Polygamy: The New Black

where are we going? why are we in this handbasket?

By streiff Posted in Comments (299) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

ImageOn Monday and Tuesday of this week the Washington Post ran sympathetic stories on how defenders of the practices of concubinage and polygamy are bootstrapping their own cause into the issue of same sex marriage.

For those who have ridiculed us traditionalists whenever we raise the usually disreputable “slippery slope” argument in the defense of marriage as understood by most cultures over several millennia these articles should serve as evidence that we are not exaggerating. When viewed through the mawkishly distorted prism of the arguments proffered by proponents of homosexual marriage their particular cases are compelling and if we accept the idea of marriage as some amorphous “human right” they are irrefutable.

Read on.

In the first case, advocates of gay marriage were able to defeat an Arizona initiative defending marriage by highlighting how that initiative would affect heterosexuals who are shacking up. The literal poster children were a 79 year-old retired mechanic and 75-year old retired bank teller who, presumably, would be deprived of some way of caring for themselves or their thirty grand children and great-grandchildren if the initiative passed. We don’t really know why these septuagenarians have a sudden need to have society recognize a relationship that is usually referred to a “shacking up” when they could remedy their problem with a quick cab ride to a justice of the peace. But supposedly their story was compelling enough that sufficient voters lacking second order reasoning skills were influenced to vote against marriage and presumably the onset of a vicious theocracy based on their sad story.

In the second case, practitioners of polygamy are raising gay marriage as an example of why their own living arrangement should also be legally recognized.

In her battle to legalize polygamy, the only thing Valerie hasn't revealed is her last name. The mother of eight has been on national TV; her photo along with that of her two "sister-wives" has graced the front cover of a glossy magazine dedicated to "today's plural marriages."

Valerie and others among the estimated 40,000 men, women and children in polygamous communities are part of a new movement to decriminalize bigamy. Consciously taking tactics from the gay-rights movement, polygamists have reframed their struggle, choosing in interviews to de-emphasize their religious beliefs and focus on their desire to live "in freedom," according to Anne Wilde, director of community relations for Principle Voices, a pro-polygamy group based in Salt Lake.

Up front I will say that I am much more sympathetic to the cause of polygamy and its flip side, polyandry, than I am to homosexual marriage or to legal recognition of shack jobs. While I must confess to remaining mystified at the attraction of polyandry for those outside the adult movie business, polygamy has deep historical roots and presents some cheap solutions to problems near and dear to liberals, like, for instance, making affordable childcare available to all. In fact, other than it being illegal by fiat I really, truly have no objection to the practice whatsoever.

If as a society we decide marriage is a right, as some claim, and not subject to regulation by the state then polygamy needs to be recognized at least concurrently with homosexual marriage.

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While acknowledging everything you've said here, I also want to point out that this is the opening salvo by the WaPo against Mitt Romney, who is a Mormon. The Washington Post is going to force Romney to state his views on polygamy; they're driving the bus against him.

noncontroversial subject then I don't see why anyone would view him as a real candidate.

But you are right, we're going to see a lot of stories chronicling Romney's family's polygamist associations (I say that not meaning that there are any only that we will be reading the investigations for the next two years.)

Mitt's great-grandparents were polygamists. Mitt's dad, George Romney, was born in Colonia Juarez, Mexico. Colonia Juarez was settled by polygamists in the late 1800's.

Mitt should not be judged by what his great-grandparents did. If my ancestors owned slaves, that doesn't make me a bad person.

They will look like the bigots they are. Romney will say no, he doesn't believe in polygamy, it's not the churches official position, and "how dare YOU" to top it off, I suspect. He's a smart enough man to have thought about this ahead of time.

Formerly ConservativeD. Two thirds of the world is covered by water, the other third is covered by Champ Bailey

Because I consider his Mormon background to be his single biggest liability even though the incidence of polygamy is very low. He's going to have to answer that question directly and the WaPo is firing the warning shot.

In anticipation of a Romney candidacy, I did a little research on Mormonism. Also happened to drop by the birthplace of Joseph Smith in Vermont while we were driving by, as well the Mormon college located where Southern Seminary Junior College in Buena Vista, VA used to be.
Suffice to say that, polygamy or not, I was very surprised by what I discovered. Mormonism is not simply another demonimation of Christianity, like Methodist or Baptist - to say the very least. It is going to be a very, very tough sell for Romney.

I will leave it at that.

he's running for President and not Head of the Church of America.

Two thirds of the world is covered by water, the other third is covered by Champ Bailey

Romney has also been married to his current wife since 1969, and there are a lot of other prospective Republican POTUS candidates who can't claim anything of the kind. So let's say that I think it's an important question for him to answer, but not necessarily an insurmountable one.

Will have to lead potential voters, particularly Christians, through his essential beliefs. Maybe saying "I am a Christian" will work, until the WaPo or someone asks "Do you wear sacred undergarments? Why no one but Mormons allowed in the temples, even the non-Mormon relatives of the bride or groom during a wedding ceremony? Do you really believe that Joseph Smith spoke with God and the apostles? That current Christianity is the false Church, and that Joseph Smith was sent to bring the true Church back to earth?"

His candidacy will lead a lot of people to examine the beliefs of Mormonism, and he may be forced to either accept or reject some aspects that could be described as more "fundamentalist". Is he an honest, moral, capable individual who would make a fine President? YES. Will the MSM treat him fairly if it looks like he could win? NO. This will be one of that ways the MSM, or even Republican opponents will try to nail him, and it will affect the way other Christians view him.

This may prevent him from getting out of the primaries, in my view. And it will be unfortunate.

will cost him several bazillion votes. I would consider him based on his political philosophy. The instant he appeals to me based on his "christianity" he's off the radar.

If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

He will not try to make it an issue - others will. A man's beliefs inform his opinions. This is important to evangelicals, and they will want to know.
Just saying...

I higly doubt Romney will sit here and answer all the questions that you have brought up about the LDS faith. Are they valid questions? Sure. But questions of this nature can be asked of every faith. To imply that Romney can't be elected because he believes in a faith that requires faith is pretty silly.


Not a good rebuttal. All religions require faith, and I can't imagine any honest believer saying other wise.


Mormonism is a variation of Christianity that many Christians may find extremely difficult to understand at best. At worst it may be viewed as a weird cult. Neither view is likely to help Romney, and it will be brought up by his detractors. That is the only point I am trying to make. I can see by your links that you may have a different view. I hope you are correct.

In the name-calling game, Mormons are forced to confront the "cult" label regularly.

All religions start off either as sects or cults. Once they reach a certain "escape velocity" (or "critical mass") they become full-fledged religions. I don't know exactly where that line is between "cult" and "religion". Generally, when a church gets to be so large that its existence as a "going entity" for generations to come is no longer in question, it is considered a full-fledged religion.

This whole discussion gets ignored, though, when people fight in sound-bytes. And that is the sad reality of today's propaganda wars. They are won and lost in 2-second sound-bytes.

requires faith - faith that no God exists.

On topic - If he get's up and says he's a Christian, he's screwed. Romney will do his best by saying, "I'm a Mormon, I believe thus and thus (simplified) and this is how it affects my decision making in my personal life. In my public decision making, I follow the laws as established by the Constitution and Congress, not the Church of LDS.

Basically the same tack taken by JFK.

I should have posted my comment in response to his comment entitled "Romney." I know he is not bashing on the mormons, he is just stating some of romney's futures obstacles which are real.

My point was that the LDS faith is not the only faith with hard to believe stories. Those reasons he stated seem like weak reasons to me not to vote for a candidate.


There are two kinds of atheism, and your comment I think applies to the oddball kind.

Militant atheism: The worldview of the kind of person who goes around putting a fish-with-legs sticker on his car, and obsesses over the name Darwin, may very well have a kind of faith. Or at least a religion centered on the reverse image of a major faith.

Weak atheism: This worldview is just any other worldview that happens not to include the supernatural. Unlike the above people, there isn't an express, vehement reaction to faith, nor is there any celebration of that fact. There just isn't any acknowledgement at all. I count myself in this category and I don't think your statement applies to me.
It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones. -- Calvin Coolidge

Is mostly agnostics, not atheists. I think "unknown/unknowable if God exists" is a much more common viewpoint than "certain that God does not exist." Most of the guys in the latter category have the oh so classy fish with legs stuff on their car.
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

on this. I know that the atheists are trying to get agnostics to start referring to themselves as "weak atheists".

Because atheists themselves are smart enough to realize that saying "I know that there is no God" is a very hard statement to defend.

Even if they win the logical game (in their own minds) they've long since lost the hearts and minds of all but the most bitter people. And no one, not even atheists, wants to look around and see nothing but bitter people on their side.

So you can adopt their new phrasing if you like. I will continue to use terms like "agnostic" (for open-minded non-believers) and "atheist" (for hardened, closed-minded non-believers). "Agnostic" is widely understood. "Weak atheist" is not widely understood.

I know of no atheist that has graduated from high school who would claim "I know that there is no God." It's possible to get someone to state "I know that there is no omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God" because that God, the god of many religions, is illogical as to have those qualities introduces paradoxes that cannot be resolved.

Agnosticism is epistemological stance that knowledge of the supernatural (and therefore God) is unknowable. Atheism is marked by the lack of the belief in the supernatural. An Agnostic Atheist (under which most atheists fall), would state that "knowledge of God is impossible, therefore I do not believe in it."

Atheism requires no faith, as only in the opposition of reason is faith required. If an atheist is faced with insurmountable evidence of the existence of a supernatural entity and still rejects it, then the atheist has rejected reason and replaced it with faith.

From the Dictionary, Faith is "Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence."

Knowledge on the other hand is belief that is justified and true, with its truth value stemming from the justification.

Basically, it requires no faith for you to not believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I surmise that you would reject the FSM from the lack of evidence (or at least I do).

The universe is exquisitely balanced to allow not only life but our kind of life. Slight variations in any of the parameters would not only rule out intelligent life but any kind of life. The odds of the universe coming out just right so we can have this debate is significant evidence. It takes a great deal of faith to deny the evidence and assert the non provable.

BTW the FSM is in at best poor taste and undermines the argument against intelligent design. The Darwin fish is far superior but both miss the point. Just because evolution happens does not rule out other means speciation. There is overwhelming evidence that LaMarckian evolution is occuring, and if you look at certain plant species there is irrefutable evidence of intelligent design.

But then again I am just ignorant of the sciences, philosophy and rather poorly educated, redneck, bible belt kind of guy.

will not engage in the debate over whether Mormons are Christians. rather, I have heard him state something more personal and quite disarming, when he says:

Jesus Christ is my Savior.

I think that will fly.

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

The statement is debatable in my living room, one-on-one, but not in the media.
If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

Never ask a Mormon what he believes in. You get a 1-hour lecture, a bunch of pamphlets, and you know less at the end of the lecture than you knew at the beginning.

Because Mormons are not Christians?

Despite the fact that Mormons have considered themselves to be Christians since the foundation of the Church?

Are Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Quakers, Shakers, Mennonites, Hutterites, and Amish also "non-Christian"?

Better yet: what does one have to believe in order to be a Christian in your definiion?

and would tell you that themselves if asked. They worship Jehovah, not Christ, and it is a central tenet of their faith. Christ is his son, and he is the sacrament of our salvation, but it is Jehovah who is to be worshipped. Otherwise they generally conform to the same moral principles of the Christian faiths.

As for a definition of Christian, take the essential elements of a Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, or Catholic creed, and you have the definition of Christian. One of the central elements of these faiths is that no new divine revelation may contradict established revelation or it is heretical. At least some of Joseph Smith's revelations do contradict what are generally regarded as the core works of Christianity, hence most Christians regard it as a cult, and not simply another sect. Since Utah has been admitted to the Union, Mormons have publicly been working to align themselves more with these central tenets.

Quakers, Mennonite, and Amish are definitely Christian. I don't recall enough about the other three sects/cults to be able to place them within the normative Christian continuum.

In 2000, I kept waiting for some reporter to ask Joe Lieberman what his views on Christ were. Never happened.

Now, all of a sudden, the media agrees with "the Right" that religion is very important and is fair game for presidential candidates.

The media did ask him about his practice of Orthodox Judaism. I recall many stories about Sen. Lieberman refusing to drive on the Sabath even when he needed to make it to the Senate to vote. The press also made a big deal in 1976 about Jimmy Carter being a Baptist minister and about Bill Clinton's faith as well as President Bush's faith.

No, the issue here is that a non-Christian (Romney) will be running for the highest office in the land. Is America ready? I don't think so and the polling, so far, proves I am right.

I agree that the polling confirms that Mitt's biggest obstacle is his religious beliefs.

But I disagee with your labeling of Mitt as "a non-Christian". He believes in Jesus Christ. He believes that Jesus is the Son of God, God in His own right, and the Savior of Mankind.

I don't see how one could describe such a man as "a non-Christian".

Can you offer any support for your position that Mitt is "a non-Christian"?

Here are a couple of websites that will help you understand LDS theology. Once you understand it, you will realize that Mormonism is decidedly not Christian. That doesn't make the religion bad and indeed the LDS church teaches and demonstrates great charity and character. However, other religions also teach character and charity and still are not Christian.


Every site you name is a decidedly anti mormon site. What if I said to learn more about the GOP visit the Democratic party site? I would reccomend people to visit the site www.lds.org to get a fair and true version of the LDS faith.

It appears your agenda is to bash the religion and you have found Romney to be a good avenue for this.


You wouldn't send someone to the DNC site to get the real picture of the Dems, would you? That site does everything it can to make the Dem party attractive and mainstream. The LDS website does the same. The websites I posted are certainly biased against the LDS church's claim of Christianity. However, they are also extensively sourced and allow you to make up your own mind about their claims based on historical fact and an analysis of scripture.

lets all go to the wikipedia site for "Christianity" and see if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) is listed there or somewhere else. I'll be back in 5 minutes...


If you've got a better objective source let me know. I'd suggest the Encyclopedia Brittanica or Grolier's Multimedia Encyclopedia.

But I think that you'll reach the same result.

I think that your definition of "Christian" is narrower than what an unbiased, non-vested party would call "Christian". Under your definition, a "Christian" is someone who agrees with your beliefs about "Christian doctrine". This label is broad enough to encompass both Catholics and Protestants (both of which have been accused of being "non-Christian" at various times) but not broad enough to include members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Your view represents a minority viewpoint, but you're entitled to it. Just be aware of the fact that most theologians consider Mormons to be a branch of Christianity.

It doesn't matter what Wikipedia says. Here are some links.

Why does it matter to you to be called a Christian? Just be proud to be a Latter Day Saint. You don't see Hindus insisting on being called Christians.


However much you think that Mormons are not Christians and expect that to cause a problem for him... Jews are even further from Christianity and one came within a few hundred votes of being elected VP with a malfunctioning robot that lost every debate on the top of the ticket. Between that and the fact that JFK was elected (sort-of) over 40 years ago now, I think the problem is vastly overstated. Serious bias against Catholics was rampant at the time and is still firmly entrenched in a lot of places, even in 2006. There are certainly people out there who would call Catholicism a cult as well.
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

We didn't see a rich debate on "whether or not a Quaker could be president" when Nixon ran for president in 1960, 1968, and 1972.

But Quakers believe in pacifism as a religious doctrine! When did Nixon ever get a debate question that forced him to justify the teachings of his religion?

What kind of fool puts theology over morality when deciding who to vote for.

Assume for a moment the HRC is his opponent. Is she a Christian? Do you think she really believes a word of any of it? Was Bill a Christian? Do you think he believes a word of any of it? Do we just require that politicians join an acceptable church and go through the motions, while, at the same time, supporting policies and leading a life that is most definitely incongruous with their church's teachings?
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

I absolutely despise what the former President Clinton did to the office. He lied and he was rightly impeached for it.

But, I certainly believe that he is a Christian. And I think he's been trying to redeem himself ever since he left the office, whether its so that he wants to stay in the public eye or because he's really contrite.

It's a very dangerous path to go down when we start to question another man's faith. It may not be recognizable to you, but can you really judge what is in another man's heart and mind?

about is getting caught in his lies and philandering and messing up his legacy. And yes, you can judge what is in a man's heart; you judge his faith by his works. The only thing that man has any faith in is himself. Now I think that faith may have faltered a bit, but I don't think he's the kind of man who would turn to any other sort of faith as a result.

In Vino Veritas

was "repentant" about that. To me, a penitant person must turn from his sin. Bill has never turned from lying. He has embraced it.

