

    The official LDS church has only said that there is no connection between them and the fundamentalists, which isn’t entirely true.

    Polygamy, and even sex in temples, was started by the official LDS church, in Brigham Young’s time, according to news reports from the time.

    Steve Benson, a prominent ex-mormon, has been releasing details of the early temple practices of mormonism over at the exmormon.org forums.

    My perspective is that Government shouldn’t be involved in saying who can or cannot marry, but a marraige also shouldn’t give a free pass to anyone for rape or pedophilia.

  38. #38 Rey
    April 13, 2008

    The reason the girls are married off so young is that if each man is supposed to have 4 or more wives, you start running out of wives in the 20+ age group, then you start running out of wives in the 18-20 age group, then there’s not many left in the 16-18 age group …

    And the younger the girls are, the more likely they are not to protest, to believe everything they’re told, and to acquiesce to what they have been taught to believe is a sacred duty. Control, power, personal gain – these young people who deserved much better are being sacrificed for someone else’s benefit.

  39. #39 Reginald Selkirk
    April 13, 2008

    Why are little girls always the target?

    Because this episode does not involve Catholic priests.
    Oh I’m sorry, was that a rhetorical question?

  40. #40 limes
    April 13, 2008

    Catholic priests go after little girls too, but it’s not as sexy to put “RELIGIOUS FIGURES ABUSE LITTLE GIRLS – AGAIN!” on the CNN news marquee.

  41. #41 dsmvwld
    April 13, 2008

    And I think “PZ Myers” has become synonymous with “demented fuckwit bigot.”

  42. #42 Carlie
    April 13, 2008

    However, I was referring mostly to the 16 year old girl mentioned in the article, my basic point being that if an individual has reached physical/sexual maturity, then being attracted to them cannot be construed as pedophelia.

    One article I read about it mentioned a 16 year old who had 3 kids, so the math would indicate that she started by 13 at the latest. But I can’t find it to reference now, so it is possible that I misread somewhere.

  43. #43 Maureen Lycaon
    April 13, 2008

    biogeek — having read The Gate to Women’s Country myself, I know the fictional community you refer to. However, with that one, the patriarchs in charge of the cult make matters worse by exposing the “less valuable” infant girls during tough years, shrinking the gene pool, reducing the number of available females and causing even worse inbreeding.

    These creeps haven’t been just offing baby girls. At least, not that we know of. It will be interesting to find out how many infant skeletons we find when the graveyard gets investigated, and what the sex ratios are.

  44. #45 Longtime Lurker
    April 13, 2008

    That bit about the “lost boys” was an eye-opener… these people live their lives like elephant seals (except with less self-awareness). I wonder how many “sneaker males” abode in the compound.

    Also, Holbach, please reconsider your condemnation of public urination- a cold January night, back to the wind, a rising cloud of steam… gotta write a haiku about it!

    A cold winter night
    a bellyful of lager
    cloud of steam rises

  45. #46 Hank Fox
    April 13, 2008

    This could be an argument from ignorance, but …

    I haven’t heard any strong statement from the Mormon Church about all this.

    That fits suspiciously well with the assertion that religious moderates provide cover for religious extremists.

  46. #47 Holbach
    April 13, 2008

    Nick @ 32 Come on, it was not a blanket renunciation of all males but a realistic evaluation of the differences between the sexes when it comes to matter of crime and personal deportment. We may not like it, but we have to agree with it because it is so damn true. Whether it stems from evolutionary or acquired reasons I’ll leave that to others who may be more inclined to comment on it. Suffice it to say that it is just blatant reality, whether we like it or not.
    And to hmc @35: Personal bias? Simplistic moralism? No, I have no personal bias against males, but am so aware of the obvious preponderous of criminal and ethical behavior of males as opposed to females, that I would naturally favor the female when it involves which is the sex least involved in crime and bad behavior. Who commits the majority of crimes on this planet? So which sex is the more apt to be more dangerous to life and morals? Simple as that. Simplistic moralism? Yes, of course it is, but a lot of males do not like to have it thrown in their faces because it represents the male sex. I’m a male; you tell me that the male commits the majority of crimes and I will honestly and realistically agree with you. It could not be any more simplistic as that. Any comments from you females out there? You know I am right and can agree with me without incurring any sexist inuendoes from the poor bereaved and mortified males of that phony and superior persuasuion. Come on males, face the fact that if there were no females in our civilization we would be in one hell of a miasma of outright barbarism.

  47. #48 PaulR
    April 13, 2008

    #33

    However, I was referring mostly to the 16 year old girl mentioned in the article, my basic point being that if an individual has reached physical/sexual maturity, then being attracted to them cannot be construed as pedophelia.

    Many of these girls have had it drummed into their head for most of their lives that this is their lot in life. That they are sexual servants and bound by god to be the property of men. This alone is systematic abuse that occured while they were children and went beyond. Even if it is not pedophilia, the systematic degradataion of another human being in this way is REPUGNANT. Also – do the math, some of these girls who are 16 now, have had 3 or 4 children already. At an absurd minimum, they could only have been 13 when they got pregnant the first time. Seems VERY close to pedophila to me… Fortunately that is not for you or I to decide.

  48. #49 JimC
    April 13, 2008

    Wars, murders, rapes, child molestation(male priests, not female nuns), majority of assaults, pornography, prostitution, most vandalism, urinating in public, fetishism, perversions, exposing themselves in public, spitting all over the place, most broken marriages, being brought down by a female liasion(Spitzer, et al), most embezzlements, having a hand in making females go bad

    Pornography? Prostitution? Fetishism? Most broken marriages? making females go bad?

    Some I agree with from the above,my list I think your out to lunch.

  49. #50 Chris
    April 13, 2008

    Calgeorge #28:

    Well the FLDS broke away from the LDS a long time ago, and the LDS long ago washed their hands of them. So yes, the LDS has spoken up and said that the FLDS is completely separate from the LDS (since 1890). Most recently, here

    http://www.myfoxutah.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail?contentId=6286307&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=1.1.1

    By the way, the LDS is no more responsible for the behavior of the FLDS than Christianity in general is responsible for it.

  50. #51 Carlie
    April 13, 2008

    There’s a pdf of the affadavit here.

    According to it, “Once a minor female child is determine [sic] by the leaders of the YFZ Ranch to have reached child bearing age (approximately 13-14 years old) they are then “spiritually married” to an adult male member of the church and they are required to then to engage in sexually [sic] activity with such male for the purpose of having children.”

    So not quite as young as I thought, but 13-14 is still too damned young for any of this, especially when you consider that a lot of them are 4th, 5th, or even 8th wives to men who are old enough to be their father and then some. And 14 is in no way sexually mature by any means, physical or emotional.

  51. #52 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    “Many of these girls have had it drummed into their head for most of their lives that this is their lot in life. That they are sexual servants and bound by god to be the property of men. This alone is systematic abuse that occured while they were children and went beyond. Even if it is not pedophilia, the systematic degradataion of another human being in this way is REPUGNANT. Also – do the math, some of these girls who are 16 now, have had 3 or 4 children already. At an absurd minimum, they could only have been 13 when they got pregnant the first time. Seems VERY close to pedophila to me… Fortunately that is not for you or I to decide.”

    As I stated previously, the actions of this cult are abhorrent and disgusting. However, I either did not read closely enough to find the part of the article which told of how many children these girls had or it did not mention it at all. Regardless, my basic point, once again, is that sexual attraction to a physically mature individual is not pedophelia.

  52. #53 Steve Ulven
    April 13, 2008

    Well, on the bright side, if young teens weren’t giving birth in the past many thousands of years to millions of years; we wouldn’t be here.

  53. #54 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    “So not quite as young as I thought, but 13-14 is still too damned young for any of this, especially when you consider that a lot of them are 4th, 5th, or even 8th wives to men who are old enough to be their father and then some.”

    I agree, as I stated in my first post. However, that was not my point of contention.

    “And 14 is in no way sexually mature by any means, physical or emotional.”

    All girls mature at different speed, some can reach physical maturity by age 14. This does not in any mean it is okay for adults to pursue a relationship with them, however feeling a basic sexual attraction towards them cannot be called pedophilia, as it is a primitive reaction towards seeing a physically mature individual. As you might notice, I previously stated that these girls were clearly not ready for such relationships, and have been very careful to refer to post-pubescent females ONLY as physically mature, not mentally or emotionally.

  54. #55 biogeek
    April 13, 2008

    #43 Maureen Lycaon: True, they sped up the process by killing the “useless” girl babies in that story, but that really only sped up the process. In reality, without such measures, the net effect is a slightly slower decline in the female population – this group seems to have figured out that the young men/boys are the problem, and give them the boot, leaving them to their own resources (without any education of how to get along in the real world, with the evil outsiders, of course). The fact that they are marrying 15 year olds (and probably much much younger girls) to 50+ yo men suggests they are well on the path to the eventual outcome of the community found in the book.

    What would be *very* interesting is a study on the sexually transmitted diseases there. Oh, and they’re going to be doing swabs on all the kids to figure out who the actual parents are (so they know who the state will remove parental rights from) which might also provide interesting results.

    It was mentioned that this group (and all those like it) are quite inbred, and this is true. There are known recessive genetic disorders that are quite common in some of these communities, most of which would be easily avoided by not making babies with people who have the same grandparents as you do. The local agencies try to do something to help them but the trust is brittle, since these girl-moms have been taught that everyone outside are evil and can’t be doing good. In addition, they really should be keeping some of those young studs around, because while not as commonly heard about, there are some chromosomal defects and conditions that are closely related to paternal age (as constrasted with the commonly known association with maternal age and Down Syndrome, among others).

    Between the old daddies and the inbreeding going on, I won’t be surprised if they find some seriously fucked up babies in the graveyard there.

  55. #56 Aquaria
    April 13, 2008

    Here’s an account of a woman who escaped the FLDS life. Well, after being eight children to a man 32 years her senior whom she was forced to marry at 18 (she at least got started at a reasonable age).

    This is the part of her story that nauseated me the most was this:

    I thought my husband was the revelation the prophet had received for me. I believed I was destined to bear his children and serve him until he died.

    I also realised the only way to protect myself in my marriage was by remaining of sexual value to him.

    Sex was the only currency I had to spend in my marriage – every polygamist wife knows that.

    A woman who possesses a high sex status with her husband has more power over his other wives.

    If she becomes unattractive to him, she is on dangerous ground – usually winding up as a slave to the dominant wife.

    I wonder how a 12 year old girl fends for herself in an environment like that,.

  56. #57 Lago
    April 13, 2008

    Who wants to play with Mr. Wiggle?

  57. #58 Ted Powell
    April 13, 2008

    “i think there are some up here in Canada hiding in BC.”
    Yes, in “Bountiful” near Lister, BC. Not actually hiding, though.
    http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=49.029765,-116.441345&spn=0.17063,0.297318&t=h&z=12
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bountiful,_British_Columbia

  58. #59 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    Holbach, your arguments are the same used by white supremacists to argue that non-white people are inherently inferior. The “it’s simple statistics, I’m not being biased” attitude is pretty much exactly alike, you refuse to look any deeper into the cause of these statistics, how they might be skewed, what misconceptions you may hold without any actual evidence, etc. Not to mention you’re ridiculous condemnation of such things as porno, public pissing, prostitution, etc. in the same breath as rape and war. Are you sure you’re not christian?

  59. #60 PhysioProf
    April 13, 2008

    I think “fundamentalist” has become a synonym for “misogynistic pedophile”.

    Dude, are you framing again?

  60. #61 rrt
    April 13, 2008

    I’m not sure, PhysioProf. Is “Make the bastards deny it” an variant of framing?

  61. #62 Farb
    April 13, 2008

    Accusing all fundamentalists of misogynistic pedophilia based on the actions of a wacko sex cult is at least as logical as accusing all evolutionists of being complicit in the Holocaust based on the actions of genocidal totalitarians (This of course will be utterly unintelligible to the producers of EXPELLED!).

    And yes, the technical term for the sexual obsession with post-pubescent youth is ephebophilia, a fact which does not grant it any inherent moral superiority over paedophilia. Any cult where middle-aged men brainwash teenaged girls into becoming their ritual sex slaves is sick, sick, sick.

  62. #63 Brian Macker
    April 13, 2008

    I think “fundamentalist” has become a synonym for “misogynistic pedophile”.

    This really is screwed up thinking if you ask me. I guess if this kind of simplistic thinking makes you popular with certain people then do it.

    I noticed the same kind of thinking here on global warming and several other issues. Any reasonable person with a good scientific education can see the kind of errors slipping into the thinking of the chicken littles. So the response is to demonize everyone on the “other side”.

    In this case every fundamentalist is presumed a mysoginist and pedophile. In the other every person who questions global warming is assumed ignorant of science and has some hidden evil motive for destroying the environment.

    Get off it. These issues are way more complex than that.

  63. #64 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    I think you guys are taking that comment way to seriously. To me it seems a joking comment which uses hyperbole to illustrate his disgust with the widespread sexual abuses of religion.

  64. #65 raven
    April 13, 2008

    The list of documents seized also refers to a “cyanide poisoning document,” but offers no other explanation.

    From the link above. Sounds ominous. Anyone know what this is all about? Hope they were justing killing mice and coyotes rather than excess boys.

    What is strange, after all this is over, the vast majority of the wives and kids will probably just go back to the compound if they can. It is the only life they have known, they’ve been brainwashed since birth, and they have nowhere else to go.

  65. #66 Steve_C
    April 13, 2008

    exactly hmc.

    Is it really that complex Macker? Time and time again the most self declared fundamentalist of any religion, are also the most fucked up and abusive to girls and in some cases boys. It seems that often its quite good cover to do quite heinous things under the guise of following scripture.

    Do mildly religious or moderately religious people do these things? Not usually. But the also don’t call themselves fundamentalists.

  66. #67 Hank Fox
    April 13, 2008

    You can’t call a teenager “physically mature,” just for being able to reproduce. Our brains aren’t “physically mature” until we’re near or into our 20s.

    (Speaking only for myself, I wasn’t a responsible adult until I was somewhere near 30 … and even today I sometimes have doubts about whether or not I’m a grownup.)

    From the side of the children of such unions, being born to a 14-year-old mother seems like a form of child abuse. You can’t blame the girl-mother all that much, of course, but what sort of responsible parenting is someone like that going to be capable of?

    And that business with the older fathers, some of whom had dozens of kids … yuck. I can’t even imagine what sort of self-esteem problems you might end up with.

    I didn’t think much about all this when I initially read the story, but the more I think about it, the more this type of cult looks like a really nasty, self-perpetuating recipe for creating human misery.

    I hope some of these kids taken out of the compound get to see some of the real world while they’re in foster care. Heh. It would be great if some of them ended up in atheist homes, where they could experience life without religion for a year or so.

    Although whatever child welfare agency is dealing with them will probably work to see they end up in Christian households, where they can experience good healthy religion, and not that bad, sick religion like they had back home.

  67. #68 BaldApe
    April 13, 2008

    It isn’t like too many people are interesting in joining a wacko cult and living in the middle of nowhere.

    I’ll take living in the middle of nowhere if I can pass on the cult.

    Holbach said “Heck, it’s not cancer that kills most females, it’s the freaking male.

    Uh, no, that would be heart disease

  68. #69 Bouncing Bosons
    April 13, 2008

    Any reasonable person with a good scientific education can see the kind of errors slipping into the thinking of the chicken littles.

    [Citation Needed]

    Seriously, oh great knowledgeable one, what pray tell, have those who have devoted their lives to studying the climate missed that you can enlighten them with. And if it’s the old “H2O is the bigger greenhouse gas problem” bs again, then you need to go back and take a course in nonlinear dynamics to discover what “driving” and “feedback” means.

    Sorry for OT, but people who just assume that their little pet opinions haven’t already been looked into and ruled out really bug me.

  69. #70 Carlie
    April 13, 2008

    however feeling a basic sexual attraction towards them cannot be called pedophilia, as it is a primitive reaction towards seeing a physically mature individual.

