Photo of the Day

The scene at Lee’s execution by Utah firing squad on March 23, 1877. Lee is seated, next to his coffin.

Mountain Meadows Massacre

A series of attacks was staged on the Baker-Fancher wagon train around Mountain Meadows in Utah. This massive slaughter claimed nearly everyone in the party from Arkansas and is the event referred to as the Mountain Meadows Massacre. They were headed toward California and their path took them through the territory of Utah.

The wagon train made it through Utah during a period in time of violence history would later call the Utah War to rest in the area of Mountain meadows. It was leaders from the nearby militia called Nauvoo Legion that staged the attack on the train of pioneers. This militia was comprised of the Mormons that settled Utah. With the intent of pointing the finger at Native Americans, they armed Southern Paiute Native Americans and coerced them to join their party in the attack.

The massacre almost brought the United States to war against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but only one man was brought to trial: John D Lee. Lee had 19 wives and 56 children, and his descendants are now numerous.

Called “the darkest deed of the nineteenth century,” the brutal 1857 murder of 120 men, women, and children at a place in southern Utah called Mountain Meadows remains one of the most controversial events in the history of the American West.

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Anyone silly enough to want more than one mother in law deserves them


Polygamy may well be part of the slippery slope that comes from legalising gay marriage…but my view remains that anyone silly enough to want more than one mother in laws deserves them.

The New York Times looks at polygamy and reality TV.

Kody Brown, his four wives and 17 children want to be the new face of polygamy, what some consider the next frontier after same-sex marriage.

That is why, the Browns say, they invited TLC television cameras into their homes for their reality show “Sister Wives,” why they have written a best-selling book about their lives, and why they challenged Utah’s polygamy ban in federal court.

Fear of prosecution under that law led them to flee to Nevada. Last month, a federal judge partly overturned the ban, ruling that prohibiting “cohabitation” violates the First Amendment guarantee of free exercise of religion.  Read more »


Coroner Gordon Matenga must resign

Steve Gray reports

The coroner who declined a full inquest into the suicide of a gay soldier is a Mormon church elder who attacked same-sex marriage in a submission to Parliament, saying it was an unnecessary “social experiment”. Gordon Matenga put the submission before MPs just three months before declining to open an inquest into the death of Corporal Douglas Hughes, 26, who took his own life in Afghanistan. His submission brought a carefully worded rebuke from Attorney-General Chris Finlayson on the involvement of the judiciary in political issues. Mr Finlayson said judges and coroners could make submissions “in appropriate circumstances” on well-established technical legal issues. Mr Matenga’s refusal of the inquest – made public last Friday – also came with a broader order suppressing all details relating to the corporal’s death including the Defence Force court of inquiry report. The Defence Force has now refused to comment on any of the details of the case, saying Mr Matenga’s suppression order means it is bound to silence.

So it turns out that Coroner Gordon Matenga is far from a neutral party in this matter.  He  made a written submission to the Select Committee on the Marriage Amendment Bill   Read more »

Mormons on same sex relationships

Maybe Mormons aren’t so fundy after all:

Church apostle Elder Quentin L. Cook stresses that Latter-day Saints, who devote their lives to following Jesus Christ’s teachings, should be an example to the world of expressing love and hope for those with same-gender attraction.

“As a church, nobody should be more loving and compassionate,” Elder Cook said. “Let us be at the forefront in terms of expressing love, compassion and outreach. Let’s not have families exclude or be disrespectful of those who choose a different lifestyle as a result of their feelings about their own gender.”

Does Mitt Romney Believe in Multiple Mothers In Law?

Mitt Romney opposes marriage equality and refuses to let same sex couples have mothers in law, but his grandfather had multiple mothers in law:

It would be hard to think of two politicians more different than Dukakis and Romney. Dukakis is a short, unassuming (for a pol) ethnic American. Romney is a tall, self-confident dynastic WASP (or at least WASM), one of whose campaign flubs was to claim his father was an immigrant from Mexico. (George Romney was born in Mexico because his family had fled there to practice polygamy unmolested by big government and burdensome regulations.)

Is Rick Right? Ctd

Rick Santorum has lots of views, some controversial others not so much. We have been looking at these over the past few days.

On reminding America that some view Mormonism as “a dangerous cult”. This is of course a direct attack on Mitt Romney who is a Mormon.

“Would the potential attraction to Mormonism by simply having a Mormon in the White House threaten traditional Christianity by leading more Americans to a church that some Christians believe misleadingly calls itself Christian, is an active missionary church, and a dangerous cult?” (Santorum’s Philadelphia Inquirer column, Dec. 20, 2007)

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