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Saints Under SiegeThe Texas State Raid on the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints$
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Stuart A. Wright and James T. Richardson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814795286

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814795286.001.0001

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Political and Legislative Context of the FLDS Raid in Texas

Political and Legislative Context of the FLDS Raid in Texas

(p.221) 9 Political and Legislative Context of the FLDS Raid in Texas
Saints Under Siege

James T. Richardson

Tamatha L. Schreinert

NYU Press

This chapter examines the political and legislative efforts leading up to the Texas state raid on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints (FLDS) at the Yearning for Zion Ranch. It begins by discussing some important developments by Texas politicians as well as issues concerning the FLDS before analyzing the actions taken both before and after the raid within a broader context of efforts to deal with concerns about children within communal religious groups. In particular, it looks at two major provisions amended into the omnibus bill for Texas's Child Protective Services (CPS) agency. It then uses a sociology of law approach to explain how the concern over child welfare has been used as justification for social control efforts exerted by the state against communal religious groups. It argues that the Texas raid must be viewed within the context of considerable concern about new religious movements or “cults” in American society and elsewhere.

Keywords:   state raid, Texas, Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, Yearning for Zion Ranch, communal religious groups, sociology of law, child welfare, social control, new religious movements, cults

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