Polygamy on the March

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Corlyss_D
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Polygamy on the March

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:38 am

Stanley Kurtz, a social scientist specializing in family life and religion with a Ph. D. in anthropology, has an article (too long to post here even to save you the effort having to look it up) here on the effects of polygamy in Western nations. I'm not sure about his Mormon history, since he offers only one source for his comments on Mormon polygamy and impartial writers on Mormon history are hard to find, but the picture he paints of the legal plight the dominant Judeo-Christian European culture is in by attempting to deal with the effects of Muslim polygamy in their several societies is startling and alarming. And he offers evidence by way of law review articles taking off from SCOTUS' 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas that soon we will be seeing legal cases attacking universal prohibitions on polygamy, polyandry, polyamory, and a lot of other imanative arrangements that heretofore have not enjoyed the unique legal status of marriage. If what he says is true, that polygamy and all the other polys are incompatible with democracy, the next few decades are going to be very interesting indeed.
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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:33 am

Well, at least I knew what the West once was in my bones. Never thought I'd live to see it fail and fall - or pass legislation against itself at a basic structural level. Interesting times indeed.

In Australia we're going through a whole excercise in various States creating a "Bill of Rights" (nothing like the constitutional amendments of the US which are basically 'The Goveverment shall pass no law . . .') wherein customary law (read native tribal or foreign religious) is given greater value than actual laws - by law.

We've had the most alarming and disgusting reports of abuse and chattel slavery on native lands (where no white man can walk) and serial rapists being given ridiculously light sentences, as "child brides" are part of native custom. When the law is suspended and ethnic enclaves are legally above the common law of the land, no one holds hands and forms Politically Correct communes - they rape, murder, abuse, enslave and are outraged that we want them to stop - and blame the white man for it anyway.

The only thing I found more bizarre than the crimes themselves was the speed in which white Australia blamed itself for it and absolved the perpoetrators of moral fault. I find this racist: that natives are incapable of understanding or obeying modern law and morality, and so are not responsible for their actions. What $%^&*

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Post by Agnes Selby » Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:40 am

Brendan, I must be living on another planet. I thought something
would be done to prevent the rape of these children. I am horrified
to learn that these dreadful acts will now go unpunished.

Regards,
Agnes.
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Post by RebLem » Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:31 am

In the early days of Islam (say, up to the Battle of Tours in 732 A.D.), polgamy had a certain dynamic logic to it. Here's how it worked--

A man could have up to four wives. It is important to understand that before Muhammad, under the various animist and other Arabian tribal traditions, men could have any number of wives. Muhammad's prexcription limited it to four.

Under this system, only the prosperous could have more than one wife. The more men there were with multiple wives, the more men at the other end of the economic scale had to remain without wives at all. It was thought, correctly, that this sort of sexual deprivation and frustration would make them good warriors; a certain amount of plunder was allowed, and it also became a way for these young men to become prosperous themselves, but while they were poor warriors, they expanded the Islamic lands all through the southern half of the Mediterranean, and then, into Europe, both through the Balkans and through Spain--as well as eastward to Mesopotamia and Persia and further.

At the same time, in the early days, few families maintained great wealth unless there was genuine talent in the family. The more wives a man had, the more children he was likely to have, and that meant that upon his death, his wealth would be distributed among the sons. Each son, therefore, would be considerably less prosperous than the father, and only talent, ability, and skill could preserve and expand the family wealth. This meant that there was a strongly meritocratic element in the society, which stood the early Islamic world in good stead.

As soon as the rapid expansion stopped, though, the system began to fall apart and various corruptions of doctrine and morals and economic life began to manifest themselves. Progressive clerics responded with various ideas, among them the notion that a man was only supposed to have sexual relations with one wife, and that the allowance of multiple wives had really been just a method of providing for widows made destitute by the distribution of a deceased husband's property to his sons.

In places like Colorado City, OTOH, you have nothing like the exuberant, expansive dynamic of early Islam, or, for that matter, early Mormonism. It is a very enclosed, insular society. In Colorado City, men take child brides, and they don't limit it to four, either. Many of the families have income low enough that they qualify for and receive food stamps, and, often, medicaid, if not cash assistance. At the same time, they find various excuses to declare young men, who threaten this system, unworthy and expel them.

Natural law tells me that this is a false religion. The Christian tradition is that salvation is for all people, and if some people, especially the young men, have to be kicked out for the dynamic of the society to survive, then it is not a religion for all people, and therefore is violative of the basic principles of Christianity.
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Re: Polygamy on the March

Post by Ricordanza » Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:43 am

Corlyss_D wrote:polyandry, polyamory,
Perhaps I could guess, but could you define these terms?

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Re: Polygamy on the March

Post by Ralph » Mon Jun 05, 2006 6:18 am

Ricordanza wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:polyandry, polyamory,
Perhaps I could guess, but could you define these terms?
*****

Polyandry=Multiple husbands

Polyamory=Semi-formal arrangement whereby three or more lovers live together as in two women, one man, two men, two women, etc. Lots of polyamory sites now.
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Post by Ralph » Mon Jun 05, 2006 6:23 am

In the U.S. polygamy is a crime only when there are more than one legalized marriages in the mix. Since there are no proscriptions against multiple sexual relationships by consenting adults (adultery remains a crime but is rarely prosecuted, in some states never) the polygamy issue tends to raise its head in Utah where breakaway Mormons seek legal status for their relationships.