    But most 14 year olds don’t even look physically mature, is my point. Rarely you see one who looks maybe 18, but that’s anomalous. 14 years olds are generally not as tall as adults, their breasts and hips are not fully developed, they still have baby pudge around their cheeks, their eyes are still a little on the big side for their faces. I still think that sexually fetishising 13-14 year olds as a group, as is the case here (because it was the standard age for marrying) is a lot closer to pedophilia than not. This isn’t a case of a man being attracted to one particularly mature-looking adolescent, it’s a case of institutionalized rape at 13 for the masses.

  70. #71 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    “You can’t call a teenager “physically mature,” just for being able to reproduce. Our brains aren’t “physically mature” until we’re near or into our 20s.”

    Yes, you can call a teenager physically mature if they have gone through puberty. Their sexual/reproductive functions are that of an adult, making any sense of sexual attraction an individual may feel towards another who is under 18 but has gone through puberty not pedophilic. If you want to talk about brain development you’ll need to be much more specific.

    “(Speaking only for myself, I wasn’t a responsible adult until I was somewhere near 30 … and even today I sometimes have doubts about whether or not I’m a grownup.)”

    Once again, I specified that these girls were clearly not ready for such relationships, and that in no way does being sexually mature make one emotionally or mentally mature. Sexual attraction =/= trying to engage in a serious relationship with someone decades younger than you.

  71. #72 Azkyroth
    April 13, 2008

    Unfair!

    There may be a large overlap but I doubt either is a subset of the other.

    In the records of convicted misogynistic paedophiles, is there a record made of religion? Is the proportion of fundamentalists higher (or lower) in that population than in the general population? It’s a fair question but I don’t think you have the answer handy and, like I said, I doubt it’s 100%.

    I can’t speak to this correctly, but you might consider the following:

    A disturbing fact continues to surface in sex abuse research. The first best predictor of abuse is alcohol or drug addiction in the father. But the second best predictor is conservative religiosity, accompanied by parental belief in traditional male-female roles. This means that if you want to know which children are most likely to be sexually abused by their father, the second most significant clue is whether or not the parents belong to a conservative religious group with traditional role beliefs and rigid sexual attitudes. (Brown and Bohn, 1989; Finkelhor, 1986; Fortune, 1983; Goldstein et al, 1973; Van Leeuwen, 1990). (emphasis in original)

    [“Sexual Abuse in Christian Homes and Churches”, by Carolyn Holderread Heggen, Herald Press, Scotdale, PA, 1993 p. 73]

  72. #73 Mike
    April 13, 2008

    Macker #62,
    From reading your previous posts, I think that at least one of the two assumptions you list must be true.

  73. #74 pcarini
    April 13, 2008

    When this story broke about a week ago, I made the mistake of reading the discussion-boards on KSL’s (local news in SLC) website. By my estimation 40-50% of the posters on that board were arguing in favor of the FLDS, or at least against the state of Texas for taking “unconstitutional” measures. The Religious Bigotry card was brought out and played for all its worth (not much in this case). I am reasonably sure that most of these posters were LDS, not FLDS.

    I made myself unpopular over there by making the following observations:
    1) Both child sexual abuse and polygamy are federal crimes.
    2) Arranging a marriage between a 14 (or even 16) year old girl and a 50+ year old man is a crime and is morally reprehensible.
    3) If your religion mandates breaking at least one federal law and condones breaking at least one more, then it fair to be arrested “for your religion”, since you are either guilty of a federal crime or of being an accomplice to one.

    This situation is a horrible mess regardless of which angle you approach it from. The state is now temporarily the ward of 400-someodd children who have been acculturated into the belief that everyone else is evil, and will soon have to start separating them from their parents and placing them into foster care. Separating a child from her parents is a truly horrible thing to have to do, but the case for child abuse is fairly cut and dry. If the state hadn’t moved when they did the FLDS could only have become more entrenched.

    I hope we can all take away an obvious lesson from this case; giving someone the privilege of ignoring our laws just because they claim a religious belief is asking for trouble. Nobody likes to have their rights taken away, regardless of whether their rights were justified or not.

  74. #75 Azkyroth
    April 13, 2008

    If raping a 10 year old isn’t pedophilia, then what is it?

    Being only attracted to six year olds would be pedophilia. Raping a ten year old is sexual abuse and child molestation.

    Seriously, is it really THAT bizarre an idea that there might be some value in using words correctly?

  75. #76 Carlie
    April 13, 2008

    hmc, you keep arguing “physically mature”. 13 year olds are not physically mature. They don’t look physically mature. I think you may be stuck in thinking about the 16 year old in the article, or don’t know many kids, or both. They are routinely married off at 13-14. 13 is HUGELY different than 16 in a physical sense. 13 year olds look like children, not like adults. The 16 year old in the article had been married off at 15, and the reason it had been that “late” was that her parents had just recently joined the compound. By and large these are not girls who look physically mature. They are children, who look like children.

  76. #77 Carlie
    April 13, 2008

    Sorry, Azkyroth. Raping a 10 year old can be the result of pedophilia, not pedophilia itself. There may also be other reasons to rape 10 year old, all of which are equally repugnant.

  77. #78 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    “But most 14 year olds don’t even look physically mature, is my point. Rarely you see one who looks maybe 18, but that’s anomalous.”

    Agreed. My point is that a basic attraction to someone who is post-pubsecent, whether they be 14 or 17, is not pedophilia.

    “14 years olds are generally not as tall as adults, their breasts and hips are not fully developed, they still have baby pudge around their cheeks, their eyes are still a little on the big side for their faces.”

    This is often true, and for someone to be attracted to an adolescent who is clearly not yet sexually mature is indeed pedophilia. However, if one was attracted to a 14 year old who clearly had gone through puberty, it would not be. To reiterate, I am certainly not saying that an adult engaging in a relationship with such an adolescent would be acceptable in any way, I’m simply saying that attraction to such an adolescent would not be a pedophilic urge.

    “I still think that sexually fetishising 13-14 year olds as a group, as is the case here (because it was the standard age for marrying) is a lot closer to pedophilia than not.”

    Certainly. If this cult makes standard practice of marrying off girls when they reach 13, that can be called pedophilia as the overwhelming majority of girls that age have not reached sexual maturity. Even had these girls reached said maturity, it would still be abhorrent to simply marry them off at such a young age. While not pedophilia, that is still abuse of a minor, as they have definitely not mentally or emotionally matured enough to marry, especially in such a toxic cult.

    “This isn’t a case of a man being attracted to one particularly mature-looking adolescent, it’s a case of institutionalized rape at 13 for the masses.”

    Yes, I have recognized this since my first post and condemned it, my only point was that the basic attraction to a physically mature girl is not pedophilia. As I mentioned previously, I saw little mention of 13 year olds in the article, whether it was by me simply not reading closely enough or the article not mentioning them at all, my post was mostly in reference to the 16 year old girl mentioned.

  78. #79 Azkyroth
    April 13, 2008

    …I really shouldn’t be surprised to find Brian Macker defending child rapists, should I?

  79. #80 Alethea
    April 13, 2008

    What made me particularly ill on the news this evening was that:

    a) the females who grew up in the compound were denied any education (according to the reporter on France 3; I can’t corroborate with another source)

    b) more than one wife has attested that their daughters have been raped in the same house by their own genitors (can’t call that a “father”).

    #11: “They are also very inbred.” You little thought you were so on the mark.

    We didn’t have to go all the way to Iraq or Afghanistan to free vulnerable members of society from the yoke of oppression, did we? May I suggest to all war-mongering Christians out there to tend your own garden?

  80. #81 Holbach
    April 13, 2008

    hmc @59 You will not find a truer and absolute atheist as I am. As an atheist, I realistically know there are no gods, and as a realist I know which sex commits more crime than the other. There does not have to be any extenuating circumsatnces to cloud the realism; the male sex is the overwhelming perpetrator of most crimea and sleaziness in this world whether we like it or do not agree with it, it remains so. “What misconceptions you may hold without any actual evidence?” Are you aware what you wrote despite all the evidence to the contrary? Are you being disingenuous to
    ease your too obvious hurt opinion of your sex? And what the hell has white supremecists to do with this discussion?
    You make it sound as if I am arguing on the principle that the female is the better sex and therefore the male sex should be killed off as inferior. It actually comes down to the unhidden realty that you are hurt in having the onus of the male sex being the more violent and less moral.
    Oh boo hoo, we are not as moral as the female, but don’t throw it in my face and expect me not to exhibit denial and outrage!

  81. #82 Ed Darrell
    April 13, 2008

    To put this in perspective. Utah has between 30,000 and 50,000 polygamists and that number is increasing rapidly as they procreate like rabbits.

    It was estimated Utah had about 35,000 polygamists in the 1970s. I hope the numbers you cite are accurate, which would suggest a slower growth rate of the population than some might think.

    Then, I hate to contemplate what slows the growth of such a population, when there are so many babies.

  82. #83 Mike Huben
    April 13, 2008

    I would expect the Mormon Church to emphasize that they don’t do that any more, but not to denounce the practice as wrong. If they denounce it as wrong, then they are denouncing the behavior of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and several other of their foundational prophets and ancestors. So watch for mush-mouthed denials, and nothing more.

  83. #84 chancelikely
    April 13, 2008

    PZ: I think “fundamentalist” has become a synonym for “misogynistic pedophile”.

    More clear version: The word “Fundamentalist” in “Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints” is a synonym for “Misogynistic Pedophile”.

  84. #85 Rey Fox
    April 13, 2008

    “Then, I hate to contemplate what slows the growth of such a population, when there are so many babies.”

    Well, one can hope that it’s the increasing interconnectedness of the modern world, and how that makes it harder to hide.

  85. #86 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    “hmc, you keep arguing “physically mature”. 13 year olds are not physically mature. They don’t look physically mature.”

    Yes, I’m sure 99% are not. Trying to engage in a relationship with someone this young unless one was that young themselves would be abhorrent abuse. However, should a particular 13 year old somehow post-pubsecent, it would not be pedophilia to find them attractive. Should it go anywhere beyond that basic attraction, it would be abuse.

    “I think you may be stuck in thinking about the 16 year old in the article, or don’t know many kids, or both.”

    Well as I’ve said my first post was in reference to the 16 year old featured in the article, I’ve not read anything on this issue besides that article. However, my point is applicable to any adolescent who is post-pubescent, regardless of age. And as for the not knowing many kids part, I do, and considering my age (18) it has not been that long since I was one myself.

    “They are routinely married off at 13-14. 13 is HUGELY different than 16 in a physical sense. 13 year olds look like children, not like adults. The 16 year old in the article had been married off at 15, and the reason it had been that “late” was that her parents had just recently joined the compound.”

    Yes, the idea of anyone besides another adolescent of similar age engaging in a relationship with these girls is horrible and disgusting. If the 16 year old girl was married off at 15 and was a ‘late’ marriage, that’s extremely sad and abominable.

    “By and large these are not girls who look physically mature. They are children, who look like children.”

    I don’t dispute this at all.

  86. #87 Ref
    April 13, 2008

    Churches are always considered good targets for pedophiles. You move into town, join the church, and make the right religious noises for a little bit, and the saps will trust you with their children. In this case, the saps are men looking to feel powerful and women and girls who have been pre-conditioned since birth to accept the abuse.

  87. #88 Angrynight
    April 13, 2008

    I don’t know. Fundamentalist is a word bandied about so frequently I don’t think anyone remembers what it even means. I think the fundamentalist dynamic and the cult dynamic are too very different things. One is a viewpoint that can be held or tolerated by a majority of the population, while the other will always be on the fringes, or outcast from the civilization as a whole.

  88. #89 Brian Macker
    April 13, 2008

    Bison,

    I’m well aware of the fact that increases in CO2 are going to increase temps. I know it absorbs in a different band of infrared, etc. It is however not the only greenhouse gas as has been sold to the public.

    Much of the current pro-greenhouse panic is being sold to the public on what are lies of ommission. Omit the fact that there are other greenhouse gases, and then tell people CO2 has doubled and throw in a reference to Venus and melting lead, and you’ve got the perfect prescription for chicken little overreaction.

    I worked for a company that collected atmospheric data while in college and I have a lot less confidence in these people to produce good results than others. There was very poor control over the data and whistle blowers like me were treated to sanction.

    You think that all these problems have been “answered” satisfactorily but I do not. I don’t like the fact that they hide their source data, and obsfuscate. Tacking different kinds of data sources together in same graphs the way they did with the hockey stick hoax is scientifically unforgivable. It was the temporal use of different types of data now than in the past that is highly questionable.

    The confidence they put in computer simulations, nay, they aren’t even proper simulations, but mere models, is ridiculous. I don’t believe they understand what they claim they do precisely because of my background in science.

    It goes on and on. Yes, I’ve heard the responses and their quite lame.

    The world isn’t going to be destroyed by global warming. Not by a long shot. If the earth were so prone to destablization it is highly likely it would have already occurred due to past episodes of increased CO2.

    Plus most people are not aware of the fact that these interglacials are of very short duration and that there have been many multiples of what we call “Ice Ages”. In fact the “norm” is for all of Canada to be under a mile of ice and for the leading edge of the glacier to be scraping all of New York state and depositing the tailings on Long Island.

    We are half way through an interglacial and in the long run it might just do us some good to have some global warming.

    Furthermore, the kinds of governmental “fixes” being proposed by the eco-nuts have an empirical history of causing far more harm to humans than what’s reasonable to expect from global warming. They’ve got the importance of economics and global warming reversed.

    Look at the effect of ethanol production already. Causing problems with food supplies. Plus it causes more CO2 production than would otherwise happen. That’s the fruit of government intervention.

    All these state by state mandates on gas additives are also having bad effects. Groundwater pollution with MTBE, increased costs of production (causing increased wastage of resources), etc. are the result and they are not good for the environment.

    The Kyoto protocol would have been a economic disaster for the US, and emissions trading is a farce as it violates basic human incentives and is unenforcable. Nonparticipants can easily use the oil that might be saved by any voluntary trading in emissions controls, and forcing compliance requires, burning oil. Arms don’t just produce themselves without oil, nor do tanks and planes move sans oil.

    The global warming scare is being used to drum up fear and conflict where none need exist.

  89. #90 pcarini
    April 13, 2008

    @Holback (80 & 17)

    You totally aren’t absolving yourself of being male by spouting this silly misandrist nonsense. :P I personally don’t feel guilty for being male, but to each his own.

  90. #91 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    Holbach, you’re assumptions are absurd, and it seems that you are being deliberately obtuse. You question what this argument has to do with white supremacism, yet if you had actually read and understood my post you would have realized that all I did was compare you arguments for the violent frothing male image to a white supremacists argument for the violent frothing black people image. You assume that I am clearly a male trying to cover my hurt ego, yet in reality I’m only trying to tell you that you’re arguments of “big mean men” statistics is overly simple and your arguments of “morality” is decidedly christian.

  91. #92 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    I really need to stop writing “you’re” instead of “your”.

  92. #93 Rey Fox
    April 13, 2008

    Angrynight: You make some good points, but since this church uses the word “fundamentalist” in their name, I think it’s entirely appropriate to use the term here. The issue isn’t so much one of the definition of the word, but rather who chooses to label themselves with it, and how often those people and the churches they run overlap with “cult” practices (in particular, isolation and mistrust of the outside world, but also, quite often, misogyny and child molestation).

  93. #94 Tulse
    April 13, 2008

    I think “fundamentalist” has become a synonym for “misogynistic pedophile”.

    That is ludicrous, ridiculous hyperbole, PZ.

    It is also synonymous for “self-loathing closeted gay”. And “moralistic adulterer”. And “self-righteous drug abuser”.

    In other words, “hypocrite”.

  94. #95 hyperdeath
    April 13, 2008

    Again, you need to frame this better. You should have started your article with a paragraph of feel-good platitudes about how wonderful religion is.

