Creative Destruction

May 12, 2006

Good Response To Polygamy Argument

Filed under: Debate,Human Rights — Ampersand @ 3:56 am

I rather like John Corvino’s response to the nonsensical “if you support same-sex marriage, then there’s no longer a reason to oppose polygamy” argument:

The trouble with the slippery-slope argument from gay marriage to polygamy is that it’s a nice sound-bite argument that doesn’t lend itself to a nice sound-bite response. “Show us why polygamy is wrong,” our opponents insist, as if that’s easy to do in 20 words or less. (Try it sometime.)

But here’s a little secret: they can’t do it either, because their favorite arguments against same-sex marriage are useless against polygamy. “It changes the very definition of marriage!” (No: marriage historically has been polygamous more often than monogamous.) “The Bible condemns it!” (Really? Ever heard of King Solomon?) “It’s not open to procreation!” (Watch “Big Love” and get back to me.)

If there’s a good argument against polygamy, it’s likely to be a fairly complex public-policy argument having to do with marriage patterns, sexism, economics, and the like. Such arguments are as available to gay-marriage advocates as to gay-marriage opponents. So when gay-rights opponents ask me to explain why polygamy is wrong, I say to them, “You first.”




  1. The argument for Polygamy is actually a stronger argument than the one for same-sex “marriage”.

    1. The potential market for polygamy/polyandry/“polyamory” is vastly greater than for ss “m”
    2. Polygamy has a historical & cultural heritage that ss “m” does not.
    3. Polygamy can make authentic religious rights claims that ss “m” cannot.
    4. Polygamy avoids the strongest arguments against ss ‘m’. It provides children their natural born parents living together.
    5. Polygamy’s children receive equal gender representation.

    University academic arguments for ss “m” always leave open the possibility for Polygamy or more precisely “polyamory”. That is: The serious law and humantites professors and their organizations (like the ALI) do not endorse so called “conservative” case for gay marriage.

    They want to de-privilege the privileged
    (i.e. – traditional marriage)
    And privilege the de-privileged
    (i.e. – anything but traditional marriage)

    Comment by Fitz — May 12, 2006 @ 10:55 am | Reply

  2. As someone who thinks neither gay marriage nor polygamy should be proscribed by the government, I see the argument a bit differently.

    Yes, it is a specious argument for the reasons you outline. But in attempting to corner you into justifying the ban on polygamy he's trying to force you into making an arbitrary distinction in granting rights to certain segments of the population while denying them to others. (You yourself seem to admit that the anti-polygamy argument is difficult to put forth in a convincing fashion.)

    In that regard, I think he's quite right — such a distinction is arbitrary — but no more so than his position that both should be banned.

    Comment by bazzer — May 12, 2006 @ 2:14 pm | Reply

  3. Be careful, Fitz…

    Terrorism, genital mutilation, and genocide can also “make authentic religious claims” as you define it – what defines authentic, or moreover “religious,” varies too widely to be used as valid logic.

    Additionally, what does “equal gender representation” mean to you? If two women and a man, or two men and a woman (theoretically, since the heteronormative privilege and homophobia that plagues polygamous communities are too strong to allow such a thing) are raising a child, last time I checked, 2:3 is not 1:1 – meaning, NOT equal.

    Check your logic, do your research, and then comment on an issue you clearly know little about.

    Comment by Amanda — May 12, 2006 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

  4. bazzer:


    When you say “banned”, the implication is that it is something you could do if it wasn’t for those pesky legislators. So what exactly is it that was or is banned in the case of polygamous marriage (pgm) and ssm? Living together? Making a solomn committment? A ceremony? Wearing a white dress? Sex?

    Some of these things may have been banned in the past, but they have been permitted in most liberal jurisdictions independently of ssm.

    Marriage goes beyond the list of activities I gave, and similar, in one way only. It is a contract between state and two people – traditional man and woman. Ssm and any future pgm simply serves to extend the class of groups of people the state is willing to contract with. It’s not the lifting of a ban; it’s the extension of a legal right.

    None of this speaks to the merits or demerits of pgm or ssm. It’s just a framing issue.

    Comment by Daran — May 13, 2006 @ 1:52 am | Reply

  5. Amanda
    “Check your logic, do your research, and then comment on an issue you clearly know little about.”

    Yet I seemed to have hit a nerve.
    Wonder why?

    Comment by Fitz — May 13, 2006 @ 2:49 pm | Reply

  6. You know, it gets on my nerve when creationists argue that the third law of dynamics proves that evolution is sham. It gets on my nerve because it’s such a completely false argument.

    Just because an argument annoys people doesn’t establish or even imply that the argument has merit.

    Comment by Ampersand — May 13, 2006 @ 3:26 pm | Reply

  7. What about the merit in this…
    In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a hero of the territory of Thespiae in Boeotia who was renowned for his beauty and his pride.
    So in love with himself, that when he happened upon a clear pool and caught his reflection he became paralyzed, incapable of looking away. There narcissus stood, frozen forever in time, so captivated by his own reflection that he was incapable of looking away.

