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Must Americans accept polygamy alongside same-sex marriage?
The Myrtle Beach Sun News ^ | December 26, 2013 | Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk

Posted on 12/28/2013 7:07:06 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

A federal judge last week struck down part of Utah’s ban on polygamy – the state can no longer prosecute adult men and women who “cohabitate” in numbers larger than the traditional pair. Critics suggested the ruling was a natural next step after the success of same-sex marriage campaigns and lawsuits in recent years.

But Kody Brown, the fundamentalist Mormon “Sister Wives” star whose case sparked the ruling, proclaimed it a victory for religious freedom.

Is polygamy inevitable? Are we headed down the slippery slope? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.

Joel Mathis

What’s sacred to one person is often profane to another. Obvious, yes, but a point often in need of deep reconsideration.

Need proof? Here’s my sparring partner, Ben Boychuk, commenting two weeks ago on whether Hobby Lobby should be forced to abide by Obamacare mandates to provide birth-control coverage to its employees: “The First Amendment is supposed to be a bulwark against government encroachment on the free exercise of religion.”

He’s (ahem) making a somewhat different argument this week.

Yes, it is a bit hilarious to watch the same conservatives – who were just passionately advocating the inviolable importance of the First Amendment – suddenly remember other priorities. It helps you understand that when they say “religious liberty,” they often mean “Christian privilege,” and no, the two are not the same.

Now, I don’t want to be in the position of defending polygamy. While there may be exceptions, it appears to me that women in such situations are usually less than full partners – often bound to such relationships before (and whether or not) they give their full consent. That’s bad.

Understand, though, the state of Utah wasn’t just denying Kody Brown legal recognition for his multiple relationships – it was denying that Brown and his “sister wives” even have the right to live in the same place. That’s a rather considerable intrusion on personal freedom, if you think about it. The state needs a rational basis, a showing of legitimate harm, to interfere with such freedoms – and no, general squeamishness doesn’t suffice.

Critics say the Utah decision was made possible by the logic of the 2002 Supreme Court decision striking down laws banning homosexual conduct. They are right about that and there’s no point in denying it; they are wrong in suggesting it means the end of the world. It might get messy at times, but we'll get it worked out. In the meantime: Civilization will chug along, much as it always does.

Ben Boychuk

Liberals favor a broad reading of the Bill of Rights – until they don’t. Does it matter that polygamy was illegal everywhere in America when the states ratified the First Amendment in 1789? Not at all, our liberal friends say.

Our “living” Constitution all but requires Americans to accept that standards evolve and truths are negotiable. Times change.

So liberals agree religious liberty should be absolute – unless your beliefs collide with the prevailing progressive orthodoxy. In that case, kindly shut up and knuckle under. It’s the American way.

That’s a far cry from the Founders’ view, which flatly rejected that just any claim to religious liberty was legitimate. The Aztecs, for example, believed human sacrifice was a religious duty. No one would accept murder as “free exercise of religion” – well, almost no one. We’re a big country. Somebody, somewhere might think human sacrifice is copasetic, just as a lot of people have convinced themselves polygamy is just fine.

Times really do change. Republicans in their 1856 platform urged Congress “to prohibit … those twin relics of barbarism, polygamy and slavery.”

Every school child today understands slavery was wrong. It deprived humans of their natural liberty. What about polygamy?

Polygamy says one woman isn’t enough for a man. (Polyandry, which involves one wife and multiple husbands, is rare.) That’s also what our sexually liberated society says. Has the serial “hookup” culture liberated women? Would legalized polygamy be any better?

As the U.S. Supreme Court underscored in a famous 1878 ruling, “(P)olygamy leads to the patriarchal principle, and which, when applied to large communities, fetters the people in stationary despotism, while that principle cannot long exist in connection with monogamy.”

In other words, polygamy was – and remains – wrong because it undermines the essential equality between one husband and one wife.

It somehow seems fitting that the federal judge in Utah ruled on a case brought by the patriarch of a reality TV show. Those nice people on TV seem to make it work, right? And if the effect is to further undermine an institution essential for maintaining a free society – well, that would make for a fine show, too.

