Bigamy, Big Boys

Letters from the week of April 17, 2003

I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do

Fear and loathing in Colorado City: I've read with interest the stories about life and corruption in Colorado City, Arizona ("Bound by Fear," John Dougherty, March 13; "The Wages of Sin," John Dougherty, April 10). I think it's interesting that I could be arrested for giving my daughters to an older man, yet these pedophiles in CC go on in their sickness unabated by state law.

How rampant are STDs in that community? And the school district? Talk about dictatorial rule! Why do they get to spend school dollars so recklessly without consequence if my local schools don't? Where's the law? Or rather, why is the Arizona version of Saddam Hussein's Iraq allowed to flourish without challenge, yet we have put a stop to the suffering of women and girls in a foreign country?

Governor Janet Napolitano, with all due respect, I respectfully request to be allowed to break laws at random without consequence like the pedophilia looters you are continuing to ignore in Colorado City.

Pawnee Carter
Mesa

Righteous bothers: Thank you so much for researching and exposing the injustices and brainwashing capabilities of this religion. I am infuriated that we are cutting teachers paychecks while supporting this cult which has so many similarities to the regime that we are trying to flush out of Iraq. How can our Mormon legislators with their so-called righteous values ignore the unlawful and immoral practices in Colorado City while trying to balance the state budget on the backs of our children both in education and in family support services? I for one am tired of tiptoeing around the facts which clearly point to Mormons helping Mormons. Labeled fundamentalist or not, the foundation of their beliefs is the same as is their main objective in life: The more Mormons on Earth, the better.

Name withheld by request

When in Rome...: I am dismayed by your article "Fornicating for God" (John Dougherty, March 20). I am not a Mormon of any variety, not a member of a polygamist sect, but as a firm believer in freedom and the U.S. Constitution, I strongly support the right of anyone to engage in alternate lifestyles and sexual practices, religious-based or not.

Many actions are illegal because a religious majority thought them immoral and got a law passed. Some of these are simply ignored as archaic and unenforceable, but others continue to be used by the intolerant to persecute those whose pursuit of happiness is different from their own.

The past persecution of the Mormons, at the time when all of them were polygamists, is a shameful incident in American history, as was our mistreatment of blacks and Native Americans in other ways. Any practice of intolerance, whether based on race, religion or other xenophobia, should be renounced and explicitly banned by legislation.

In this case, it appears that the motive for persecution is envy. There is no excuse for the state to poke its nose into the bedrooms of its citizens, nor to control what goes on there.

Laws regarding sexual behavior should be intended to apply only when someone is actually harmed. If the laws on bigamy and age of consent are being misused by sexual bigots against those having a consensual polygamist lifestyle, then it is time they were amended or rewritten.

Certainly if anyone wants out of a relationship and/or alleges a crime was committed, then the state should help the victim and investigate the crime, as it normally should. But it seems the majority of the polygamists are happier and more peaceful than their mainstream counterparts, when they are left alone. We should let them be.

Michael Walker
Glendale

If It's Broke, Fix It

Fear factor: I am an interested reader of New Times and I must say that your article about the Adobe Mountain suicide concerned me, yet at the same time, did not surprise me ("Suicide Watch," Amy Silverman, April 3). A moment of clarity arose when I read that some of the responses to your questions were from anonymous parties not wanting to be identified with ADJC and/or ADOC.

Has anyone ever stopped to wonder why? Could it be that an intimidation factor exists, coupled with retaliation and harassment for those who seep information or make waves when standing up for what is legal, right and just? Possibly one reason that the turnover rate is so high is that people get a quick glimpse of the chaos that exists within this state-run department and hightail it the hell out of there. That or oftentimes they are accused, subjected to dirty trick investigations and lastly overwhelmed in not knowing how to play with the political big boys.

A complete overhaul appears to be in order now that Governor Napolitano is in town. I say give her a chance to fix what is broken. At the same time, unless she walks through the facilities and gets firsthand knowledge from the people who work in the trenches (officers), she will not get the truth from the upper administration. It's only a suggestion, but my fellow officers would love to see the governor weed out all the administrators across this state who don't play well with others. Start fresh from the top, acting director on down, and rid the positions that have no clue as to the changing face of the department.

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