LA Times article contrasts the actions of Texas against the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which was in the state for only a short time, with the century of apathy shown by Arizona and Utah.
Utah and Arizona officials have long argued that polygamists are too entrenched in their states to simply stamp them out. In Utah, Atty. Gen. Mark Shurtleff’s office has prosecuted polygamists for child abuse. But it has never contemplated a full-scale raid like the one in Texas, spokesman Paul Murphy said.
“Our approach has been, if there is child abuse in one family, we will deal with that family,” Murphy said.
The office is trying to build trust in polygamist communities to report crimes such as underage marriage, Murphy added, but the Texas raids have sowed panic even in groups that practice polygamy only among consenting adults. …
The only FLDS event that compares to the Texas action is the dramatic 1953 raid by Arizona state police and the U.S. National Guard on the community of Short Creek. Authorities took about 400 residents — the entire FLDS population at the time — into custody and hauled away 236 children.
Emotional accounts of Short Creek children weeping while government agents stripped them from their mothers generated a backlash, and Arizona Gov. John Howard Pyle lost his job the next year, a lesson that influenced future Utah and Arizona politicians.
In Texas, however, the only criticism of the raid so far seems to be that it took too long to happen.
The question nobody is asking: does the fact that there are more Mormons in Arizona and Utah make a difference? Are non-polygamous Mormons in law enforcement going to look more kindly upon their “separated brethren” who practice the original teachings of the faith?