    Comment by Fitz — May 13, 2006 @ 3:40 pm | Reply

  8. But we are hardly the only people on the planet are we? Narcissus was capable of looking at only himself. I on the other hand realize that more than my own ego aggrandizement is at stake. I have a Mother & a Father, and am at odds in finding either disposable. Having regard for children, I don’t view them as consumer goods fit for consumption and disposal at the wims of adult gratification. If one accepts that marriage is an important social institution than one is forced to peer into its present condition. One is forced out of a world of utopian idealism, radical egalitarianism, and an infatuation with rights based argumentation. One, in other words, is forced into the real world.

    Within this real world(view), one is forced to reconcile oneself with 70% illegitimacy rates among the underclass, 30% illegitimacy rates among the population as a whole, 50% divorce rates holding steady, increasing numbers of young people remaining unmarried to later and later ages, and increasing numbers not marrying at all. Women going barren through no “choice” of their own, never having either the number of children they desired or any at all. Meanwhile verifiable social scientific consensuses continue to emerge about the ill-effects of fatherless ness, divorce, daycare, pornography and on the list grows. Young women & men are thoroughly sexualized by age twelve through a openly decadent youth/pop culture that continuously seeks to “push the envelope”. Resulting in a million abortions a year, teen pregnancy, unprecedented venereal disease, normative promiscuity in a “hook up” culture translates into a misogynistic, debased, sex-obsessed society well into adulthood.

    One is forced to recognize that the link between sex and procreation is inevitable, and the need for that procreation to occur within marriage is urgent. One realizes that continuing to head down a path that reduces marriage to mere yuppie coupling, divorcing it from childbearing will only further erode a crucial societal standard. One must understand that all family forms are not inherently equal, and that further reinforcing that idea has (and has had) very real human consequences. And that those very consequences vie for competition with what we call social justice. One only needs a cursory glance at the black underclass to realize that this “institution” we call marriage is more than capable of destruction. In the face of this destruction its prudent to ask whether we are engaging in ideology or humanity?

    Comment by Fitz — May 13, 2006 @ 3:43 pm | Reply

  9. Fitz, do you ever cite evidence for anything you say?

    For instance, you claim that the divorce rate is 50% and holding steady, when it’s below 50% (and has always been below 50%) and divorce is becoming less common over time.

    You also claim that there’s a social science consensus about the ills of daycare and pornography, when in fact these remain very controversial issues within professional social science literature. (I could get you cites if you doubt me on this).

    Please try citing sources for your so-called “facts.” Otherwise, I can’t really be expected to take them seriously.

    I’m also bewildered by your opposition to later marriages, since people who get married later in life are far less likely to get divorced. (Source: pdf file, see Table E on page 7).

    Regarding your anti-SSM argument, when you have a very visible class of parents who WANT to get married, it’s illogical to say “we can’t let you marry because that would erode the connection between marriage and parenthood.” The opposite is true – by forbidding these parents from marrying each other, forcing them to live in unmarried parenthood, you are undermining the parenting/marriage link.

    I agree that society as a whole would be helped if more people got and stayed married (although not all people). But you won’t reach that goal by forbidding same-sex marriage. The problems marriage has were not caused by same-sex marriage; therefore they will not be solved by blocking same-sex marriage.

    Here’s a fact for you to chew on: The states with the lowest divorce rates are Masschusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticutt, New Jersey and New York. Yet those states are (relatively speaking) very pro-gay and relatively pro-gay marriage; Massachusetts already has same-sex marriage, and a recent poll shows that more people in Rhode Island favor SSM than oppose it.

    If pro-gay-marriage attitudes were actually strongly correlated with divorce, shouldn’t those states have very high divorce rates? And wouldn’t you expect, say, Alabama to have a very low divorce rate, rather than a high divorce rate?

    (For the record, I don’t think that pro-gay attitudes prevent divorce – correlation is not causation, although lack of correlation is evidence against causation. My guess is that pro-gay attitudes and low divorce rates have a common cause, rather than being causually related).

    One realizes that continuing to head down a path that reduces marriage to mere yuppie coupling…

    It’s a common tactic of gay-bashers to speak about same-sex relationships as if they are nothing but sex (or “coupling,” as you put it). That’s an unfair, bigoted anti-gay stereotype. If you don’t want to be taken for a bigot, you should try to avoid such statements.

    Comment by Ampersand — May 13, 2006 @ 4:41 pm | Reply

  10. I welcome discussions of justice and of necessity, and I remain open to the idea that the demands of justice and the demands of necessity may conflict. I think this is part of the argument Fitz is making.

    But that’s about as far as I got. Amp questions Fitz’s factual assertions. I’m questioning the logical connections. In short, even if every assertion were accurate, what exactly do these distressing factual assertions have to do with same-sex marriage or polygamy?