He was also THE most "Muslim-friendly" president we've ever had. I'm not at all surprised that Orthodox Jews have been fleeing from Dems and running to the GOP since Clinton first took office. They gave him their votes and he gave them nothing. (Nothing but a tax hike and national defense cuts.)

I certainly agree with you that one cannot say whether Bill is a Christian or not, defined as one that has accepted Christ as savior, is born again, within whom the Holy Spirit dwells, ie is saved. As my Baptist Preacher, Theology professor brother says, we don't have a "heart meter." And, my brother and another strong Christian female minster friend thinks that one reason he is obviously such an unhappy and tortured soul is that he is a Christian that refuses to repent and that God will not let him have peace until he does.

I am not so sure. He hangs out with people that are hostile to faith, and he yet he never challenges them. And he is a man that seems to be devoid of character.

But we are all a work in progress and one can point to Bill's childhood and see that he went to church ON HIS OWN despite the roguish behavior in his home. And I admire that he has remained married (Hillary deserves most of the credit) and seems to have done a good job with Hillary.

But please See a recent essay i wrote to look into this further. I was Dem for 20 years and was a huge Clinton fan.



"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Re; I certainly agree with you that one cannot say whether Bill is a Christian or not, defined as one that has accepted Christ as savior, is born again, within whom the Holy Spirit dwells, ie is saved.

I have to say I am not very comfortable with your definition of Christian as it seems to exclude people like me, in traditional, sacramental churches with its emphasis of subjective experience rather than objective participation. Might I suggest a simpler rule of faith: anyone who adheres to the ancient "fish" formula* "Jesus Christ Son of God, Savior" is a Christian. To be sure there are many sinful Christians(all of us really!) and yes there are heretical Christians who hold to aberrant doctrines. But since we can make no windows into others' souls we really ought accept anyone as a Christian who professes Christ and leave it to the Lord to judge deeper matters.

* In Greek this is Iesys Christos Theou Yios Soter, the acronym of which is ICHTHYS, the Greek word for fish, hence the prevalence of that symbol among the early Christians.

you say "profess". I assume you mean "profess as savior"

"profess Christ" is a meaningless phrase

see my point

and of course Satan believes in Christ, ie knows he is real

so I don't think we disagree do we

If you are uncomfortable with quotations from scripture concerning on the matter, you will have to take that up with Jesus and Paul, not Mike DeVine.

Christ was crucified by those that were uncomfortable with his demands, as were all of the Apostles, and Paul said the World despises the Gospel.

I quote the Gospel, and if I am despised for same, then I take that as the Cost of Discipleship.

But I think we agree. I have at times toned down the Gospel

when I was too close to this world too

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

is the "born again" phrase, with the implication that one must have some emotionally wrought-up experience. But the Lord also comes like a thief in the night, quietly seducing us, and not always with drums and trimpets and blinding visions. And yes, Scripture instructs us to be born again, but some churches like mine interpret this as a call to baptism, and that we are indeed born again, washed of Original Sin, when we emerge from that sacrament.
I do think we agree more than disagree (though I am profoundly uncomfortably passing judgment on whether anyone is or is not a true Christian-- that's not my call to make). I only ask you to remember that Mary and Martha both followed our Lord and there is no "one size fits all" mode of worship or discpleship.

has stated in this blog entry and others the past 2 days that we cannot say that anyone that professes to be a Christian is not. So the parenthetical though means that you are back to IMPLYING where no one INFERS, as in when I quote scripture verbatim re "born again" and you assume I refer to an "emotional wrought up" experience.

So which of us more deserves the "though" in any context. hmmmm

Did a Southern Baptist pick on you as a child?

Alecs, my first wife was Roman Catholic, and while I never "converted" we occasionally attended her home church and I was better catholic than she was. I also didn't ask her to be "re-baptized". I have defended Romney's profession of faith of Jesus as his savior here for 36 hours. My picture is depicted as an example of the word "tolerant" in many dictionaries. I am aware there is no soul meter.

But I can read the Bible. But as I have said, while doctrine is very important, it is not paramount. Why, I even suspect Jesus can save an Episcopalian if he tries real hard!!!

But like I say, if we are discussing what the Bible says and clearly means in the places where it is clear, I have no problem in saying so. Much like when Martin Luther tacked up some theses when he saw the Bible called white what the Church called Black.

But that is concerning doctrine, not a person's profession of faith.

And yet, despite major doctrinal differences with the catholic Church, esp as regards their doctrine of the Pope, I dearly love, admire and respect actual Popes!

But if one wants the best evidence of what "Christianity" is, one has the Bible. And for the best approximation of the implementation of same, all are invited to their local Southern Baptist Church for worship services at 11 am and 6 pm every Lord's Day and 6 pm for Wednesday Prayer Service

Just like Paul demanded!! forgot the verses

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Nah by zuiko

But since we can make no windows into others' souls we really ought accept anyone as a Christian who professes Christ and leave it to the Lord to judge deeper matters.

I don't have to take proven liars at their word just because I can't read their minds. There's nothing wrong with using a persons actions along with your own judgment to develop an opinion about when somebody is lying, whether it is about their faith or anything else.
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

is that we must be free of sin and error, then we are all doomed, and Our Lord was foolish for even attempting our redemption.

If I see either Clinton in heaven, I'll know then that there's a whole lotta stuff that I could've done on earth that I didn't do and still coulda got to heaven.

St Paul in Heaven will you then assume you could have gone around persecuting Christians as he did? You seem to be as keen on your own righteousness as a certain Pharisee whom went to the Tenple thanking God that he was not a sinner like other men he saw there. I do not recall our Lord having a very high opinion of that man though.

I just think its ridiculous to say that we have to take anybody, no matter what they've done and how much credibility they have, at their word about their "sincere" faith or anything else. Nearly all politicians at least pretend to be religious folk, and it's purely an image thing for a heck of a lot of them. Just like many of them pretend to be avid hunters come election time. I don't have to believe that either.
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

To accept this as a litmus for being Christian would be to ignore large swaths of the word of God.

Simple Example: "1Jo 2:9 The person who says that he is in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness."

Meaning, if you claim to be a Christian and have faith in Lord Jesus Christ, and live like the devil, you don't have faith. Faith is more than just saying you believe. It's a trust that you place in the Lord that his is the way. To not follow in Christ is to disbelieve. It's not so simple.

And for those who say it is not our place to "judge" other whether they have faith are skirting the issue. We need to know who is with Christ, because we are commanded to worship with those who are of Christ.

you are assuming that no one can sin or err and be a Christian. and again, if that is the standard then we are all lost, and Christ died in vain.
We are saved not by our virtues and wisdom but in spite of our sins and follies.

We cannot know who is saved and should never declare that someone is not. C S Lewis has a great section in Mere Christianity about how people become Christians at different stages of decadence and are works in progress.

However, the flip side is also true, that if we care about one's soul, and that is our mission to so care and to GO YE, that if we fail to see the fruits of the Spirit, we should take that as evidence that the person is not saved, and so pray for them at the least and confront them as concerned Christian brother at the most.

Our mission is to win souls for Christ, not NOT OFFEND. We should not definitively state that someone is not saved but we certainly should say if a person is acting in a way to bring disrepute upon the Church.

Now, back to your more flawed than mine denominations!! that's a joke, sort of........

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

on the faces of the evening news anchors if Mitt had been a mainstream Christian instead of the Mormon variety.

Mitt the Catholic, Mitt the Protestant, or Mitt the Evangelical would currently have a bandwagon so big that he would be the conservative's choice and the front-runner for the nomination.

If Mitt had been Jewish, he would not only be the front-runner, he'd have a cult-like following from conservative Republicans who are tired of being accused of anti-semitism.

Now look at Mitt this way: he is a member of a church called "the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". The church was formed in the heyday of an American religious revival when guys like James Buchanon were getting baptized in Methodist religious camps and preachers were proclaiming the Bible with a fervor not seen since the late 1600's.

Mitt's church teaches that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, God in His own right, and the Savior of the world. Mitt's church teaches that salvation comes through the grace of Christ (2 Nephi 10:24), but that we should not use this as an excuse to "wallow in sin". Mitt's church teaches about the Second Coming of Christ, the importance of baptism, the Holy Communion (or "sacrament"), missionary work, etc.

I have a hard time understanding why there is so much consternation among the religious right and fiscal conservatives about Mitt's religion. Every church has some weird baggage if you dig deep enough.

If the Reverend Falwell is willing to say that Mitt's religion is acceptable, then who are any of us to find fault with it?

Disclaimer: I'm a praticing Mormon and I have been since my parents joined the church when I was 4.

"If the Reverend Falwell is willing to say that Mitt's religion is acceptable, then who are any of us to find fault with it?"
Ahhh Yes, the inerrancy of Jerry argument. Who can refute that?

if you won't vote for Mormons because of their religious beliefs, just say, "I won't vote for Mormons because I'm not from their church." Don't say, "Well, they're not Christian" or "They don't believe in God".

I have a hard time believing that Reverend Falwell would give Mitt a pass on his religion if Falwell really believed that Mitt's church was not a Christian church.

Whether you love him or hate him, he takes religion very seriously. He is as concerned about the future of America and religious freedom as any of us are.

Has gone so far as to edit out references to polygamy from its religious texts and pretend that for all intents and purposes there never was such an aim as maintaining that institution. Any assertions about this are as apt as grilling a Christian on whether or not witches should be burned.

Now having said that... What's the problem with polygamy exactly? It seems like it would be its own punishment for those who can't hack it. I can see the concern over the kids getting short shrift but fail to see why polygamy should be singled out when no one has a problem with people having kids out of wedlock entirely.

Only the slippery slope arguement. If "polygamy" is valid, what's to stop my entire small town from declaring that all of its adult citizens are in one big happy marriage?

Where do you draw the line????

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. -- Abraham Maslow

and I think opponents of traditional marriage really have no logically defensible line to draw short of no line at all.

Polygamy is imminently more defensible, historically, socially, culturally, biologically, than homosexual marriage.

There is no guiding principle there at all. Everything is based on gut reaction: "Yuck! I don't like polygamy or !" and "Well, SSM is just groovy, so judges need to force it on everyone today."

I can respect the libertarian position on marriage (removing the state from the equation) because at least it is intelligible, unlike the liberal position. I'm not sure whether I agree with it, but I can respect it.
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

The LDS Church stopped the practice of polygamy over a hundred years ago. Even in it's heyday very few LDS families were polygamous. At this time any member of the LDS church that is found to be practicing or promoting polygamy is excommunicated. Children from polygamous families that desire to join the LDS Church must first completely disavow polygamy. If polygamy is the only ammunition that detractors can find to throw at Mitt Romney then they should consider another day job.

Let me qualify your statement in order to make it true: the LDS Church has recently put out collections of the teachings of famous early Mormons such as Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff. These collections do not deny the fact that they were polygamous but simply omit a listing of exactly how many wives they had and what the dates of marriage were.

However, the Church continues to acknowledge the reality that polygamy was once allowed by the Church. The Doctrine and Covenants is part of the Mormon "canon" of scripture and contains several references to the acceptability of polygamy. These references have not been "scrubbed", "airbrushed", or altered. They are right there for anyone to see.

Anyone who wants to know how many wives the Church's founding fathers had can look it up on Wikipedia. Just as the Catholic Church does not trumpet the fact that some of its earlier popes had wives and children, the LDS Church does not make polygamy a central tenant. The official doctrine of the church is that polygamy is no longer allowed.

(1) They were later, not earlier, Popes.

(2) They had children and mistresses (indeed, basically common law wives, but for the common law), but not wives.

Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

you are aware that St Peter himself had a wife (although nothing is said about children). While I am not well-enough informed as to his immediate successors, I do know that the the episcopal celibacy rule (bishops must be single or widowed when they are consecrated, and remain so) did not become universal until the 5th century.

At least I remember something about African priests being allowed to marry.

I'm not a Catholic though, so I don't know for sure.

And the episcopal celibacy rule was only enshrined by an ecumenical council at that point.

Your sophistry is slipping, Aleks.

Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

I was thinking of Peter and a few others. "Later" and "earlier" are subjective terms. You say "later", I say "earlier". I guess the key question is "later than what?"

The Boston Globe pulled this crap against Romney each time he campaigned(for Senate in '94, and for governor in '02).
Now that he's a national figure, expect the "hmm...he's a Mormon....hmmmm" reporting to increase.

Where was the Boston Globe in 2000 when an Orthodox Jew was the Democratic nominee for Vice President? Where were they then? On the Joe-boat?

Anyone who had been reading Camille Paglia back in 199x knew that with gay marriage comes polygamy. I agreed with her then and I agree with her now. What's fascinating is the usual liberal doublespeak in one of the articles you mention (and I'm paraphrasing): "I don't support it, I think it's wrong, but we should allow it between consenting adults."

I believe the author's actual statement was that "it shouldn't be a felony."

WHY NOT? Why shouldn't it be a felony to marry two people simultaneously? I think it should -- ESPECIALLY if the "adults" are "consenting".

a self-punishing action.

Want to make it a "lifestyle choice" and then why not? If it's just a "lifestyle choice" it's like choosing between Burger King and McDonalds (why not have both!) and that's exactly what the polygamist activists want it to be seen as.

I personally await Romney's answer on this. Clearly the WaPo is goading him to make the statement.

you haven't been paying attention. He went to the Mass Supreme Court recently to force the question to be put on the next ballot. He is for marriage as it is traditionally understood, not for homosexual marriage, and not for legalized polygamy/polyandry.

Personally, I think all the rukus amongst the anti-Christian bigots. Whether or not Evangelicals will vote for Mitt depends first on the morality he has displayed in his public actions, and secondly on whether there is a more moral choice on the ballot. So far as I know, there are no standing issues that put him outside the acceptability limits for Evangelicals. While he has made statements in the past that supported abortion, he has since renounced them and is pro-life. There might be an issue with embryonic stem cell research, but there you have some differences amongst Christian sects.

I think the happiness would grow on a curve inversely exponential in the number of wives.

Evil men hide from the truth, but good men stand upon it.

but having dated two women simultaneously while I was in college I tend to agree with you

Freedom - now, more than ever.

only in an environment where the wife is Equal to the man.

Each of the men in this discussion (including me) imagine the practice from inside relationships where the woman can tell us to pack sand if we pissed her off enough (which we all do on a regular basis, c'mon admit it). In our eyes, we multiply that occasional disharmony x2, x3, x4 and then mentally ship all sharp objects to goodwill and lock our door while we sleep.

However you slice it (or try to pretty it up), poligamy is a male-centric practice in the sense that it's the man's house and the wives are chattel.

When the man is in charge and holds all the aces, poligamy probably stacks up pretty nicely for him - especially if he's got them all out working to bring home the bacon.

To buy into that philosophy and become wife #2, #3, etc, you would also have to buy into all the rest: It's definitely his house and he's Numero Uno.

completely. I also know that I am unfit to carry out the duties in such a household, since it would require me to enter one of the roles of domineer, referee, or herdsman, none of which has the least appeal.

I prefer to remain the paltry speck of poultry feed that I am.

Evil men hide from the truth, but good men stand upon it.

is pretty much a defunct job class these days. In my experience, trying to have two women in your bed was about the surest way to make sure you had no women in your bed.

In Vino Veritas

This is actually part of the problem with attempts to prosecute polygamy. Activists against polygamy tend to assume that it is entirely a sexual gratification thing for the men, and that the men are in complete control. Under such an assumption you would think that arresting all of the men practicing polygamy would liberate the women and end polygamy.

In reality things are more complicated. For one thing the hostility of the surronding culture has a great impact on the nature of polygamy. Other aspects include whether or not polygamy is optional or required.

Consider the Mormons back in Brigham Young's day. Brigham Young had a policy of granting a divorce to any woman in a polygamous marriage who requested one, but would only grant divorce to a man for cause. (Brigham Young spoke on the matter and said that he had little sympathy for a man "who straddles a white hot poker, and complains when he gets blistered." Brigham Young could turn the most interesting phrases at times.) Further more, (if I remember my numbers right) only 1/3 of men were head of a polygamous family. Polygamy was strongly encouraged for the leadership. but most rank and file members did not participate.

