Wednesday, August 10, 2011
A couple of Sundays ago the Hebrew Scripture reading was the story of Jacob working for seven years to win the hand of his beloved Rachel, only to discover that he had been tricked into marrying her sister Leah. Divorce? Law suit? Nope. Jacob calmly works for another seven years for his father-in-law and eventually marries Rachel.
I chickened out and preached on the gospel passage. I admitted to the congregation that I didn't have it in me to say anything positive about polygamy, especially if I planned on going home for lunch. Polygamy was common in ancient biblical times but largely gone by Jesus' day. In some cultures it is still acceptable but it is has been illegal in Canada and the United States since the 19th century.
What are the odds that a polygamist would be in the news this week? You may recall me writing about the despicable Warren Jeffs, a paedophile masquerading as a religious leader. His breakaway Mormon sect has encouraged multiple marriage and in most of these communities it is a select and powerful group of dirty old men who prey upon girls barely into teenhood. Often young men have no opportunity for anything like a normal marriage and are regularly tossed out of these communities.
If you think my assessment is harsh, a US judge agrees with me. Jeffs has been convicted of aggravated sexual assault and yesterday was sentenced to life. If there is justice in this world Jeffs will die in prison.
This abuse of girls and young women also exists here in Canada, in Bountiful BC. I hope this conviction gives the waffling authorities in British Columbia the courage to act on behalf of the young women who are treated like chattel in Bountiful.
Have you followed this story? Should BC take action in Bountiful?