    Comment by nobody.really — May 13, 2006 @ 7:13 pm | Reply

  11. You know, it gets on my nerve when creationists argue that the third law of dynamics proves that evolution is sham. It gets on my nerve because it’s such a completely false argument.

    Did you mean the second law of thermodynamics which in my experience is most often used by creationist as a bogus argument to challenge evolution?

    The third law of thermodynamics would hardly appear to be even superficially relevent, but I suppose the Newton’s third law of motion (i.e., dynamics) could be misapplied to the issue.

    Comment by Daran — May 13, 2006 @ 11:05 pm | Reply

  12. Okay, I completely screwed up what I was trying to say – I did indeed mean the second law of thermodynamics. Thanks for the correction.

    And if you were irritated with my stupid error, that would in no way indicate that my argument had any truth to it. 😛

    Comment by Ampersand — May 14, 2006 @ 9:12 am | Reply

  13. Marriage (as traditionally defined) is limited to a class of people, namely a man & a woman. While any member of that class may not have children, or cannot have children; the class itself is capable of having children. Same-sex couples are members of a class that can never have children. Redefining marriage to include same-sex couples separates the institution necessarily from childbearing.

    It also, by its very instance on changing the definition, androgynizes the institution. Marriage as a social institution will lack any necessary relationship to either maleness or femaleness and indeed, any relationship between the two.

    I submit that for the vast majority of the human race, this new definition will serve them very poorly indeed. That this new form of marriage will be incapable of successfully inspiring men & women to come together and stay together for the good of themselves, the good of their children, and the good of all society.

    (It will however serve the goal of making some people feel wonderfully included {for a while} Just as the lack of it makes certain people feel wonderfully put upon)

    Comment by Fitz — May 14, 2006 @ 1:38 pm | Reply

  14. Just to avoid any derailment of Fitz’ argument, let me correct his syntactic logic, as the point is sound (if debatable) once corrected:

    Marriage as traditionally defined is limited to a class of people consisting of pairs of sexually dimorphic beings – i.e., one man and one woman. While any particular dyad within that class may not have the potential for jointly creating new human life using only their own biological selves, some dyads within the class as a whole are definitely so capable. The class, accordingly, is associated with the ability to intrinsically reproduce.

    The class of dyads of sexually unimorphic (i.e., same sex) pairs does not have that intrinsic ability. Redefining marriage to include the class of sexually unimorphic dyads represents an intrinsic separation between the institution of marriage and the physical act of childbearing.

    Comment by bobhayes — May 14, 2006 @ 2:29 pm | Reply

  15. Marriage as traditionally defined is limited to a class of people consisting of pairs of sexually dimorphic beings – i.e., one man and one woman.

    Except that this isn’t true, unless you define “traditionally” as “a selective reading of the particular marriage traditions I like, ignoring the rest”.

    Comment by mythago — May 14, 2006 @ 4:10 pm | Reply

  16. Still not following this. Any chance we could get a version of this argument in the form of “If X then Y because Z”? Let me get you started: If states legally recognize same sex marriage or poliamourous marriage, then [list of bad results] because [reason for believing the result would happen].”

    Comment by nobody.really — May 14, 2006 @ 6:17 pm | Reply

  17. Mythago, I look forward to your disquisition on widespread polygamy, polyandry, and SSM in the marriage traditions of European, and specifically Anglo-Saxon, culture of the past (say) 500 years. That’s the tradition from whence we draw our laws – and you know perfectly well that within that tradition, marriage has been between one man and one woman.

    Yes, that’s a “selective reading”. I read out Native American, Asian, African, and Pacific marriage traditions because they are almost entirely immaterial to the legal and cultural apparatus American marriage has historically relied upon. Maybe the Algonquin did things differently; that doesn’t mean shit to our laws today, because our cultural tradition does not draw from Algonquin sources. I read out European flirtations with alternative structures in times long past because those traditions died out and are largely not contributory to our structure. Maybe Boswell found all kinds of deliciously homoerotic marriage ceremonies; they mean shit to our laws today, because our mainstream cultural tradition rejected those ideas a long time back.

    Comment by bobhayes — May 14, 2006 @ 6:30 pm | Reply

  18. Wow, it’s not often I see bobhayes dismiss the influence of Biblical tradition on Western culture.

    Comment by nobody.really — May 14, 2006 @ 10:13 pm | Reply

  19. Biblical tradition has a huge influence on Western culture. On our laws, not nearly so much, don’t you think? Probably 95% of what was codified in Biblical law(s) has been rejected over time – even as the cultural acceptance of the values motivating those laws has proceeded apace.