    Also, perhaps you should have omitted the institutionalised-rape part completely. After all, you’re merely fixating on one ugly example of religion, whilst ignoring the transcendant beauty of the whole.

  95. #96 pcarini
    April 13, 2008

    This just in: That particular Texas branch of the FLDS were hand-picked to live there due to their loyalty to Warren Jeffs, their prophet. This is going to make it harder to get testimony from those involved. Fortunately they also found many of their written records which should include marriage records, etc.

    http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=3068069 [ksl.com, avoid the comments board if you value your sanity]

  96. #97 may
    April 13, 2008

    erm,as to who is the more prone to violence?
    innate boy violence being different from innate girl violence doesn’t mean girl violence is less.
    as anyone who has been around a bullying female can testify.
    in a situation of power some females will assault the body,mind,heart,spirit soul of any one who gets in her way.
    whether her power derives from her marital,financial,social,physical or any other source,she will use it to her own benefit.
    she will promote and foster any one who upholds and increases her power.
    etc.
    any male v female argument over who is worse misses the point.
    male and female are two side of the same coin.
    what is those old sayings?
    come home whith your shield or on it.
    you made your bed now lie in it.etc

    a part of the glue that holds these situations together is the unwavering support of their own power by the alpha females.
    they know what is going on and approve.

  97. #98 raven
    April 13, 2008

    Fundamentalist is starting to become synonymous with liar, bigot, ignorant, stupid, and sometimes killer along with misogynistic pedophile and gay bashing bathroom cruiser.

    You can tell because the fundie Death Cultists now almost always deny that they are….fundie Death Cultists.

    “I’m not a fundie, just an ignorant, lying, bigot trying to destroy the USA for Jesus.” They actually think that sounds better. LOL

  98. #99 Dr X
    April 13, 2008

    attraction to adolescents = ephebophilia.

    This is really a pseudo-clinical term that has been around for a long time. It has recently been popularized by the Catholic Church and a segment of the court ordered treatment industry.

    Attraction of adult males and females to adolescents is not recognized as a genuine clinical entity. Normal adults can and do find teenagers attractive sometimes. Acting on such an attraction is illegal, it reflects bad judgment, it may reflect a lack of realism about developing mature romantic relationships with an emotional equal or it may reflect insecurity about dealing with a partner who is an emotional equal. Reasonably healthy adults dismiss these attractions from any consideration immediately when they experience them. But, the attractions are not, in and of themselves, abnormal or indications of psychopathology.

    Sexual attraction to pre-adolescents, pedophilia, is abnormal. Most adults do not experience sexual attraction to 7-year-olds.

  99. #100 Brian Macker
    April 13, 2008

    Pcarini,

    Holy cow, missed those to posts. They’re hilarious. I especially like the part where he accuses men of participating in the “most broken marriages”. How they pull that off, considering that broken marriages involve one male and one female, I do not know. Hell even in polygamy a “broken marriage” is going to involve a single bad mark against one female and one male. That is if one female breaks it off and it counts as a single incident against both.

    Funny thing is if the entire family dissolved in one incident then all the wives would be involved in the “broken marriage” and yet only one male. So the total tally on the balance sheet of “females”, if you think that way, would be more.

    Of course his whole way of thinking is nonsense. Individuals have no moral responsibility for the acts of other individuals regardless of whether they happen to be in the same demographic group.

    Plus he’s a misandrist, which in itself is a moral flaw. He’s not one to be pointing fingers at others.

    He says, “males are more apt to be hygenically repulsive”. Really? Maybe so, but if someone were to say this of the poor, people from 3rd world countries, people of a particular national origin, etc. then we would recognize it for what it was, bigotry.

    After all, pointing out a inferior trait about a group, even if true, in the middle of a rant accusing them of being “evolutionary abherrations” and blaming them as a source of evil, tends to make one wonder if the person is doing it for bad reasons.

    Women tend to be shorter than men, nothing wrong with pointing that out. However, were such a claim put in the middle of a rant on why women should be kept home barefoot and pregnant, one would start to wonder.

  100. #101 Lelouch
    April 13, 2008

    Holbach,

    Seems you don’t have a problem with calling out males ugly nature, but isn’t that a bit hurtful? Not concerned with our feelings are you? I thought women are supposed to be concerned with those pesky emotions, but even a barbaric male like me can see that your condemnation of males is hurtful. The truth might be ugly, but I don’t see any value in making such sweeping generalizations. What point are you trying to make anyway? And if men are by nature more aggressive, sexual, and territorial can you really blame us? And as for public urination, my girl friends urinate anywhere they want. I’ve seen them piss outside a drive-through window. Please don’t make such ridiculous claims.

  101. #102 john
    April 13, 2008

    OMFG!!! that is so terrible :((!- I absolutely DESPISE religion- completely and absolutely

  102. #103 raven
    April 13, 2008

    The FLDS is a lot closer to what the LDS church used to be.

    Polygamy is only suspended on earth because of a revelation after the USA told them Utah wasn’t going to become a state until they stopped it.

    In their afterlifes (there are 4 levels), the highest level men get to be gods, have their own planets, and a whole lot of baby making wives to populate it.

    The Mormons have been trying with some success to mainstream and the majority of Mormons don’t live in Utah. The hardcore Utah ones probably feel some kinship with the FLDS. The ones outside Utah, who knows, maybe not.

    The LDS could speak up and they have been conspicuous by their silence so far. Anyone’s guess as to what they think.

  103. #104 Steve
    April 13, 2008

    It should come as no surprise when fundamentalist religions behave this way. Fundamentalism is almost always inherently anachronistic, and throughout most of history (and currently, much of the world) it is common to marry off women as soon as they reach puberty. In many societies that don’t practice polygamy, the same thing happens with boys just a little older (they get hooked up with those young girls in arranged marriages). It’s only in these enlightened times that we’ve decided that one is not an adult until the age of 21.

    Holbach – as an atheist,might one presume that you would subscribe to evolution as an explanation of the origin of species? If so, does it strike you as odd that your description largely parallels nearly any of the higher mammals? Males fight a LOT more than females, period. And what are they usually fighting for? Food or females. So one might presume it was a fairly successful strategy, eh? If you want to make the case for some inherent difference between men and women that isn’t learned, then it must be evolutionary in origin, and thus no particular culpability of men’s, right? It’s “the way we’re wired”, right? And the fact that many, many women are attracted to the men that exhibit the most egregious examples of your litany of male behaviors must mean that they’re complicit, eh?

    It’s important to note that there have been plenty of abusive mothers – I hear about ‘em in the news every day. They’re adults; they can’t blame their behavior on ‘men’. More than one of my adult friends had mothers who were every bit as abusive as the fathers you rant about. Human beings have the capacity to go off the rails, period.

  104. #105 may
    April 13, 2008

    calling out on one sex(all men are bastards or all women are bitches)gives a free pass to the wrong doing of individuals of the other sex.

  105. #106 Angrynight
    April 13, 2008

    @ Rey Fox, I don’t think it’s as simple as letting people use whatever words they want. I’m sure they also consider themselves “God’s chosen people”, but their choice of words doesn’t make them that. Most cults claim to know and speak truth, once again, it doesn’t change the definition of truth just because they use it.

    This country is “land of the free” until we remember little niggling details like the PATRIOT act. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really all that intent on defending fundies, but a spade’s a spade.

  106. #107 LisaJ
    April 13, 2008

    That Bill Maher clip is fantastic. Completely on point! Man, this world is disgusting.

  107. #108 Milo Johnson
    April 13, 2008

    Religion may not make them do it but it certainly is used as an excuse for it a lot, isn’t it? That’s why religion gets blamed. It’s not like there are a lot of child-rapers that form Maurice Chevalier cults.

  108. #109 RamblinDude
    April 13, 2008

    Hank Fox, (Speaking only for myself, I wasn’t a responsible adult until I was somewhere near 30 … and even today I sometimes have doubts about whether or not I’m a grownup.)

    You made me laugh. I mostly feel the same way. (What is this maturity that you speak of?)
    And yet I know that I’m more mature than the petty tyrants who lord over these perverted little enclaves around the world. Weird.

    I know many who would denounce this cult as “evil” in no uncertain terms, and yet they spend their entire lives adhering to the doctrine that women must be subservient to men. That their authority is a book instead of a slaveholder makes it no less a cult of subservience.

    The ugliness is only a matter of degree.

  109. #110 Holbach
    April 13, 2008

    Now we’re rolling! What sex controlled that religious camp that was raided in Texas? What sex was the perpetrator of the sexual and religious oppression? Male. When marriages are broken apart by infidelity, abuse physical or verbal, criminal activity, or whatever is the cause, is it the majority of times caused by male or female? Overwhelmingly- Male. When someone is arrested for
    public urination, is the majority male or female? Male. Males do it more often and with abandon because they think they can get away with it because of necessity and evolutionary expedience and the attitude that smacks of damn machismo, “I’m a male, I’ll piss where I want.” Sure, females also piss in public but they are not so damn blatant and wanton about it. Even when drunk a female pissing in public is not as damn revulsive as a male drunk.
    What sex rules the Islamic world and subjugates females in a program of sexual and social terror? Male. Who has to pay child support and invariably skips out and has to hunted down and prosecuted, which goes back to the failed marriages data. Male. Who so wholeheartedly recognizes all of this, is terribly concerned, and is so misunderstood and berated in espousing this stark reality that it’s a wonder that the responding males get the obvious point. Me, a male.
    Keep it coming!

  110. #111 pcarini
    April 13, 2008

    raven @ #102:

    In their afterlifes (there are 4 levels), the highest level men get to be gods, have their own planets, and a whole lot of baby making wives to populate it.

    Here’s another fun tidbit: Their hell, called “outer darkness” is reserved for those who have direct knowledge of Christ/god and then deny that knowledge.

    By their doctrine non-Mormons go to the first level of heaven, which is supposed to be pretty pleasant. Except for the company; Also by their doctrine, every horrible despot/child rapist/etc. goes to the same place – unless they’ve had direct divine revelation. I’ve taken to calling this place ‘Hitler Heaven’ because, according to their doctrine, he goes there too. Any religion that dumps the rest of humanity in the same bin with that asshole deserves all of the ridicule they get.

  111. #112 Hank Fox
    April 13, 2008

    hmc:

    You seem to be using “sexually mature” and “physically mature” interchangeably.

    I think that’s a mistake. They’re just not the same thing.

    A 13- or 14-year-old post-pubescent girl or boy is not “physically mature.” The fact that they can reproduce does not equate to physical maturity.

    I can think of at least several other purely physical factors that play into physical maturity — height, muscle mass, joint strength, brain development, immune system development, physical coordination, dentition — I imagine there might be dozens.

    And I still think separating out “physical” from “mental” in any discussion of defining “maturity” is deceptively rhetorical.

    If you want to talk about sexual maturity, use that term. Otherwise, I think it just muddles the discussion.

  112. #113 Inky
    April 13, 2008

    … that’s fucking disgusting. It’s too bad there isn’t an afterlife. I’d like all those husbands to get married off to some demonic elephants to get their fair share of ceremonial consummation without consent.

  113. #114 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    Hank Fox, you certainly seem to be right and know more about human development than I do, however I think from my posts it is quite clear that what I have been referring to is sexually maturity, regardless of whether or not I erroniously labeled it physical maturity a few times.

  114. #115 Hank Fox
    April 13, 2008

    Re: public urination

    Everytime I hear about an arrest for public urination, I wonder whether it’s a righteous bust, or just some busybody who’s freaked out over nothing.

    Yeah, I don’t want drunks staggering down the street and peeing on the sidewalk … but I also don’t think you should get arrested every time you pee in the woods, or out behind the barn, or even in the bushes in your own back yard.

    If you’re making a conscious effort to not be seen, but it happens anyway by unintended accident, this is hardly the same thing as waving your weenie on a bus.

    The recent ascension of public urination into some sort of sex crime, where you can be labeled a sex offender for the rest of your life … well, damn, it just seems like more of the truly mean-spiritedness that’s gotten into law enforcement and public discourse in the Bush years.

  115. #116 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    “And I still think separating out “physical” from “mental” in any discussion of defining “maturity” is deceptively rhetorical.”

    How so? Someone can certainly be sexually mature without being mentally mature. I don’t see what is deceptive about that.

  116. #117 Nick Gotts
    April 13, 2008

    Reams of garbage from Brian Macker #88. OT but neither barefaced lies nor (and I think this more probable) the desperate attempts of a dangerous fanatic to persuade himself reality hasn’t shot his hobbyhorse from under him, cannot go unchallenged, though I don’t have the time or patience to deal with every falsehood Mr. Macker has included.

    It is however not the only greenhouse gas as has been sold to the public.

    Much of the current pro-greenhouse panic is being sold to the public on what are lies of ommission. Omit the fact that there are other greenhouse gases, and then tell people CO2 has doubled and throw in a reference to Venus and melting lead, and you’ve got the perfect prescription for chicken little overreaction.

    A string of falsehoods: take a look at http://www.realclimate.org/, which is an open blog run by climate scientists. You will find considerable discussion of other greenhouse gases, exact accounts of how much CO2 levels in the atmosphere have increased, and explicit denials that Earth could suffer the kind of runaway greenhouse effect Venus has. The same, of course, is true of the IPCC reports.

    The world isn’t going to be destroyed by global warming. Not by a long shot. If the earth were so prone to destablization it is highly likely it would have already occurred due to past episodes of increased CO2.

    No scientist I am aware of says the Earth, or life on it, is going to be destroyed. however, recent increases in greenhouse gas emissions have no parallel during the time our species has existed, and “business as usual” is judged by the overwhelming majority of relevant experts to risk disastrous consequences in the form of flooding, droughts, famine, mass species extinctions, and quite possibly civilisational collapse. (Oh, but I’m forgetting, Mr. Macker “worked for a company that collected atmospheric data while in college”, so we really ought to place his opinion above that of climate scientists who merely have decades of professional experience and numerous peer-reviewed publications.)

    We are half way through an interglacial and in the long run it might just do us some good to have some global warming.

    Going by what is known of the effects of Milankovitch cycles, in the absence of human activities or (say) massive vulcanism, an ice age might possibly start in around 20,000 years. More likely, around 50,000.

    Furthermore, the kinds of governmental “fixes” being proposed by the eco-nuts have an empirical history of causing far more harm to humans than what’s reasonable to expect from global warming. They’ve got the importance of economics and global warming reversed.

    Do you feel the same about the outrageous restrictions on the production of CFCs and other ozone-layer damaging chemicals?

    Look at the effect of ethanol production already. Causing problems with food supplies. Plus it causes more CO2 production than would otherwise happen. That’s the fruit of government intervention.

    Of course the wrong sort of government intervention is harmful. The ethanol subsidies’ main promoter has been George W. Bush – who is not generally considered an “eco-nut”. Environmentalist organisations have mostly opposed them, for the very reasons you give. The subsidies are aimed at raising the price of corn for the benefit of agribusiness, not at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  117. #118 pcarini
    April 13, 2008

    @Holbach (#109)

    I refuse to accept anybody else’s guilt, regardless of what characteristics I have in common with them. Your argument gives off the stench of Original Sin, the difference being that you’re laying it on half of all humanity instead of all of it.

    We’re finally reaching a point where we’re civilized enough to recognize bigoted thinking in many of its forms as truly repulsive. Why regress to castigating half of humanity because of their gender?

    Finally, why so fixated on public urination? The women I know would be just as guilty as the men if it were as convenient for them to do so. (Not that happens often, but nature doesn’t stop calling just because a restroom isn’t handy…)

  118. #119 Hank Fox
    April 13, 2008

    hmc:

    I was sure that was what you were talking about too. But … the words are important. Part of what we rail about here so often is the misuse of words by people who do it deliberately to control of injure others.

    I didn’t mean to be heavy-handed. I just wanted to make the point of the difference in meaning.

