Skip to comments.Must Americans accept polygamy alongside same-sex marriage?
Posted on 12/28/2013 7:07:06 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
A federal judge last week struck down part of Utahs 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.
Whats sacred to one person is often profane to another. Obvious, yes, but a point often in need of deep reconsideration.
Need proof? Heres 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.
Hes (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 dont 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. Thats bad.
Understand, though, the state of Utah wasnt 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. Thats 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 doesnt 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 theres 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.
Liberals favor a broad reading of the Bill of Rights until they dont. 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. Its the American way.
Thats 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. Were 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 isnt enough for a man. (Polyandry, which involves one wife and multiple husbands, is rare.) Thats 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 Institutes City Journal. Joel Mathis (joelmmathisgmail.com) is a contributing editor to Philadelphia Magazine.
I haven’t accepted gay marriage. They’re perverts and they know it. They don’t care.
Polygamy is more Natural than Same Sex marriage.
Oh great...law of the jungle. We’re supposed to be civilized.
“Must Americans accept polygamy alongside same-sex marriage?”
I first read that as “MOST Americans”, haha.
If our Betters in black robes tell us to, well then of course we must.
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.
Now three women want the right to marry each other at the same time?
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.
Why not? Who are we to judge? The precedent has been set. Next come the pedophiles.
All REAL Americans love polygamy, same sex marriage, beastiality and pedophilia...and will not tolerate heterosexual marriage and live births!
Polygamy is much more acceptable!
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
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...
And Paedo Marriage, and Bestial Marriage, and Paedohomosexual Marriage and whatever other connections can be conceived.
Polygyny is based on the total subservience of the wives. Without that interwival jealousy tears it up one way or another.
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
And it will only work in a cult. It will never go over big in the general population.