Essay on Freedom Of Religion : Child Marriages

Essay on Freedom Of Religion : Child Marriages

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Freedom of Religion: Child Marriages

Freedom of religion is the ability to manifest religion in teachings, practice, or worship, whether it is in public or private. The first amendment has always been an issue worth discussing, it stirs up many questions including, should religious practices be allowed in school? Or can rosaries be worn without having to be hidden during school time? Of course, there are more intense questions that follow. Should religious cults, such as Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints, be allowed to arrange marriages between older men and young girls for the sake of their religious beliefs? Most Americans would agree that underage marriages should not be practiced even in a religious practice.
Underage marriages are marriage unions engaged in by individuals under the age of 18. Although there are laws to protect the minor from sexual exploitation, and child trafficking, there are special situations in where underage marriage is allowed without parental consent due to teen pregnancy. Another reason for underage marriage is the practice of religious beliefs.
Warren Jeffs was the leader of a Mormon group called Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in Eldorado, Texas on Zion Ranch, where he performed more than 500 polygamist marriages, as well as 67 other sect marriages involving underage girls. He, himself, had 80 wives and 24 were under the age of 17. (Weissert, 2011)
Most people would agree an underage marriage is wrong, but there are some who would claim it is normal due to religious views. To people in the United States underage marriage is completely against our code of ethics but to natives in Africa marrying a child at the age of 13 is normal. They are raised to believe that child br...


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...out for the children’s best interest. Marrying off young girls to older men is part of many religious practices but the negative effects outweigh the positive effects even with their religious beliefs included. The young girls have no chance to live their lives, or go out and experience the real world. They are also emotionally, physically, and psychologically scarred. After going through all the turmoil of being abused at such a young age, it is hard to turn their whole situation around and live a good life even after they have escaped their terrifying fate of child marriage. Many times there is no hope to prevent the child marriages to be prevented, but there is hope for them if more laws against child marriages is enforced throughout the United States and even in private compounds such as Zion Ranch. Religious cults should not be allowed to have underage marriages.

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