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Thursday, January 30. 2014
Is there any justification for that in a free country?
We debated the topic at dinner last night. At the end, I had to admit that sentiment and tradition were not adequate reasons for laws and, especially, criminalization. When I (rarely) refuse my hubbie nighttime pleasures, he has been known to mumble "I shoulda been a Mormon." I know he'd enjoy a threesome, in fantasy anyway, but that's not how I roll. I am a traditionalist.
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Polygamy means the most alpha get a large number of wives.
This leaves many young men w/o even a chance for a spouse.
Unruly, undirected, fatalistic young men are destructive elements in a society.
Up until a couple of years ago, you could make polygamy illegal when we had traditional marriage, because the fundamental law on which the country was based was that a marriage comprises
"one man and one woman."
The courts and/or legislative actions have now abrogated this fundamental definition, so that it is deemed unlawful to say that marriage is between
"one MAN and one WOMAN."
That restriction is now deemed "irrational."
The exact same argument apply to polygamy. Since you have now destroyed the fundamental definition of marriage and have redefined it as irrational, anything now goes. So it is just as unlawful, and for the same reasons, to irrationally restrict marriage to
"ONE man and ONE woman."
Otherwise you would be engaged in unlawful discrimination, in treating multi-partnered marriages different from same-sex marriages. The only rule now is that if two (or more) people "love each other," they must be permitted to get married.
There is no legal defense to polygamy challenges once same-sex marriage has been enacted.
Actually, the arguments are much better for polygamy, in that it has historically existed, instead of being made up out of whole cloth like same-sex marriage, and there are folks out there that can make very good arguments why it is discriminatory not to permit such things, much better than all the fake rationales put forward for same-sex marriage.
Any arguments against it can be dismissed as hateful polyphobia.
Look at this way. In modern America, as a man you can sleep with as many women and father as many children you want, and that is perfectly legal. Laws banning that kind of behavior were struck down as "violations of privacy rights" long ago. Better than that, the government now even subsidizes such activity and gives out free money to your women and children!
However, if you make the mistake of claiming you are "married" to more than one of these women, and that you are legally responsible for the offspring of those marriages, you have committed a felony and can be sent to prison.
Sounds pretty irrational to me in modern America.
The next step will be that it will be unlawful to restrict either by number or gender, e.g., polyamory groups.
At that point, marriage will be totally out of control and will be abolished by the government.
I am looking forward to handling the class actions when descendants of 19th century Mormons sue the United States for reparations over how they were treated on polygamy.
"Any arguments against it can be dismissed as hateful polyphobia." Lefties claim all arguments against them/their ideas is a phobia of some sort.
#6: "The time saved by disappointing two women at once can then be put to more productive use." GOOD ONE!
#7: "Polygamy harks back to women as chattel." ISLAMOPHOBIA!!!!!! (See top 2 lines.)
#13: Ride on, Ride on, Ride ON!
civil marriage is a default way of setting out contractual, inheritance, support and other property rights and child rights between and among the married people and the rest of the world.
under that model, I say, do whatever you want to because its a free country and I don't care how anyone screws up his or her or their lives.
on the other hand, the fact that "tradition" and "sentiment" for thousands of years have settled on a particular stable model of man/woman/raising children even when honored in the breach means that gay marriage or poly-anything is just not going to work in the long run.
How many men do you know who could support multiple wives and a dozen kids? Inevitably, this type of household will end up getting a LOT of state aid to remain in this 'multiple' marriage. Not to mention the emotional problems this generates. Women do not come out of this arrangement better off...in fact, it is definitely harmful to the emotional wellbeing of any wife to have to vie for her husband's attention, raise children that possibly aren't her own, and feel as 'less than' in a marriage.
Why would we encourage 'marriages' that would cost us more taxpayer dollars and might cause mental health issues??? Bad idea.
I'd say we'd need a sliding scale for divorce court costs. The more spouses the more you gotta pay for a judge to sort it all out if one or more want out of the arrangement.
What is the problem with FFM threesomes? Looks like a very efficient system to me.
The time saved by disappointing two women at once can then be put to more productive use.
Mmmm ... sorry, don't buy it. Polygamy is a clannish artifact of ancient cultures. "Hey it's in the Bible" arguments (aka, the Mormon renewal argument) misses the point.
Banning polygamy is a very rational, people-oriented thing. It put the primacy on the nuclear family organization. It was the first crucial step in liberating women and putting them on a more equal footing to men. It gave us the green light on property rights for the masses. It promotes an excellent economic partnership unit broadly and has proved the BEST means yet to produce true citizen-ship and peaceful civic culture.
Polygamy harks back to women as chattel. It was largely an institution of the rich and gentry in ancient times ... not of a "middle class" ... which of course hardly existed.