Such a situation results in slightly empowering women. Why? Because lets face it, women are more rightous then men (just check out a church any sunday and count the number of women vs the number of men) and in a purely monogamous society women are faced with a choice of either marrying below them or not marrying at all. Today, not marrying isn't as big a deal, but it used to be that becoming a spinster was a terrible fate for a woman. In a society where polygamy is an option (and not required) polygamy gives women bargining power- they can tell single men to shape up or ship out because if they don't she could marry another man who has already demonstrated he's a good husband. In keeping with this theory, in the old days the loudest defenders of Mormon polygamy were women. Men usually just said "We don't want to, but God says we have too." Mormon women on the other hand tended to actually argue that polygamy was good for women. This is also why the anti-polygamy forces deprived Utah women of the right to vote. (Brigham Young was a proponent of sufferage, and Utah women were the second territory to grant women the right to vote, only a few weeks behing wyoming.) In fact portions of the national women's sufferage movement supported the withdrawl of voting rights for Utah women, because "they vote like Mormons, not like women."

(Please note that I have no desire to live polygamy. I shudder at the thought. However, I enjoy game theory quite alot and when applied to the old fashioned polygamy of Mormons, women do seem to get a small plus out of it. That is certainly not the case in the modern form of polygamy.)

This is why anti-polygamy was focused on destroying the ability of husbands to support their wives. Policies such as disinheriting children from polygamous marriages and so forth were adopted. Defining cohabitation as any visit to a polygamous family. Preventing fathers from seeing their children- that sort of thing was common place in the late 1800's. There was a deliberate effort to destroy polygamous relationships as families, and reduce them to a solely pro-creation/sexual relationship. This has had an effect even down to today.

A good introduction to the old style Mormon polygamy is "A Mormon Mother" by Annie Tanner- This is the memoir of a polygamous wife during the height of anti-polygamy power, whose marriage failed and who became disenchanted with polygamy. However, when reading her book, you will notice that several of her ecclesiastical leaders counseled her against polygamous marriage, including her father. In addition, her father was a succesful polygamist, and in her father's household you can see both the negatives and positives of polygamy- (one of the negatives being that her father was not particularly excited about polygamy and that he tended to favor his first wife). Finally, it gives alot of great detail about exactly how polygamy was stomped out by the Federal Government, which I think is a good lesson for any libertarian. Since the Federal government repeatedly denied the right to trial by jury, denied Mormons the right to vote, and many other things that most people think can't happen here in America.

You also find the core of why the Mormons were so offended. You see, anti-polygamy statutes didn't ban polygamy. The Mormons were willing to accept that the federal government could define marriage as limited to one wife. Rather the anti-polygamy statutes forbad adultry and/or cohabitation. This was particularly galling as several of the judges who were sent out to enforce these laws would bring their wife and mistress along with them on the same train- but it was only Mormons who would ever be charged under the law. This led most Mormons to decide that the anti-polygamy campaign was really a cover for anti-Mormon activities. As I pointed out once before, it was sort of the equivilent of forbiding the consumption of alcohol on Sundays, and then only arresting Catholic priests who celebrate Mass. While the anti-polygamy statutes many not have been unconstitutional, the way they were enforced must be considered as such.

Many of the problems listed above continue to be a problem with prosecuting polygamy today. After, how can you arrest and charge a man who supports several children that he has had with multiple women, but not arrest a man who has children with several women and won't support any of them? This has led most prosecuters out west to decide to only prosecute when other things are going on- such as rape, underage "brides", and welfare fraud (the Green case).

Consider how different current polygamists are from the old-day Mormons. Current polygamists have adapted to a hostile enviroment. Everyone is required to live as a polygamist- why? Because it decreases the probibility that someone will betray the community. Girls are not educated in modern polygamous families, compare that to Brigham Young who sent women off to become doctors are church expense. In modern polygamous families, fathers decide when their daughters marry, and they are married very young- why? Because it keeps young women from leaving the community. In a secretive polygamous society men become much more powerful, and the women lose power because they can be disowned if they cause any trouble. Furthermore, in modern polygamous communities property tends to be held communally- why? Because it increases the difficulty of the government to seize their property and so starve them out.

It really souldn't be any surprise that girls are married young, and that young boys are run off. In order for everyone to be polygamous thats what has to happen.

But even so, things are more complicated than they appear. One of the women who appeared on Larry King Live (not the witness who just gave testimony), was discussing how she was married off at age 16. Now she tried to imply that it was because the policeman of the community thought she was attractive and so took her from his bride- I sure that was part of it, but as the story progressed other things started to come out. For example, her policeman husband was married to her older sister. She was arrested for underage drinking just before she got married. (Notice that in a community like this drinking is a major no-no).

Reading between the lines it is almost certain that her marriage was arranged by her mother. Her daughter is turning into a hellraiser, who better than a policeman to straighten her out. Her older sister would be there to watch over her, and of course help persuade her husband to the agreement. Now no doubt the fact that this girl was a beautiful nubile 16 year old probably helped sell this guy on the idea, but pressure from his wife and mother-in-law probably also had something to do with it.

Now I am not trying to imply that underage drinking justifies a girl being assigned a marriage like she's a piece of meat- this was certainly an egregious violation of this young woman's liberty and should be punished if possible. I am only making the point that more is going on than just sexual gratification for men- and thus solving the problem is lot more difficult than just arresting the men.

If you want to stamp this problem out you'll have to arrest all the men (over a thousand) and all the mothers (several thousand) and place all the children in foster care (probably over ten thousand). (These estimates are just for Warren Jeff's group.) It will not be a pretty sight. Utah and Arizona tried once already. You had mothers literally grabbing up their children and running out into the desert to escape from the state officals. Bones are still occasionally found out there in the canyons were several of them died. There was a huge national outcry agianst such "heavy handed" actions, and eventually the children were returned to the surviving families.

These are the philisophical and practical problems that prosecuters out west have in dealing with polygamy. When viewing those problems you can understand why prosecuters have limited their scope to punishing the bad polygamists, and leaving the "good" polygamists alone.

Also, you cannot make an accurate assement of Mormon polygamy by looking at it's current practitioners. It's be like trying to understand a falcon by looking at a vulture. True they are both flying, meat-eating birds, but their habits are quite different.

I hope that others on this site will take the time to read your whole post. You summed up very eloquently what I am unable to explain.

We can't oversimplify the issue. It is a complex issue and it deserves some attention.

Thank you very, very much.

I stand in awe, Cicero.

Very well done.

money and/or street cred that you can get good-looking women with great personalities to tie the knot.

I think that polygamy will continue to gain acceptance. The idea that men should only be allowed to have one wife is simply not a Biblical idea.

The latter is anaccident of biology. The former us one of the most basic logical distinctions there are. You can relax gender restrictions without relaxing number restrictions. Proof: we allowed women to vote, but did not allow anyone to vote more than once in the same election.

You can relax gender restrictions without relaxing number restrictions.

There's a much better case to be made for polygamy than there is for SSM, so I'm not sure why we would want to.

The latter is anaccident of biology.

Like it's just an "accident" which country you are born in. So we should treat everyone as if they had American citizenship, right?
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

By this logic, we should allow women to serve in combat positions but not allow anyone to serve in a combat position more than once.

Well, it would certainly be a lot easier to crack down on plural marriages than, say, violent crimes. Less footwork for the police to do. Just go to the courthouse with a warrant, get into the databases, see who married two people, send the SWAT team over and do a no-knock raid on the felons within.

Perhaps we could then spend taxpayer dollars holding the felons in prison for, oh... let's say 10 years. 20 seems excessive.

And if the jails or prisons get crowded, we can always release some of the people who commit crimes that didn't have sentencing minimums.

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. --Voltaire

What you are discribing is bigamy- which is indeed rather easy to police an so hardly ever happens.

In fact "polygamy" cases are actually charging a man with the crime of fornication (usually called "co-habitation") or occasionally with the crime of adultry.

Those things are a lot harder to prove and generally involve threatening the "wives" with imprisionment unless they testify against their husband.

that will be spent feeding the kids until they are old enough to get thrown in the adult lockup.

If we really want to criminalize immoral behavior, lets go back to criminalizing out-of-wedlock sex. That would be a great use of taxpayer dollars.

First will come gay marriage... then polygamy... and next, polyandry... Followed by the legality of same benefit rights for swingers and one day... "Yo... by the way, meet my new wife, Elsie. Yeah, she's a cow... literally... but check out her udders!"

... anyone gittin' scared yet?

"Even when you fall on your face, you're still moving forward."

...then nothing is.

As soon as we give government the power to define or codify something like marriage, we must ever after be vigilant to prevent the usurpation of that power.
Take this power off the table and out of the realm of government, watch: it will no longer attract the folks who want to use it against your will.

We're spending a lot of time and effort and energy dealing with the symptoms of a problem, without recognizing the cause. The symptoms are that those damned lefties want to abuse the power of the government. The cause, which we should address, is that the power is available to them via elected office.

A ship in the harbor is safe
but that is not what ships are built for

then comes marriage, then comes a dog-boy in a baby carriage.

Even though I disagree with polygamy personally, I think one could make the case that polygamy is a religious practice and/or a free choice and could be allowed if the voters of a state deemed it morally acceptable to them (I can say the same for gay marriage). Perhaps thats my libertarian side coming out though.

argument at all.

It seems to me, having played "Libertarians in the Mist" on occasion, that the libertarian position should be that the state has no business getting involved in this whatsoever. Consenting adults, bedrooms, etc.

I've never heard a libertarian inject "morally acceptable" into their arguments.

Pure libertarians would of course take that position. Some libertarian leaner's like myself would say that Traditions which have stood the test of time should not be removed on a whim.

My view of marriage is that it's one man, one woman, period. Because three millennia of human history is nothing to sneeze at. And because no other arraignment has proven to be best for children and society.

As to whether someone wants to live with or have sex with any other person or persons, I think the law should have nothing to say about it as long as they are all adults.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"

My view of marriage is that it's one man, one woman, period. Because three millennia of human history is nothing to sneeze at. And because no other arraignment has proven to be best for children and society.

There's nothing libertarian about preserving tradition through government regulation. That is a purely conservative position.
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

If you see marriage as a way for the government to say that your sexual relationship is legitimate, then a libertarian position would be to say that goverment sould get out of it.

On the other hand if you view marriage as a contractual agreement between individuals for purpose of creating and raising children then you can take the position that if there is an overwhealming understanding of what is the standard contract, that the government should create and enforce such a standard contract in the interests of efficency. With the understanding that alternative contracts can be created- the government would be justified in excluding some non-standard contracts from being filed using the standard format.

Same sex "marriage" thus is simply not a marriage because it is not possible to meet the typical agreements of the standard contract. (Consider that infertility is often considered grounds for divorce under the old codes- how does that relate to gays?) Furthermore the government has no duty to create such standard contracts for every possible contractual agreement possible- though the government might consider doing so. For example, "civil unions" might be created- but the government should then consider what should be in that standard contract for gay couples- it should not just be a copy of marriage under a different name because marriage involves several commitments that simply can not apply to gays as a matter of biology.

For example, power of attorney in case of disabilty would probably be apropriate, survivor benifits would be a maybe, and rules regarding sexual fidelity would probably be excluded.

Notice that pre-nups fall into an inbetween catagory in that it modifies the original standard contract.

Re: Consider that infertility is often considered grounds for divorce under the old codes- how does that relate to gays?

You have infertility (inability to conceive offspring) confused with impotence (inability to have sex). The former was never grounds for either divorce or anullment-- any number of rich and powerful men with barren wives would have delighted had that been the case.

The libertarian position is for government to stay out if it in any case. The libertarian view is that there is no need for a government recognized marriage at all. The only thing you really need government recognized marriage for is to get freebies from the government related to your marital status... the libertarian position would be that those shouldn't even exist and that we shouldn't be social engineering with the tax code. Everything else you can take care of yourself with a few legal documents.

I don't see anything libertarian about this:

that the government should create and enforce such a standard contract in the interests of efficency

It's certainly easier and more efficient to just have the government do everything as a one-size-fits-all centralized deal. Libertarians don't put a particularly high value on efficiency.
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

are a good thing that in no way damages the wellbeing of others who don't fit under that standard format.

Yes a man and woman can create the same contractual agreements through other legal documents. However, such as huge portion of the population is entering into this contract that a standardized form simply creates efficency in the creation and enforcement of these contracts- or would if the government didn't treat marriage contracts like toilet paper.

Efficency, correctly understood, is always a concern of libertarians.

One of the best critisims of government control and power is that it is so inefficent.

I am simply arguing that if you view marriage as a contracting issue, a libertarian could view it as an area that justifies government action as one of the main purposes of government is the enforcement of contracts.

I am trying to point out that marriage involves more than just the "moral issue" and thus the knee jerk reaction of "the government should not be involved in private morals" does not apply. Marriage is both a private moral issue (which is why churches tend to get involved), and a issue of contractual agreements that therefor require government enforcement.

If you said efficiency was always a concern to socialists and communists, I would agree. When it comes to libertarians, I don't.

For example, it would be most efficient if everyone just got their health care from a single source: the government. Rather than hundreds of thousands of groups negotiating contracts with thousands of private insurers who maintain hundreds of provider networks, we could simply put everybody on Medicare. After all, a whole lot more people need health care than need to make marriage arrangements, so why force them all to make their own arrangements? The same could go for just about any other universally desired good or service (televisions, automobiles, toilet paper, etc).
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

Socialists and communists don't care about efficency- they care about equality.

If would be extremely inefficent if everyone got their health care from a single source. It's the thousands of groups contracting with thousands of private insurers that is efficent. Do you not understand the supreme efficency of the free market?

As for comparing a standardized marriage contract to universal medical care, now you are just being crazy.

Nobody is forcing you to get married. No one is taking away your liberty or property. If there is no coersion- then were is the loss of liberty in having a standerdized marriage contract?

It just makes things easier for people who want to choose the "standard" marriage. People who don't want the standard are free to choose a different contract as many do all the time. Pre-nups are a modification of the standard contract.

My point is that same sex couples situations are so different that trying to jimmy the standard contract into serving them will result in damaging the original purposes of the standard marriage contract (more than they already are). Instead same sex couples must either create their own personal contracts, or they should petition the government to create a standard alternative contract for same sex couples.

But you see, the problem is that I don't think gay "marriage" advocates really care about the contractual benefits of marriage. I think they are more concerned with the societal approval we give married couples- which I might point out has nothing to do with governmental enforcement of contracts. They think that if they can force their way into the government side of marriage that they will reap all the moral approval benefits of marriage.

Of course they are wrong. People will not suddenly approve of sodomy just because sodomites are now "married". Instead it's pissing people off. The problem is that they are going to further damage the contractual elements of marriage so that it becomes wholy disconnected from the creation and raising of children.

This is really a result of people being unable to seperate in their minds the societal part of marriage (approval and recognition of a legitimate sexual relationship), and the governmental aspects (a contractual agreement forming a financial union primarily for the creation and raising of children).

You were using efficient to describe a simple and easy process from the consumer's point of view where people get their marriage contracts from the government as opposed to creating them themselves. If it's not "more efficient," however you want to use the word, to have government supply one-size-fits-all health care or widgets or anything else to these same consumers, it certainly isn't "more efficient" for them to provide one-size-fits-all contracts either. They are two peas in the same pod.

It just makes things easier for people who want to choose the "standard" marriage.

Just as government provided health care makes it easier for people who want to choose the "standard" health coverage. Or government provided automobiles would make it easier for people who want to choose the "standard" method of transportation. Even if everyone was free to go outside the system (nobody deprived of choice), would this be a libertarian endeavor? To have the government making products that private industry could be making simply because it may be easier for the end consumers? I think not.

It is simply ridiculous to assert that it is the libertarian position that the government needs to draw up and institutionalize certain contracts with certain parameters laid out for "efficiency."

There are three positions here:

Position #1 - Leave marriage as it is because it government regulation of marriage provides very important societal benefits such as providing stable households for the rearing of children (conservative)

Position #2 - SSM is just a wonderful and very groovy concept, unlike all the other yucky kinds of marriages that I don't like (polygamy, incestuous marriages, etc.) The combinations I like should be permitted while the ones I don't should not. (liberal)

Position #3 - Remove government from the realm of marriage because it has no business regulating this activity at all. All individuals should be treated the same by the government, regardless of marital status, so why does the government need to regulate in this realm? (libertarian)
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

of time.

Monogamous marriage has not. Polygamy has always been around in some form. It was never even illegal until a few hundred years ago.