    We both know what happens when people turn “theory” into “a wild idea somebody came up with after a night of heavy drinking,” and “evolution” into “what made Hitler kill all those Jews.”

    I’m not a scientist like a lot of people here, but I always feel like I’m here with “my” people because I think we all share a passion for the careful use of language.

    I’ve known people in several different professions who didn’t maintain their tools. Didn’t keep them sharp, or oiled, or rust-free. They couldn’t do their jobs as well.

    Words are the tools of my profession. I think that’s true of any technical or scientific field, or any field of communication.

    With that in mind, I like to keep them sharp. Define words down to a razor edge, and you can cut through the confusion, and get your ideas across, most efficiently.

  119. #120 Milo Johnson
    April 13, 2008

    “If the earth were so prone to destablization it is highly likely it would have already occurred due to past episodes of increased CO2.”

    So, since I’ve never died before when I got sick, it is highly likely I never will die when I get sick?

  120. #121 Nick Gotts
    April 13, 2008

    Re #116 Woops! first blockquote should include the succeeding paragraph. Sorry.

  121. #122 Noni Mausa
    April 13, 2008

    Zer qvestion: Why is it always little girls that are targeted? Because they lack both physical (little) and social (girl) power.

    This answer is blunt and offensive — you have been warned.

    The religious part of this question is a red herring. No matter what activity humans want to indulge in, they will use religion (and logic, and force, and any other strategy) to either accomplish or justify it. So set religion aside.

    I like men. But biologically, in our species they are far less valuable than the women. A desert island with 1000 women and 20 men would repopulate as quickly as an island with 1000 women and 1000 men. In reproduction it is the women who constitute the bottleneck. All else being equal, the species doesn’t need a lot of men.

    (Paradoxically, being disposable is IMHO one of their chief values to the species. This isn’t the sort of insight to make most men very happy, though. However, more on that at the bottom of this post.)

    Females can do as much of the work as their male counterparts, after adjusting for differences in sheer strength. By and large, they are less violent, less destructive, and more pragmatic than men.

    If we believe this, then several reasons emerge for men trying to control women. Lots of the nastiest strategies rely in the awareness and intelligence of the men involved.

    Simplest argument first: Genetically, passing on the particular male’s genes is chancy if the mating choices of women can’t be controlled. The nastiest but most reliable ways to control this involve killing competing males, killing children not your own, and keeping one or more females captive (i.e. away from other males) during their fertile years.

    This pattern of breeding is common among mammals — lions, mountain sheep and whatnot.

    One reason to catch ‘em young and impregnate them early is they are weaker, more mentally malleable, and once they have children they are bound by ties of caring to the children and generally to the men also.

    Another value of women is their ability to work, often cooperatively and usually without getting into fights. It’s nice to have someone around to do some or all of the work. Nuf said on that.

    The question arises: given her great genetic and working value, why would it profit a male to assault or kill his female? Very simple answer — a clever, rebellious or simply independent woman really does threaten her man and by extension all other men in the community. “If she can choose, will she choose me?” An independent female undermines the whole structure, highlighting the lesser inherent value of the male. In this context a dead woman is much more useful than a rebellious one — she is no longer causing trouble, plus her fate is a powerful example to the other women.

    How can this whole control and judgment structure not be deeply threatening, both to men and to women?

    Not that all men or women live this way, but at the edges of control, the same patterns arise in all societies. See: Hagar.

    Unfortunately over time this has evolutionary effects not especially good for the species. Consistently rewarding violence in the male parent and acquiescence in the female parent must reduce the levels in following generations of rationality and restraint and cleverness and courage in the population at large. I have no idea how you would measure these effects, if they are measurable, but I would bet they are there (if we could find a control population — a problem, that.)

    Why do I believe the overflow men to be of great, probably indispensable, value to our species? Their explorations, their trying and testing of limits and resources, their ability to invest the interest of a lifetime in one slim wedge of research — all these lead to discoveries and abilities of great benefit.

    We’re a pretty unusual species, and need to be able to get outside ourselves and make conscious plans and decisions. This requires we understand the mammalian patterns underlying our thought and decisions.

  122. #123 Holbach
    April 13, 2008

    Hank Fox @114 Of course i should clarify the public peeing
    fiasco. I have no problem with male or female peeing discreetly behind a bush, in their own backyard, or anywhere else that is not an obvious sight. It is the males who do it against a building or on the sidewalk in plain sight or on someone’s lawn that pisses me off! Every time I see this happening I say to myself that this scum is just degrading his sex in the most obnoxious way that his sub brain commands. If I were a female I would remark,
    how like his sex to demonstrate his sleazy nature. Freaking, slimy male!

  123. #124 Carlie
    April 13, 2008

    however I think from my posts it is quite clear that what I have been referring to is sexually maturity, regardless of whether or not I erroniously labeled it physical maturity a few times.

    But wait, it seemed like you were entirely referring to physical maturity, because your point was with regard to a man finding a girl sexually attractive because she looked mature. That’s based entirely on physical traits, not on him knowing whether she’s started ovulating or not. I thought I followed your argument, but now I’m not so sure I understand what you were getting at.

  124. #125 may
    April 13, 2008

    re 121.

    you are leaving out the role of the top female in the perpetuation of this system.

    females do fight for this position.
    she has absolute control over her subordinates.
    they obey her and care for her offspring who also benefit from her position.
    a dead recalcitrant benefits her every bit as much as her lord and master.
    without a primary female to keep the others in line and obedient the l&m is vulnerable to being ganged up on.

    it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that in societies where polygamy is practised,very occasionally the term “henpecked husband”takes on a whole new dimension.

  125. #126 Kitty
    April 13, 2008

    I find myself unable to understand why you all seem to have so much difficulty with this!

    Sex with a minor is a criminal offence in your country.

    The definition of what entails a ‘minor’ is set in the laws of your land and mine (UK).

    This group of people, males and females, has broken the law. At the very least they are all complicit, and seem to have been so since the 19th century.

    That they are members of a particular religion is irrelevant in law. If this is not so in the USA then you are truly screwed.

  126. #127 pcarini
    April 13, 2008

    Shorter Holbach:

    “I can’t reconcile myself to the fact that people are animals and sometimes still behave like them”

    I promise that this is the last time I will go OT to try and rebut such abject stupidity.

  127. #128 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 13, 2008

    It is the males who do it against a building or on the sidewalk in plain sight or on someone’s lawn that pisses me off! Every time I see this happening

    What kind of sheltered life am I living? I’ve never seen that happening, and come across the obvious results perhaps once or twice. But if I saw it happening, I wouldn’t feel personally embarrassed. I’d think “poor drunk” — like if I saw someone vomiting in public. I don’t understand why you freak out.

    And I think “PZ Myers” has become synonymous with “demented fuckwit bigot.”

    Please do elaborate. Enlighten us with your detailed wisdom.

  128. #129 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 13, 2008

    It is the males who do it against a building or on the sidewalk in plain sight or on someone’s lawn that pisses me off! Every time I see this happening

    What kind of sheltered life am I living? I’ve never seen that happening, and come across the obvious results perhaps once or twice. But if I saw it happening, I wouldn’t feel personally embarrassed. I’d think “poor drunk” — like if I saw someone vomiting in public. I don’t understand why you freak out.

    And I think “PZ Myers” has become synonymous with “demented fuckwit bigot.”

    Please do elaborate. Enlighten us with your detailed wisdom.

  129. #130 raven
    April 13, 2008

    That they are members of a particular religion is irrelevant in law. If this is not so in the USA then you are truly screwed.

    Well it is but some religions object anyway. The local Aztec community wants to build a flat topped pyramid so they can sacrifice human captives to the rain and sun gods.

    The local fundies are trying to prevent them on the basis that the rain and sun gods are false gods and only Jehovah is the real one. The Aztecs are considering changing Tlaloc’s name to Jehovah and Tonatiuh’s to Jesus.

  130. #131 Joseph Smith
    April 13, 2008

    PZ’z daughter writes about bestiality being a non-crime and now, he’s whining about polygamy.

    Sorry, what is the moral problem with polygamy?

    If there was no religious element tied to it, I doubt he would have posted this one.

    By the way, why can’t they find the 16-year-old girl whose supposed husband has never been in Texas.

  131. #132 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 13, 2008

    I’m well aware of the fact that increases in CO2 are going to increase temps. I know it absorbs in a different band of infrared, etc. It is however not the only greenhouse gas as has been sold to the public.

    Has it been sold as such? Is my sheltered life on teh intartoobz showing through again? I have read of methane and CFCs*, not to mention water vapor, from pretty popular sources, probably including highbrow newspapers (I don’t quite remember).

    * Especially the only-FCs are extremely strong greenhouse gases.

    You think that all these problems have been “answered” satisfactorily but I do not. I don’t like the fact that they hide their source data, and obsfuscate.

    Elaborate, please.

    Tacking different kinds of data sources together in same graphs the way they did with the hockey stick hoax is scientifically unforgivable. It was the temporal use of different types of data now than in the past that is highly questionable.

    So you have a background in science. Nice. Your ignorance, however, is completely inexcusable in a scientist.

    The confidence they put in computer simulations, nay, they aren’t even proper simulations, but mere models, is ridiculous.

    Why — and where is the difference between a simulation and a model?

    The world isn’t going to be destroyed by global warming.

    Didn’t Mommy tell you that you shouldn’t build strawmen?

    Plus most people are not aware of the fact that these interglacials are of very short duration and that there have been many multiples of what we call “Ice Ages”. In fact the “norm” is for all of Canada to be under a mile of ice and for the leading edge of the glacier to be scraping all of New York state and depositing the tailings on Long Island.

    Yes, the glacials are much longer than the interglacials, though the geography you describe applies only to glacial maxima, which don’t last long.

    We are half way through an interglacial

    Nope. If we aren’t preventing it right now with our greenhouse gas emissions, the next ice age is scheduled to start in 50,000 years and to have its maximum in 100,000 years.

    A. Berger, M. F. Loutre (2002): An exceptionally long interglacial ahead? Science 297: 1287 — 1288.

    Furthermore, the kinds of governmental “fixes” being proposed by the eco-nuts have an empirical history of causing far more harm to humans than what’s reasonable to expect from global warming. They’ve got the importance of economics and global warming reversed.

    And that somehow means global warming is not happening not our fault not a problem?

    Look at the effect of ethanol production already.

    Yep, it’s pretty stupid as currently done and apparently as currently feasible at all.

    That’s the fruit of government intervention.

    Nope, it’s the result of a country that hasn’t figured out how to protect its parliament from the lobbyists.

    The Kyoto protocol would have been a economic disaster for the US

    Show me.

    and emissions trading is a farce as it violates basic human incentives and is unenforcable.

    Show me.

    Nonparticipants

    Of course it needs to be a fairly global effort. But unless people like the Busheviki come and say “no, we won’t implement any good ideas if they aren’t our ideas”, making global efforts is pretty easy…

  132. #133 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 13, 2008

    I’m well aware of the fact that increases in CO2 are going to increase temps. I know it absorbs in a different band of infrared, etc. It is however not the only greenhouse gas as has been sold to the public.

    Has it been sold as such? Is my sheltered life on teh intartoobz showing through again? I have read of methane and CFCs*, not to mention water vapor, from pretty popular sources, probably including highbrow newspapers (I don’t quite remember).

    * Especially the only-FCs are extremely strong greenhouse gases.

    You think that all these problems have been “answered” satisfactorily but I do not. I don’t like the fact that they hide their source data, and obsfuscate.

    Elaborate, please.

    Tacking different kinds of data sources together in same graphs the way they did with the hockey stick hoax is scientifically unforgivable. It was the temporal use of different types of data now than in the past that is highly questionable.

    So you have a background in science. Nice. Your ignorance, however, is completely inexcusable in a scientist.

    The confidence they put in computer simulations, nay, they aren’t even proper simulations, but mere models, is ridiculous.

    Why — and where is the difference between a simulation and a model?

    The world isn’t going to be destroyed by global warming.

    Didn’t Mommy tell you that you shouldn’t build strawmen?

    Plus most people are not aware of the fact that these interglacials are of very short duration and that there have been many multiples of what we call “Ice Ages”. In fact the “norm” is for all of Canada to be under a mile of ice and for the leading edge of the glacier to be scraping all of New York state and depositing the tailings on Long Island.

    Yes, the glacials are much longer than the interglacials, though the geography you describe applies only to glacial maxima, which don’t last long.

    We are half way through an interglacial

    Nope. If we aren’t preventing it right now with our greenhouse gas emissions, the next ice age is scheduled to start in 50,000 years and to have its maximum in 100,000 years.

    A. Berger, M. F. Loutre (2002): An exceptionally long interglacial ahead? Science 297: 1287 — 1288.

    Furthermore, the kinds of governmental “fixes” being proposed by the eco-nuts have an empirical history of causing far more harm to humans than what’s reasonable to expect from global warming. They’ve got the importance of economics and global warming reversed.

    And that somehow means global warming is not happening not our fault not a problem?

    Look at the effect of ethanol production already.

    Yep, it’s pretty stupid as currently done and apparently as currently feasible at all.

    That’s the fruit of government intervention.

    Nope, it’s the result of a country that hasn’t figured out how to protect its parliament from the lobbyists.

    The Kyoto protocol would have been a economic disaster for the US

    Show me.

    and emissions trading is a farce as it violates basic human incentives and is unenforcable.

    Show me.

    Nonparticipants

    Of course it needs to be a fairly global effort. But unless people like the Busheviki come and say “no, we won’t implement any good ideas if they aren’t our ideas”, making global efforts is pretty easy…

  133. #134 Joseph Smith
    April 13, 2008

    PZ’z daughter writes about bestiality being a non-crime and now, he’s whining about polygamy.

    Sorry, what is the moral problem with polygamy?

    If there was no religious element tied to it, I doubt he would have posted this one.

    By the way, why can’t they find the 16-year-old girl whose supposed husband has never been in Texas.

  134. #135 Joseph Smith
    April 13, 2008

    Sorry about the polygamous post.

    One just isn’t enough.

  135. #136 RamblinDude
    April 13, 2008

    David Marjanovi?,

    You don’t understand? Think about it. Men see nature and piss all over it! I mean, you don’t see women destroying the beauty of pristine snow banks with their ugly yellow signatures, do you?

    And who are the one’s who use women for sex? You don’t see woman being called pimps, do you? No, they’re called by the much more graceful title “Madame”, because they have class!

    Who are the ones who scratch their balls? Men!

    Who leaves their smelly jockstraps lying around? Men!

    Who speaks for all of womankind, telling us what they should think of public urination? And who accuses the entire female gender of being powerless and defenseless slaves of men? Men!

    Dicks!

  136. #137 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 13, 2008

    The Aztecs are considering changing Tlaloc’s name to Jehovah and Tonatiuh’s to Jesus.

    :-D

    PZ’z daughter writes about bestiality being a non-crime and now, he’s whining about polygamy.

    Sorry, what is the moral problem with polygamy?

    Did you even read the post? For crying out loud, did you even read the headline?

    The stupid! It burns!

  137. #138 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 13, 2008

    The Aztecs are considering changing Tlaloc’s name to Jehovah and Tonatiuh’s to Jesus.

    :-D

    PZ’z daughter writes about bestiality being a non-crime and now, he’s whining about polygamy.

    Sorry, what is the moral problem with polygamy?

    Did you even read the post? For crying out loud, did you even read the headline?

    The stupid! It burns!

  138. #139 raven
    April 13, 2008

    Joseph Smith:

    By the way, why can’t they find the 16-year-old girl whose supposed husband has never been in Texas.

    Given the way these cults operate she might be kidnapped or imprisoned somewhere. She is more likely to be dead.

    For decades the polygamist sects used to fight wars among themselves and every once in a while someone would get killed. They also have been known to kill cops that get in the way. These are not nice people.

  139. #140 Kseniya
    April 13, 2008

    Dicks!