Finally, I can't think of any better argument against polygamy than that the "mumble" from your husband. PRECISELY! He has to control his behavior and BE civilized, not some arrogant and spoiled king of his castle.
I had to admit that sentiment and tradition were not adequate reasons for laws and, especially, criminalization.
Why? I wouldn’t. Reason, emotion, desire, experience (another name for tradition) are also inadequate justifications for laws.
I think that once the laws were changed for homosexual marriages it really meant any combination that was possible was legal. To try to stuff back some of these worms into the can makes no sense and may not be possible
Also it would be difficult to prevent multiple partners from simply living with each other so even if the status of "marriage" was controlled to prevent polygamy it wouldn't stop it.
As far as the arguement that polygamy creates a situation where welfare is required to support the families and that this sn't fair to taxpayers I can only say you must be unaware of the HUGE number of welfare families with many children and certainly no polygamy. I doubt that polygamy even receives 0.1% of welfare.
Polygamy may be contrary to a good society and perhaps should be discouraged or even prevented but in our society I don't see that happening based on current trends.
So, in the early part of the twentieth century the Immigration and Naturalization laws of the United States had as a starting point whither an immigrant's entrance into the country was to the benefit of the United States. There were quotas as regards to the nationality and race of the immigrant, though largely racist also intended to maintain the homogeneous makeup of American society at the time.
Then after the half century point, and thanks to Ted Kennedy, the concept of "fairness" and refugee status became the new guide. And quotas were evil. Hence, today, the result. You can't board a city bus and hear English spoken. Did that change serve the existing citizens of the country, and their children?
The reasons and the ways that traditional marriage benefits the nation has already been discussed in previous posts.
I state that same-sex "marriage"and polygamy, should be banned and illegal.
The detrimental long term effects of polygamy can be seen in any Muslim country, it provided the masses of angry young men for the wars of conquest that spread that F'ed up religion across the world. The effect on women and their rights can be seen in any Muslim country. The degree that same-sex marriage debases the primacy of marriage between a man and a woman and opens the door for all the rest (the rest including; bestiality, sexual union sanctified with increasingly younger children, marriage to animals...). Do we need to try it and then wait fifty years to see what the effect will be on our nation? On our children?
"Fair" isn't found in the Constitution. Governments and the people of any country have a right and duty to arrange their affairs in ways that benefit the citizens of that country. Polygamy, and same-sex marriage for that matter, do not benefit the order, well being, and health of this nation. We have a duty to exclude those activities that harm us collectively.
No, I don't care if "I'm being mean" or "Your being racist/hateful". And no one says, "This is a free country", anymore.
Dear Dr. Bliss: There is no one here at MF more qualified than you to answer this question with the obvious: because one man and one woman means you learn to work together for the better. Neither partner gets to run off and "teach the other a lesson in obedience!" Sheesh--how did you miss the psychology part of this argument? The sword always hanging over the woman's head to threaten her (her children) if she "isn't good". The horrible psychological slavery of this deceitful strategy was understood several hundred years ago--maybe even before Freud began your trade. It is liberating to the partner with legal choices. At least in a monogamous marriage if he sneaks out for a little extra on the side--he too must live with the threat of pain and must pay some psychological price!
The argument is that government should not be involved in decisions between consenting adults. We are left with who is an adult and how do we understand when consent is given and when it is not. Gee, I can see no problem with those two items. Drop the age of consent, parallel that with the movement to lower the voting age, and what is permissible is horrible to consider.
As with the question of relations between two or more consenting adults, we are left with the question of responsibility regarding children. In a polygamist marriage, and lets be modern here, that no longer means one man and four wives, but can mean three women and two men, or visa versa - if children are brought forward who is legally responsible for them? All of them or none of them, or only the biological parents, but not the marriage partners? What happens if one or both of the biological parents leaves the arrangement and go their separate ways, and possibly not with each other. Now who are the legal guardians of the child(ren) born into this arrangement? What if the three remaining members don't want the responsibility? What about new members who have joined this arrangement after the birth of any child(ren)? Are they responsible for any care and upbringing of the children in any greater, the same, or lesser sense than the original members of the arrangement.
Statistics already show that children in families or household relations with non-biological adults run a higher risk of assault and abuse. I can't imagine what horrible results of allowing polygamist marriages will come forth. What a brave new world we willingly embrace. Much to our shame.
There's absolutely no reason. We should embrace the backwardness that marks EVERY culture in the world where polygamy is practiced. Of course the 2000+ years of Judeo-Christian wisdom that has wrestled with and upheld monogamy in merely the product of a bunch of total morons.
Because we are smarter than the people who transformed the world.
"sentiment and tradition"... to my mind left out was morals. A concept, or construct if one prefers, for societal lubricity. Our cultural previously had norms, for a reason, no matter their province. That is all out the window now. My regret is that I will not see the results of this new world without boundaries, same as looking at a train wreck, I don't see it ending well. But, who knows.