    Comment by Robert — May 14, 2006 @ 10:40 pm | Reply

  20. Yet people have this bizarre obsession with getting the Ten Commandments displayed on public property….

    Comment by nobody.really — May 14, 2006 @ 10:51 pm | Reply

  21. Here is the argument against polygamy in a nutshell. It requires an imbalance of male to female birthrates that do not exist. Young males in the large polygamist groups are used as underpaid and often unpaid child labor, i.e. slavery until they are kicked out on the streets when they become of interest to girls. In groups where they are not physically kicked out they are used for labor, denied an education and denied normal dating patterns with girls. Eventually the excess leave with no hopes for a normal life. The females do not fair better although the families do want daughters as they have value for bartering i.e. trading for wives for the man if he doesn’t have a lot of money to pay to leaders who assign the wives. The leaders take literally tens of teenagers for wives often ending up with 30 or more wives. The children created from this vast number or supported by the tax payer as the man cannot or in some cases like the multimillionaires in the Kingstons refuse to support their children who live in abject poverty. In order to supply the unending need for wives, teenagers, nieces, stepdaughters, sister-in-laws (sisters to the older wife), biological daughters, biological sisters, aunts, cousins, and little children are married to older married men. In order to maintain the power it takes to produce wives, they are taught that it is the will of God or even that the victims will burn in Hell if they do not follow polygamy. You will notice that whether it is so-called “Christian” polygamists (Christ never advocated polygamy – so that is a misnomer) or Mormon off-shoot polygamists they need religion to get their victims. Polygamy is neither advocated in the Old Testament, Abraham took a handmaiden against the will of God and ended up exiling his own son Ishmael into the wilderness (just like today); Lot, Abraham’s nephew, took up incest with his daughters (just like today); Joseph’s half brothers through polygamy sold him out of jealousy into slavery (excess boys must go); David had a man killed so that he could have his wife Bathsheba (polygamists have killed over 50 persons in the United States since 1970 including a 7 year old girl, an 8 year old girl and a 18 month old girl) America has its own brand of honor killing in polygamist groups, one of David’s sons killed another for raping a half sister (just like today). I really don’t see any Biblical commandment to practice polygamy or any lesson that polygamy is good in the Bible. Religion is a false excuse not a reason to satisfy the base desires for power, and sex which is what polygamy is about. Polygamy has so many inherent human rights abuses that it cannot be considered as a viable form of marriage. Look if it was so great – they wouldn’t have to use religion to coerce young girls into it. I don’t see gays out there telling people that if you don’t become gay and have homosexual sex you will go to Hell – there is the basic difference. One is an abuse of human rights and the other isn’t.

    Comment by Lorna Craig — May 26, 2006 @ 6:27 pm | Reply

  22. 1st PAGE.

    Christian Wedlock.

    Can a woman have more than two husbands?

    No, a woman cannot have more than two living husbands. A man has no choice, as he must be in wedlock with one wife. But a woman has three choices. Firstly, no wedlock with a husband. Secondly, wedlock with one husband. Or thirdly, wedlock with two husbands. That’s it, there are no further choices for a woman, and there is no choice at all for a man.

    1 Corinthians 7:2 King James 1611.
    Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

    Yr. 1783. 10th George Prince of Wales Own Hussars. (King George III).
    Yr. 1898. 19th Alexandra Princess of Wales Own Hussars. (Queen Victoria).

    Therefore two women can own a regiment of cavalry, and two men can own a regiment of cavalry.

    1 Corinthians 6:16 King James 1611.
    What! know ye not that he which is joined to a harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

    Therefore in the New Testament a man and woman lying together are one flesh, as follows:

    A husband and wife who lie together by carnal copulation shall be one flesh.

    A man and courtesan/prostitute who lie together by carnal copulation shall be one flesh.

    A man and common courtesan or common prostitute who lie together by carnal copulation shall be one flesh.

    An adulterer and adultress who lie together by carnal copulation shall be one flesh.

    An adulterer and fornicatress who lie together by carnal copulation shall be one flesh.

    A fornicator and adultress who lie together by carnal copulation shall be one flesh.

    A fornicator and fornicatress who lie together by carnal copulation shall be one flesh.

    Clearly the New Testament lays down that a man must be in wedlock with his own wife, and a woman must be in wedlock with her own husband. Furthermore the New Testament specifically limits the number of wives that a man can have to only one, but sets no limit to the number of husbands a woman can have. But there must be some limit for a woman, or one woman could be in wedlock with thousands of men. Rationally, if one woman can satisfy the bodily lust of one man every day, and forty men can satisfy the bodily lust of one woman every day, then is one wife for every man and forty husbands for every woman what the New Testament requires? No, because the New Testament is a document of truth, not a document of reason.

    2nd PAGE.

    Luke 1:28 King James 1611.
    Luke 1:31 King James 1611.
    Luke 1:28-35 King James 1611.
    In the New Testament, the angel Gabriel came in unto Mary, a virgin woman, and Mary conceived and delivered her firstborn son, Jesus, the son being God the Son, the father being God the Father. And when Mary’s womb delivered her firstborn son Jesus unto the world, then Mary was like all women delivered of a firstborn son unto the world, as a woman’s firstborn son can never belong to the mother but must belong to the Lord God.