    Oh please… for the love of all that’s fleshly… not this again…

  140. #141 may
    April 13, 2008

    for every wife after the first bonding another man is denied a partner.

    he is denied a family.

    a polygamous system produces outcast men.

    not good!

  141. #142 RamblinDude
    April 13, 2008

    Sorry, what is the moral problem with polygamy? If there was no religious element tied to it, I doubt he would have posted this one.

    You honestly see no problem with young girls being forced into lives of servitude as sex slaves?
    Really?

  142. #143 Kitty
    April 13, 2008

    Raven,
    Thanks for getting me up to speed on that. This poor old British atheist gets rather befuddled about all these gods and just how they fit into American life!

  143. #144 Mold
    April 13, 2008

    Some posters are mentioning that female humans are mature at 14. I suggest that you contact your local college/university and get some texts on human development. The adult basics are present but are nowhere the adult level. Kind of like high school vs. PhD science. Same course, different maturity required.

  144. #145 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    “But wait, it seemed like you were entirely referring to physical maturity, because your point was with regard to a man finding a girl sexually attractive because she looked mature. That’s based entirely on physical traits, not on him knowing whether she’s started ovulating or not. I thought I followed your argument, but now I’m not so sure I understand what you were getting at.”

    Clearly I’m mucking up my terms here, I apologize. When I referred to sexual and physical maturity, what I meant was the outward-appearing effects of puberty, i.e. the traits men/women are sexually attracted to in others.

  145. #146 Graculus
    April 13, 2008

    Well, on the bright side, if young teens weren’t giving birth in the past many thousands of years to millions of years; we wouldn’t be here.

    Not exactly true. Forager cultures that survived into recorded times had a *minimum* age of marriage/sex as 14… many of them had a somewhat older minimum, and the spouses were the same age. In fact, keeping he population *down* is actually fairly important for forager cultures, with many taboos that prevent over-breeding.

    Polygamy is generally associated with agricultural cultures, not foragers like our ancestors, and even they didn’t marry (in a sexual sense) too young as a rule…dead wives have no economic value.

    It’s also an urban myth that our medieval ancestors married young. Some marriages were arranged at very young ages, amongst the nobility for dynastic reasons, but they weren’t consumated until much later. For the non-nobility the marriage ages were closer to today’s Western marriage ages.

  146. #147 Michael
    April 13, 2008

    I think “fundamentalist” has become a synonym for “misogynistic pedophile”.

    It is kinda similar to the WACO incident in Texas during the 1990s where for the first time the United States used a military style on it’s own civilians which eventually lead to many deaths. Although this current situation didn’t end so violently. But it is a definite pattern in which I agree the label “fundamentalist” to the government becomes a synonym for “pedophile” for the purpose of conducting raids.

  147. #148 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    “Some posters are mentioning that female humans are mature at 14. I suggest that you contact your local college/university and get some texts on human development. The adult basics are present but are nowhere the adult level. Kind of like high school vs. PhD science. Same course, different maturity required.”

    I don’t believe I have seen anyone make such a broad statement as “human females are mature at 14.” I know that I have said a very few 14 year olds are post-pubescent, and therefore to find those few sexually attractive is not pedophilia, but that is about it. Quite different from the blanket statement you used.

  148. #149 Alethea
    April 13, 2008

    @#133: I do see women destroying the beauty of pristine snow banks with their ugly yellow signatures; I’ve done it myself when backcountry skiing.

    You’re saying that female pimps are better than male?

    I’ve scratched a guy’s balls from time to time; more to the point, I’ve also left smelly underwear lying around (briefly) and haven’t noticed that men are ordering me what to think about either public urination or women’s place in the power structure.

    I just don’t get the point of your argument. Misanthropy is ugly whether it is directed against women (misogyny); or against men (misandry).

    And I do very much consider myself a feminist. But I’m also a humanist.

  149. #150 The Wholly None
    April 13, 2008

    I, too, am disappointed that the leaders of the LDS church in Salt Lake City have chosen to withdraw from this unpleasant situation as if it were not of their making. Apparently they do not wish to be thought to be either morally or financially responsible for these fundamental Mormon cultists even though the polygamous cults have been tolerated by them for over a century and even though they must be well aware of the horrible social costs of these practices. This is really their mess and they ought to be in there cleaning it up. The next time Mormon missionaries knock on my door I do believe that I will discuss this situation with them and redirect them to where their energies might be better spent.

    Moreover, I think it might be a good idea for all of us, instead of preaching to the choir here, to make a point to leave polite comments on the websites of the Salt Lake Tribune, the Deseret News, and the SLC TV stations suggesting that nobody is excusing “mainstream Mormons” from their culpability in the growth and perpetuation of these cults. We need to suggest that they get their heads out of the sand (or wherever they might be buried) and make a major effort to re-educate these fundamentalists so as to avoid further egregious abuse of women and children. We need to do this very politely, but very often.

    Somebody should perhaps suggest to Mitt Romney that, if he has any further hopes of a political career, he needs to address this issue and show some leadership here; his religion is going to be tarred with this brush whether he wishes it or not. Promoting a successful Olympics is just great, but here’s a job for a real family man, if he is one. Let’s see if he ducks, or not.

    This no true Mormon falacy is not going to fly with me.

  150. #151 Bride of Shrek
    April 13, 2008

    Holbach

    We’re the hell are you living that people are pissing all over the place? I have seen people taking a slash in public maybe two or three times in my entire life. You on the other hand, seem to be witnessing it all the time.

    Oh, and as a female, can you please just get the fuck over yourself. This stupid little “I’m a terrible male, I need to apologise for all the males in the world and remind myself, and others, daily what horrible things we are” attitude is just fucking PATRONISING to women.Guys like you piss me off, you think if you diss all men you can get all pallsy with the feminists but in reality we’re just thinking you’re a tosser for screwing up the issue. I, and most feminists I know, quite like men.

  151. #152 Bride of Shrek
    April 13, 2008

    That should be “where” not we’re in the first sentence and “as I’m a female” at the start of the second paragraph.

  152. #153 Azkyroth
    April 13, 2008

    I didn’t think much about all this when I initially read the story, but the more I think about it, the more this type of cult looks like a really nasty, self-perpetuating recipe for creating human misery.

    You just defined fundamentalism, if not organized religion itself.

  153. #154 hmc
    April 13, 2008

    At this point I’m fairly certain Holbach is just trolling, I doubt arguing with him will produce any results.

  154. #155 amy
    April 13, 2008

    ‘We should also recognize that in these cults, young boys are driven off because they compete with the older men for the girls.’

    Has anyone called National Geographic yet? Sounds like one of their nature specials.

  155. #156 RamblinDude
    April 13, 2008

    Misanthropy is ugly whether it is directed against women (misogyny); or against men (misandry).

    I’m right there with you.

  156. #157 RamblinDude
    April 13, 2008

    We’re the hell are you living that people are pissing all over the place?

    LOL. I was kind of wondering that myself. I can’t even remember the last time a saw a guy pissing in a public place.

  157. #158 Bride of Shrek
    April 13, 2008

    hmc

    I think you’re right, its not worth arguing against a a troll. I’ve had some brekky and calmed down a bit now. Mr Shrek always says I’m a harpy before I have my first coffee of the morning.

  158. #159 Azkyroth
    April 13, 2008

    Noni:

    I have some experience with lines of argument like this, and yours fits the pattern pretty well. Although the basic description of mammalian biology and its influence on human behavior and sociology seems to be mostly sound, I note that you:

    1) categorically and summarily dismiss the breadth and degree to which “normal” human behavior is learned and therefore subject to environmental influences and even personal choices;
    2) do not even seem to have considered unusual patterns of human behavior at both the social and individual level (do all evo-psych proponents have this blind spot?);
    3) do not address that the prevalence of misogynistic polygamous behavior (let us call it “chattel polygyny”) is, within the developed, almost exclusively restricted to tinfoil hat religious sects;
    4) hopefully aren’t implying what you seem to be about the creative and intellectual potential of women (see parenthetical note on 2);
    5) have failed to address the fact that the most important “discoveries and abilities of great benefit” have been primarily concentrated in cultures that reject polygamy, and are increasingly, albeit often slowly, rejecting misogyny; and
    6) fail to consider or provide any explanation for the fact that the overwhelming majority of Westerners find chattel polygyny appalling and outlaw it.

  159. #160 Carlie
    April 13, 2008

    Sorry, what is the moral problem with polygamy?

    On the off chance that was a real question, the problem is that every time it’s been practiced in a culture, it winds up having the resulting effects of a)boys being treated terribly and often thrown out of the society because there aren’t enough women to go around and they are competition, b)treating women like property and forcing them into marriages at younger and younger ages, and c)in this country, having most of them be on welfare to help support the family since women usually aren’t allowed to work outside the home and one man can’t make enough to support several wives and associated children.

  160. #161 Paul Lundgren
    April 13, 2008

    @ #2…

    Regarding Bill Maher’s rant on the Catholic church last week–I’m not exactly the most calm-cool-collected guy in the room where the Catholic Church is concerned, (see my blog for details) nor am I one to pull punches on its crimes against women, children, and common sense.

    But Maher would do well to intersperse a few citations in his rants. Like, ohIdunno, saying where he gets his claim of thousands of kids all over the world being abused by priests. Let’s go to the videotape:

    What tripped up the little cult on the prairie was that they only abused hundreds of kids, not thousands, all over the world. Cults get raided, religions get parades. How does the Catholic Church get away with all of their buggery? Volume, volume, volume! If you have a few hundred followers, and you let some of them molest children, they call you a cult leader. If have a billion, they call you “Pope.”

    Notice how Maher is using terms like “thousands all over the world,” and “some of them molest children”? You know, Bill, given the fact that there are thousands of comedians like you all over the world, the statistics are that there will be at least one pedophile in the bunch, too. Stop using vague language…there are enough examples and solid statistics out there to support your position. Use them.

    There’s a name for people who use inflammatory language and a lack of cited sources: Bill O’Reilly.

    Oh, and it’s not just Catholics, either. Go to The Stranger‘s blogsite, Slog, and do a search for “Youth Pastor Watch.” (Or follow my links if you’re too lazy). You’ll notice it’s a pattern of kids being abused by authoritarian religious figures who are the keepers of the Law rather than those who view nurturing kids as a (forgive me) sacred calling. In short, when was the last time you heard of a Unitarian minister caught diddling kids?

  161. #162 amk
    April 13, 2008

    Much of the current pro-greenhouse panic is being sold to the public on what are lies of ommission.

    In my experience only politicians neglect to mention other greenhouse gases, and then only when they’re trying to build more airports – the global warming impact of an aircraft is 2.7 times as great as the impact from its emitted CO2 alone, according to IPCC.

    Furthermore, the kinds of governmental “fixes” being proposed by the eco-nuts have an empirical history of causing far more harm to humans than what’s reasonable to expect from global warming.

    George Monbiot (monbiot.com) is one “eco-nut” who has long argued against ethanol and carbon trading. He’s also argued against nuclear, where I strongly disagree with him.

    The “fixes” you discuss come from politicians with lobbies to satiate – Big Oil, farmers etc.

    You want real fixes? Bikes, buses, trams, trains. Efficient cars if you must drive – the German startup Loremo claims it will sell a car able to do 157MPG (UK gallons) this year. Hybrids and electrics can use regenerative breaking. Tough titties on the holiday to Australia.

    Combined heat and power. Nuclear. (Kudos to anyone willing to combine those two) Solar thermal in deserts.
    Nearly 25% of US houses have no insulation(!), so insulate them.

    Shifting taxes onto greenhouse emissions (and off, say, sales tax) will use the free market to drive down emissions, without increasing the tax burden. Existing CO2 sinks need to be protected too.

    There was an IPCC report on solutions. It claimed avoiding a two degree would set world growth back a few months over the next few decades.

  162. #163 amk
    April 13, 2008

    Loremo claims it will sell a car able to do 157MPG (UK gallons) this year.

    I lied. Production to start in 2010.

    That’s over 120MP(US)G btw. Easily above X-prize requirement of 100MPG, although people will have to buy it in order to win the prize. I’d buy one just so I could look disapprovingly at Prius owners.

  163. #164 pcarini
    April 13, 2008

    Michael @ #144:

    It is kinda similar to the WACO incident in Texas during the 1990s where for the first time the United States used a military style on it’s own civilians which eventually lead to many deaths. Although this current situation didn’t end so violently. But it is a definite pattern in which I agree the label “fundamentalist” to the government becomes a synonym for “pedophile” for the purpose of conducting raids.

    Are you implying that the government wasn’t justified in raiding the compound and removing the children to protective custody? I remind you that this sect, by their own admission, required plural marriage of their male members. By all accounts, it also arranged married girls as young as 13 years old to men as old as 50. If this is the case, any sex between the two would qualify as child sexual abuse, a federal crime. Polygamy is also a federal crime. Anyone involved in or enabling one of these crimes is an accomplice to that crime, and anyone planning one is guilty of conspiracy to commit the crime.

    The government has not only the right but the responsibility to move those children to a safe place, i.e. somewhere where child sexual abuse, polygamy, and possibly other felonies isn’t a way of life.

  164. #165 pcarini
    April 13, 2008

    Bah! “arranged married girls” should be “arranged marriages of girls” in my rant above..

  165. #166 Rick Schauer
    April 13, 2008

    Sheesh, it’s good to see no one has any opinions on this. I wonder where all the the sue-crazy, ambulance chasing attorneys are? Hmmm, they seem conspicuous by their absence…why is that? Could it be that it’s like candidate payola and political ward leaders in Philly…yes, corruption runs deep in the ol’ USA, doesn’t it?

  166. #167 aref
    April 13, 2008

    wow, I can’t believe I just read this whole thread (I will not refresh, I will not refresh, I will not refresh).
    Holbach,,, let it go…. we’ll talk you down.
    Likewise whoever’s been in on the sexual vs. physical fisticuffs enough already.

    But… Noni you made it all worthwhile, excellent post thank you.

  167. #168 Azkyroth
    April 13, 2008

    The government has not only the right but the responsibility to move those children to a safe place, i.e. somewhere where child sexual abuse, polygamy, and possibly other felonies isn’t a way of life.

    Pattern-matching from Michael’s statement and other, similar ones…is this the first brush you’ve had with the segment of self-proclaimed “Libertarians” whose primary conviction is to take offense whenever anything is done, especially by the government, that improves the life of someone who’s suffering, pcarini? I envy you. :(

  168. #169 Azkyroth
    April 13, 2008

    Noni: rereading your statement, I apparently missed the last sentence, which somewhat mitigates a few of my criticisms.

  169. #170 Kseniya
    April 13, 2008

    Pattern-matching from Michael’s statement and other, similar ones…

    It’s worth noting that Michael’s sig links to a site that offers this shocking revelation:

    One of the most popular ways to date the earth is radiometric or carbon 14, as it’s commonly known as. Dr. Willard F. Libby invented the carbon 14 method, and developed it in the late 1940s and early 1950s. How reliable is carbon 14 dating? In Dr. Libby’s own book, he states that carbon 14 dating is only accurate to about 4,000 years. After that amount of time, the system becomes unreliable.

    The limitation of carbon 14 hasn’t stopped some scientists from using it to date rocks that encase fossils and many other “ancient” objects.

  170. #171 Sven DiMIlo
    April 13, 2008

    We’re the hell are you living that people are pissing all over the place? … I can’t even remember the last time a saw a guy pissing in a public place.

    Venice, California is recommended for your future public-pissing-viewing safaris.

  171. #172 MAJeff, OM
    April 13, 2008

    OK, missed most of the comments. I’ve been paying attention to this primarily because I’ve been writing about state regulation of family life, and even a bit about the historical suppression of forms of Mormon polygamy….

    A basic outline of my thoughts…A social system that upholds the collecting women as property and forcing them to have sex with you whenever you want, no matter what they want, in order to produce as many other pieces of property–er, children–as possible is a system rotten at its core.

