Polygamous Mormons Lose Round in Food Stamp Fraud Case
A federal judge has ruled that there’s likely no “religious freedom” right to defraud a federal program designed to help low-income families avoid hunger.
Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Yet people are making some very strange arguments about religious freedom these days, so it’s always good to see a court slap one down.
This case centers on a group of polygamous Mormons who live on the Utah-Arizona border. Many people who reside in the towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., are members of a sect run by Warren Jeffs, a fundamentalist Mormon who’s currently in prison in Texas.
Jeffs’ followers in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) tend to have large families that they can’t support. Thus, they apply for aid under the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) – also known as “food stamps.”