My daughter, last night: "So LSD is a drug, but LDS is a church? They sound very similar." As a reader of Ms. and New Moon, she was interested in the Eldorado, Texas, story in the news, but I first had to explain Mormonism and the difference between mainstream and fundamentalist sects and told her who that we know is Mormon or jack Mormon. Of course all distinctions got lost somewhere when we ran across instructions for sugar cube temples (see instructions: tinfoil optional, http://lds.about.com/od/crafts/a/craft_sc_temple.htm) on About's webpage. My question: what do Mormons use sugar cubes for? Clandestine coffee?? Don't they know these things were designed for devilish pursuits?
Just before the FLDS (FLSD?) story broke, my son decided for no reason other than that he liked the sound of the name and that it was close to but not the same as the state my daughter chose two years ago that he wants to do his major state project on Utah. I cannot be as objective about this as I should. If only he could just report extensively on the Rockies or other natural features or the Olympics and I didn't have to explain Temple Square, handcarts, and massacres by the Mormons. I can't even eat my mother-in-law's funeral potatoes (always for a holiday) because I just can't stomach the concept. My son's too young to know about blood atonement, molesting kids under rain ponchos, or the vows and gestures about slitting your throat and disemboweling yourself (all mainstream LDS), but my daughter's mature enough and now been warned (I stated everything more gently than I do here).
I favor freedom of religious expression when it doesn't harm others, which excludes most religious practices. The FLDS groups are indeed harming women, girls, and boys. And with the excommunications and level of social control and patriarchy practiced by the mainstream church, is it really freedom?