********

Ben Boychuk (bboychukcity-journal.org) is associate editor of the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal. Joel Mathis (joelmmathisgmail.com) is a contributing editor to Philadelphia Magazine.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: culturewars; homosexualagenda; lds; ldschurch; polygamy; utah
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1 posted on 12/28/2013 7:07:07 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Sharia too.


2 posted on 12/28/2013 7:09:29 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I haven’t accepted gay marriage. They’re perverts and they know it. They don’t care.


3 posted on 12/28/2013 7:10:30 PM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

4 posted on 12/28/2013 7:11:41 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Polygamy is more Natural than Same Sex marriage.


5 posted on 12/28/2013 7:12:23 PM PST by Venturer (Half Staff the Flag of the US for Terrorists.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Oh great...law of the jungle. We’re supposed to be civilized.


6 posted on 12/28/2013 7:12:42 PM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“Must Americans accept polygamy alongside same-sex marriage?”
________________________________________________
I first read that as “MOST Americans”, haha.


7 posted on 12/28/2013 7:13:22 PM PST by AlexW
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Must Americans accept polygamy alongside same-sex marriage?

If our Betters in black robes tell us to, well then of course we must.

8 posted on 12/28/2013 7:14:54 PM PST by ElkGroveDan (My tagline is in the shop.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’m 100% for gay marriage. Gay is a good word that means happy. A man and woman should feel gay when they are married.

But I am 100% against homosexuals going through a fake ceremony and pretending they are married. No different than 5 year olds playing with dolls and saying the dolls are married.


9 posted on 12/28/2013 7:15:25 PM PST by HereInTheHeartland (Obama lied; our healthcare died.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Now three women want the right to marry each other at the same time?


10 posted on 12/28/2013 7:18:19 PM PST by sickoflibs (Obama : 'If you like your Doctor you can keep him, PERIOD! Don't believe the GOPs warnings')
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Bible thumpers: Relax.

Read up on polygamy.

Now even you great family guys, think about it.

Three women each demanding your attention, each with their own ideas about what the thermostat should be set on, what kind of food, when to go to bed, what the kids are allowed to do.

Now compound that with three kids from each woman........

Most men can’t raise the money to send one to college. They certainly can’t send nine to college.

Only a few men will live under that kind of pressure.

Proponents can romanticize about it all they want, the fact is that only a few could manage it.


11 posted on 12/28/2013 7:20:16 PM PST by old curmudgeon
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Why not? Who are we to judge? The precedent has been set. Next come the pedophiles.


12 posted on 12/28/2013 7:20:51 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: Sacajaweau
Must Americans accept polygamy alongside same-sex marriage?

All REAL Americans love polygamy, same sex marriage, beastiality and pedophilia...and will not tolerate heterosexual marriage and live births!

13 posted on 12/28/2013 7:22:28 PM PST by stevem
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Polygamy is much more acceptable!


14 posted on 12/28/2013 7:22:34 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

polygamy is equally as repugnant, perverted and ungodly as homosexuality...

In the Bible God condemns those who commit the sins of polygamy or homosexuality...

Whether its the pagan Mormons with their polygamy or the pagan homosexuals with their sexual perversions, God that anyone committing these evil sins/works of the flesh shall not inherit the kingdom of God...Galatians 5:19-21


15 posted on 12/28/2013 7:22:56 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Well, at least this will end the Federal estate tax as you can now marry your kids and pass on all your wealth without taxes...


16 posted on 12/28/2013 7:23:21 PM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

And Paedo Marriage, and Bestial Marriage, and Paedohomosexual Marriage and whatever other connections can be conceived.


17 posted on 12/28/2013 7:24:27 PM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINEhttp://steshaw.org/economics-in-one-lesson/)
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To: old curmudgeon

Polygyny is based on the total subservience of the wives. Without that interwival jealousy tears it up one way or another.


18 posted on 12/28/2013 7:27:01 PM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINEhttp://steshaw.org/economics-in-one-lesson/)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

—Polyandry,
which involves one wife and multiple husbands, is rare

And for good reason
Who in their right mind would want to
pick up after more than one Prick

Where practiced, the men are usually Brothers


19 posted on 12/28/2013 7:27:51 PM PST by HangnJudge
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To: arthurus

And it will only work in a cult. It will never go over big in the general population.