    Luke 2:23 King James 1611.
    Exodus 13:2&12 King James 1611.
    And so like all women delivered of a firstborn son, Mary was no longer a virgin woman, but like all said women, Mary was a holy woman.

    Matthew 13:53-56 King James 1611.
    Mark 6:1-4 King James 1611.
    And husband Joseph Jacob came in unto Mary and husband Joseph Heli came in unto Mary, and Mary conceived and delivered Jesus’ brothers, James, Joses, Simon, Judas, and also Jesus’ sisters.

    Matthew 1:6&16 King James 1611.
    Luke 3:23&31 King James 1611.
    Joseph Jacob was the descendent of King David’s son Solomon, and Joseph Heli was the descendent of King David’s son Nathan.

    Genesis 38:16-18 King James 1611.
    “Came in unto her” means congress or carnal copulation. In the Old Testament, Judah came in unto Tamar, his daughter-in-law, and Tamar conceived and delivered twin sons. Tamar had lain in wait for Judah on the side of a far away road, and Judah had been unable to recognize Tamar because she was wearing a veil, and only common harlots wore veils. Upon first seeing this strange woman wearing a veil, Judah bargained a payment of his personal signet ring, his personal wrist bangles, and his personal walking staff, for coming in unto her. Tamar had been in wedlock with Judah’s first son, who God had killed for being wicked. Tamar had then been in wedlock with Judah’s second son, who God had then killed when he saw the second son deliberately spill his seed on the ground during carnal copulation with Tamar. Judah then pledged Tamar that she could marry his third son when he became old enough for wedlock. But when his third son became old enough to marry, Judah broke his pledge and forbade his third son to marry Tamar. When Tamar was seen in her third month to be heavy with child, Judah was told that Tamar was with child through harlotry. Judah then summoned Tamar to him in order to be burnt to death for harlotry. Tamar came and Judah demanded that Tamar tell him by which man she was with child. Tamar then produced the signet ring, the wrist bangles, and the walking staff, and said the man who gave me these is the man by whom I am with child. Then Judah confessed to all that he had broken his pledge and sinned by going back on his word that Tamar could have wedlock with his third son when his third son became of age, and then denying such wedlock to her. Six months later Tamar safely gave birth to the twin sons conceived with Judah.

    3rd PAGE.

    Genesis 1:27-28 King James 1611.
    Genesis 2:7&18-19 King James 1611.
    Genesis 3:20 King James 1611.
    The first man and first woman in this world were Adam and Eve. Adam means “man” in the hebrew tongue, and Eve means “life” in the hebrew tongue. Therefore a man is man, but a woman is life.

    Romans 7:4-6 King James 1611.
    Old Testament law dead and gives as an example that a woman can have more than one husband.

    1 Timothy 3:2 King James 1611.
    A bishop can have only one wife, and as he must be an example to other men, a man can have only one wife.

    1 Timothy 3:12 King James 1611.
    A deacon can have only one wife, and as he must be an example to other men, a man can have only one wife.

    Titus 1:6 King James 1611.
    An elder can have only one wife.

    1 Timothy 5:4&9   King James 1611.   
    Elders are not to provide for widows under three score years of age without children, who have only had one husband.

    The Estate of Marriage. Martin Luther 1522.
    Although Martin Luther confirmed that a woman could have two husbands, he nevertheless immediately restricted it to women who were in a marriage which had produced no children and who had then obtained permission from their first husband to take their second husband. Confusingly, Martin Luther did not make it clear as to how long a woman had to wait before taking her second husband.

    To sum up, the New Testament upholds the example of deacons, elders, and bishops, for men to follow. That example is one wife. The New Testament also lays down that the Old Testament no longer applies to men or women, except for the 10 Commandments, and gives as an example of this that a woman is no longer bound to have only one husband. If men must follow the example of the male Christian leader, whether bishop, deacon, or elder, then surely women must follow the example of the female Christian leader. What leader is that? The primary one in the New Testament is Mary, the Mother of Jesus, God the Son.

    Luke 1:35&41 King James 1611.
    Mary had carnal copulation with three men. The Angel Gabriel, Joseph Jacob, and Joseph Heli. However, Mary was only in wedlock with two men, Joseph Jacob, and Joseph Heli. Furthermore, the Angel Gabriel was not a man of this world, and he seems not to have taken a fully visible male form when he had carnal copulation with Mary as ordered by God the Father, for it appears that at some stage God the Holy Ghost came upon or entered Mary. Either this was at the moment Mary conceived or immediately afterwards. After Mary conceived, she immediately went to visit her cousin Elisabeth, who was six months with child, a son, who also had been conceived when Elisabeth had been filled by God the Holy Ghost.

    4th PAGE.

