Saturday, March 04, 2006
Friday, March 03, 2006
The program spotlighted a polygamous sect that controls a city in Arizona called "Colorado City." The show was following up on a woman, Lauren Jessops, who escaped from the community over the summer. Despite warnings that her husband may take her to the desert and kill her upon returning, she returned anyway.
Colorado City is run by a prophet, Warren Jeffs, who is currently in hiding. Jeffs founded the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints. Jeffs' prophecy calls for a violent destruction and end to non-believers. Followers of Jeffs believe he is indeed a prophet and obey orders from him. Local police enforce the "rules" of the sect, which is how Lauren wound up in an institution, for disobeying her husband.
The culture is male-dominated, oppressive and in my view, just plain sick. Incest, child molestation, and domestic abuse run rampant. The women and children have no outlet or legal way out of the situation. An activist named Flora (who herself escaped from polygamy) works in secret with young women who wish to escape with their children. Flora is the woman who helped Lauren escape. Despite the harsh reality of these women's lives, a large number worship Warren Jeffs and embrace their way of life.
I was sickened and shocked while watching this program. I strongly feel that the women in this culture are victims of human rights violations. It is scary how religion can have such dominating and in some cases, life-threatening control over people. I really encourage you to read the story...
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
However, Judge Federico Moreno said his ruling would have no effect on the so-called "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy.
Under this rule, Cubans stopped at sea are usually sent back home, while those who reach dry land are allowed to stay.
In this case, the group was deported because the damaged bridge was no longer attached to land.
The Coast Guard had argued that the broken bridge did not count as US soil and therefore the Cubans could not seek residency.
Judge Moreno, who was asked to rule on whether the bridge was US territory, found the Cubans had been removed illegally in January.
But he insisted his ruling was limited to this particular case.
It is not known whether President Fidel Castro will allow the group to leave Cuba.
The deportation in January infuriated the politically influential Cuban-American community in Florida.
They wanted the court to define US soil as anywhere within US territorial waters.
Exile groups believe Cubans trying to reach the US should be allowed to stay because, they say, they are fleeing an oppressive government.
Last month, Florida Senator Mel Martinez, a Republican, called for an overhaul of the "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy, which he described as "a complete and utter failure".
Correspondents say the policy has become more stringent in recent years. The number of Cuban boat-people has been rising recently, with nearly 3,000 intercepted in the last fiscal year.
Some community leaders have warned that the latest deportations could affect backing for the Republican Party among Cuban-Americans, traditionally staunch supporters.
Published: 2006/03/01 12:53:29 GMT
© BBC MMVI