20 posted on 12/28/2013 7:28:49 PM PST by old curmudgeon
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To: Venturer

21 posted on 12/28/2013 7:30:07 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (A courageous man finds a way, an ordinary man finds an excuse.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

To quote Robert Bolt, channelling St. Thomas More, the world must construe according to its wits. Courts must construe according to the law. I personally don’t see how they allow same-sex marriage between consenting adults and don’t eventually allow polygamous marriages, or for that matter consanguinous marriages, or (oy) any combination thereof, on the same basis. Yeah, there’s still the eugenics thing about incestuous marriages. Do you really want to be the poor slob of an attorney making that argument in an American courtroom in 2014? No. No, you do not.


22 posted on 12/28/2013 7:30:29 PM PST by RichInOC (Palin 2016: The Perfect Storm.)
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To: old curmudgeon

True.

But that will not save the rest of us from paying for the party.


23 posted on 12/28/2013 7:32:45 PM PST by gfbtbb (Ladies and Gentlemen, we are on our own.)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

WWLD? What would Laz do?


24 posted on 12/28/2013 7:33:28 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; me = independent conservative)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Yes, if monogamy is ruled unconstitutional......
25 posted on 12/28/2013 7:33:58 PM PST by The_Media_never_lie (The media must be defeated any way it can be dones)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

No problem as “gay” marriage is not on my acceptance list. Tired of being expected to endorse evil.


26 posted on 12/28/2013 7:36:40 PM PST by madison10
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Polygamy, while outside biblical norms as understood in New Testament terms, is far more palatable than homosexuality, which is totally beyond the realm of moral rectumtude.


27 posted on 12/28/2013 7:43:00 PM PST by Fester Chugabrew
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To: Venturer
Far more. Native American societies practiced polygamy as a way to care for the surplus of women widowed by constant warfare. In most cases, it worked out fine. One wife might prefer child care, another cooking and food preparation, a third making clothing.

Societies have survived and even thrived under polygamy. Not one has survived the normalization of homosexuality.

28 posted on 12/28/2013 7:51:09 PM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: old curmudgeon

You assume that all or any of the women shall bear children.


29 posted on 12/28/2013 7:52:39 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Scalia predicted as such


30 posted on 12/28/2013 8:01:10 PM PST by Nifster
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Any man who decides to have more than one wife, is INSANE.
31 posted on 12/28/2013 8:06:49 PM PST by Arrowhead1952 (The Second Amendment is NOT about the right to hunt. It IS a right to shoot tyrants.)
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To: Arrowhead1952

Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, and others all had multiple wives.


32 posted on 12/28/2013 8:15:58 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (A courageous man finds a way, an ordinary man finds an excuse.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Utah was required to outlaw polygamy as a condition of its admission to the Union. Does that mean we can expel states that allow it from the Union?


33 posted on 12/28/2013 8:19:05 PM PST by 17th Miss Regt
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I should have specified “in these days” is insane. Back then, it was women were more like servants, not having a “honey do” list every morning.


34 posted on 12/28/2013 8:34:20 PM PST by Arrowhead1952 (The Second Amendment is NOT about the right to hunt. It IS a right to shoot tyrants.)
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To: Arrowhead1952

While they’re not like servants, most Asian women I’ve known or dated aren’t like that as much. They’re not subservient like the image says, but they don’t have that chip on their shoulder that you see so much in the West.


35 posted on 12/28/2013 8:37:46 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (A courageous man finds a way, an ordinary man finds an excuse.)
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To: BenLurkin

If marriage is everything, then it’s nothing...and no doubt some liberal judges will realize that marriage itself is a form of discrimination, where people form a “couple” & forsake all others-—excluding other people not part of said “couple”. A free-thinking judge then will decide that government may NOT favor “couplings” over other arrangements that people by RIGHT must decide which ones are best for themselves.
So then polygamy will of course by one such arrangement...but it won’t stop there. Then it will be groups of males & females marrying individuals or other groups of males and/or females.
To facilitate this downward spiral against law & order, it then will be decided that government may NOT zone for single-family housing with an evolving definition of single families or “family”. Then, you will get the Manson family as your next door neighbor....& sooner than you might imagine.