    Accordingly it would be fully in accordance with the New Testament for a man to have one wife, and a woman to have two husbands. That the Angel Gabriel had carnal copulation with Mary is both interesting and theologically necessary, but it is not enough of an example for a woman to attempt to take a third husband in wedlock, whilst her first and second husbands still liveth.

    Matthew 19:11-12 King James 1611.
    The New Testament does not give man any choice; he must have wedlock with one woman. Although do bear in mind that Jesus, God the Son, was not in wedlock with any woman.

    But the New Testament gives a woman three choices.

    1st Choice:
    Virgin woman without wedlock.

    2nd Choice:
    Virgin woman with one husband in wedlock without child.
    Virgin woman with one husband in wedlock with female child or female children.
    Holy woman with one husband in wedlock with firstborn male child.
    Holy woman with one husband in wedlock with male child or children together with female child or children.

    3rd Choice:
    Holy woman with two husbands in wedlock with firstborn male child.
    Holy woman with two husbands in wedlock with male child or children together with female child or children.

    A number of denominations have a service for wedlock, but so far every one of them has inserted words that clearly say a woman may be in wedlock with only one man at a time. Even the State Lutheran Evangelical Church of Sweden states this, despite Martin Luther himself saying that a wife can be in wedlock with two living husbands.

    But what do you expect. After all, Martin Luther stated in writing that under no circumstances was anyone to call himself a “Lutheran” and under no circumstances was any church to call itself a “Lutheran Church”. So what do all northern europeans called themselves? Lutherans! Ask them what church they belong to? The Lutheran Church!

    A number of denominations do not have any service for wedlock, on the grounds that wedlock is not a church matter, as it is a state matter. But every such denomination has nevertheless inserted words in that denomination’s discussion of wedlock, that firmly says that a woman can only have one husband in wedlock at a time.

    Nowhere do any of the denominations give any explanation for their defiance of the New Testament. Of course that just might be because there is neither any justifiable explanation or excusable explanation for such defiance.

    Still, just looking at using only the principle of choice as a guide, all the above denominations are pointing in the right direction, even if they are not pointing down the correct path.

    5th PAGE.

    That is, a man has no choice, he must make efforts to be in wedlock with one wife at some stage of his life here in this world.

    And a woman still has a choice, in that she may choose not to be in wedlock with a man in this world, or she may choose to be in wedlock with one husband at some stage of her life here in this world. This means that the principle of a woman having a choice remains intact.

    The defiance of both the Lord God and the New Testament by the various denominations by the removal of a woman’s option to make efforts to be in wedlock with two husbands at the same time at some stage of her life in this world, still leaves intact the principle of choice for the woman and no choice for the man.

    Constitution of The Spartans (Xenophon). 388 B.C.
    League of The Iroquois (Lewis Henry Morgan). 1851 A.D.
    Only two non-christian groups in the world have been known to practice New Testament wedlock. The Spartans and the Mohawk.

    Only monandry and diandry, or New Testament style wedlock, was lawful among the Spartans, citizens of the greatest of the greek city-states, Sparta, and history’s final saviours of Western Civilization at Thermopylae (The Hot Gates) in 480 B.C.

    And only monandry and diandry, or New Testament style wedlock, was lawful among the Mohawk, citizens of the greatest of the eastern woodland North American tribes, which forever blocked France’s attempt to seize New York so as to split England’s colonies in twain.

    Much criticism of both the Spartans and the Mohawk, has been leveled by outsiders who complain of the extreme freedom of the females and the extreme militarism of the males. It must be noted that there is no record of any Spartan male, Spartan female, Mohawk male, or Mohawk female, complaining of female freedom or male militarism.

    Whatever your point of view on Spartan life or Mohawk life, the New Testament lays down cast-iron guidelines for wedlock. The fact that the New Testament complies with Spartan law and Mohawk law is irrelevant.

    Of absolutely no relevance to this discussion, the symbol of the United States of America is the bald headed eagle, which is a species that uses both monandry and diandry for conception, and where the one male or two males reside in the exactly the same nest as the one female. The one female and either the one male or two males, stay in the nest together and raise the chick together.

    Mark 10:7 King James 1611.
    Ephesians 5:31 King James 1611.
    Both husbands must leave their families to go and become a member of the wife’s family, or the one husband must leave his family to go and become a member of the wife’s family.


    6th PAGE.


    1st. If any person within this Government of The Mohawk shall by direct, exprest, impious, or presumptuous ways, deny the true God and his Attributes; he shall be put to death.

    2nd. If any person within this Government of The Mohawk shall maliciously and on purpose deny that any Mohawk person may have arms for his defence suitable to his condition and as allowed by law; he shall be put to death.

    3rd. If any person shall commit any willful murder, which is manslaughter, committed upon malice, hatred, or cruelty, not in a man’s necessary or just defence, nor by mere casualty against his will; he shall be put to death.

