May 22nd, 2008
09:34 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 5/22/08

Another pastor and another political problem. When evangelical minister John Hagee endorsed Sen. John McCain it was no secret that was Hagee is controversial. He's called the Catholic Church "the great whore" and a "cult." But today, after a recording of Hagee saying Hitler had been fulfilling God's will surfaced McCain rejected Hagee's endorsement. What impact will this have on his campaign? We've got the raw politics.

Also tonight, a huge victory for the parents of Warren Jeffs' polygamist sect. A Texas appeals court said there wasn't enough evidence to support the initial claim of abuse and the state should never have taken children from the ranch. So what happens to them now?

CNN Sr. Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin has been following this story from the beginning and he blogged about the ruling. Jeffrey will be on the program tonight along with Rod Parker who is an attorney for the FLDS church. David Mattingly interviewed a young woman who gave birth while in custody of the state and Anderson will interview a former FLDS member who lived through the 1953 raid.

Please check out a post that may be helpful if you wonder why some comments get posted while others do not.

Anderson is anchoring the show from DC tonight but you can catch a glimpse of Erica on the studio web camera. We'll turn the camera on at 945p ET and turn it off at 11p ET.

We'll start posting comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (229 Responses)
  1. DeniseGA

    @ EJ

    ROFL! I thought they had no TV's

    May 22, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  2. CaseyJPS - California

    WOW! So it's completely ethical to lie to protect the sect, and we know it for a fact (relative to Mary Mackert's interview).

    May 22, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  3. Kimether - Atlanta, GA

    Smart, Kim! You are absolutely right! Since the marriages are not legal there is no case for polygamy. That is almost comical.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  4. Kim

    Genevieve, thanks for the info, but can they actually make the mothers prove they're who they say they are?

    Maybe Jeffrey Toobin can tell us, if they have legal leverage to do this.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  5. Angel

    @ DeniseGA

    It is against the law!

    Can anyone axplain why religios groupg like the FLDS get a pass on this national law? Individuals that practice polygamy do not have this protection.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  6. deborah,OH

    It's good to listen to Candy Crowley. She puts common sense on the table.

    I still think the FLDS children are in some sort of danger. If the 'elders' can manipulate the media, what can & have they done to the children?

    May 22, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  7. DeniseGA


    I agree, but who would pay for it. DNA testing is very expensive and Mitochondrial DNA testing, I would think, is even more expensive, since it is more detailed.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:51 pm |
  8. Chuck in Alabama

    These girls are told from a very young age that having children and being a dutiful mate to a man is their only purpose for being here.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:51 pm |
  9. CaseyJPS - California

    Mike Syracuse>You are right about the birth ceritifcates. So, why are the certificates so important? They are clearly suspect.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:51 pm |
  10. Carmen, Marina, CA

    It is hard to believe the state of Texas was so remiss in its case against the FLDS in El Dorado. I bet the truth of the matter lies somewhere between what the FLDS folks say and what Texas says. Nothing is ever black and white.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:50 pm |
  11. Sara.RO

    Any kid has the right to be with his natural mother first of all,and it's a good decision, but how long there was only one Jesus why have to be more churches?!

    May 22, 2008 at 10:50 pm |
  12. Megan Dresslar

    Yes, that is one..... Erica.... Thanks....

    May 22, 2008 at 10:50 pm |
  13. EJ

    I agree with Casey & Jolene about the FLDS. They are using the media now to get what they want. Not quite as backward & isolated as they wanted us to believe at the beginning. So, what else are they hiding?

    I bet they even know who won American Idol.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  14. Antoine

    poor girl

    May 22, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  15. Kim

    Denise, these are not legal marriages but so-called spiritual ones, so there is no legal case of polygamy

    May 22, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  16. Annette

    Although the little children had what FLDS members believe a safe and normal life, still the same my heart goes out to the little children of FLDS...they really have no idea what all these adults around them are doing to their lives. I really hope a love angel guide each one of the children into a safe journey in life. Peace to the children.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  17. CaseyJPS - California

    Thank you for clarifying the location, Erica. It wasn't really clear in the report (unless I just missed it).

    May 22, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  18. Megan Dresslar

    Yes, Denise.....
    polygamy is against the law, I can't accept that in my church.........

    May 22, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  19. Chuck in Alabama

    There is a line from a movie that says something like "you need a license to fish, to drive, to own a gun, but, any one can have a baby."

    May 22, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  20. deborah,OH

    I agree with Casey & Jolene about the FLDS. They are using the media now to get what they want. Not quite as backward & isolated as they wanted us to believe at the beginning. So, what else are they hiding?

    May 22, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  21. Kimether - Atlanta, GA

    I would love to hear both the liberal answer and the conservative answer, Chanel! I'm always open to an honest opinion!