    Maybe it’s just that I’m gay, but I actually like women as people and not objects, but I don’t understand why anyone would want to collect them. (sure, I’m not terribly interested in monogamy, but I’m also not interested in owning or controlling the people with whom I have sex.)

    Social systems that promote the view that women are things to be collected, and not human beings with their own desires and talents, are vile. If your deity commands such a system, it’s a monster not worthy of worship.

    I just don’t understand the pure hatred of women. Just don’t get it.

  172. #173 John Scanlon, FCD
    April 13, 2008

    I thought Noni’s (#122) comments were spot on (as far as they went) and clearly expressed. Azkyroth’s (#156) response contains the admission that this is so (“the basic description of mammalian biology and its influence on human behavior and sociology seems to be mostly sound” – and ‘mostly’ is not qualified by a relevant exception) but otherwise consists of a bunch of complaints that Noni did not address a bunch of other stuff (some of it trivially obvious or irrelevant) interspersed with purely rhetorical and personal attacks. Do allevo-psych opponents argue like this?

  173. #174 xiangtao
    April 13, 2008

    Here’s my take on the official LDS (non)reaction, coming from having grown up surrounded by Mormons, having a brother who is a church member, and having an ex-Mormon wife.

    First, the official church still believes in spiritual polgamy, meaning that in heaven they will be permitted more than one wife. Second, outwardly, church members often viciously villify any of the fringe branches of the church and publicly will denounce them whenever doing so will not put the public spotlight on them.

    I see a tendency in humanity to lash out towards those who have what we wish we could, and towards those who act in a way that we wish we could. This makes me think that at least a large portion of the Mormon population really wish that their faith was that strong that they could shun society in favor of following the original teachings of their infallible prophet.

  174. #175 Napoleon Poundstone
    April 13, 2008

    “The male is an evolutionary aberration.” Ponder it all: Wars, murders, rapes, child molestation(male priests, not female nuns), majority of assaults, pornography, prostitution, most vandalism, urinating in public, fetishism, perversions, exposing themselves in public, spitting all over the place…”

    You obviously haven’t been to China if you think men are the primary “spitters all over the place”…and no one has the lock-up on renting porn–last i heard you could get it for free from your g/f/s stash–that is if you can handle trany porn, and gay guys on film cuz’ they’re so “beautiful to look at…”

    And obviously no one here has studied bonobos– “the only matriarchy amongst the apes”–as they sexually fondle, manipulate, gg rub, etc all of their progeny: kith and kin are not safe from the sexual touching of the bonobo matriarchs…hmmmm..maybe a separatist lesbian enclave from San Fran could show these cultists a thing or two about defeating the patriarchy by becoming the matriarchy…

    MA Jeff says : ” don’t understand why anyone would want to collect them”…well MA Jeff, then maybe you are misogynist in reverse…gay, AND not understanding why anyone would want to collect women: it seems to be (almost) working for Hillary…

  175. #176 Napoleon Poundstone
    April 13, 2008

    Talk about misadrist approaches to social problems: no one even mentioned that the little boys were being indoctrinated to do these things too. It is they who will be most damaged by this–if only because there is no little fiddle chorus out here whining about female complicity in ‘forming’ male sexuality, much less a social network of cry-on-my shoulder federal grant-wagons to hide in for boys who have been so abused.

    It is almost as if society–or that branch of it that this post represents–prefers to voyeuristically canabalize young girls and their sexuality in the disguise of concern for women while scapegoating boys.

  176. #178 MAJeff, OM
    April 13, 2008

    MA Jeff says : ” don’t understand why anyone would want to collect them”…well MA Jeff, then maybe you are misogynist in reverse…gay, AND not understanding why anyone would want to collect women: it seems to be (almost) working for Hillary…

    How much effort does it take to maintain that level of idiocy?

  177. #179 pcarini
    April 13, 2008

    xiangtao @ #171:

    First, the official church still believes in spiritual polgamy, meaning that in heaven they will be permitted more than one wife.

    Hold it.. I grew up LDS, in Utah at that, and nobody mentioned spiritual polygamy. Maybe that’s some sort of super-secret doctrine among the geezers at the top, but if they started spouting that from the pulpit I can guarantee they’d lose members REAL fast. Of course they never did explain, with marriage being eternal and all, what happened if a spouse died and the other remarried. That was one of my beefs w/ the church before becoming a skeptic in general is that no one would discuss that sort of situation, and I always wanted to know about the caveats and edge cases.

    xiangtao:

    This makes me think that at least a large portion of the Mormon population really wish that their faith was that strong that they could shun society in favor of following the original teachings of their infallible prophet.

    Gotta call you on that one also: The original prophet, Joseph Smith, never publicly avowed his own polygamy, and certainly didn’t preach it as a way of life. That didn’t happen until the second prophet, Brigham Young. While I can’t speak for “a large portion of the Mormon population”, none of the Mormons that I know personally (some of my family, several of my coworkers) envy the FLDS in any way. They feel sorry for them in the same way that one side of a religious schism almost always feel sorry for the other.. the believe that the FLDS is misinterpreting “The Truth”. I’ve also never heard claim that Joseph Smith was infallible.. there’d be a lot of trouble trying to back that up, given his history as a con-artist and of failed prophecies. The failed prophecies are an issue, because somewhere in their scripture is a verse saying that a prophet can’t make false prophecy without being a fake.

    Azkyroth @ #165

    Pattern-matching from Michael’s statement and other, similar ones…is this the first brush you’ve had with the segment of self-proclaimed “Libertarians” whose primary conviction is to take offense whenever anything is done, especially by the government, that improves the life of someone who’s suffering, pcarini?

    It’s my first brush will anybody, really, on the Pharyngula board.. but no, I’m used to clashing with Libertarians on this type of issue, just as I clash with Dems and Reps on other issues. Perhaps the reason your pattern match caught me is that I never learn.. that or I suffer from SIWOTI, as PZ once dubbed it; When I see something that’s bat-shit crazy or offensive to me, I still feel the need to post.

  178. #180 Tulse
    April 13, 2008

    Notice how Maher is using terms like “thousands all over the world,” […] Stop using vague language…there are enough examples and solid statistics out there to support your position. Use them.

    The John Jay Report, commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, conducted extensive surveys of Catholic dioceses. The report estimated that there have been incidents of abuse by 4,392 priests in the USA, about 4% of all priests, with the number of victims estimated at over 10,000.

    That is just in the US, not the world.

    Are those the kind of statistics you’re looking for? And are you seriously upset that a comic didn’t properly footnote his monologue?

  179. #181 pcarini
    April 13, 2008

    MaJeff @ #175, directed at Napoleon Poundstone

    How much effort does it take to maintain that level of idiocy?

    How hard to I have to try to convince a pig to roll in shit? Some things, I fear, come as naturally as breathing.

  180. #182 Azkyroth
    April 13, 2008

    [smarmy, disingenuous tripe]

    -Scanlon

    Try having to spend as much time as I have sifting through the “evo-psych” crowd to separate it into the steaming pile of disingenuous but ultimately unapologetic “evolutionary phrenologists” who are nakedly trying to co-opt the vocabulary and kiddy-cartoon versions of evolutionary science to varnish a pseudo-scientific justification over their personal prejudices, from the plurality remainder who merely make reasonable assumptions about the effects of evolutionary presusres on innate drives and impulses, flatly assume that impulse control and other learned behaviors do not exist, and purport to explain all human behavior in a mostly ad-hoc fashion. See if it doesn’t make you a little trigger-happy.

  181. #183 windy
    April 13, 2008

    Venice, California is recommended for your future public-pissing-viewing safaris.

    But if you want to experience an entire subculture centered around it, come to Finland.

  182. #184 Alan Kellogg
    April 13, 2008

    Haven’t read the full thread, it’s simply too involved. So here I present a few thoughts on the topics raised.

    The 16 Year Old Girl: More recently authorities in the state of Arizona have received a complaint regarding the cult’s compound in Arizona. It is now believed that the girl is the same one that filed the Texas report, and that it might actually be a hoax. The legality of the original raid has been called into question.

    Sex and Kids: More complicated a matter than you’d think. Researching material on the subject on the Web alone would surprise most of you, and likely shock and dismay the great majority. This also applies to sex and adolescents and sex in general. We are inculcated with a butt load of assumptions about sex, and when presented with evidence it aint necessarily so we get a tad upset.

    Pedophiles: Narrowly defined, a pedophile is first and foremost a bully. It’s about control, and the pedophile uses sex as a means of control. The pedophile starts from the assumption that having authority over a child means that he, the pedophile, can do whatever he wants with the child. At the extreme end the pedophile has an obsession with dominating and controlling through sex children he encounters at random. It’s a pathology most certainly, and one we could more effectively address.

    And then you have people who respond inappropriately to a child’s behavior. Nine year olds are very affectionate, and love to be close to adults. The great majority of adults stop at hugging and cuddling, with a bit of tickling and rough-housing on the side. A small few go too far.

    So there you have my thoughts on the subjects, with a few suggestions concerning avenues of inquiry. With a warning; you’re going to be surprised and shocked at how people of all ages act when basic human nature is allowed to have its way.

  183. #185 Mel
    April 14, 2008

    hme, I started developing breasts at 10 and menstruated at 12, and believe me, I did not physically look like an adult. I had not stopped growing, and my body had not yet taken on an adult appearance. I’m often still mistaken for a high schooler, although less often a middle schooler, and now I’m 23.

    Puberty is NOT equivalent to physical maturity, and a 12-year-old is still a child, even if she menstruates.

  184. #186 S Colbert
    April 14, 2008

    To HMC @ post #78

    Yes, I have recognized this since my first post and condemned it, my only point was that the basic attraction to a physically mature girl is not pedophilia. As I mentioned previously, I saw little mention of 13 year olds in the article, whether it was by me simply not reading closely enough or the article not mentioning them at all, my post was mostly in reference to the 16 year old girl mentioned.

    Apology accepted. Glad you could finally own up to it.

  185. #187 Azkyroth
    April 14, 2008

    After thinking it over, I feel like I should explicitly apologize to Noni Mausa for reading more into her(?) post than was actually there. So, my apologies; as I alluded to in my response to Scanlon’s sniping, I have a fairly extensive experience with certain obnoxious and ill-reasoned deployments of sociobiological concepts, and hastily mistook your post for another. I will read more carefully in the future.

    As for you, Scanlon, I have two things to say: first, since I’m assuming that you are an evo-psych proponent based on your comment, I invite you, without attempting to excuse my admittedly trigger-happy response to Noni’s comment, to seriously and honestly consider why a reasonable person might have formed such a strong association between the hallmarks of “evo-psych” arguments and self-serving, ill-reasoned, myopic models that are quite revealing of the mindset that produced them but actively detrimental to a broad and objective understanding of human behavior. Second, since my sense of pattern recognition has misled me once tonight already, I will seriously entertain the possibility that, despite the bulk of my experience with those who identify with your implicit postion, you might actually do so.

  186. #188 Kagehi
    April 14, 2008

    5) have failed to address the fact that the most important “discoveries and abilities of great benefit” have been primarily concentrated in cultures that reject polygamy, and are increasingly, albeit often slowly, rejecting misogyny; and
    6) fail to consider or provide any explanation for the fact that the overwhelming majority of Westerners find chattel polygyny appalling and outlaw it.

    Sorry, but I don’t buy it. First off, its dead wrong. It has only been in the last 50-100 years that the puritan ideal of pure monogamy has held true. Prior to that, it was hardly uncommon for men to have mistresses, and for “most” for the 17th-18th century, if you didn’t, there was something wrong with you. Changing this has not been driven by biology, its been driven by religion. Religion which just happens to take the opposite view of those in the LDS.

    As for rejecting it, I think you would be damned surprised how many people *still* involve themselves with polyamorous and swinger style relationships. Heck, even they that claim not to be, teens and even many adults will have multiple people they are dating, even if they don’t necessary sleep with those people, before they finally “stick” with one person. And, most of those relationships don’t last, **especially** among those who took strict views on such dating, and opted to pursue a smaller number of people, and pick their final choice from a much smaller selection.

    No, the only thing that *CAN* be said about monogamy vs. polygamy is that people tend to play lip service to the former before marriage, often do not **functionally** follow it even after married, and its quite a bit more common, either from the beginning, or over the long run, as the relationship they are in becomes too familiar and interest is lost, for *some* sort of poly-something relationship to exist. The only thing that doesn’t, officially, because religions says its wrong, and religion has been the driving force for all such laws from day one, is that you cannot “legally” be polygamous. You can sleep with anyone you want, as many as you want, as often as you want, and probably, as long as you can pay to raise the kids, have as many as you want, *and* do this without much repercussion, as long as all involved are aware of it and willing to do so, you just can’t “marry” any of them, because its the “official” recognition of what you are doing that is forbidden and will get your ass handed to you.

    Most people won’t do it though. There are too many social dangers, too many legal dangers, too many interrelationship issues that can’t be resolved without honesty, etc. And, the entire culture is geared towards exaggerating the first two, while pushing people that try it to be a) dishonest, b) keep it secret from some/all of their other partners, and/or c) pretending that no problems will arise anyway. And, the irony is, the social and legal dangers are “precisely” why the dishonesty and secret are necessary, which leads directly to the relationship issues.

    Trying to claim that abandonment of polygamy is what “helped” produce successful nations is like claiming rice made China smart enough to invent gunpowder first. The claim is *not* supportable by anyone that knows the actually history of relationships, and its just plain dead wrong in many of the cases where such things *did* happen. Rome was “not” a huge bastion of monogamy. Greece wasn’t either. Japan isn’t exactly now, and it was only during Meji’s era, and those surrounding it, when they tried to emulate the prudish US and newly puritan West, that they had much of any sort of restrictions. Prior to that the entire country could have come close to being a whore house, and its almost back that way now. And China… Again, modern China isn’t, but that is due to a mix of population control and westernized ideas. Back when they where the world superpower and everyone else thought saltpeter was just a cooking ingredient, they where almost as open and sexual as the Japanese.

    Fact is, the combination of repressive sexual views, dislike of complex multi-person relationships *AND* the tying to the concept of polygamy to insane religious fanatics, which *oppress* one sex, instead of treating everyone fairly equal, is all *modern*, and it all arises from Christian religious views, which not one single prior great empire, known for *huge* improvements in ideas and technology, ever shared. If anything, one could argue that, in most of history, allowing everyone to sleep with everyone else, across family boundaries, and even in same sex relationships, makes the US and the modern world some sort of huge fluke, or that maybe, if we did it more often, we would have fracking interstellar star travel by now. However, that would be *just* as absurd a claim as suggesting, against all historical evidence, that our progress in the last 200 years is somehow connected to us rejecting polygamous/polyamorous relationships.

  187. #189 Ron Sullivan
    April 14, 2008

    I have the oddest feeling that this discussion would become much more honest if the word “polygamy” weren’t being substituted for “polygyny” what that’s what’s actually being discussed.

    Also: power. Oops. Did the invisible elephant in the bedroom just fart?

    Of course, the LDS church made such great leaps forward when it advocated men’s owning women only one at a time.

  188. #190 MikeM
    April 14, 2008

    What took you so long to comment on this, PZ?

    What I’d like to see is for the Mormon church to condemn this in the strongest possible terms. Call Jeffs’ followers Demented Fuckwits, if that’s what it takes.

    Until they do, I consider them complicit.

  189. #191 PK
    April 14, 2008

    Religious fundamentalism is a symbiotic meme to enable the propagation of the unappealing (see also: the Taliban).

  190. #192 BubbaRich
    April 14, 2008

    pcarini:

    That’s been easily taken care of for at least the last 40 years: Other marriages done after the first are not the typical Mormon “For time and all eternity,” but are just “for time.”

    As I said in another thread, Joseph Smith condemned polygamy fairly strongly in the Book of Mormon, including condemning David and Solomon, and only left a tiny loophole for God to command it occasionally for a short period of time.

    MikeM:

    I consider you complicit, no matter what you say.