Dr. Joy, you tease.
The ONLY reason for banning polygamy is to enforce "Christian values" on the larger population, especially Mormons.
The very laws against polygamy in the US were created in order to harass Mormons (and a few Indian "native american" groups that practiced it).
In other countries with such laws the reasoning was similar, force people to abandon their religions by passing laws that make the practice of those religions illegal without actually making those religions illegal (which would after all violate your claims that you have freedom of religion).
Same with laws banning homosexual relations. Those too are created to force people into Christian (or in some countries Muslim) "appropriate" relations.
In a free country, the state would not have anything to do with how people live their lives, as long as they don't actually cause harm to other people.
And that includes the state not dealing with marriage, not subsidising it, not regulating it, not banning it, not demanding it to have any specific form.
Every culture that practice polygyny also has the tradition of treating women like doormats, including forced marriage.
It's Economics. You get 4 people working or bringing in an income even at base level which is say 20k each per year, they can invest, buy property and get wealthier quicker than just a two people union. Add in they usually live near or with each other, dropping costs down each further. The next generation is even wealthier if they use it correctly..cause if you make 80k a year as a group for 20-30 years that's what? 1.6 mil just off the income, not any investments not any passive or business income, no wealth accumulation..
You can have all the threesomes you want; just don't expect me to pay for it.
Let's do the math, shall we? The vast majority of polygamous families that already exist in the United States are on welfare benefits (who can support four families on one salary?).
If polygamy is legalized, we as taxpayers will still be paying to subsidize these people's out-of-control birthing arrangements but in addition to that we will be paying out quadruple Social Security benefits as well. After all, four widows will "deserve" to receive their survivor benefits.
I used to live in Central Africa, and part of my job entailed doing household surveys and interviews in rural villages. I remember in particular one man in his sixties who had accumulated four wives - every ten years or so he would marry another nineteen-year-old. Each woman had produced between eight and twelve children, for a grand total of 38. This person had 38 children. Perhaps unsurprisingly, during the interview process he was unable to provide me their names. He was like, "Oh, ask my wives."
Can you imagine the welfare benefits we would be paying for these children in the United states? Polygamy is simply not affordable in a society that provides anything resembling a social safety net.
Show me the actual figures of just who is on Welfare benefits that are polygamist, this is a common misconception. I know several families that are Polygamist, none are on welfare. All run their own businesses or work as a group or work for businesses, bringing in money on their own. Maybe this happens in Central Africa, but I've been out to the Rock near Moab, and none of the 20 or so families there are on Welfare or assistance of any kind and are pretty self sufficient.
Of all the terrible effects of Polygamy and polygamist marriages, the worst (to the USA) is Barak Obama. Whose muslim father married an American girl while still married to a muslim woman in Kenya. Hence, Barak Obama is either a product of a polygamist family or a bastard.
Before someone else says it, "...or both!".
Polygamy makes sense if there is a dearth of one sex in the population, either due to war, natural disasters, epidemics, and so on that causes the elimination of large numbers of one sex or the other. But none of those particular conditions exist, at least not here in the US.
I don't do divorce mediation. I don't really have the stomach for it, but I did the mediation training at the Northwestern University program because I considered adding divorce mediation to my practice. It was helpful because I learned a great deal about the divorce process, especially practical legal issues involved. It's a wonderful training program for clinicians and family attorneys.
The short answer for why I think the state doesn't have an interest in sanctioning polygamous marriages is that it would require an infinitely complicated process to deal with the legal rights and obligations of parties, much more complicated than most people realize. The legal systems that do allow it have simplified legal rules that would never be acceptable to the average American sense of justice.
Conventional two-party (and minor dependent) divorce is complicated enough, but for the most part manageable within the state legal frameworks that have developed over the course of many decades, partly based on legal codification and judicial precedent. I could write a treatise on the practical problems of implementing an acceptable legal framework for dealing with polygamy, providing illustrative examples, but I'm going to stick with this shorter answer: there is a well-developed and workable legal framework for dealing with a two-person marriage. A polygamous marriage would be more like a multi-shareholder corporation that would require much more idiosyncratic and extensive contractual arrangements and agreements about rights, responsibilities and disposition of property. I don't see a compelling state interest in embarking on a decades long journey to work out the exceedingly complex legal matters that would be involved.
Puzzled as I was, and the diversity of comments above indicate. several years ago I had the opportunity to ask an eminent historian about polygamy. He took the long view, over centuries and more of various "civil"izations-"not so civil, really," paraphrasing him. "It's the number two son." There's always pecking order questions. Those of us who are not only children, imagine who gets what when there are thirtyeight, or even 15, from different moms who might shift in Dad's affections over time. Not compatible with "civil" society. Look at even Caín and Abel.