A very old Supreme Court ruling still controls the subject: a state may criminalize polygamy which is really a form of bigamy. But if I had seven women living with me in sexual relationships no state action would take place unless the matter of endangering childrens' morals, health or safety was raised.
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Re: Polygamy on the March

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:14 am

Ralph wrote:
Ricordanza wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:polyandry, polyamory,
Perhaps I could guess, but could you define these terms?
*****

Polyandry=Multiple husbands

Polyamory=Semi-formal arrangement whereby three or more lovers live together as in two women, one man, two men, two women, etc. Lots of polyamory sites now.
Similarly, polygyny, the form polygamy almost universally takes, means having mulitple wives.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:32 pm

Ralph wrote:In the U.S. polygamy is a crime only when there are more than one legalized marriages in the mix. Since there are no proscriptions against multiple sexual relationships by consenting adults (adultery remains a crime but is rarely prosecuted, in some states never) the polygamy issue tends to raise its head in Utah where breakaway Mormons seek legal status for their relationships. A very old Supreme Court ruling still controls the subject: a state may criminalize polygamy which is really a form of bigamy.
You must not have read the article, Ralph. Actually, neither Utah nor Mormons are in the forefront of this battle, not even the renegade Mormons. You'd be surprised who is. Guess where the ACLU is on this matter. They have Reynolds v. United States squarely in their sights as an invasion of privacy policy that must fall and they are using the Lawrence decision as their leverage to get into court.
But if I had seven women living with me in sexual relationships no state action would take place unless the matter of endangering childrens' morals, health or safety was raised.
It's important to understand that what is being assaulted here is not the existence of mulitple serial or simultaneous sexual relationships in whatever combinations people care to devise. No state however powerful and certainly not a liberal Western Democratic state, could undertake such policing of its citizens. What is under attack here is the unique legal status of marriage. While I don't care what consenting adults do behind closed doors, I can foresee the courts being clogged with litigation resulting from attempts to determine who has legal rights and responsibilities for the off-spring of such vagrant and free-form arrangements. The biological mother can always be nailed. But what about others who have assumed in the past a financial or emotional obligation to the children? And that doesn't even touch on the social implications, if as he claims, the polys can survive only in an atmosphere of dictatorial patriarchy, denying women natural commerce with the world and education of any but the most rudimentary sort, and children kept ignorant and servile and destined for a similar adult arrangement. And if the wretched band of renegade Mormons is any kind of model, the people at greatest risk from this lifestyle are the young males born into such arrangements. Why? Because they pose a threat to the older polygamous patriarchs whose ambtions are to scarf up all the young girls. The young teenage boys in Colorado City are thrown out of the community to fend for themselves as best they can.
Last edited by Corlyss_D on Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:36 pm

Interesting post, Reb. But you really ought to hold your nose and read the article. Mormons, renegade or otherwise, are not involved in this latest effort and the discussion of polygamy among Muslims in Europe is descriptive of the now, not what it might have looked like in 8th Century Arabia. Many practices could be tolerated in primitive nomadic tribal societies, outside the reach of any kind of civil authorities, that have no place in modern society dependent on educated competent adults raising educated competent children.
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Post by Ralph » Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:55 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Ralph wrote:In the U.S. polygamy is a crime only when there are more than one legalized marriages in the mix. Since there are no proscriptions against multiple sexual relationships by consenting adults (adultery remains a crime but is rarely prosecuted, in some states never) the polygamy issue tends to raise its head in Utah where breakaway Mormons seek legal status for their relationships. A very old Supreme Court ruling still controls the subject: a state may criminalize polygamy which is really a form of bigamy.
You must not have read the article, Ralph. Actually, neither Utah nor Mormons are in the forefront of this battle, not even the renegade Mormons. You'd be surprised who is. Guess where the ACLU is on this matter. They have Reynolds v. United States squarely in their sights as an invasion of privacy policy that must fall and they are using the Lawrence decision as their leverage to get into court.
But if I had seven women living with me in sexual relationships no state action would take place unless the matter of endangering childrens' morals, health or safety was raised.
It's important to understand that what is being assaulted here is not the existence of mulitple serial or simultaneous sexual relationships in whatever combinations people care to devise. No state however powerful and certainly not a liberal Western Democratic state, could undertake such policing of its citizens. What is under attack here is the unique legal status of marriage. While I don't care what consenting adults do behind closed doors, I can foresee the courts being clogged with litigation resulting from attempts to determine who has legal rights and responsibilities for the off-spring of such vagrant and free-form arrangements. The biological mother can always be nailed. But what about others who have assumed in the past a financial or emotional obligation to the children? And that doesn't even touch on the social implications, if as he claims, the polys can survive only in an atmosphere of dictatorial patriarchy, denying women natural commerce with the world and education of any but the most rudimentary sort, and children kept ignorant and servile and destined for a similar adult arrangement. And if the wretched band of renegade Mormons is any kind of model, the people at greatest risk from this lifestyle are the young males born into such arrangements. Why? Because they pose a threat to the older polygamous patriarchs whose ambtions are to scarf up all the young girls. The young teenage boys in Colorado City are thrown out of the community to fend for themselves as best they can.
*****

I read the article and I don't care much if Reynolds is overturned one reason being there ain't a chance that it will be.

Lawrence v. Texas may seem to open a door for an expanded right of privacy but plaintiffs will discover how fast that door will be shut.
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Post by RebLem » Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:03 pm

Ralph,

The law also has a right--indeed, an obligation--to get involved when statutory rape, sometimes regular rape is involved, as in these "marriages" of men in their 40's and over to underage girls, some as young as 12 and 13. Such is the case in Colorado City.
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Post by Ralph » Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:41 pm

RebLem wrote:Ralph,

The law also has a right--indeed, an obligation--to get involved when statutory rape, sometimes regular rape is involved, as in these "marriages" of men in their 40's and over to underage girls, some as young as 12 and 13. Such is the case in Colorado City.
*****

Anyone sexually involved with an underage person should be prosecuted. That's not what I was discussing above.
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