    4th. If any person shall slay, or cause another to be slain by guile or by poisoning or any such wicked conspiracy; he shall be put to death.

    5th. If any man or woman shall lye with any beast or brute creature by carnal copulation; they shall be put to death, and the beast shall be burned.

    6th. If any man lyeth with a man or mankind as he lyeth with a woman; they shall be put to death, unless the one party were forced or under fourteen years of age, in which case he shall not be punished.

    7th. If any man forcibly stealth or carrieth away any woman or womankind; he shall be put to death.

    8th. If any person shall bear false witness maliciously and on purpose to take away any person’s life; he shall be put to death.

    9th. If any man shall traitorously deny his Clanmother’s right and titles to her Eagle Feathers and Dominions, or shall raise arms to resist her Authority; he shall be put to death.

    10th. If any man shall treacherously conspire or publiquely attempt, to invade or surprise any town or towns, fort or forts, within this Government of the Mohawk; he shall be put to death.

    11th. If any child or children, above sixteen years of age, and of sufficient understanding, shall smite his or their Natural Mother or Lodgemother, unless thereunto provoked and foret for the self preservation from death or mayming, then at the complaint of the said Mother and Lodgemother, and not otherwise, they being sufficient witnesses thereof; that child or those children so offending shall be put to death.

    12th. If any stubborn and rebellious son or sons, above sixteen years of age, and of sufficient understanding, shall not obey the voice of his or their Natural Mother or Lodgemother, and that when the said Mother or Lodgemother have chastened such son or sons will not hearken unto them, then at the complaint of the said Mother and Lodgemother, and not otherwise, they being sufficient witnesses thereof; that son or those sons so offending shall be put to death.

    7th PAGE.

    13th. If any unmarryed man above twentyeight years of age and under fortytwo years of age shall maliciously and on purpose refuse wedlock for over fourteen days with any marryed woman under sixtythree years of age, said marryed woman having borne a son, or unmarryed woman under sixtythree years of age; he shall be put to death.

    14th. If any person shall maliciously and on purpose deny any marryed woman wedlock with two husbands, said marryed woman having borne a son, or any unmarryed woman wedlock with one husband; he shall be put to death.

    15th. If any marryed man shall lye with a woman by carnal copulation, other than his one wife; he shall be put to death.

    16th. If any marryed woman shall lye with a man by carnal copulation, other than her two husbands or one husband; she shall be put to death.

    17th. If any unmarryed man shall lye with a woman by carnal copulation; he shall be whipt thirteen strokes, unless he hath his Natural Mother and Lodgemother authorities, in which case he shall not be punished.

    18th. If any unmarryed woman shall lye with a man by carnal copulation; she shall be whipt three strokes, unless she hath her Natural Mother and Lodgemother authorities, in which case she shall not be punished.

    19th. If any person shall geld any man or mankind to take away generative power or virility; he shall be put to death.

    20th. If any person shall geld any woman or womankind; he shall be put to death.

    Comment by peachperry — January 20, 2010 @ 9:01 pm | Reply

    • Excuse me ‘peachperry’, but where do you get all these ideas from? You are making assertions that the New Testament and indeed the whole of scripture does not assert, and indeed seems to flat out contradict.

      Firstly, you seem to make out that Mary had copulation with the angel Gabriel. Eh? There is no direct indication of this in the text, and unless you somehow assert that the angel Gabriel was in fact God Himself (which I cannot see) then Jesus could not have been the Son of God.

      Secondly, you seem to assert that Joseph Jacob (hat is, Joseph the son of Jacob) and Joseph Heli (Joseph, son of Heli) are two different individuals. This I think is simply a different reckoning of the lineage of the same man- one answer I’ve seen seems to point out that it was due to the tradition (in the Old Testament) of a brother marrying his dead brother’s wife, if the first husband dies childless, in order to give him heirs. So in a sense the offspring would be said to belong to the dead brother, and hence Joseph being said to be the ‘son of’ two differnet men. there are other explanations, but none seeming to merit the idea that is two different men, both married to Mary at the same time.

      Thirdly, you ignore Romans 7: 2-4, which seems to suggest that a woman cannot legally have more than one husband whilst he first is still alive, quite contrary to your reading of the same passage. This may have been simply Roman law at the time, but it seems to be endorsed by way of it’s use as example.

      Fourthly, outside of bishops (overseers), elders and deacons, there is no explicit condemnation of a man having more than one wife- which is tolerated in the Old Testament (and remember it is scripture, suitbale for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness -2 Tim. 3:16). So it would seem more that you have your order the wrong way round, and poloygyny is Biblically permisible, but polyandry is not. However, I would agree that the examples of overseers, elders and deacons to the rest of the church is a good argument for a man not having more than one wife, and that the New Testament condones monogamy, no more, no less.