Martin Luther advised King Henry VIII to take a second wife rather than to divorce his first wife. Imagine how history would have been different if Henry had listened.

here's the money quote from the Catholic Encyclopedia

(I'll put the link up in a minute)

King Henry VIII, who was now deeply concerned with the proceedings of his divorce from Catherine of Aragon, was approached less successfully. The opinion about the divorce, asked from the universities, also reached that of Wittenberg, where Robert Barnes, an English Augustinian friar who had deserted his monastery, brought every influence to bear to make it favourable. The opinion was enthusiastically endorsed by Melancthon, Osiander, and Oecolampadius. Luther also in an exhaustive brief maintained that "before he would permit a divorce, he would rather that the king took unto himself another queen".

What's my point? Anyone ever ask their Lutheran friends why Martin Luther advocated polygamy? Why should Mormons bear the brunt of defending polygamy?

Hey these are the questions we don't want to think about. It wold be easier for all involved if you didn't bring them up.


Hey these are the questions we don't want to think about. It wold be easier for all involved if you didn't bring them up.


but I've got to break up this argument that the LDS church somehow created a doctrine of polygamy.

Polygamy has always been around, in one form or another. Martin Luther obviously had no problem with it. Biblican prophets had no problem with it.

This abhorrence of polygamy on supposed religious grounds is baseless.

If the LDS Church is somehow a "non-Christian" denomination because it once taught polygamy, then Martin Luther and his church should be similarly tainted.

I was being sarcastic because when good points like the one you rought up about Martin Luther are made people just seem to ignore them.

It's a very good point, andI am glad you btought it up.


he was seeking an annulment, a ruling that his first marriage was invalid. Divorce was not possible under Western canon law (though Eastern canon law did allow for it). Luther's comment should be read as suggesting that it would be a lesser sin for Henry to commit bigamy than to commit the sin of divorce. It certainly does not suggest that bigamy was morally or legally licit. Even under pre-Christian Roman law a man might have but one wife (at a time). This continued to be true in Christian times.

I'm really impressed. I don't pretend to know all that there is to know about the history of marriage.

If you asked me, I couldn't tell you exactly when polygamy became illegal in Europe.

But the lengthier explanation of Luther's advocacy of polygamy is this: he believed that the Bible expressly prohibited divorce but did not expressly prohibit taking a second wife.

In other words, it would be better to step into a moral "gray" area then to step into an area that was clearly wrong.

Today, we don't view divorcees as being grave or unpardonable sinners. We, as a society, discourage divorce but we don't punish those who are divorced (that's what their ex's are for).

Adultery is no longer a crime in most countries and U.S. states.

I can't remember the last time anyone was prosecuted for having sex out of wedlock.

But plural marriage has gone from a moral "gray" area (in the 1500's) to a sin and a crime. I can understand being outraged at the abuse (both child abuse and welfare abuse) that is perpetrated by many of today's polygamists. But I cannot understand the reason why the Romans or any other pre-20th Century culture would have banned the practice in the first place.

Re: If you asked me, I couldn't tell you exactly when polygamy became illegal in Europe.

I don't think it was ever legal, except very marginally, Neither Greeks nor Romans ever practiced it. As far as I know the Keltic and Germannic tribes did not either. The only instances of Euroepan polygamy I know of were the Macedonian kings: Alexander the Great had three wives (all Asian women), and his father Philip had at least six.

Re: But I cannot understand the reason why the Romans or any other pre-20th Century culture would have banned the practice in the first place.

Probably because it was associated with unaccpetable elitism, unworthy of a republican people, and was most common among decadent monarchies in the Middle East. More realistically though, polygamy has always been rare even in cultures that tolerate it, for the very practical reason that only the wealthy can afford it. Monogamy is and always has been the norm everwyhere. Of course, most cultures have tolerated a sort of virtual polygamy, allowing men to have a legal wife and a mistress or concubine on the side, without fear of social disgrace. Our own era is one of the few in which this is not well-tolerated, due, I think, mostly to the ease of divorce which causes men to behave more faithfully toward their wives or else be dumped by them.

Clearly the creation story reveals God's plan for one man and one woman to become one in all ways much as an example of what God wishes between man and God. And Paul clearly teaches the same. Yet, after the FALL, God ALLOWED polygamy and divorce due to our weakness.

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Martin Luther noticed that God never banned polygamy. Divorce, yes. But not polygamy. I agree with you that God never intended for polygamy to be practiced everywhere by the masses. Even the LDS church never taught that. But Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, and Moses all practiced polygamy. If it is sinful, then these prophets all sinned. It's kind of hard to wrap one's brain around that.

weakness. Moses mocked God and was not allowed to enter the promised Land. God allowed divorce after a plea from his People. God did not wish for Israel to have a King, but he indulged them. And I think God bemoaned the polygamy of Solomon? or some prophet but relented due to their weakness. Polygamy, like slavery in some forms, was an economic construct in many ways that made it possible for more people to have a more comfortable life in days before the American free enterprise miracle of canned foods!

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

when Moses struck the rock with his rod, God condemned him. When Moses' sister Miriam complained about Moses marrying an Ethiopian woman, she was struck with leprosy.

When and where did God say that he was punishing Moses for having more than one wife?

For that matter, when did God ever proclaim that Abraham's, Jacob's, and Isaac's plural marriages were sinful?

And throwing around the words of Paul is dangerous. Paul never condemned polygamy. He seemed to imply in 1 Cor. 7:8-9 that the unmarried and widows should "abide even as [he]" (often construed to be a proclamation of the superiority of celibacy to married life). Yet that is a somewhat dubious claim as Biblical scholars are split on whether or not Paul was married.

It is a complicated issue, both legally and theologically. It deserves more time and consideration than most people are willing to give it.

I was saying that the Bible clearly recounts that the prophets were men with feet of clay and I think God did express that he preferred that men have only one wife when he relented and let, I think Solomon? have more than one. I will look into it.

And, when I am not as tired and lazy! look up the verses that argue for monogamy, one of which is when Paul lays out the qualifications for Deacon? The husband of one wife...

I do recognize that polygamy did serve to give more women security in more famine and savagery filled times! and to promote a propagation of the race!

But I am by no means well-read on the subject. I am however intuitively against one man taking a large supply of what I am seeking off the market!, ie Wife #3. I do it one at a time, and can usually count on a good 5 years, much like communist economic plans!


"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

didn't sanction polygamy, though Roman divorce was liberal enough, at least for men, that many Romans would fit right in today as serial monogamists.

I'll admit though, that I am much less troubled philosophically by polygamy than by some of the other forms of "alternative lifestyles." Provided, of course, that the Pater has the same legal rights and duties towards all members of the familias.

In Vino Veritas

Most of our marraige traditions and laws go back to Roman laws and traditions.

a justice of the peace?

I was under the impression that most people just got married by a priest or clergyman before the 20th Century. Not to say that a justice of the peace couldn't do it. But if there were no health care benefits to snag, it was generally more convenient just to have the local pastor/priest do it. These arrangements were respected when one spouse died and the other took over possession of the property. You'd have a hard time arguing "but they weren't married by a county official!" before the 20th Century.

Polygamy is not a religious practice and/or a free choice, it's child abuse. And, I would note that it has been outlawed in both Utah and Arizona, though the laws have not been enforced. Hopefully, Jeffs will bring to light the reality of polygamy and the states will shut down the LDS towns where polygamy is practiced.

If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

really has no more to do with polygamy than any child abuse case involving a parent has to do with regular marriage... or gay marriage.

Somehow tying polygamy to the practice of forced marriages of minors seems about as reasonable as tying gay marriage to NAMBLA

Take a look at how the practice evolved, particularly in the early Mormon church. There is, of course, a spectrum with Jeffs being at one end, but I am not sure the spectrum is a broad one.

Check out what someone who actually lived it thought:


The whole book is online. In case you are wondering about bias, Annie Tanner's polygamous marriage failed and ahe came to believe that polygamy was a mistake.

The PRACTICE of polygamy - as opposed to the theory of it - is child abuse. Forced marriage is what polygamy is about. As is shutting young males out of the community.

There is a reason that polygamy is practiced, by and large, in isolated communities.
If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

you are making the same argument about polygamy as is made against homeschoolers. Any activity that isn't understood=child abuse.

Polygamy is practiced in isolation because it is a felony.

that government not be involved in the issue of marriage, would be an unmitigated disaster. The state, ie all of us, have an interest that as many children as possible not become wards of the state. Granting respected formaized status to marriage is a big deal. It is less of a big deal thanks to the 60s free love crowd, but that they have wounded the institution is no reason to kill it.


"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

...we might simply enforce existing child abuse laws, to accomplish the same end.

The only thing we get by legislating marriage is to make marriage a legislated issue. At which point, we should all worry when we don't dominate the legislature.

A ship in the harbor is safe
but that is not what ships are built for

like they were before marriage. Men spread their seed all over the village, so no child was identified as belonging to a man and men weren't fathers. rather, they were serial rapists and women and their children were at their mercy. The status of children was a result of having a father that loved them enough to stay at home with them. After Women tamed men into monogamy, and voila marriage was born and civilization was possible. And the governments established by these civilized married people wisely fostered the institution in order to preserve the precious gift of civilized living.

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Who's saying marriage should be no more? Certainly not me, and I'll thank you not to suggest I have done so.

Are you suggesting that unless we legislate marriage, marriage will go away? Nonsense.
If it's as fundamental as you say, (and I agree, it is) and it worked before the US government started involving itself in the marriage business, it will continue to work without further adding politicans and their input to the mix. ...and, I would assert, it will be the better for their absence.

"are you saying that unless we legislate marriage it will go away?"

Yes, when you look at the fact that it is a social institution, I think that is true. That is not to say that people would not still have sex and possibly spontaneously develop individual forms of committed relationships.

I realize you are narrowly referring to the US gov. as legislator, but lets think about "legislate" in general terms, then come back around to that specific legislator, the Fed.

Marriage is nothing if not a social institution. It involves a ceremony and rules that are constructs of the society and enforced by the society's authorities. In the past it must have been administered by some institution which had authority over the members of the society - the body politic. At some points in history that may have been the rulers of the kingdom, or the feudal lord, or the tribal elders or the shaman or the Catholic Church or what other authority it may be.

The point there is that it always has been administered by gov. It is not a private or individual matter. It is by nature an invasion - by society at large - into that private individual matter of people's sexual relations, justified by the fact that those sexual relations result in a matter that the society has very great interest in: its progeny. So government is involved in principle.

There remains the question of: involved at what level of authority. I expect that if we study the history of successful civilizations that we will find that on this matter of marriage the government always came to be involved at the highest level (or levels in cases where there was some irresolution about which institution had the greater authority). And I expect that if we analyze it we will find very good reasons why marriage would be administered by the highest authority.

In our case, that is the Feds. And in our system of government of, by and for the people, that should make it a political matter. Unfortunately it threatens to become a purely judicial matter because of some myopic judicial traditions of interpretation of our equal rights protection clauses, due perhaps to some non-circumspect wording in the 14th.
John E.

I draw different conclusions from my view than you do from yours, apparrently. ...and while you're entitled to your view, I strongly question whether it's appropriate to legislate based on it.

Marriage has been done no favors by our secularization and politicization of it so far, and the answer to our current crisis of faith is not to regulate it more.

That marriage is a social institution does not mean it will benefit from expansive governmental regulation. To the contrary, doing so will make it MORE subject to the forces of politics- meaning that every time the balance of political power slips one way or another, we'll get to watch whomever dominates politics at the moment re-craft it in their own image. ...and we'll have to devote more of our lives and energy toward dominating government, just to stay still.

Our liberty is much better protected by _reducing_ the state's role in our lives.

At what point in at least European or Middle Eastern history was there ever no institution of marriage in some form? It exists even among primitive peoples. Indeed, it is probably instinctual in our species, at least to the same extent that language is (and as with language the forms may vary greatly, but the behavior in universal). To be sure, high status males have often had the license to spread their seed, sometimes through casual coitus, sometimes through formalized concubineage. But monogamous marriage is really the human norm, polygamy a rare deviation from it.

I'd say it's more a matter of making marriage a vague, short-term concept, which in itself inclines us toward accepting gay marriage, serial marriage, etc. ("like, if it feels good, do it, man!")
The downside of this is the children involved, and, government being government, the trend will be used to increase its power. Children will become ever-more the wards of various government bureacracies, which can proclaim that they're simply moving in to take over "for the children."
This may be an interim goal. Whenever you hear anyone (even yourself) commenting on a child abuse case with "some people just shouldn't be allowed to have children," one more vote is added to the idea of government regulating who can and cannot procreate. This will become a new rallying cry within a decade.

I hate the fact that these polygamist sects generally have part of their needs supplied by the government.

You are correct to note that everyone has an interest here, not just those who are involved in polygamy.

before we children of the Sixties got to marrying age. A combination of an increasingly overtly sexualized society, attributable mostly to the movies, and women's entrance into the workplace during and after WWII had more to do with wounding marriage than anything else.

Prior to the Fifties, once a man was married, the only contact with women that he had were the womenfolk among his kith and kin with all the taboos that entailed, or, if he was the type, there was that other kind of woman available on the other side of town. Once women began entering the workplace in significant numbers, men were in constant contact with women and the only taboo was the procription against adultery - one of the shakier restraints on male behavior.

You've been around the block enough to know that all it takes is proximity and alcohol, and there's plenty of women who have that horizontal career move down. I've been five words and five minutes from the sack with half the women I've ever worked with or who worked for me and the only restraint was my own self-discipline, not always my strongest trait. I'll freely admit that most of that restraint was far more motivated by concern for my social position than from any moral compunction. Prior to the late Eighties when sport sex became a blood sport because of AIDS and other STDs, an office was like hunting in a baited field and that rock on her finger just gave you an indication of the opening bid.

In Vino Veritas

And maybe birth control weakens our need for it.
John E.

from "no fault" sex to "no fault" divorce, was it? What, maybe fifteen or twenty years, depending on the state?

In Vino Veritas

And I would have to say - though sadly - that there appears to be a likely logical relation underlying that temporal one.
John E.

Sorry, I know it's not cool for liberals to make fun of conservatives around here, but this is one of the most unintentionally funny posts that I've read in quite a while.

Seriously, half the women you ever worked with were that eager to jump into the sack with you? You are either Tom Cruise or delusional. Or maybe you worked in the porn industry. It's a good thing you have that iron self control that men in the 40's apparently lacked.

And the divorce problem is due to women being in the workplace? I can only imagine what your solution is. Careful, your misogyny is showing.

matter. Their sexual harassment of men is widespread and growing. The only remedy is for men to come out of the closet and file lawsuits. I am willing to handle these cases on a contingency fee so that i can help the poor men whose incomes are eat up with prozac bills that enable them to cope and avoid filing disability with no credits for life-giving sperm donations that their ex-wives kept as child support entitlement substances. And then their are the poor children, especially boys, with absent fathers who find themselves totally unprepared for the workplace having never been told no their whole lives. And all this worse on the frozen tundra just outside the Aleutians.

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

So it is irrelevant in any discussion of the prohibition on polygamy. There have been a whole lot of plain old husband and wife marriages that have been less than voluntary on the part of one or both parties as well... which has as little to do with the concept of marriage as it does with the concept of polygamy.
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

of why this has everything to do with marriage is the removal of public shame towards those that shack up and easy no fault divorce. The raising of children is serious matter and it should be treated as more serious than whether someone is "fulfilled" by the relationship. Because while libertarians might like to be "left alone" they seem not to all be hermits. No, they live amongst us, decidedly not alone. And the wild animals being produced by liberated free agents are roaming the streets not leaving me alone.

There's nothing new under the sun. Our forefathers and forefathers of other countries all learned this lesson, the hard way. Luckily, they retained the lesson long enough to be a strong enough nation to win WWII. And children raised in marriages that lasted had everything to do with it.

Society has an interest in upholding public morals, thru shame if not actual punishment.

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

...anything but the power of the state.

If we require the mandate of government to preserve our moral fiber, it is lost already.

A ship in the harbor is safe
but that is not what ships are built for

into nations lest sin expand exponentially. What is being mandated in the area of civil marriage? nothing

Government does mandate a lot of morality though, and there are less murders, robberies and rapes because of it.

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

What is being mandated in the area of civil marriage? nothing

Precisely. No government mandate is needed, nor is it appropriate. Government is not the solution here- or if it is, it is a solution that will simply create secondary problems. Right now our secondary problem is that the activist left wants to redefine what the laws on the books say. This is the consequence of saying that control over this issue is the proper role of government- the other side will fight for control of government so that they can force their own agenda- 'force' being the key word.