    May 22, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  22. ericacnn

    Megan, the tornado hit Windsor, CO (about 80 mi north of Denver) and other nearby towns

    May 22, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  23. Genevieve M, TX

    @Kim, mitochondrial DNA profiles of each child can be used to determine matrilineage- matching each child to his/her mother.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  24. Katt in FL

    Maybe it's Texas' way to find out who belongs to who. They can't get all of them to volunteer their DNA, but what if the State says, "OK, now to get your child back, you have to submit to a DNA test to make sure the child is yours before they are returned." The children without B' Cert. anyway.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  25. Cynthia

    She looks so young and innocent.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  26. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Casey, I believe that since many of the FLDS have the same last names, birth certificates don't tell the whole story.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  27. Rhiannon

    It's clear that one can get into more legal trouble in this country for abusing a cat than a child. (and I adore my cats). It's also clear that you can get away with any atrocity committed under the mantle of "religion". Pederasty is a crime, it is not a religious right. Adults having sex with children is a crime against man and against god.
    Rhiannon in Arkansas

    May 22, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  28. CaseyJPS - California

    Mike Syracuse>Religion ultimately divides. Everyone that participates has their "church" faces on until a crisis surfaces. It's at that time (i.e. potential war) that we truly learn what followers believe or what they think.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  29. Kayle, CT

    Haha I love how one of the woman had a cell phone. Isn't it part of the belief to have a secluded lifestyle? Thats just hypocritical and ironic.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  30. DeniseGA

    Isn't Polygamy against the law?

    Isn't that grounds, enough to keep the children?

    May 22, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  31. Pam McClusky

    mega-dittos – the children should stay in foster homes, w liberal visitation for parents, until a thorough investigation is complete.
    Speculation has it that abuse is wide-spread in this organization and every stone should be over-turned – soon.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  32. Jo Ann, Ohio

    Fay, Ca; I have to disagree. This is not the first time McCain has run for president. He has already been raked over the coals quite a few times, especially by his own Party.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  33. EJ

    I do feel sorry for those young girls... but maybe this media coverage and their having some exposure to the outside world will help them in the future. Maybe they will be more likely to "escape" or assert their rights (although at the same risk of being beaten/abused)

    May 22, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  34. Chuck in Alabama

    Casey, the FLDS is not poor. I'm sure they are able to sway opinions, even on the Court of Appeals. Members of courts in Texas are elected, not appointed.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  35. Megan Dresslar

    Ah! I see....... Thanks Bri in Denver...
    my thoughts and prayers for you......... Bri...

    May 22, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  36. Kimether - Atlanta, GA

    The Polgamy situation in Texas is a clear display of the lack of cultural competence in our system. i understand the uniqueness of the situation, but the tactic was so poor, and terribly expensive for tax payers.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  37. deborah,OH

    I agree with Fay in Ca. We do need to look at McCain & his issues more carefully.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  38. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Chanel, I'd say just the opposite. Religion brings together people from all political persuasions, not divides them.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:42 pm |
  39. Dallas-Canada

    2 out of 460ish minors pregnant. Not bad. Take 460 random minors from the general population and I would think you would find atleast 2.What does this say about the world we have to grow up in today?

    May 22, 2008 at 10:42 pm |
  40. Chanel

    Good question Kimether, do you want the conservative answer or the liberal one? lol 😉

    May 22, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  41. CaseyJPS - California

    Do we know that the young mothers' birth certificate is accurate?

    May 22, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  42. Victoria

    I thought some of the children couldn't be matched up by DNA to their biological parents. Who will they be returned to, if no proof of parentage is determined

    May 22, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  43. Rose from Southern Calif

    Now these young women who are not under the age of 18...I bet they were abuse but won't say anything against their church, so its ok too have 5 who are? So, that makes it ok? I don't get it, these children where abuse? So, having sex with a child if the parents ok it, its ok?

    May 22, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  44. CaseyJPS - California


    "I do find it interesting that the FLDS has been very open with the media these days when in the past the media was shunned. Seems a bit suspect to me."

    Your perception is correct, Jolene. They are obviously smart enough to know how to use the media for their own benefit, which leads one to believe that some do have access to TV and the outside world.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  45. Cynthia

    I agree Senator McCain has been given a free ride far too long. What about him releasing his medical records for only a limited amount of time – I think 3 hours for review.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  46. Bri from Denver

    @ Megan. Only one person was killed but I drove by Windsor today and the destruction was devistating. It's a big farming community and there were a lot of animals stuck in the debris.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  47. Kim

    If they had tried to build a case for every single child, the families and the evidence would long have been gone.
    How will they ever be able to know if the girls are minors or not when there are no birth certificates and mothers claim children as their own who are not?

    May 22, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  48. Megan Dresslar

    I missed somewhere which city touchdown by tornado in Colorado?

    May 22, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  49. Chanel

    Darren, religion plays a HUGE role in US politics because it is what seperates the left from the right, the blue from the red, the liberals from the conservatives. And a healthy balance of the two is what most (and I say the word "most" loosely) want out of the checks and balances.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  50. Linda, Los Angeles

    They must have some proof? I understand that they should not have taken all the kids, but in order to figure out what was going on they had to take all the children.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
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