A coalition has been formed in the small Colorado community of Westcliffe, located near the Bull Domingo Ranch where a group of FLDS members have taken refuge. The coalition's action committee, called "Step Up," has invited several FLDS detractors, beginning with Laurie Allen. Allen's vitriolic Banking On Heaven video paints the FLDS to look like the violent and crazy LeBaron group into which she was born and raised. "Step Up" has enthusiastically engaged in educating themselves about their FLDS neighbors by reading books by Stephen Singular, Carolyn Jessop, and Jon Krakauer--all vehement critics of the FLDS people and their way of life.

Gathering evidence to prove you are right about a preconceived conclusion doesn't result in real education. Rather, it breeds prejudice and creates intolerance. A one-sided "education" could be better termed "propaganda" because it doesn't present both sides of the story and because the information flows from sources who have a fixed position and agenda. I have a question for the good people of Westcliffe: Why not walk down the road, knock on the door of the Steed residence, introduce yourself, and have a real conversation? Your FLDS neighbors will likely learn as much from an authentic encounter as you will. The best education is the one you experience first-hand.

What Do You Think?