Government does mandate a lot of morality though, and there are less murders, robberies and rapes because of it.

Two ways to disagree with this statement:
1) Government cannot mandate morality; it is not capable of doing so. Morality is chosen, government has only blunt force available as its instrument. One cannot command virtue; it must be freely expressed or, by its nature, does not exist at all. What the state can do is prohibit specific behavior and specify consequences. This is not the same as morality.
What the state provides when it proscribes theft or murder or violent crime is to provide the means by which to resolve these transgressions in as workable a way as is possible. The law is not moral, as any lawyer knows instinctively; it is merely a civilized mode of arbitrated domination we accept as better for everyone than its alternative. To conflate the law with morality is to collapse two correlated but distinct phenomena.

2) It doesn't follow that because government proscribes specific crimes that their numbers are less than they would otherwise be. This assumption, aside from being untestable and therefore unprovable, relies upon the idea that the only thing preventing the crime's commission is that it's a crime. This is a pretty weak thesis, and in any case goes far afield from the topic unless you're really suggesting that man is inherently immoral and that the remedy is to look to government for one's moral compass... in which case, we may have to agree to disagree.

You have clobbered the libertarian argument of "to each his own".

at one time.

As far as it being child abuse, that's a tougher issue.

Obviosuly the way Warren Jeffs forced young girls into marriage was unconscionable. But are you then arguing that polygamy should be legal as long as all parties are adults?

lets quit recognizing marriages altogether and move it back to the church where it belongs. Homosexuals can go to their own churches for whatever it is they want to do to each other. Same with people who want to marry their pet goat.

I couldn't agree more ... marriage should be between whomever & whatever faith, period!

Simple legislation requiring a sole beneficiary to whatever monetary distributions one is "entitled" to by the gov't (SS, pensions, etc) is all that is needed.

Traditional legal instruments such as Power of Attorney, Wills, Trusts, etc. can handle the decision making & assest distribution in the event of one's expiration. There are a number of stories of eccentric people willing all assests to the pet dog!

If one could produce a half-dozen children, "out of wedlock", with a half-dozen different mothers, or fathers, and be rewarded with social services up the whazoo ... is there really much of a stretch to adults practicing polygamy? (key word: "adults" - those nuts looking to marry a 14 year old should be in jail with the rest of the degenerates) ... what is the difference, except maybe the polygamists know & raise all the children.

marriage and few homosexuals would want it.

that most of us -and the voters of every State, including the very blue ones - would find morally objectionable. At least right now.

Genital Mutilation, burning the spouse with her husband, honor killings lead the list. Making them subject to the democratic process is what the UK and France will soon experience as Sharia moves closer to established law in those countries.

Drawing the line between acceptable and unacceptable religious practices is a very tricky business. Because of the First Amendment's guarantee of "free exercise of religion".

Why can't I marry my dog so that we can be afforded the same legal protections as other couples? But don't worry, in our case, like a lot of heterosexual marriages, sex would not be part of our relationship.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

Just for the sweet tax benefits... especially if you married a blind or deaf dog that's over 9.28 years old (65 in dog years).
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

Why can't I marry my dog

a dog can't say "I do"

A dog doesn't have to consent to anything, and neither does a potted plant or a toaster. Neither has any rights so you can't be violating anyone's rights by marrying either. So that's a pretty pointless point you got there.
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

and red noses that pile into a Volkswagon bug during set changes and pull each others' pants down?

that a blind/deaf/mute can't marry because they can't say "I do"?

What if you could demonstrate that if your dog approved of something it gave a sign? Like wagging its tail?

a dog is not.
if you ask scruffy in the right tone of voice, he will wag his tail to be euthanized.

on your part that you simply cannot have.

We allow the mentally retarded, who cannot legally give consent to anything else, to marry. In fact, their ability to marry has been upheld by courts.

Perhaps because we don't need their consent for anything? Which makes this a total straw man.
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

is infinitely more competent on every level that any number of the new posters that Moe & streiff have dispatched.

If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

he wanted to "go for a car ride"? Talk about enthusiasm! Come to think of it though, my wife gets pretty excited when I ask her if she would like to "roll around a little". Yes, I am a very lucky guy.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

The argument against same sex marriage needs no make weight arguments that it leads to anything else. Same sex marriage would be dire in ts consequences on its own.

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

I see why people are afraid of forging religions to accept gay MARRIAGE, but I personally see absoultely nothing wrong with gay civil unions. They'd have the legal rights of spouses to see eachother in the hospital, care for eachother as legal partners, et cetera. I mean, they love eachother, so what's the deal?
(Note: I am against the tax cut intended to assist raising a child, seeing as how gay people can't produce children. It should only enter effect after adoption, and frankly I'm not sure if gay adoption is right either.)

(Note: Again I state that I am against gay MARRIAGE in a religious sense. That's unfair forcing of religions to do things, and if I stand for the right to wear a burka then I have to be against forcing religious acceptance of gays.)

Most pro-gay-civil-union people are against polygamy. They are two very diffirent things, and I can't see anyone using the union of two adults justifying the legal mess that would be the union of hundreds.

I can't see how two human beings who happen to be of the same gender but intelligent enough to love is anything like a human being and, say, an animal or something. Besides, with the exception of sex (bestiality is illegal and disgusting) and tax cuts (come on) you get all of those "marriage rights" just by legally owning the dog.

Can gay unions be a slippery slope? Sure, but assuming you have decent balance it'll be worth it.

Is bothersome.
All these discussions always imply that people can't take care of themselves or that the temptations of "slipperiness" are so great that once we and the nation are exposed to it, we'll never go back. Maybe that's true in some cases, and seems to have been the case in some cases, to our mutual betterment as a society. Women got the vote and then we got some fine politicians who are women as well. Blacks got out of slavery, into permanent military positions, and then into national sports and it all seems copacetic.
There shouldn't be any real concern over polygamy leading to sheep marriage unless the person making that assertion believes that a substantial number of people want that or would be willing to be blase about it.

As for the more realistic issue of gay marriage/unions... And the surrounding issues... My solution is this. The government gets out of the religion business. Churches can marry whomever they please, with the government stepping in to stop it if other non-marriage laws would be broken by consumating it. Non-denominational marriages could still be offered by local governments but sorting that out would be their business. Governments would strike every reference to marriage from the tax code, and divorce law would go out the window. At the time of marriage, churches or other institutions performing marriages would offer contracts for the people marrying to sign, taking the place of the marriage license, and spelling out what marriage means to them in the way of hospital visits and promises of support and so on.

I think that the govermental supervision of marriage has been a disastrous thing and should end. I think it has inspired the skyrocketing divorce rate simply by making it easy and even profitable to divorce. And in other cases I think it has created unstable marriages in the first place where there are some financial incentives to do so. All in all I think people would take marriage more seriously if it were not part of a governmental apparatus which they have cause to suspect is less than a perfect institution itself.

RightDirection, I salute you. I see that as an excellent and authentically conservative view on the issue.

marriage, authentically speaking. Civil marriage, in fact, has its origins in non-religious people demanding it. Marriage is the most important institution responsible for the civilization of man for 5000 years. And the objections to it are quite sufficient without resort to worries about a slippery slope. The slope done slipped in Mass. Lets let same sex "marriage" prove itself as a civilizing force for say 2500 years rather than just a label for the attempted legitimization of swinging and then have it apply for public approval. Let them form some Kiwanis clubs and see the % of sex partner sharing and compare to married Kiwanians.

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Re: Civil marriage, in fact, has its origins in non-religious people demanding it.

Actyally, no. Civil marriage was introduced by the French Revolutionaries who did so in order to damage the power of the Church over society. Non-religious people (at least under Anglo-American law) did not have a problem with their clergy-less marriages because the law recognized common-law unions among the long-term cohabited.
I would suggest that looking at the history of marriage in the last 150 years or so, the institution has not been improved by allowing the government to direct it. Was not marriage (inclduing even the common variety) stronger and more durable when it was under the purview of faith not of politics?

I think marriage was strongest when it took two people working their butts off 24/7 to be able to eat!

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Really now Aleks, as a historian you impress me greatly. You would do me a favor if you traced out the history of marriage.

For example, didn't the Romans do it (civilly) too? I thought I read somewhere that the ring aspect of our present marriage ceremonies originated with Etruscans and was passed down to us through the Romans.

In your historical readings have you come across explanations about where and why the ceremonial social institution - marriage - developed?
John E.

Re: For example, didn't the Romans do it (civilly) too?

Yes, Roman law included laws concerning marriage, which was seen as a civil contract not a religious rite (though the blessings of this or that pagan god would be invoked). This actually continued for quite a while after Christianity became official. The Church in that era regarded the married state as inferior to celibacy and did not much concern itself with marriage, although certainly the blessings of Christ were invoked over married couples. The major change occured in the 9th century. After several centuries of state-church conflict in Byzantium a sort of grand resolution was worked out, and Roman civil law in regards to marriage was abrogated with the Church being left the sole guardian and adjudicator of marriage (the Church could of course call on the State to enforce its canons; hence adultery remained a crime). This applied not just in the East but also in the West where Roman law had continued to be employed at the local level even though there was no Roman state at the top level of society. Indeed, the Western Church undertook a more reform of marriage than the Eastern did, categorically banning divorce for example. From then on, until the French changed things, marriage was governend by canon law, which the local civic authorities could be called on to enforce at need. By the way, the Church's original standard for marriage was quite liberal and displaesed any number of noble familes seeking to control their sons and daughters' matrimonial prospects: any couple of legal age and not hindered by prior commitments (including monastic vows) or by a forbidden degree of kinship (these regulations was fairly elaborate, well beyond what we call incest) could vow marriage to each other with no other witness but God and they would in truth be married.

And in those wiser times, relatively unblighted by the pestiferous doctrines of liberalism, we did not shrink from the reality of a Church with the authority, not merely to perform marriages out of the view of the state, but to police marriage, and to enforce its requirements, often in courts of its own. The notion that, civil marriage being a recent innovation of certain statists and positivists, marriage ought to be relegated to the realm of 'faith', and this in the absence of the social mechanisms which once accompanied the Church's shepherding of the institution, is naught but a clever dissimulation whereby the libertarian position - that people should be permitted to do as their groins and libidos dictate, and call this thing "marriage" - may be passed off as a venerable tradition, an ornament of faith and devotion.


My harp is turned to mourning, and my organ shall speak with the voice of them that weep. Spare me, O Lord, for my days are truly as nothing.

This is a good thing.
By our nature as human beings, we are ill-suited to have unchecked power- and the combination of divine infalliability and secular power vested in any one man or body of men... even well-meaning ones... has resulted in some of the worst abuses in history.

Your characterization of the libertarian position as groin-and-libido-driven misses it completely. Even the rabidest of pure-bull-goose libertarians know that being driven by your groin and libido is not liberty, but enslavement more profound than can be implemented by any mere human being.

No, the Libertarian position merely acknowledges that civil authority is prone to abuse, and that the strongest protection we may afford our liberty is to get the job done with the least possible amount of civil authority involved. Monitoring and supporting the married couple SHOULD fall to the church and their community. The state is ill-equipped to support marriages, and empowering the state to try will almost certainly do more harm than good.

It's tempting to think that government authority could be used to force others to do what you think they should do, and once they just do it right, everything will work. Unfortunately, this almost never works out the way you think it will, and the cost of going this route is... well, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The bottom line is that if someone is truly committed to be a slave to their gonads and libidos, no force on earth can make them change. We are beings of free will. Only we may choose our salvation. Trying to ram it down someone's throat by force usually accomplishes the opposite- a rebellion. ...and besides, being a slave to your loins is self-punishing.

The only thing the state need do is acknowledge the civil arrangements- inheritance, power of attorney, right not to testify against each other, responsibility for the well-being of children. The other million functions necessary for the well-being of a marriage are better left in the hands of family, the church, and the communities to which the married couple belong.

the divorce rate peaked in 79-81 and has declined steadily you can look up the annual reports on the subject here

Women got the vote and then we got some fine politicians who are women as well. Blacks got out of slavery, into permanent military positions, and then into national sports and it all seems copacetic.

Once women and blacks got the vote, who was left that didn't have it? Kids, that's about it. Not much slope left to slide down.

Once blacks were released from slavery, what other slaves existed in the US? End of the slope.

Once gays are allowed to marry, is everyone who wants to get married allowed to get married? NO. Slope exists, we start sliding.

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. -- Abraham Maslow

of the argument you rest. You mention women voting, blacks out of slavery and everything is copacetic.

I agree, but I'm on the same side of the issues as you. To those on the other side, their worst nightmares came true.

Slippery slopes slip. Abortion was legalized partly on the grounds that it would be rarely practiced while the 'slope' predicted by opponents was that it would lead to infanticide.

Which side was accurate?

That a commenter (above) can describe so spectacular an innovation as this proposal as "excellent and authentically conservative," is a sad comment on the degraded state of "conservatism" in this country

What RightDirection proposes is a wholesale transformation in the institution by which society perpetuates itself: the privatization of the most public of all things. It is particularly noteworthy that his scheme makes no account for children. The view of society underlying it knows nothing of either ancestor or descendent; it knows only that "small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about."

In truth, marriage is prior to the state, and the state has no authority to interfere with an institution which andedates it. What RightDirection refers to as "govermental supervision" of marriage is really the much more modest activity of acknowledgement. The state acknowledges something older and deeper than it and, being limited, does not fancy that it can disrupt this.

The notion that people will "take marriage more seriously" if it is "not part of a governmental apparatus" preposterously assumes that people currently do, in fact, imagine that marriage is of the state, by the state, for the state. Happily, most Americans have more good sense than our wise men of Libertarianism; most Americans, in short, recognize that the state's role in the marriage is analogous to that of the photographer of a wedding -- the recording of a event of which it plays no active part.

RightDirection's proposal (as with most of the asinine "let the state get out the marriage business" arguments) has all the comic pretention of a wedding photographer writing the vows or choosing the church.

And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.

sister? What about forming a civil union with his sister?

This is an ancient problem. In many primative societies, a cabal of strongmen hold political and sexual power over the rest of the community. The institution of marriage was an important solution to the violence that comes with the human instinct for sexual politics and competition. It would be very bad for a civilized society to create a situation where power is measured by how many wives a man has.

So in fact, I think polygamy is worse than gay marriage.

The episode on Mormonism is not only funny as heck, but it is pretty spot on in its accuracy (which is why it is so funny). That episode alone will ruin a Romney presidential run. And for those of you that haven't seen it, I recommend it highly, as it highlights what Romney would be up against.

It's spot on if you like odd facts about the church given out of context. Some of things on are debatable anyway. Yes I have seen it and yes I know that one of the creators is an ex-mormon.


That is a central tenet of their faith. They are polytheists and not monotheists like Christians, Jews and Muslims. God help me but I can't see myself voting for someone who imagines being divine in the afterlife and being the "God" of their own world. Romney is going nowhere.

I can never be a god because there is only one God.

like we do? And do you worship a God that became Man so that he could be crucified? We do at my church. Very un-odd huh. Kind of like that "one" God in "three" persons. Again very un-odd and easily explainable as being monotheistic. God only knows why Christians have been persecuted so much thru history and even today in much of the world violently and by the ACLU litigationally. Being so un-odd and all. One God, yet father, Son and Holy Ghost. hmmmmm But shhhhhh, don't let the world know about the Ghost. They might think we are odd like Mormons. Its amazing that everyone of our Presidents got elected despite believing this stuff. And JFK with that Pope business and purgatory. Yet he won 4 Southern states where most folks didn't even consider Catholics to be Christians back then.

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Trinity to the belief in becoming a god oneself? I'll come clean now since I can't really argue with you on the substance. I don't really care about Romney's faith or lack thereof, but I think that many people will recoil when they find out what Mormons truly believe. Perhaps I don't have enough "faith" in my fellow Americans. Do you think that America would vote for a Scientologist or a member of the Unification Church (Mooney's)? Do you think I am wrong about this?

What I think is that you are projecting your own snobbish elitism onto others. The things Christians, and I am a Bible believing Evangelical Southern baptist, are no less odd than what Mormons believe, and for you to mock Mormons that way reveals more about you than Mormons. I think that Christians have a lot of experience electing people that profess to believe the Bible and yet advance secular non-values once in office and never utter a word that isn't surrounded by lies. I think that Romney has lived a life that will belie any claim that he is anything other than part of the American family equal to anyone. And I think that when faced with the choice of a man that advances judeo-christian values vs ANY democrat that will, by definition, not advance those values, they will vote for Romney. Christians are quite familiar with liberals who play God in this life and will be content to have a president that understands his elevation to god-like status is on the other side and not from the White House.