36 posted on 12/28/2013 8:37:51 PM PST by Beowulf9
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Once society accepted serial monogamy, it lost the moral high ground to stop everything else.


37 posted on 12/28/2013 8:45:44 PM PST by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Well, we already have an abundance of “men” fathering multiple children with multiple women. Sort of a de-facto polygamy, usually supported by welfare.


38 posted on 12/28/2013 8:50:45 PM PST by ltc8k6
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Ok, I’m not quite there yet (so please don’t flame me for this) but sometimes I find myself almost thinking that if a guy wants to try to live with sixteen females all at once, he deserves what happens to him ... sort of a built-in system of punishment requiring little or no external intervention?

just thinking is all...

just thinking...


39 posted on 12/28/2013 8:53:18 PM PST by faithhopecharity
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Americans don’t have to accept either. But if they accept ‘marriage’ of homosexuals, than they’d have to accept polygamy to be logically consistent. Granted, logical consistency is not a value of the left. This has been a long time coming, starting with normalizing the hook-up culture and all that comes with it.


40 posted on 12/28/2013 9:50:29 PM PST by OldNewYork
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To: OldNewYork

*then... to be grammatically consistent.


41 posted on 12/28/2013 9:51:38 PM PST by OldNewYork
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To: Tennessee Nana
In the Bible God condemns those who commit the sins of polygamy…

Where exactly do we find that condemnation?

42 posted on 12/28/2013 9:54:00 PM PST by P-Marlowe (There can be no Victory without a fight and no battle without wounds)
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To: Paladin2
Its high time the authority of "Federal Judges" and their ability to dictate and nullify laws voted on and passed by the legislatures and citizens of the STATES be examined.

There's lots of work to do, to undo the tyranny of the "Federal Judiciary".

43 posted on 12/28/2013 10:00:10 PM PST by Rome2000 (THE WASHINGTONIANS AND UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE ARE THE ENEMY -ROTATE THE CAPITAL AMONGST THE STATES)
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To: old curmudgeon
Just gots to "keep the pimp hand strong".

I'm all for polygamy if that means some gals supporting me when I'm old and crotchety.

44 posted on 12/28/2013 10:26:49 PM PST by SIDENET
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To: Sacajaweau

ditto


45 posted on 12/28/2013 10:28:09 PM PST by genghis
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To: freedomfiter2
Once society accepted serial monogamy, it lost the moral high ground to stop everything else.

Actually, serial polygamy (i.e., having a succession of spouses - one at a time) is already accepted in every State of the Union.

I can't imagine what you mean by "serial monogamy."

Regards,

46 posted on 12/28/2013 10:55:02 PM PST by alexander_busek (Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I wouldn’t have it any other way!


47 posted on 12/29/2013 1:53:53 AM PST by jimfree (In November 2016 my 13 y/o granddaughter will have more quality exec experience than Barack Obama)
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To: Venturer

>>>Polygamy is more Natural than Same Sex marriage.<<<

Bingo. I don’t give a flying hug about polygamy. Let them have it if they want. They are pedophiles who make me worry.


48 posted on 12/29/2013 2:24:01 AM PST by cunning_fish
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To: RichInOC
Yeah, there’s still the eugenics thing about incestuous marriages. Do you really want to be the poor slob of an attorney making that argument in an American courtroom in 2014? No. No, you do not.

Particularly since any eugenics argument against allowing incestuous coupling would also apply against allowing long-term welfare recipients to breed.

49 posted on 12/29/2013 2:38:54 AM PST by SauronOfMordor (Socialists want YOUR wealth redistributed, never THEIRS!)
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To: Arrowhead1952; 2ndDivisionVet
Any man who decides to have more than one wife, is INSANE.

Any man who decides to have A wife is almost there, too!

50 posted on 12/29/2013 3:00:22 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (...)
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