The handling of what's happening at the FLDS compound in Texas may seem a bit clumsy and the implications of the actions will be a legal quagmire but the time has come to put a stop to the activities of this cult.
I was thinking about a comment by a local blogger wondering about the hairstyles of the FLDS women. What would possess them to wear their hair in such a manner? Actually, what else can you do with it if you aren't permitted to cut it? To keep it tidy you braid it.
It's symbolic of a lot more, however. The hairstyles combined with the manner of dress is the stripping of the women's individual identity. They are no more than possessions of the men. Sure they worry about and miss their children. That's a "female thing". Nurturing your offspring. Yet I wonder how many of those women know who actually fathered any of their children. Even their comments of concern seemed rote, rehearsed. One could imagine one of the men standing out of camera range making sure they didn't stray from the script. It makes me queasy thinking about the life they lead.
We have always had segregated communities in this country. There are the nations within a nation of the American Indians. The Hispanic barrios; ghettos of all races and religions. How many cities have a "Little Italy" or a "China Town". "Little Havana" in Florida. They are all over. Places where people of the same race/religion come together because of their commonality.
FLDS and organizations like it are far worse. Anyone can visit China Town or Little Italy and leave again, as can those who reside within those areas. FLDS walls itself off. No one can enter or leave at will.
The worry comes as the community grows and the culture becomes embedded with each new generation that knows nothing else. Back when the Mormons had rag tag communities around the country and found themselves unpopular because of their beliefs they banded together and migrated to what is now Utah. Though the religion has changed considerably from that time many of their practices which seem out of step with our society as a whole remain a dominate part of the state today.
I would guess few have a problem with like minded people banding together because of race or religion, as long as they behave within the laws of the state and nation. Hiding behind fences and walls makes them suspect. Forbidding freedom of movement and of choice is pushing the envelope. Denying the female population the right to live life as human beings rather than as slaves to a self-proclaimed prophet and his like minded followers is a breech of human rights and dignity so egregious it's hard to believe it actually exists in this country.
If this is not brought to a halt now, if these cults are permitted to grown in numbers and power the next question asked won't be about hairstyles. Hair will be covered in something akin to a burka.