Now go get in the fetal position and come back when you can show some class. You have NOTHING on Southern Christian Evangelicals when it comes to SUBSTANCE. Nothing. And when it comes to form, you have a lot of work to do.

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Roman Catholics have only recently been accepted as Christians by a large number of Protestant Evangelicals, but it has been a long haul. As you recall, it was the Southern Christian Evangelicals that most opposed JFK in 1960 and nearly gave the presidency to Nixon (or did if you believe that Nixon truly won Illinois and Texas). I am just saying that this country is not ready to elect a non-Christian. And despite your purported expertise, you fail to recognize that Mormons are not Christians. Don't believe me? Try this website run by true _sola scriptura_ Christians. http://www.carm.org/lds/lds_christian.htm Most Christians do not consider Mormonism to be a Christian faith. That doen't mean that there is something wrong with Mormonism, but I repeat that I do not believe this county is ready to elect a non-Christian to the highest office in the land.

Looking at the electoral map, those most opposed to JFK were westerners, and in fact, JFK didn't win a greater % of states from any region greater than from the South. And many of those voters voted for JFK despite not agreeing with his religion. In fact, back then many catholics and protestants questioned the Christian credentials of the other.


And btw, I do not consider the CJCLDS to be part of the Christian Church. Technically, given its addition to the canon and much of its theology about Christ and much more, it is, by definition , a cult. But I don't think Romney is going to debate that issue. rather, he simply says that "Jesus Christ is his savior." I think that will fly. Now shoo, Fly Guy!

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Even if he doesn't really believe that? Well, ok. Perhaps you are right and the American public will warm to Romney the way the Liberals in MA did. In the end, it will depend on how his GOP opponents handle the situation. If he gets savaged by his own, it's over.

BTW...thanks for correcting me on the electoral victories by Kennedy.

Come on man. You are just looking to discredit the man. Tell me why you object to Romney so much.

And if you tell me that you, the exalted, wise and tolerant shoo has no problem with Romney, but that you think that other Christians will, even after examining the man, then you reveal yourself as a snobbish, elitist bigot and you need to not be. And I know you aren't that. And I know you realize that JFK 's poll numbers at this point were irrelevant and probably worse. And I know that you know that Romney's numbers on this are at their highest point now. And I know that you realize that Mormons and Jews (and we know what they believe about Christ) have been elected to office in the South. And you know that Romney has the support of a good many Baptist preachers. And you know that...well, I don't know what you know. If you aren't from the South I just can't be confident that you know everything we have access to down here...

To be honest, given what i know and don't know, Fly, you will have to convince me that you are worthy of my attention what with your odd beliefs! And religious reliance upon 2 year out polls. no way


"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson


I've never heard a non-Mormon defending the beliefs of Mormons so eloquently.

In law school, our Fed Soc and Christian Legal Society faculty was a Catholic. I was the only Mormon in both groups.

But we had a mutual respect for each other's religions. We didn't just say, "You have the right to be a freak." We talked about religion openly and shared our experiences.

I'm glad that shooflyguy isn't asked what he thinks about Jews.

"faculty", I meant "faculty advisor".

Let me make some distinctions that I think are crucial in the upcoming debate. For most of the Mormon Church's history they did not seek to be considered part of the "Christian Church" as represented by Catholics and Protestants. Smith specifically rejected it based on his view that the past theologians got it all wrong.

So, one has to distinguish between the official theological "confession" of the Church and the witness of an individual. I do not think it would be wise, and I am sure Mitt will not make this mistake, to engage in a theological debate to insist that the Mormon Church is in the same theological tradition as traditional Christianity.

I happen to think that Baptists are mostly right about theology and the Bible, but I am sure we are wrong on some points. As are Catholics and Mormons. We see thru a glass darkly. And while I think theology and doctrine are very important, it is not paramount. Not even close.

And there is nothing about the theology of the LDS that prevents a member from accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and savior.

Mitt Romney says Jesus Christ is his Savior. For a man to make that statement in those specific words is quite powerful, especially in today's environment. Very few politicians evoke THE NAME in just that way. To say to the world that you have a "Savior" smacks the world upside the head. One risks the ridicule and derision of the entire secular left, most of the mainline Christians that really are social leftists, and much of even the Bible Believing world that is yet still too embarrassed by publicly admitting that they need a savior in front of the "progressive" friends they live to impress.

Romney is not ashamed of the Gospel and of what the world thinks of Jesus Christ. I think Reagan was one of the most spiritual and committed Christians ever on the public stage and that George W Bush is as well. And they both give powerful testimonies, but neither is more powerful than Romney's simple yet powerful profession of faith.

Jesus didn't deem it necessary for people to understand the trinity. His sheep hear his voice.

Having said all that, this all goes to character. I don't require that my President's be born again. I do require that they be trustworthy AND that they advocate judeo-christian VALUES in their policies.

Romney passes all tests with this Baptist and as more get to know him, he will pass with them. Especially when coupled with the witness of his life.

Mormons have been a part of Southern communities throughout my whole life, and they are conspicuous by their moral conduct. They are admired in the South on a personal level. Their children are pointed to by other children's Mothers as examples of how children should behave. This fact is exponentially more powerful than theology, especially when coupled with Mitt's actually life history.

I also loved the Braves' Dale Murphy!!!

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

However, I still disagree with your evaluation of Mormonism and how they perceive Jesus and salvation. Perhaps we could continue our theological discussion on another site and stick to politics on this one.

I think Romney has a chance only if he runs as a fiscal conservative and not as a social conservative. 2008 will be an interesting year as I believe that the primaries in both parties will be brutal.

You say: "I believe in Jesus Christ, his divinity, the virgin birth, and his literal death and ressurection. I believe he atoned for my sins and that through his grace I am saved."

and then the other guy says: "No you don't"

It tends to tick you off.

Now I understand that other christain churches don't accept Mormon baptisms on the grounds that Mormons have disimilar doctrines on the Trinity and other issues. We don't accept other christain baptisms.- we think you guys are the ones who are wrong.

But that doesn't mean we don't respect your personal faith in Christ- or that we refuse to grant you the title of Christian.

We certainly don't try to tell you that your lying when you tell us what you believe.

had the choice in 2004 between a self-described Catholic who favored abortion on demand, and a self-described Protestant who said that "marriage is between a man and a woman" and tried to prevent human embryos from being killed for a few cells.

This Catholic voter voted for the Protestant (Bush), because he lives his faith, while the "Catholic" (Kerry) acted contrary to what his Church teaches.

Ted Kennedy, Dick Durbin, and Tom Daschle all call themselves Catholic, but they were all insisting on abortion on demand.

If a non-Christian is elected President, and promises to promote policies in accordance with Jesus' teachings, even without believing the Bible, he deserves the votes of true-believing Christians.

Accoring to Saint James, faith without works is dead, like the faith of some "Catholic" Senators cited above. But a candidate who does the Lord's work (even if he is a Mormon) deserves the votes of the Lord's people.

Let's not count Romney out just because he's Mormon. Let's ask him what he would do as President, compare him to other candidates, and decide between all candidates based on their works, not their faith.

The bad news: Conservatism is hard to sell. The good news is that it works.

Of course, we would have to baptize him in his sleep...

But my Southern Baptist Theology professor cites the founders, many of whom were not believers, but who nevertheless were promoters of judeo-christian values and saw the Bible as the most important book to mankind and the values contained therein as essential for our form of government to work.

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Scientologists and "Moonies".

All I can say is this: Scientologists do not, to the best of my knowledge claim to be Christian. As for Moonies, I really don't know what they believe.

I have an easier time attaching the label "cult" to the Moonies because it is unclear to me whether or not this church will be around in 100 years, or even 50.

With the Scientologists, it is clear to me that their church will be around for a long time. They've done the groundwork to ensure longevity.

If Tom Cruise or John Travolta (both Scientologists) were to run for office, their religion would not be the biggest factor. Most people see these guys as being normal people. I don't know how Americans would react to a non-celebrity Scientologist running for office. Credentials are key.

Romney is not just "some Mormon". He is a highly competant Mormon who holds both an MBA and a JD from Harvard. His dad was a widely respected former governor of a mostly Protestant state. Mitt has been successful both in business and in government. He was elected governor of a heavily Catholic state. All of these things add to the perception that he is more than just "some Mormon". He's become sort of a "celebrity Mormon". He transcends the boundaries that would limit more common Mormons. The same way Deval Patrick and Barack Obama are not just "black". One is "a black governor" and the other is "a black senator".

How many Christians are suspicious of those deny the trinity? And yet, we've elected four apparent unitarian presidents (J Adams, JQ Adams, Fillmore, Taft).

How many Christians are suspicious of those who claim that tradition is at least as important as the Bible? And yet, we managed to elect a Catholic President.

How many Christians think the Jehovah's Witnesses are members of a cult? And yet, we elected a President whose parents were members.

This whole LDS issue will pass if Romney becomes our nominee. People should relax, I think. I like that line you use about Romney outwardly being a better Baptist than many Baptists, GC, because I know exactly what you mean. The only people who are going to feel threatened by the man, if he's one of those devout members who abstains even from caffeine, are the lefties who get offended by anyone who doens't wallow in the passions of the moment.
It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones. -- Calvin Coolidge

This whole issue comes about because Mormons take the Bible literaly-
some of the key passages:

Revelations 3:20-21
Galations 4:1-7
John 17:1-9, 20-24

In truth the so called "becoming gods" doctrine of Mormons is similar to Eastern Othodox teachings about deification. Mormons vary a little in that they retain their famial relationships, and of course have a different understanding of the Trinity, but the concept is similar.

This is simply a common method used by anti-Mormons to package a grain of truth into a big lie that shocks the senses, so that ordinary Mormons will get tripped up trying to explain it.

And I concede that I'm better with Orthodox theology than LDS theology, despite one of my groomsmen and a good number of friends being LDS, but I have to say:

(1) Theosis is very, very different from what I understand the LDS teaching to be. I'm open to enlightenment, but theosis is about complete communion with the Godhead, not being a new iteration on the Godhead. I'd love to be corrected on what the LDS teaching on the matter is; I only understand it this way because a friend heading out on his mission confirmed my understanding.

(2) The problem is not merely in y'all's v. our understanding of the nature of Christ's divinity (Hypostasis and all that), and not just because of the Trinity, but also because the sine qua non of being called Christian, since the, what, Third? Century, is acceptance of the teachings of the first six Ecumenical councils. Respectfully, the only folks of any significant size who dispute that are Mormons. Everyone else takes that as a given.

Just to bring this threadjack back toward its start point, I say all this as a Catholic who (1) doesn't think Mitt Romney is sincere about being pro-life, (2) does think Mitt Romney is sincere about his faith, and (3) who couldn't give two shakes about his religion, so long as he's sincerely pro-life, which he's not, and even then, doesn't give the two shakes.

For the record, all of this garbage about Romney's faith is the dumbest freaking reason in the world to vote for or not vote for the man.

I'll bring this back to polygamy in the next comment.

Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

The above was based on what I read in the Encyclopedia of World Religions several years ago.

However, I'm not sure if it's that bad a comparision.

Your conception of a process of interation might be correct if you include theosis as a apart of this iteration.

I assume that the Theosis you are speaking of does not include physical uninon.

If I understand your use of communion correctly, then I would point out that our doctrine is based on the following premises:

1: Jesus Christ is in communion with the Father
2: Through the atonement we can come into full communion with Christ- therefor we are in full communion with the Father
3: After Judgement, if we have entered into full communion with Christ (and the Father) then those who enter into communion with us will also be in communion with Christ.

Essentially this is how we interpert the relevant portion of the Intercessary Prayer as given in John 17.

Of course it's difficult when using terms that each of us have imbued with our own different meanings to communicate effectively. I hope I am giving a close enough aproximation to what we believe in your terms that you understand better, instead of just confusing both of us.

The base problem here is the conception of both God the Father and, in the case of Orthodox and Catholic theology, God the Son. Somewhere, an Orthodox theologian is going to have an aneurysm when I try to explain it in Aristotelian terms, but here goes:

As I understand Mormon theology, the reward for a proper life is becoming one in substance with the Father; thus, the communion one shares with God the Father is because one shares his substance, or perhaps, one's substance is indistinguishable from God's. The shorthand for us non-LDS folks is that it is your belief that you "become Gods" (thus, becoming of an identical substance to God), but from what you're telling me, this is not so. Thus, when you say that Jesus is in communion with the Father, this is not because you say he is one in Being with the Father, but that he shares a direct link with God, and perhaps is of the same or similar substance. If all of that's not correct, I owe a certain friend of mine a punch in the nose; but that's for later. This is, however, what I understand, and put in lay terms, what most folks understand of Mormon theology.

In Catholic and Orthodox theology, Christ is in communion with the Father because he is one in Being with the Father; he is one Person of the Triune Deity. Thus, being in "communion with Christ" is being in "communion with God" not through an intercessory event, but because they are the same Being. Theosis is about being as God, but not of one substance (let alone one being) with God. It is more than mere communion, but it is not a physical union, because such a thing literally makes no sense from that perspective. (As I understand it, such a thing would make sense from your theological perspective; please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.)

I could go on, but I've either muddied the waters or cleared them, and I'd like to see which is which.

Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

To us the idea of God the Father and Jesus Christ being one in substance has no meaning other than a physical union- which we reject as false. Perhaps this is a result of our conception of spirit as a form of matter.

Furthermore, our concept of Godhood is that Godhood = power and authority. This may be seperate from substance. (There is some dispute as to that last point).

"Thus, when you say that Jesus is in communion with the Father, this is not because you say he is one in Being with the Father, but that he shares a direct link with God, and perhaps is of the same or similar substance." -I think you got this right. (If you mean what I think you mean).

Our connection with God that we achieve through Christ's atonement means that we share a direct link with God. (If I understand your use of the phrase correctly). Perhaps we might be of a similar substance- we are certainly a different being. Christ then shares with us His authority and power. Sometimes this is refered to as "becoming a god" or more correctly "becoming like God" or "becoming a Son of God".

However it should be clear that there is a distinct and well understood difference between our "godhood" and Christ's (or God the Father's). Christ's (and God the Father's) Godhood is intrisic within his own Being. Our "godhood" is essentaily on loan.

His Godhood is due to His perfect behavior and charactor. Our "godhood" is due to His condesension towards those who accept His Atonement.

Jesus Chirst, though a God, willing submits his will to the Father. Thus they are one God.

We are not gods. However if we overcome the natural man and submit to God, through the atonement of Christ we become God's Sons and become one with Him- including the sharing of His power and authority.

Thus we can not take this "godhood" and go do our own thing, either in opposition or even in indifference to God. Why? Because in doing so we would seperate ourselves from God and cut ourselves off from the source of that power and authority. Similar to Jehovah calling Moses "a god unto [Pharaoh]". Moses only had this power and authority as long as he did God's will.

Does that make any sense? I guess the problem most Mormons have with the way other Christians explain our beliefs on this subject is that they make it sound as if we become gods and then get turned lose on the universe to do whatever we want. When in reality we simply view it as the natural result of our union with God through Christ.

This is why Mormon doctrine is rather vauge on what actually happens after this event- because the focus of the doctrine is not on the result but on the process of submitting to God through Christ- the result is usually only discussed as evidence of God's great rewards for the obedient and as evidence of God's great mercy and condesension towards the repentant.

The states role in marriage is a religious one. Thats the church / temple / mosque / ashram whatevers job. The state is satisfying a purely civil need to provide an orderly transition from one generation of citizens to the next. It is in society's interest that the next generation have stable home and that property flows from one generation to the next after having been properly taxed.

Two all unions are equal. No they are not. Some are positively undesirable and should be discouraged. Polygamy in practice is certainly one of these. The Jeffs trial will wind up showing that the way they were doing things was little better than a giant Cult/Pyramid scheme that hurt just about everyone involved. It especially hurt the underage girls being chained to this institution.

By not endorsing other unions as marriage the government is interfering in marriage. Quite the opposite. If the government were to endorse other unions it would have to regulate them and codify laws governing them. The very people that say the don't want the government in their bedroom (an amusing image) would wind up putting it there. All unions are not the same and different rules would apply to each type.

The hypocrisy of the post on this is delightful. They are willing to damage the institutions this country is built on and wage a campaign of religious intolerance all because they are worried Romney might have a shot at the oval office.