      Comment by Richard — November 21, 2010 @ 4:56 pm | Reply

  23. Take my opinion for what it is worth, I will not cite any evidence or statistics, only exercise my own flavor of rational questioning. I, in my own opinion, feel that there are two sides to this debate: One side being that everyone should be able to do what they want as long as it doesn’t take from someone else or hurt someone else. Is this not encompassed in the American experiment? Is that not part of the very definition of freedom? The other side being, do we truly know what we want? Do we always do what is best for us? Is it not the responsibility if a thinking society to lay guidelines for the youth? Should we not learn over time and provide the best framework for our people to progress?
    Being a civilized individual, I do have the ability to hold two conflicting ideas in my head at the same time and weigh them based on their merits. Don’t for an instant think that I am going to be able to answer this age-old question, but isn’t it what is in the balance here? It is the difference between two parenting styles. One would allow a 16yo to buy a sports car and the other would insist that they focus on their studies. Both sides could throw out stats that show the car does or does not effect grades and thus further success. Again, that all depends on your model of success. Your “Rich Dad Poor Dad” fans would say that it doesn’t matter and everyone should choose their own path while more traditional families would insist that success in this society requires that you follow the guidelines of success. Stats will get you no where. History states that a whole slew of ideas were accurate from the world being flat to Cholera spreading through bad smells. The list is truly staggering. I can not rely on history for rational behavior nor thinking just as I can not rely on stats to show causality. I am sure there are a few ground breaking economics books these days that blows that model apart. So, what am I left with? My own judgment. That is also a tricky claim to make. You may ask if my judgment is influenced by religion, a chosen career field, a traumatic experience that may later come out in therapy, or maybe a hidden personal sexual preference. While no one ever really knows all of the influences on one’s judgment, I will try to summarize mine and give you my read on how I feel we should look at marriage from a legal stand point. First, I like sex. Second, I am completely heterosexual. I once brushed my face close to a man’s neck and get the shivers years later just remembering that horrific experience. You could say that is immature, but I have no control over my natural response to how much homosexuality gives me the shivers. That is tough to live with considering my brother-in-law is a flaming gay and one of my good friends. Finally, I am spiritual and non-religious as well as harbor a sizable desire to see all false authority stripped from grace. Power only comes from consent of the governed. While I am a fierce patriot of the American ideology, I am a skeptical critic of our government. I served time in the service, am white, married with 2 kids, suburban guy with a van. I am about as cookie cutter as they come. Why did I give you my bio, because I feel that it can be transposed onto at least a portion of every man living in this great country. Here’s what we think: It’ not that big of a deal. We only have a limited amount of time here in the first place, if it isn’t hurting someone, it is probably ok. Don’t throw someone in prison if they like dudes or somehow got more than one woman to marry them at the same time. Now, that doesn’t mean the laundry list of crime that can manifest should be tolerated. Prosecute any abuse. Are you going to catch all the abuse? No, but you don’t catch all the domestic violence, under education, nor crime in any regular house anyhow. Don’t measure one idea on Utopian standards when your back yard is a filthy mess. Consistency is what we are trying for here. Gay marriage: sure. Polygamy: sure. Abuse: No. What about the situation that ll too often occurs today as some good women put their careers first, getting through grad school, building a professional career, just to find that at 35, there aren’t many good single guys around. This may be a caring and loving woman who wants to enjoy family and children before the clock runs out but the closer it gets , the more rushed or cornered she makes guy feel thus sabotaging all relationships. If there was a married couple out there that she was friends with and it was desired by all parties involved, then what is the problem? More kids, bigger family, who loses? It helps our rapidly dropping birth rate problem as well as giving children to a woman who would have otherwise been left on the shelf. Kids in a loving home, regardless of how it happened, I can’t say that is a bad thing. Historical documents and societies may have evidence one way or another, stats may be used in one way or another, ultimately we are our own people and must make and stand by our decisions. Learn from your teachers then throw them away. It is the only way you can truly be your own person. Some lost in studious paralysis may gawk at that expression but they are also of the kind of inaction. They are the debaters that do up a plan for a playhouse for their kids in powerpoint, price out the materials, but can never pull the trigger and just start nailing boards together. Take a long look at your life and ask the important questions: How does it effect me? Why do I think it is wrong/right? Where did I get that understanding from? Is it possible that I am wrong? I’ll tell you, it is possible that I am wrong and if I were convinced otherwise, then I would admit it and seek to learn so that I don’t make that mistake again. Anyhow, enough of me talking, please post a response. I would love to hear someone’s real feelings and opinions. No need to post paragraphs from books nor the Mayflower Compact, just your simple, raw, and honest thoughts free of influence.

    Comment by Someone.else — November 1, 2010 @ 3:31 am | Reply

  24. […] More. ***PLEASE NOTE**** Comments on “Alas” are heavily moderated. If you’d like to avoid that, please leave comments on the same post at Creative Destruction. […]

    Pingback by Good Response To Polygamy Argument | Alas, a Blog — December 1, 2011 @ 8:37 am | Reply

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