    The LDS Church routinely condemns this, including excommunicating any members involved in something like this, and the LDS-dominated state government in Utah has run most of these groups out of Utah to Arizona, Colorado, and Texas. I think you should hold George W Bush responsible, since it’s in Texas.

    There are faults in the LDS church, though by and large they are similar faults to the Baptist churches here around Atlanta. And the LDS Church also has some positive aspects missing from these churches around here. And I’m a real anti-authoritarian who has been in the middle of it for most of the last 40 years.

    You can hold your grudge if they don’t say the right formula for you, but for some reason I don’t think Mitt Romney was counting on your vote anyway.

  191. #193 Rey Fox
    April 14, 2008

    BoS #155: Don’t apologize for that comment, it was great medicine for all who put women on a pedestal.

  192. #194 Rue
    April 14, 2008

    Why are little girls the targets? Look at the bible it is explicit in the view that women are lesser than men and that children are to be unquestioningly obedient(and this may be beaten into them if necessary). Fundamentalists pick up on those messages and interpret their scriptures literally. That puts little girls at the rock bottom of their society. They are the least powerful. Making them easy to abuse and victimize with little risk(within that community) to the men for doing so. Basically these men a sick cowards who pick on the weak, that’s why.

  193. #195 Peter Ashby
    April 14, 2008

    Without wishing to belittle the suffering of the women and girls, is there any study or information on what becomes of the young males kicked out of these sects?

  194. #196 LesserOfTwoWeevils
    April 14, 2008

    Thank you Kagehi! That was beautifully put.

  195. #197 wazza
    April 14, 2008

    Those who demand perfect monogamy tend to be insecure.

    Those who want to be in a sexual relationship with someone who is underage, when they themselves are not, tend to be sick mofos

  196. #198 UnholyGosn
    April 14, 2008

    I did a point by point rebuttal of Holbach’s statments about men, but it felt unnessesary when it was really just repeated mentionings of his use of the Hasty Generalisation logical fallacy. He makes generalisations with no evidence, which unfortunately PZ also makes which dissapointed me. Although what has happened is sad.

    “I think ‘fundamentalist’ has become a synonym for ‘misogynistic pedophile’.”, is a huge over generalisation. Claiming a word has become synnonymous, while providing one example, hardly seems to be “rational” as atheists claim to be. It seems like the tactics the religious groups use against atheists trying to make us all out to be grumpy, or satan worshipers, or evil murderers or the like.

    I think people, especially atheists, need to be more careful about using logical fallacies, that they daily try to catch others using, themselves.

  197. #199 Josh
    April 14, 2008

    Prepare for the backlash on this… Ya know the backlash where these people claim to be good god fearing people who have had their children stolen by the horrible unstoppable heartless government.

    Oh wait it’s starting already…

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080414/D901BAIO0.html

    Let’s hope Texas Child Protective Service really has a good strong unassailable case put together here. I would hate to see CPS curtailed or cutback or disbanded in a state like Texas.

  198. #200 hmc
    April 14, 2008

    “hme, I started developing breasts at 10 and menstruated at 12, and believe me, I did not physically look like an adult. I had not stopped growing, and my body had not yet taken on an adult appearance. I’m often still mistaken for a high schooler, although less often a middle schooler, and now I’m 23.

    Puberty is NOT equivalent to physical maturity, and a 12-year-old is still a child, even if she menstruates.”

    Clearly you are not reading my posts thoroughly enough. Never did I claim that all adolescents going through puberty would have adult physical characteristics, all I said is that post-pubescent (i.e. not adolescents who are clearly not yet fully developed but teens who appear to have gone fully through puberty) teens have the outward-appearance of sexually mature adults and therefore to feel a sexual attraction (nothing more than an attraction, not a relationship, etc.) is not pedophilia.

    “Apology accepted. Glad you could finally own up to it.”

    Well firstly, that was not an apology but a statement, and secondly, even if it had been an apology it was certainly not directed towards you. I was not owning up to anything, just clarifying my point, which people have been making assumptions on as opposed to replying to solely what is in my posts.

  199. #201 Inadot
    April 14, 2008

    While the LDS church set forth a doctrine ending polygamy, it doesn’t actually find anything wrong with it. Any LDS member can correct me if I am wrong, but they claim that their God calls for polygamy at certain times and at other times it isn’t neccesary. So while they currently do not condone the practice of polygamy, they still basically “believe” in it. I am not opposed to allowing consenting adults to do whatever they want, but the goals of polygamy don’t even make sense mathmatically…given it leaves not enough females for males. dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb

  200. #202 Caren
    April 14, 2008

    hmc, you keep quibbling about pedophilia and post-pubescence.

    Puberty doesn’t happen all at once. It’s not an overnight thing. And just b/c a 13 can have a baby doesn’t mean that she’s completed puberty–it’s a big reason why early teen/child pregnancies are so much more dangerous for the mother than for adults (given no prenatal care or medical intervention).

    Just b/c they have a period doesn’t mean they are ovulating consistently. Doesn’t mean they have completed growth or secondary sex characteristics. Doesn’t preclude pedophilia.

    So in the rare case of a 13 y/o who looks 18, I suppose you could say that her sexual slavery wasn’t motivated by pedophilia, just by power. But most of those girls are girls. They aren’t women, and they are incapable of consenting to be married as they are totally dependent on the men they are forced to service.

    It’s child rape. I really wish the media would stop calling it “forced marriage” and call it out for what it is. Rape and rape factories.

  201. #203 hmc
    April 14, 2008

    “hmc, you keep quibbling about pedophilia and post-pubescence.”

    Well yes, if you want to call an argument a quibble, however you could easily trivialize every argument is this thread in such a manner.

    “Puberty doesn’t happen all at once. It’s not an overnight thing. And just b/c a 13 can have a baby doesn’t mean that she’s completed puberty–it’s a big reason why early teen/child pregnancies are so much more dangerous for the mother than for adults (given no prenatal care or medical intervention).”

    Yes, I realize this and it’s really quite seperate from my point.

    “Just b/c they have a period doesn’t mean they are ovulating consistently. Doesn’t mean they have completed growth or secondary sex characteristics. Doesn’t preclude pedophilia.”

    If a teen has all the outward appearances of an adult, than a sexual attraction to them is not pedophilia. I think it’s quite celar from my previous posts that I have been referring to physical characteristics and not the ability for a female to have periods.

    So in the rare case of a 13 y/o who looks 18, I suppose you could say that her sexual slavery wasn’t motivated by pedophilia, just by power. But most of those girls are girls. They aren’t women, and they are incapable of consenting to be married as they are totally dependent on the men they are forced to service.

    It’s child rape. I really wish the media would stop calling it “forced marriage” and call it out for what it is. Rape and rape factories.

  202. #204 hmc
    April 14, 2008

    woops, meant to reply to that last part to, so I’ll do it here.

    “So in the rare case of a 13 y/o who looks 18, I suppose you could say that her sexual slavery wasn’t motivated by pedophilia, just by power. But most of those girls are girls. They aren’t women, and they are incapable of consenting to be married as they are totally dependent on the men they are forced to service.”

    Yes, I recognized ever since my first post that trying to force girls that young into a relationship with someone decades older than them is terrible and revolting, nor did I make any claims as to the motivation of the slavery of these girls. My only point was centered around whether or not sexual attraction to a girl who has the outward appearances of having fully gone throguh puberty is not pedophilia. Really, it was meant to be a small point, but people seem to think that I mean much more than that.

    “It’s child rape. I really wish the media would stop calling it “forced marriage” and call it out for what it is. Rape and rape factories.”

    Agreed. I’m sure, after hearing more about this issue, that most of the girls there were children in every since of the word. However, my initial point has always been regarding the 16 year old featured most prominently in the article, and while her rape is no less disgusting, and it could have been motivated by an eagerness to control someone weaker and younger, it would not neccesarily be pedophilic if she had the outward appearing effects of post-pubescence.

  203. #205 ebohlman
    April 14, 2008

    hmc: the term you’re looking for is “secondary sexual characteristics.” And yes, sexual attraction, by itself, to a person who displays secondary sexual characteristics is not deviant or psychopathological. Every society, of course, recognizes that certain people in certain circumstances are “off limits” in terms of actual sexual contact, but treating those limits as if they apply to attraction as well as behavior is simply a recipe for misery (and it also leads to ineffective treatment for offenders, since the aim of the treatment focuses on eliminating the attraction (an involuntary, and psychologically normal, response) rather than improving self-control (enjoy the scenery, but don’t trample on it)).

  204. #206 MME
    April 14, 2008

    Sorry hmc, but 16-year-old girls typically don’t look like full-grown women, your body usually doesn’t stop changing until you’re about 20. Usually it’s pretty obvious that a teenager is, in fact, a teenager.

    Personally, when I was 16 my boobs were barely big enough for an A-cup, and I had a lot of acne. Not sure why grown men would be attracted even to someone who is “physically mature” or whatever if they have acne, like most teenagers do.

  205. #207 MME
    April 14, 2008

    You know, actually, you can pretty much ignore my previous post if you want, because it just doesn’t matter.

    I don’t know what your point is. Are you just quibbling about the definition of pedophilia? Or are you saying that the behavior of these men is somewhat understandable, perhaps even a little excusable, because the girls may or may not have looked like a full grown woman?

    Because I can assure you, they did not rape these girls because they had the audacity to look older than they were, it’s all about power. Their appearance didn’t somehow inspire lust that just couldn’t be denied.

  206. #208 amk
    April 14, 2008

    Are you just quibbling about the definition of pedophilia?

    I think he is. It’s a highly emotive word though, so I’m not surprised there was a… discussion.

    This is the definition I use:
    “Paedophilia* is sexual attraction to persons who have yet to enter puberty.”

    Dictionary.com refers to “young children”.

    Note that this does not necessarily imply that a paedophile is a child abuser.

    *British English

  207. #209 Nick Gotts
    April 14, 2008

    Re #205

    During a recent moral panic over child sexual abuse in the UK, prompted both by real abuse cases and by stories of “Satanic abuse” from fundamentalist Christians and “recovered memory” believers, not only were several people killed or seriously injured (some of them innocent – one of the inevitable drawbacks of both vigilante justice and capital punishment), but an unfortunate paediatrician (British English again) was pursued by a mob intend on violence and mistaken about the meanings of words. Seriously. We have plenty of idiots here too.

  208. #210 gerald spezio
    April 14, 2008

    PZ, you are too good a man & too important a combatent against cruelty & ignorance to make such a patently false, irresponsible, and unreflective statement as;

    I think “fundamentalist” has become a synonym for “misogynistic pedophile”.

    Your responsibility to the careful presentation of science, scientific objectivity, & the unifying principles of science requires a correction.

  209. #211 Kagehi
    April 14, 2008

    Its called intentional exaggeration to prove a point Gerald. I wouldn’t have necessarily said it, since I think the *correct* sentence would be something like, “I think ‘fundamentalism’ has become a synonym for ‘sick, morally bankrupt, loony’.”, but personally I am not going to quibble over PZ’s decision to emphasize only one subset of the entire barrel of bad apples, when the matter under discussion relates to *that* subset. Complaining that its not accurate is kind of like a mass murderer complaining that you are implying that he is also a rapist, instead of being “nice” about it at just calling them all “killers”. All one can do is shake their head and wonder, “Why the frack does it matter, they still kill their victims.” Want to be more specific about *which* type of authoritarianism they believe, mental/physical abuse they use, or insane ideas they profess, they should do it in court. Besides, while its one specific church doing this stuff, its also more common for uppity religious freaks to have special, “bring your children so we can trade them in a sex orgy”, type parties, and/or, be caught in their daughters bedroom with their pants down, than anyone else either. I would think its kind of up to them to prove that they are not hypocrites that do all of this shit secretly behind closed doors, not ours to give them the benefit of the doubt, when they **constantly** turn out to be the ones caught at it. Don’t you think?

  210. #212 amk
    April 14, 2008

    I’m not sure how many times Bob Altemeyer‘s book The Authoritarians has been mentioned at Pharyngula, but it’s relevant to some of the above discussion. Hypocrisy is common in both authoritarian followers (typically fundies in the US) and authoritarian leaders.

  211. #213 PaulR
    April 14, 2008

    “Apology accepted. Glad you could finally own up to it.”

    Well firstly, that was not an apology but a statement, and secondly, even if it had been an apology it was certainly not directed towards you.

    Um dude? You got trolled. *snicker*

  212. #214 hmc
    April 14, 2008

    MME, it’s pretty clear that you didn’t read my posts thoroughly, otherwise you would have the answers to your questions.

  213. #215 Napoleon Faluti'n
    April 14, 2008

    re:”I really wish the media would stop calling it “forced marriage” and call it out for what it is. Rape and rape factories”

    I imagine that the media will stop calling it that as soon as the foster care system run by single mothers stops perpetuating single-mothers via the indoctrination of lower income males who have the great misfortune of being born into those environments…after all, boys can’t call it rape if they were trained by women from birth to provide sperm for the cause.
    In this case, the media seldom calls lower income baby-daddy the “victims of female boundary invasions from birth’ …

  214. #216 MME
    April 14, 2008

    Well I hardly think that’s clear. What’s clear is that you’re not so skilled at making clear arguments.

    But you are right, actually. Your posts are just dumb and I can hardly tolerate even skimming over them, so I apologize that I haven’t internalized every single point you’ve made.

    So I take it that you are just quibbling, wouldn’t want these rapists to be falsely labeled, huh? In that case, I just don’t understand why you would waste your time arguing about such a dumb thing. Who cares if they were technically pedophiles or not? The issue here isn’t whether these rapists are attracted to children, seriously.

  215. #217 hmc
    April 14, 2008

    “Well I hardly think that’s clear. What’s clear is that you’re not so skilled at making clear arguments.”

    Really, I directly answer your questions in your second post in my first post in the thread, I don’t see what is so ujnclear.

    “But you are right, actually. Your posts are just dumb and I can hardly tolerate even skimming over them, so I apologize that I haven’t internalized every single point you’ve made.”

    Well I’m glad you can resort to name calling and arrogance in order to justify not reading my posts before responding to them.

    “So I take it that you are just quibbling, wouldn’t want these rapists to be falsely labeled, huh?”

    As I’ve said before (and I’ve certainly said that phrase many times before now, hmmm), my original point was a small one which got an undue amount of attention. My first post was meant to be my last, I was agreeing with PZ about the basic revolting nature of the story, I simply didn’t think pedophile was accurate considering the 16 year old girl featured most prominently in the article. Since then I have learned more about this issue and that most girls there were much younger than 16, which means that most men there would indeed have been pedophiles. All this I have mentioned before yet you seem to not have seen that part of my posts. Maybe if you had read more thoroughly, my posts would not seem so dumb to you.

    “In that case, I just don’t understand why you would waste your time arguing about such a dumb thing. Who cares if they were technically pedophiles or not?”

    The argument I’ve been having has been slightly seperate from my original post, really I’ve been arguing about the definition of pedophilia, what constitutes a pedophilic urge, etc. The argument may be useless and stupid to you, but I didn’t know having a rational debate with people was disallowed because some people didn’t like it, excuse my horrendous behavior.

    “The issue here isn’t whether these rapists are attracted to children, seriously.”

    Certainly not, though something in my argument seems to have irritated you, so I suggest if you don’t find reading my posts to be neccesary to skip over them and not waste your time calling the argument stupid, etc.

  216. #218 MME
    April 14, 2008

    Well in all fairness to myself, I read your first post a long time ago, and you have since decided to argue about whether or not 16-year-olds actually look like 16-year-olds. Surely you can see how pointless such an argument is. What irritates me in all of this is that you seem most concerned about what these kids look like! Can you really not understand why I think the argument is dumb when the original post is about the forced marriage and rape of children as young as 13? It just seems, well, disrespectful that this is what you choose to focus on.

    Your within your rights to continue the argument even though it’s off-topic, I suppose, but I think we could use some perspective here.