I'd like to point out that there was a slope to slide down after women and blacks got the vote. For a long time, "kids" were "under 21". Then it changed to "under 18". It can still fall even more; I'd love if it became "under 16".

Also, you still have to be a citizen to vote (good thing) as well as a human.

I don't see gay marriage as a threat to regular marriage. Gay people probably won't be marrying heterosexually anyhow, and I can not imagine hetero couples saying "look, those two guys are married, we'd better not". You can still be straight with gay people around. I co-exist with plenty of gay people and I'm quite straight.

I believe the people who don't want the government in their bedroom mean "we don't want the government in our bedroom doing something it isn't doing to my neighbor's bedroom". The government is everywhere, and I can't imagine anyone not wanting it that way. (Imagine accidentially walking on a sidewalk that happens to exist outside of the law for some reason. You'd have to bring your passport to get off of it.)

Also, I accidentially misread RightDirection's post. Now that I think of it, I kind of disagree.

Gay marriage can be regulated easily just by copy-and-pasting the hetero marriage laws and minor modifications concerning birth-related benifits. Poligamy would be near-impossible to effectively regulate; it'd have to be decided all on a case-by-case basis and there aren't enough courts in the whole world to pull that off.

I initially interpreted that post as being pro-"small government", but it goes a bit too far.

Out of curiosity, is the definition of "polygamy" as used in this thread "people marrying multiple people" or "people being forced to marry multiple people"? I have no moral (but plenty of legal and sensible) objections to the former, but the latter is madness. For instance, if you can't keep your town from being one marital union just by saying "no thanks" then it's madness. If you can, well, it's their business. Until they try getting to the legal aspect and the country's legal system dissolves into anarchy because we're out of lawyers and judges (following a great boom in the marriage-lawyer job market, of course).

letting 16 year olds vote would devalues the votes of adults. Why not 15? 14? Got pubic hair at 13?

It changes the very nature of marriage from an institution whose primary purpose has been the vehicle thru which men are tamed, women are protected, and wild animals are civilized to take their place in society being nurtured by the male and female of the species. The institution was primarily responsible from enabling man to live a civilized life instead of as an animal.

Gay marriage is solely about two people that are oriented to prefer certain sexual acts. That's it. Not exactly an institution one would associate with civilizing. Rather, it is an exercise in self indulgence that they wish to have made equivalent to the creative union that produces people.

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Gamecock, do you really want the answer to that question? :-P
Anyway, if we're classifying anyone who's hit puberty as "adult" then why not let them vote? There are lots of 12-17—year—olds who would like to vote, and know more about the process than some adults who go in and blindly press a button. Maybe our vote could be worth 1/2 a vote.

I'm not talking about marriage the way heterosexual people do marriage. I'm talking about legal civil unions. On paper. Numbers and privileges. When the first caveman and cavewoman united, I doubt they were thinking about the right to visit eachother in the hospital or anything aside from... sex.

Who is to say 16-or-over people aren't less responsible at the polls than those over 18? They're responsible enough to drive, and all the other things that come with being 16. It'd only devalue those over-16 people because of the addition of those who are 16 and 17 dillutes the numbers. If that's a real problem, why not care about the devaluing of those over 21, or over 100?

Homesexuality isn't just an orientation to do sexual acts. It's an orientation to responsibly care about eachother the way a man and a woman would. Humans can do that now, since they're no longer cavemen.
Gay marriage between a man and a man will never be equal to straight simply because it's not; men can't procreate. (I have a feeling woman and woman may be a diffirent story; scientists have been able to successfully create an operational rat embryo using two rat egg cells.)

I don't think marriage is needed to civilize anymore. We're already civilized; we've got that down. Sure, marriage was needed then, but this is the 21st century. Why keep the price sticker on a CD when you've already bought it? Sure, it was needed to buy it, but wouldn't it be nice to have an unobstructed jewelcase now that you own the album? (Well, unless it's Nirvana's "Nevermind"; that's where polygamy fits into my analogy.)

I mean, after all, as a practical matter, what is "orientation" except, what I declare, and what with men no longer needed for propagating the race and all the equipment available women, I guess you would throw men on the ash heap of history with marriage since we got that civilization thing Down? Smells like teen spirit to me!

As the diezyrus start to come after men, they will probably marry for self protection and buy eggs so they are deemed useful to the civilized society that "progresses" beyond merely killing 8 month and 29 day old babies by jamming scissors thru their skulls still in the vagina with their feet dangling trying to touch earth but will also be killing those whose heads made it outside the room and whose feet touched earth but who just don't measure up to what Jane and Jane ordered and also shaming useless old people into taking an early dirt nap lest society not be able to subsidize the public housing of crack heads.

We got civilization down? So we can discard what got us civilized?

There is nothing new under the sun my maturity challenged fiscal Conservative that will vote for a GOP president.

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

"I don't think marriage is needed to civilize anymore"

That's interesting. What do you think it is needed for?

And cave people uniting seems obvious when it comes to sex. Of course we are not too sure what they did when it came to an institution called "marriage". But we might assume that their sex produced children and if they stuck together those children might have had a better chance of surviving and prospering. That's about the only way I can conceive of a social institution which endorses and rewards a commitment between those two sexual partners - while discouraging the sexual act outside of it - would have come about. Do you have a better theory?

And if you reply to nothing else, please note this. The simple answer to your question about what harm does endorsing gays marrying do:

It further codifies the myth that marriage is all about relationships, obscuring the fact that it is preeminently about raising children.
John E.

I don't know if your right. First of all, I think that the labels "heterosexual" and "homosexual" are overly constricting. They force people to accept a dichotomy.

It's like telling people "you're either a Coke person or a Pepsi person, now which is it?"

Also, I have trouble accepting the current meme that people are "born gay". I think that it's 90% nurture (how one is raised as well as incentives) and less than 10% nature.

If one feels rejected by the opposite sex, it increases the odds that that person will look to their own gender for sexual and social acceptance. If one has a gay friend of the same gender, it increases the odds that one will end up in a homosexual relationship.

Basic behavioral laws come into play here. Whether or not homosexuality is about sex or caring raises some fundamental questions about the nature and the motive of men caring for women. I doubt that many men would be interested in the game if sex were removed from it.

Your final paragraph raises another interesting point: "We're already civilized." I suppose that depends on where you are. In Iraq (where I'm at) and in other parts of the third world, "civilized" would not be my first choice of descriptor. I think that marriage is still needed. People can't just hop around from partner to partner like rabbits. We have to settle down in order to raise the young and curtail the transmission of STD's.

"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

"If one feels rejected by the opposite sex, it increases the odds that that person will look to their own gender for sexual and social acceptance. If one has a gay friend of the same gender, it increases the odds that one will end up in a homosexual relationship."

I've known gay people, still do, and I don't approve of gay marriage or of rewarding their relationships with all sorts of special rights, but I haven't known many gay people who became gay because they had a gay friend. Or because they were rejected by the opposite sex. From my experience, most of those people have ended up not interested in any relationships at all, or they find a good relationship with another person of the opposite sex.

I'm not sure what causes homosexuality, but I think if it were a reason like a bad rejection, or a home life, there would be more success in gays entering heterosexual relationships. Instead even with groups like Exodus International, many of them have a hard time ever moving beyond celibacy.

If anything I believe that a moderate or conservative person who has a gay friend is more likely to cause that homosexual to question himself and his beliefs more, instead of the moderate or conservative questioning himself. That's one of the reasons so many homosexuals vote for Republicans, somewhere around 25%, which is higher than most minority groups.

Gays are an exercise in self indulgence? What does that mean?

Gays are not basically heterosexuals with some defect in will power. They are people who are attracted to the same sex, and not attracted to the opposite sex. That's why people talk about sexual orientation and not sexual preference. You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but it's already a minority opinion and it's getting more out of favor every day.

I'm curious if your gay friends accepted your view, or did they give you grief too?

I would say that a gay couple that lives together is engaging in the equivalent of self indulgence that a non-married heterosexual couple does. I was wrong to boil the whole matter down to just sex and not romantic love.

As to grief, I never volunteer my opinion. I have several very close friends who know what I think, some of whom agree (older men) and some who don't(young men and all women). But its really not a problem because my position is that any sex outside the marriage of a man and woman is sin. So it kinda defuses the matter.

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Now that I see where you're coming from, I understand your viewpoint much better.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

devalue the adult vote? In some limited sense, yes, because it woudl increase the pool of voters reducing the value of any single vote. But then that argument applies to letting 18 year olds vote, or women or Blacks or non-property holders.
But moreover your analogy does not work because marriage is emphatically not a zero-sum activity. There is no limit on the number of marriage licenses that can be issued, nor on the quantity of love and commitment, such that if a gay couple partakes a non-gay couple is excluded.

that children be allowed to vote, since he vividly recalls hus recent ascent to adolescence and thinks a lot of himself ie it was a faceteous comment meant to humor a child rather than insulting their immaturity, but since you didn't read what I responded to or have gathered that Tenninru is what he is, or just didn't get it anyway,

let us shout from the mountain tops

tenniru, you are not up qualified to debate with the likes of DeVine!

But don't fret. many adults aren't either, and yes, it is true than some 16 year olds are better informed than many adult voters, eg see Cindy Sheehan et al

and of yeah, Tenn

there is no Santa Claus

happy now alecs


"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Who ever said I'd favor removing men from society, or for that matter saying that civilization is DONE? Nobody in their right mind would say our civilization is perfect. If it was, political blogs (hell, politics itself) probably wouldn't exist.

I meant we've got the parts provided by marriage down. I'd take off a CD sticker, but I'd still open the jewelcase. I apologize for the vagueness.

Besides, men happen as naturally as lesbians. Why would I get rid of them? (Also, I believe that clashes of things are healthy for society; clashes of political beliefs, clashes of genders, clashes of everything from Liberal/Conservative to Windows/MacOS. Uniformity in anything is unhealthy and dangerous.)

Also, why is my maturity part of this?

at least. On the theological front, who knows.

The larger threat comes from the growing militancy of Moslems in this country. It won't be long before the Moslems demand their right to have 5 wives as permitted by Mohammed. Combine the "right to privacy" with "freedom of religion", mix in a dab of Democratic concern for protecting Moslems, and polygamy comes to America.

of any and all of the wives thrown in, after all, "who's to say & "everything's relative", & "respect different cultures".
It will be of interest to see what the pro-feminist crowd has to say about all this.

When emotionally held pseudo- beliefs clash one always has to go out the window, the wheel of revolutionizing society can't be held up for a little thing like contradiction. The rootless, intellectualy barren, class in America make Moses wandering in the desert look like an anchor in time and place.

Their ceaseless search for causes and issues marks an inner emptiness and doubt that transforms itself into the phenomenon of the incessant reformer, a plague on the civil and political order.

One must rush to show one has an open mind, but as Chesterton said, "the point to having an open mind is that eventually it will close on something".

Again, good point!

"a man's admiration for absolute government is proportinate to the contempt he feels for those around him". Tocqueville

that their brains fall out!

In Vino Veritas

So I know for certain that Muslim men are allowed four wives, not five - not that it makes much of a difference.

Either way, I intend to have only one like my father before me to comport with the laws where I live and my own peace of mind, not necessarily because polygamy really offends me, I confess. And besides, if one truly goes into it, as far as I'm concerned, it isn't really recommended in Islam except for special cases, such as to prevent a widow from falling into destitution or that your wife proves barren, etc ...

And while I acknowledge that Muslims worldwide have a richly earned bad reputation, we're actually not all bad. In other words, could you cut down on the hostility just a tad?

it's interesting that you have very high tolerance for the Romney-bashing and Mormon-bashing, but Muslim bashing you find hostile. This was post 216, so you had 215 chances to ask people to dial back their hostility toward Mormons.

And that is the point. Muslim polygamy is only one issue that I/we have concerns about. Your belief systems, your legal philosphies, your concepts of freedom runs contrary to American customs and concepts, particularly concepts of freedom. This encroachment makes some of us uncomfortable.

Last point: I am not saying that all Muslims are bad. Let me go one better: I would say that all Christians (as in all) are incapable of being all good. The Muslims that I have known have been moral, hardworking, taxpaying, etc. Very good people. My position remains that Islamic customs and practices are contrary to American ideals. Allowing those customs to take root in America presents philosophical and political dangers that I would prefer were outlawed. Maybe I don't care if you have 4 or 5 wives. I do care intensely that allowing this one custom will embolden Muslims to practice the historical intolerence for Christians and Jews, that Islam rewards terrorism, that Islam does not recognize the value of individualism, particularly for women, and on and on and on. The gap is very wide.

The concern isn't so much the Muslim religion, as it is with portions of the cultures in certain places were Islam is the predominate religion.

For example, where is the burka in the Koran. It's not there. It's really just a tradition of some of the cultures in which Islam is predominate.

It's important that we diffentiate between the word of God and the "traditions of the fathers". Sometimes traditions point us towards obeying doctrinal commands, but I think more often they tend to lead us away from concern with submision to God, and replace it with submission to the traditions of men.

As near as I can tell, Islamic doctrine is not inconsistent with American society and government. It certain traditions that have become associated with Islam that are causing the conflict.

Like any religion you can come up with crazy or sane interpretations of the text... it just happens that a very large number of Muslims worldwide subscribe to crazy and expansive interpretations of the text. That is still Islam connected, just as the crazies who handle snakes do so because of their skewed version of Christianity. Interpretations they are not willing to adjust for the times we live in.

Really, it is completely irrelevant what the actual text says. It's what those who follow the text decide it means and how many follow that interpretation.
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

(1) Martin is under no obligation to find anyone or anything offensive in order to find a different someone or something offensive.

(2) Do not make this a series of personal shots. I've tried to be more lenient in the wake of the election, but I will not let personal and personalized shots fly like this without consequences.

(3) You know absolutely squat about Martin, his religious beliefs, his practices, his theories, and his philosophies. You don't know to which variant of Islam he subscribes. Dial this back, now.

(4) Before you get to generalize about someone else's religion, you need to be prepared to back it waaaay up.

This is Thanksgiving. I'm being unusually nice. Play this one more time, and I'll pull the trigger and get a good night's sleep. Apologize to Martin, and we have no issues.

Are we clear?

Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

I am not going to argue with you on this but rather just give you my opinion.

I don't like the Romney/Mormon bashing but I did not say anything about it either. So what. It is easier to be a bystander when it isn't personal. This is personal.

I've read many of Martin's posts, including many on the GWOT and the threat of the Islamist agenda. He is a personal example to me of why I should be very careful not to overgeneralize about Muslim beliefs. From what I can tell he is as patriotic an American as I am. He is just the kind of Muslim who I would go to war for in order to defend his religious liberty - because I think he values liberty over submission.

He kindly asked you to dial it back a notch - not to be quite so sweeping in your characterizations. IMO, he was right to do so. And since it is personal, I feel compelled to ask as well.
John E.

... it's interesting that you have very high tolerance for the Romney-bashing and Mormon-bashing, but Muslim bashing you find hostile. This was post 216, so you had 215 chances to ask people to dial back their hostility toward Mormons.

Heh heh ... I'm sure it would surprise you to know that I prefer Romney to every other candidate now running. I would go to the mat for the man simply based on his "I represent the people, you represent the media" response to that self-righteous journalist a few weeks back.

Personally, I'm amused at all the attempts by the Press to torpedo his candidacy based on his being a Mormon - they should focus more on his being pro-choice. I'm unhappy at the fact that there are apparently sections of Conservatism that are so put off by his religion that they are willing to sacrifice someone who has the potential to be a great President.

And that is the point. Muslim polygamy is only one issue that I/we have concerns about. Your belief systems, your legal philosphies, your concepts of freedom runs contrary to American customs and concepts, particularly concepts of freedom.

So you say.

I think you're confusing the practice of Islam mixed with pre-Islamic tradition with what is actually in the Qur'an. For example, Sokoto in Nigeria is the Islamic capital of the nation; the Sultan of Sokoto is the paramount Islamic authority in the nation i.e. he declares and certifies the beginning of Ramadan, Eid el Kabir, etc. What would you say if I told you that the education of girl children is a big deal in Sokoto and it has been for a very long time?

In other words, with all due respect, you need to learn a bit more and not make such sweeping generalizations.

Assalamu Alaikum.

PS: My real name, i.e. my Islamic name, is actually Muhammad.

the four wives thing was a practical solution to the problem of there being so many orphan girls at the time of Muhammed's campaigns. One can argue about why they became orphans in the first place but that was the situation, from my reading of the Qu'ran and related commentary.


And that's conjecture since Muhammed himself had 10-14 wives, depending on what you would count as a "wife".

I'm sure that Muslims would argue that polygamy is a "religious practice" for them although it is more accurately described as "something which their religion permits them to do".

Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

with liberated intentions. The ease with which we dispose of custom is interesting in a country where we can't even get some of our inhabitants to try and learn English, where many of our young and not so young are blanks as to their nations history, and where every cause or movement is taken as isolated from the whole. As if a society isn't a whole, a web, of interlocking pieces, supporting and aiding the structure of a humane civil society.

Certain things work precisely because they are restrained or limited, broaden the range and scope, legitimatize & advocate a practice previously restricted and the effects in microcosm can become deleterious on a larger scale. The black market, the back alley, the underground economy, the isolated village,are society's way of protecting it's values while giving a outlet and vent to practices less desirable.

We've become a country that can't say no. Even without asinine judges tolerance, and a healthy intolerance, have turned to apathy and a willed ignorance. Maybe the judges know more about us then we realize.

So let's sit back and see how this plays out, perhaps in thirty or fifty years the implications will be clearer and we, who are left, may wonder still more at the health or disease of the country we live in. Whatever language we'll be speaking.

BTW, state involvement in marriage goes back at a minimum of 2,500 yrs or so. Anthropologist I'm not but it might be traced back to pre-historic & pre-state tribal cultures. Whatever the case it was rarely a private matter or a quitely and purely religious matter.

"a man's admiration for absolute government is proportinate to the contempt he feels for those around him". Tocqueville

I personally think this country is quite capable of saying "no" to a lot of things when it actually has a problem with them. Saying "no" to certain governments, saying "no" to selling ports, saying "no" to drunk drivers and "no" to a lot of things. Besides, is it really apathy if the country is embroiled in a heated debate about it?
(Note: I believe English must be the official language, the border must be secured with the utmost effort, and we really need to work on getting the schools to work harder on history.)

As for the purpose marriage would serve now; it does wonders for relationships, allows two loving people to unite, and of course leads the way to the best way for a child to be raised.

Seeing as how the child part is diffirent and it's the same gender (although they do often adopt male/female roles), gay marriage can't exist at all like heterosexual marriage. Asking for that would be like asking someone to turn off the laws of gravity. You can't, even if you wanted to.
However, I do favor the legal part; civil union. It has nothing to do with the big "marriage" aspect for heterosexuals we've been talking about, no matter how much we debate about the concept of marriage.

I don't see how you even conceive of civil unions without starting from marriage. It is born as a wholly derivative concept so it isn't reasonable to now consider it in a vacuum just because we have currently latched on to it. If one is in favor of civil unions, which legally mimic marriage, then one must decide why they are a good thing. That involves understanding why all those things we are mimicking were good in the first place and the consequences of transferring them to something else.

Which returns us to the question of what purpose marriage serves. You gave a short answer and the rest of your response seems to indicate a lack of interest in the topic. I am not opposed in principle to the idea of creating a some new civil institution, civil unions for example, but I want a very clear reason for doing it. In the case of civil unions, what purpose do they serve? And who qualifies? Why do some qualify and others do not? And given its resemblance to marriage, what is its impact on marriage?

As far as what marriage is good for, the children part I see very clearly. The rest is a bit fuzzier to me. I have had relationships but I have never married. I wanted very much to make those relationships work. Getting married would not have made a single one of them work better. I have enduring friendships. Society doesn't need to consecrate those relationships to make them endure. Merit does the job. As far as I can tell, two loving people are united by their love. Marriage and divorce are practical formalities.

Monogamy - or any variety of committed heterosexual coupling - serves a clear purpose: it manages the common consequences of gratifying the sexual appetite. If gratifying that appetite never did produce children would we have ever wrapped it up in marriage? Do you think that the prevalence of birth control had any effect the 20th century change in attitude regarding the morality of sex outside of marriage?

My life circumstances cause me to presently ask myself the question: If I found a sexual partner I loved and we desired no children and could have no children, why would we want to get married? For the financial and social benefits - maybe. For the sake of the ugly costs of divorce if we find we are wrong - not me. What difference does it make to society one way or another whether we to form a lasting relationship? Why give us the first incentive to do so? And why step in if we decide we want to part ways?
John E.

Civil union is a derivative of marriage, sure, but I do think that on paper it can be seen in a vaccum. When a leaf falls off of a tree, is it still part of the tree?

I can see where you're coming from with marriage not really doing much aside from children, now that I think of it. I agree with you now.

Still, what would it have to do with a civil union? A lot of people really want to have the same benefits on paper that people of opposite genders take for granted (even though aside from children the heterosexuals do pretty much the same thing).

Good Tenniru, I would like to delve into it with you and consider your proposals and presentation of CU. In the details we mind find what the two have to do with each other - pretty quickly. Sorry but I failed to parse your parenthetical. Happy Thanksgiving!
John E.

grant the legal proiveleges that are attached to marriage but without the status or religious overtones that adhere to marriage. Almost none the so-called "benefits" of marriage are older then the 20th century, the only exception to that being child custody arrangements and some inheritance rights (the latter going back no further than the 18th century though). These benefits are in no way intrinsic marriage and are not hallowed traditions; hemnce they can be conferred on others without any fear of damaging marriage (and of course they would continue to apply to marriage as well). My only caution is that civil unions ought be reserved for people who cannot legally marry each other; and that they should be made available to any (othwerwise single) couple whether or not their relationship is romantic or sexual. Not only does this get around the sin issue that riles some people so much, but it also creates a necessary next-of-kin status for people who do not have close kin or whose kin are unacceptable for some reason in that role.

That's a good start Aleks. You seem to have a reasonable and thoughtful approach to it. I would like to have more conversation with you about it. Is this diary a good place to do it? I have a number of questions I would like to ask. Here is one.

In Georgia we just had a number of Constitutional amendments ont the ballot concerning the question of whether certain privileges (mainly survivorship) ought to be extended to married couples. I reasoned around on them and decided to vote yes. My reasoning went back to the idea that mom - or these days Mr. mom - might be staying home raising kids while dad (or Mrs dad) is bringing home the bacon so it is really only fair for me to treat them as a single economic unit. So I voted to give them benefits that I - single guy - do not get. I also thought about SSM at that time and concluded I would find no basis to vote yes and give that situation preference over my own. So while the benefits are not intrinsic to marriage, my willingness to grant them does seem to be intrinsic to marriage. Isn't it most likely that a similar logic attaches to most all the gov. granted benefits that have accrued - you say in the last century and I take your word for it - to marriage? I would belabor the language to draw out all the consequences of that as I am sure you are more than intelligent enough to do so for yourself.

And what the heck, here is a quick second question. Have we examined the fiscal impact of passing on all these benefits to essentially everyone who is not married when they die (for economic reasons everyone would want to die married). For example, what would be the impact on the social security system?
John E.

Thousands of years.

As far as custody rights, I'm not sure that the non-custodial parent had any "right" to see his/her kids after a divorce, even in the 19th Century. Obviously, if the custodial parent died, the non-custodial parent would have the strongest claim on custody afterwards. But that was a rare situation in an age where divorce was uncommon.

to me I will address only one part of your post. You reject the idea of apathy and say the country is quite capable of saying no. I will suggest that there are answers founded in both ignorance and states or levels of knowledge. As well there are levels of concern and interest, of committment.

If you broaden the working definition of apathy and consider the immeasureable differences of involvement, the lack of historical perspective and the woeful lack of foundational principles, you may excuse or understand my use of the word.

But regardless, the trends or rot continues. You might say decadence marches on, perhaps at different speeds but marches on nonetheless.

Have a good Thanksgiving.

"a man's admiration for absolute government is proportinate to the contempt he feels for those around him". Tocqueville

Assuming apathy can be expanded to inactivity, then I agree wholeheartedly. I see what you mean now.

Sorry for stepping in on your thread johnt. I misread it for some reason and thought he was replying to me.
John E.

When the MSM asks Romney how he rationalizes remaining part of a faith where polygamy is tactily tolerated, he can point out that it's not uncommon for one to be part of a faith and still question some of its practices.

For example, he can say, there are plenty of Democrat Congressional Catholics who proudly proclaim their Catholicism--and still vote pro-choice.

They worked it out, Romney can say---why can't he? And then, when the MSM reporter starts to stammer, he can follow up by asking said brave intrepid reporter how the Democrat Congressional Catholics reconciled their faith with their pro-choice voting records?

Cue sound of crickets, followed by a FAST subject change to the Big Dig...

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

Romney does not belong to a faith where "polygamy is tacitly tolerated". To the contrary, Romney belongs to a faith that excommunicates ALL PRACTICING POLYGAMISTS. Not even the Catholic church does that. To the best of my knowledge, you can still call yourself a Lutheran, a Methodist, or an evangelical if you are a practicing polygamist.

But the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not tolerate it at all. Merely advocating polygamy could put you in hot water. The church has excommunicated polygamy advocates in the past.

about the exact words I used, then OK. I'll play "Let's Get Semantic!" if you wish.

I meant to say that Romney belongs to a faith where many practicioners are willing to accept the concept of polygamy. And, apparently, a fair number are willing to practice it openly.

But, I suspect you knew that's what I meant already.

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

Your first point: "Romney belongs to a faith where many practicioners are willing to accept the concept of polygamy" is right. The second point: "a fair number are willing to practice it openly" is wrong.

LDS Mormons who practice polygamy openly are excommunicated.

These fundamentalist groups that practice polygamy are no more a part of Mitt's church than they are a part of the Catholic church. Neither Mitt nor his church has any control over these people.

Re: To the contrary, Romney belongs to a faith that excommunicates ALL PRACTICING POLYGAMISTS. Not even the Catholic church does that.

In principle at least a Roman Catholic who was "living in sin" in the Church's eyes would not be permitted to receive Communion. Indeed, this is why divorced and remarried Catholics are barred from the Eucharist: their relationships are seen as bigamous.

It is not simply handed out to anyone "living in sin."
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

They may bar divorced Catholics from the Eucharist, but they don't excommunicate them. The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) does.

And yet, here we are right back with Romney and the Mormons.

What up with you guys?

If Romney becomes president, the odds are pretty small that he will advocate polygamy. Even smaller that he will take another wife. Even further out there is that he will use his presidential powers to suspend habeas corpus and make all males marry two wives.

I'm happy to bash Romney for bashable things. I try to do it regularly. But bashing his faith ain't gonna cut it. Someone want to consider bashing McCain's for his serial polygamy? (I write this as a Southern Baptist, the same faith apparently as McCain.)

Lawrence v. Texas opened Pandaro's Box, and it gonne be really hard to close it back up. That's the issue, not Mormons. Does a state or the nation have the right to define aberrant sexual behavior? I say we lost it, Mormons or no Mormons.

it would be remembered as the single most incredible event in American history. He'd be impeached for embarrassing his party. He'd be excommunicated. He'd have a long time to think about why he did such a dumb thing.

I'm more concerned that Hillary might take on an additional spouse than Mitt. I don't think that Hillary has ever really been into guys.

The next justice to be replaced will be either Stevens or Ginsburg. We will have conservative control of the Supreme Court within 5 years.

I have yet to see any evidence that the justices appointed to SCOTUS by President Bush are supportive of states rights. My suspicion is that with the departure of Rehnquist and O'Connor support for federalism on the Court is now down. Both Roberts and Alito have spent a good portion of their careers working in the federal government.

I have also yet to see any evidence that the President ever intended his nominees to support federalism. Nothing in his own policy positions suggests that he does, so why should he want the Court to do so?

If we take the seminal case of Raich vs Gonzalez, let us note two things:

Of the three justices in dissent, only one remains on the Court.

The winner of this case (the Bush administration) appointed the members who replaced Rehnquist and O'Connor.

The simplistic labelling of justices as 'liberal' and 'conservative' leads some people to assume that because they agree with Roberts and Alito on some issues, Roberts and Alito must be federalists.

Let's see.

Quentin Langley
Editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

Clauses, yes, I am confident we have a FIVE vote majority NOW, so long as Kennedy doesn't change his prior positions of the cases in which O'Connor was against state's rights. Those cases applied ridiculously obtuse and complicated and erroneous in its interpretation of the Establishment clause and thereby violated the free speech rights as regards religious speech.

Appellate decisions by both Roberts and Alito make clear their positions om those cases.

more later on other issues

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

He'd make us take orders from the Archbishop of Cantebury!

Hard to tell for sure. His family was Episcopal, but he apparently attends a Baptist church. He may just attend with his wife and kids.

Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them in summer school. Buffy Summers

2006 is done, 2008 is another day and another fight

how polygamy can be any more fair to all involved than the "open relationship" concept, and I don't see how a woman can be both a polygamist's wife and fully empowered as a free citizen. It's different from the choices a wife has in a monogamous marriage because there's nobody else to share and everything is very nicely centered to allow man and wife to determine their best choices.

And it's not any more right just because women in polygamous marriages insist it's their choice; one's inability to realize a poor choice does not exempt that choice from being unjust.


Truly enjoyed reading these comments. Thought I'd add a few of my own.

1) When people call me a non-Christian it is the equivalent of someone calling me a lier. I have accepted Jesus Christ is my personal savior, and it is odd that people try to tell me that I haven't. (Save your postings that try to explain why I am not a Christian... whatever you are thinking... I've heard it before and still believe it is equivalent to "you are a lier.")

2) I'm surprised that people think that LDS people have sympathy for polygamists. Having lived half of my life in Utah and the rest in California, Colorado, Oregon, and Florida, I must confess... I have never met a polygamist in my life, nor have I known anyone who has known a polygamist. This discussion about polygamy is just as foreign to me as it is to everyone else. The figure that there is 40,000 polygamists in Warren Jeff's cult is demonstrably false... look at a census figure for the ZIP codes of his communities there are only a few thousand people there. (I am a statistician for an insurance company.)

I don't doubt that there are polygamists in Arizona and Utah (note the order of the states) but I think the numbers and significance are way over-played merely because it makes the story more interesting. I imagine that somebody may next make some weird post about knowing polygamists, and maybe somebody posting has known polygamists; but, I can attest with certainty that this practice is not widespread nor mainstream in Utah or among the people who consider themselves "Mormons." In fact, people who are LDS have no sympathy for Warren Jeff's; he is a sicko who forces little girls to marry older-ugly men, and he makes us all look bad, to boot. We'd be very happy if his cult disappears... but our religion can't make another religion (RLDS) disappear. Prosecution must come from the state, and history has proven it to be difficult for the law to end their small faction.

Whether Mormons are Christian is no longer an acceptable topic on RedState. Save it for theological forums. Yes, that applies equally to the comment below, but I figure one post is enough.

I realize there's no way you could have known this, since Thomas's new rules are sitting at the bottom of an old thread. Here's a link:


(This is not to imply that I'm a moderator, or that I have the slightest influence at RedState. Rather, it's meant to stop a discussion before things get that far.)

Polygamy isn't Mitt's problem. His other Mormon beliefs are:

You can't get into heaven unless you know the secret handshake.

God lives on a planet near a star called Kolob.

Don't go to the links. It appears to be a hate site.
It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones. -- Calvin Coolidge

Everything in those links is true. Most of it links directly to official LDS (mormon) sources.

Perhaps you should put up or shut up. How is it a "hate site."

Everything in those links is true. Most of it links directly to official LDS (mormon) sources.

Perhaps you should put up or shut up. How is it a "hate site."

The rules for discussing Romney and his religious beliefs on RedState are here:


Unless you can show this has political relevance, stop. Those who wish to argue that the LDS is Christian are likewise restrained.

(Again, I'm not a moderator, but let's try not to have one called in.)

Trashing Mormons for political purpose is extremely troubling behavior. It smacks of bridge-trolling.

2006 is done, 2008 is another day and another fight

That's why I asked for one with the Citizen's Blam title above. The site he's linking him to shows him as as hostile to Christians of all stripes, not just Mormons.
It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones. -- Calvin Coolidge

1). Jesus General is, in fact, a hate site. Don't link to it again without clearly identifying it as such, patriotboy.

2). I've read Thomas' rules on discussing Mormonism, and do you know something? They sound just dandy. Obey them.

3). There is no 3).


The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC.

Why do you call it a hate site? It's nothing more than satire. It's certainly has never called for violence against anyone.

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