  217. #219 brightmoon
    April 14, 2008

    i read john krakauers book about that strange polygamous version of mormonism causing a man to murder a woman and child (Under the Banner of Heaven IIRC) and cindy jessups book about living as one of those powerless FLDS women

    scary stuff..im glad Jeffs is in jail and those children were taken away

  218. #220 Longtime Lurker
    April 14, 2008

    The whole Mormon theology, being based on the idea of male Mormons becoming gods in the afterlife, is really a form of neopaganism, “Become your own Zeus!”

    Since these polygamist creeps are not blessed with herculean physiques, or apollonian charm, or the ability to transform themselves into seductive swans, they resort to corralling their female relatives in isolated compounds, and swapping their daughters in order to realize their nasty fantasy.

  219. #221 hmc
    April 14, 2008

    “Well in all fairness to myself, I read your first post a long time ago, and you have since decided to argue about whether or not 16-year-olds actually look like 16-year-olds.”

    Way to grossly simplify my argument.

    “Surely you can see how pointless such an argument is. What irritates me in all of this is that you seem most concerned about what these kids look like!”

    Apparently you’ve missed the many times I’ve vigorously condemned this cult and it’s actions, however my disgust at this story doesn’t mean I can’t voice my opinions if a debate arises about something I said. Whether or not is was pedophilia is not what I care most about concerning this issue, is is simply what intsigated an argument which I participated in so I could clarify my point and opinion.

    “Can you really not understand why I think the argument is dumb when the original post is about the forced marriage and rape of children as young as 13? It just seems, well, disrespectful that this is what you choose to focus on.”

    I have certainly not in any post tried to draw attention to my argument as the most important facet of this issue, it just happens to be what people disagreed with me on, so it is what I debated with them. I don’t see how using an open forum for discussion in this manner is disrespectful, it’s not like my argument prevented others from commenting on different parts of the issue. Indeed, most posts in this thread are not focused on my argument at all, so I don’t see how an aray of posters engaging in different discussions/debates/arguments is disrespectful at all. It seems to me this is why comments are enabled in the first place.

    “Your within your rights to continue the argument even though it’s off-topic, I suppose, but I think we could use some perspective here.”

    Like the perspective I’ve offered in many of my posts, and the perspective offered by the overwhelming majority of the posts in this thread?

  220. #222 MME
    April 14, 2008

    Well alrighty then, carry on with your boring, pointless discussion that doesn’t address any REAL issue. I’ll be on my way now.

  221. #223 Planet Killer
    April 14, 2008

    >I think “fundamentalist” has become a synonym
    >for “misogynistic pedophile”.

    I thought you were supposed to be intelligent.

    Instead you come across as a someone who doesn’t have a
    clue, but sure likes to judge. That is a cult that they were in.

    Wow, it amazes me the crap that gets spewed out by
    this blog. Makes me feel sad that there are people like PZ Myers in the world. Hitler would sure be proud of you PZ.

    It blows my mind that you are a professor teaching this crap to people. People do attack things they do not understand, I get that. I really do, but enough is enough.

    Those people have done nothing to you and you are supposed to take the high ground. I guess that went right out the window along with your sense of morals as well.

    I love how PZ mixes facts with opinions on the same blog. What a hypocrite. This is exactly why I do not respect you at all.

    I just came to this blog to learn something and not really argue or fight. However, the blogger deserves all that he gets.

    Yeah, religious folks are hateful (so people on here say), and then look at your blog. What a huge listing of hate. How can anyone take you seriously?

  222. #224 Rey Fox
    April 14, 2008

    I love how no matter how vile the behavior that is being commented on gets, now matter how horrible the news story is, people still flock here to give PZ shit about his possibly-maybe not laser-focused use of epithets. Oh yes, and being “hateful”.

    Planet Killer, kindly go stick your “love” up your undeservedly self-righteous ass.

  223. #225 Janine, ID
    April 14, 2008

    Hitler would sure be proud of you PZ.

    I love how PZ mixes facts with opinions on the same blog. What a hypocrite.

    Planet Killer, I want you to know this is not PZ talking. Hell, PZ does not need anyone like me to stand up for him. He is capable of standing for himself. But your words insult me and demean me. And I will not let it slide by.

    Fuck you, Planet Killer. Fuck you. Fuck you with a splintering telephone pole. And stick that pole up your ass sideways.

    Nice way to call a person a Nazi. And guess what Shit Killer, a blog is not a classroom.

    Just go away and fuck yourself.

    Pathetic schmuck.

  224. #226 Noni Mausa
    April 15, 2008

    Holy Cow! You turn your back for 24 hours and everybody and his dog checks in on this.

    Azkyroth (any relation to Azathoth and Aziraphale? I’m reminded of Dee’s “Angels in the glass” that he attempts to view: “…all their names began with A.”) Thanks for your thoughtful comments. This topic is a real minefield, but now and then I do get frothingly annoyed by the imbalance of power between our males and females. (Yes, I am really a gal.)

    Truth is, we as a species decide, choose and function at several different levels, most of them irrational and some of them pretty darn savage. As a species we have just barely gotten into the control room and started to ask, “What does this bright red glowing button with “Danger” written on it, do?” So we lurch along, sometimes placid, kindly, thoughtful — and occasionally veering into a degree of viciousness or heedlessness which only a highly intelligent species can manage.

    I am not afraid of the men in my life. But when men in general go off the rails stuff gets broken. With slight psycho-chemical changes women can easily match them, so I am not making angel/devil comparisons.

    The challenge is not to assign blame and exert punishment, whether on “bad” men or “weak” women, or vicey versey. The challenge is to damn well label all the buttons and levers, learn where the hazard lights are, and then put traditions and systems in place which make it EASY, not impossible, to maintain a civil society.

    Noni

  225. #227 Noni Mausa
    April 15, 2008

    Oh, by the way, when I mentioned “discoveries and abilities of great benefit” I was specifically thinking of things that can easily get you killed.

    There are questions like “is there a land beyond this ocean?”, “What does sugar of lead taste like?” and “If I go explain our concerns to the dangerous Allotropians, will they see reason and begin to trade with us instead of tanning my hide?”

    Often, the answers are fatal, even predictable, but sometimes they aren’t. Male humans, much more than females, are daredevils, and that extends the reach of the species.

    Noni

  226. #228 C. L. Hanson
    April 15, 2008

    As abhorrent as the FLDS beliefs and practices are, I agree with those who have called the raid unconstitutional, particularly the participation of another church organization in carrying it out. The Bill of Rights shouldn’t be for everyone except really bad guys, it should apply to everyone, and ignoring it can be counterproductive to seeing justice served. See FLDS Polygamy: Good solutions? Bad solutions?.

  227. #229 pcarini
    April 15, 2008

    Jeezus.. here we go again. C.L. Hanson, what part of child sexual abuse or polygamy don’t you understand?

  228. #230 pcarini
    April 15, 2008

    Guess I’d better clarify that, since in my haste I didn’t make it absolutely clear.

    Those two terms are both federal crimes, for which a perpetrator or accomplice may be arrested. Either of those crimes on an individual level would be warrant enough for removing any children from the environment where they were perpetrated. In this case it wasn’t just an individual committing these acts, it was endemic to the whole community.

  229. #231 John Scanlon, FCD
    April 15, 2008

    Azkyroth #184,
    I hope you’re feeling better now. I wasn’t defending ‘my side’, I just thought you were unfairly attacking a statement on the basis of what you call ‘pattern matching’ rather than what was actually said (and had enough respect to call you on it rather than ignore as I would a troll), and now you apparently agree with me. Implicit apology accepted, no hard feelings.

  230. #232 kotnik
    April 15, 2008

    I don’t know if you saw this news from Yemen, it’s very similar.

    Warning: do not read unless you want to become really mad!

  231. #233 wazza
    April 15, 2008

    *slaps kotnik on back of head*

    Look at the post titled “Not Just The Mormons, Of Course”

  232. #234 kotnik
    April 15, 2008

    @wazza:

    Yeah, just saw it… :)

  233. #235 C. L. Hanson
    April 15, 2008

    Jeezus.. here we go again. C.L. Hanson, what part of child sexual abuse or polygamy don’t you understand?

    Of course! I forgot about that disclaimer on the Bill of Rights where it says “does not apply to people suspected of serious crimes.” Thanks for straightening me out! :D

  234. #236 Clark
    April 15, 2008

    OK, for one, it is not at all clear to me that Texas has abused anyone’s civil rights. It certainly doesn’t look to me like these claims about abuse are being handled differently from abuse claims in general elsewhere. I know there’s a lot of commotion about this but it seems to rest upon a fundamental confusion between search and arrest for criminal behavior versus serving a warrant for family protective services (or whatever it’s called in Texas) So there’s a lot of FUD here.

    Second the leader of the FLDS is in jail for arranging statutory rape and has been charged by several nephews for sodomizing them when they were 5-6. Likewise the FLDS in Texas fled there to avoid prosecution in Utah where the Attorney General was seeking DNA samples to be able to prosecute for statuatory rape. Before they left they destroyed all sorts of birth records. Hmm. Wonder why they’d do that.

    Now I do think there’s a lot of hypocrisy here. The FLDS fled Utah because Texas had a much lower age of statutory rape. Texas changed it only when the FLDS were there. So it’s OK for Baptists, Pentacostals, and others to do this but not FLDS? Yeah. A lot of double standards. Likewise many African immigrants bring polygamy and underage marriage with them with wide systematic abuse that sounds remarkably like what goes on with the FLDS but no one does anything about it. (A prime example of racism by lowered expectations if I’ve ever seen it) Then there’s the issue of fundamentalist Pentacostals, Baptists, Evangelicals and so forth who home school to ‘protect’ their kids from the world in a manner that sounds remarkably like the FLDS do. And, surprise, surprise, this also hides abuse from authorities so it’s hard for authorities to know about it.

    None of this is to excuse the FLDS merely to point out that folks targeting the FLDS and ignoring the same thing elsewhere are amazingly hypocritical. Texas in particular. But I wholeheartedly favor Texas going in. If Texas authorities overstepped their bounds then go after them. But comparing this to Guantamano as some have done is ridiculous.

  235. #237 Napoleon Faludi
    April 15, 2008

    “Jeezus.. here we go again. C.L. Hanson, what part of child sexual abuse or polygamy don’t you understand?”

    Hanson, maybe you should clarify your position a little better….but maybe I can poke at it:

    For those who forget, we once had a s/ths/th called the Constitution which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure, and a few other things like we had the right to counsel( even kids have that right…er, did.)

    So the federal government has been sketching out ways to circumvent that document for several decades(ahem) and one great way to circumvent due process is top claim that children are being harmed or that their is imminent danger ( the terrorist with her finger on the bomb scenario).

    So they tried this little thing called Waco, where they couldn’t get the cult leader for anything substantive, so they manufactured a false sexual abuse claim. When they got their to Waco Texas, they found that their was no actual evidence of child abuse as defined by law, so they just burned the evidence that there was no evidence.

    Unfortunately, some of that evidence was the children themselves…

    This is just another scenario of the same type, and another opportunity for solid, all american leftist *social-worksters* to get to talk to little kids and use the words “penis and vagina, and buttocks,” just to see how those little kids react ( a favorite past time of the left)

    But who needs a Constitution anyways? After all, it’s “for the children”

  236. #238 Brian Macker
    April 15, 2008

    Reams of garbage from Gotts in #117. OT but neither barefaced lies nor (and I think this more probable) the desperate attempts of a dangerous fanatic to persuade himself reality hasn’t shot his hobbyhorse from under him, cannot go unchallenged, though I don’t have the time or patience to deal with every falsehood Mr. Gotts has included.

    “It is however not the only greenhouse gas as has been sold to the public.”

    “You will find considerable discussion of other greenhouse gases, exact accounts of how much CO2 levels in the atmosphere have increased, and explicit denials that Earth could suffer the kind of runaway greenhouse effect Venus has. The same, of course, is true of the IPCC reports.”

    Is the IPCC report where it is “sold to the public” or is that in newspaper articles, news reports, movies, Al Gore documentaries, and the like.

    Are you so ignorant as to believe that “the public” reads the IPCC report? Of course not. That’s the fine print.

    Furthermore, the only reason they are now addressing this stuff more publicly is because of the critics. Earlier in the process there was even less public disclosure. Hell the data behind the Mann Hockey Stick report wasn’t even available to the “peers” in the “peer review”. They didn’t even look at it. Nor did he present them with his algorithm.

    You are aware of the old trick where the first boy says “I didn’t take it” and the second says “I don’t have it”. That’s based on a lie of ommission in both cases. The first “has it” and the second “took it”. Well in the case of the scientists when a reporter or politician diseminates information based on his report but claims that based on the report “the sky is falling” then the scientist is lying by ommission in not correcting it. Especially when the public report is based on and interview or directly on his report.

    So if Al Gore says something patently absurd and alarmist based on climate research then the scientists need to get out there and say “That’s not what I meant. No, there is not a great danger we are going to get a runaway greenhouse effect”.

    When the draw a chart like the hockey stick one that is designed to misinform well that’s lying by ommission. It uses quite a few deceptive strategies. It charts different data along the same line without labeling this fact via color. It manipulates the data to minimize prior warm periods. It chops the timeline down to avoid showing natural climate fluctuation. Etc. In fact the methods used to generate the graph will produce shocking results with what is basically white noise as source data.

    You and the other guy who responded basically list a whole bunch of straw man arguments yourselves. The serious critics don’t even make the claims you object to. The one link provided on the hockey stick didn’t even address the many serious concerns.

    There has been serious mistakes and violations of scientific protocols made by climatologists in their rush to stur up a panic. Especially by Mann.

    At least they are balanced in the other direction by some who are more reasonable like “John Coleman”

  237. #239 pcarini
    April 15, 2008

    @C.L. Hanson

    Of course! I forgot about that disclaimer on the Bill of Rights where it says “does not apply to people suspected of serious crimes.” Thanks for straightening me out! :D

    You apparently also forgot the word “unreasonable” in the term “unreasonable searches and seizures”.

    I’ll trust the judge’s determination on that more than yours. It’s not unreasonable to expect that the judge has spent more time studying the fourth amendment and the relevant case law than you have.

    My own admittedly uninformed interpretation is that when a party openly admits to commission of a federal crime (polygamy), and there is ample witness to another (child sexual abuse) there is a pretty reasonable case for government interference. The above two crimes, along with the allegation of endemic child abuse, provide ample justification for placing the children in protective custody until this can get sorted out in the courtroom.

  238. #240 Nick Gotts
    April 16, 2008

    When the draw a chart like the hockey stick one that is designed to misinform well that’s lying by ommission. It uses quite a few deceptive strategies. It charts different data along the same line without labeling this fact via color. It manipulates the data to minimize prior warm periods. It chops the timeline down to avoid showing natural climate fluctuation. Etc. In fact the methods used to generate the graph will produce shocking results with what is basically white noise as source data. – Brian Macker

    Macker’s lies and distortions are comprehensively dealt with on http://www.realclimate.org.index.php/archives/2005/02/dummies-guide-to-the-latest-hockey-stick-controversy/

  239. #241 Kagehi
    April 17, 2008

    Snort.. Want to talk about natural climate fluctuation? Its now presumed, based on reasonable evidence, than ice ages *can be* started by breaking the pattern of ocean currents. The easiest way to do that is by dumping huge amounts of cold water into the north, preventing the shifting of warm southern waters into the northern climates, and the cycling of colder waters south. Mind you, I can’t imagine where we would get huge amounts of “cold” water dumped into the ocean in the north, unless the ice caps where melting, or something… lol

    Look, the issue here is that its a damn complex mess, and the only thing we are relatively sure of is that, even if some shifts may happen naturally, only an idiot dumps gasoline of a fracking forest fire, or dumps increasing amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere **if** their is already a shift towards warmer climate happening. It doesn’t matter one bit if 90% of it is natural, if the 10% that isn’t makes things *worse*. Why some people can’t comprehend this basic reality is beyond me…

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