Though Western culture is often called “Judeo-Christian” culture, Judaism’s traditional tolerance toward polygamy seems to have gotten lost somewhere along the way. In the U.S. it is legal to cheat on your wife, to have as many girlfriends as you want at the same time, to practice “serial polygamy” by having one wife after another – but it is strictly illegal to have more than one wife at the same time.
Recently, a judge has issued an order against a polygamous Utah farmer that:
…bars him from sharing his Fundamentalist Mormon views with his children — or even taking them to this small town he now calls home, where most residents hold a religious belief in polygamy that a judge deemed “harmful.”
It would appear that America’s disdain for polygamy is quite strong. Though many reasons are given for banning polygamy, some of us get the impression that the ban is basically a manifestation of deeply seated religious attitudes stemming from Christianity. The fact that none of the reasons given for the ban hold up in all (or even most) polygamy cases seems suspicious.
Would opponents of polygamy claim that it is illegal to marry these girls?
Obviously, it is impossible to marry one without marrying the other – and yet they are two separate personalities. One would hope an exception would be made in this case but I’m still curious how many of y’all would consider such a union polygamous?
At least statistically, the majority of cultures allow for polygamy. On the other hand, there are very few polygamists because in all but the most impoverished societies, women are just too expensive.
The western celts in Ireland and Wales only stopped serial marriage, I think, as late as the late nineteenth century.
Marriage as we know it is a product of farming society and is largely a vehicle for controlling costs.
If you allow for polygamy, polyandry, etc. you are asking for chaos.
It seems like some strident opposition to polygamy comes from the feminists. Although it would seem to hurt men -the ones left without anyone to marry- the most.
So just like I worry about my boys falling victim to the liberal elite’s “Celebrate Diversity” ideology, I would worry about them ending up alone in a polygamous society.
I understand the finer points of American Libertarianism, but I guess that’s another reason why I am not one!
re: the two-headed girl. The philosophical issues are mind-boggling. Never mind polygamy, what about dating?
Reminds me that gay marriage is thought to be a “gateway drug” to the two-headed girl — well, at least to polygamy; as if that practice, known in many cultures, were somehow more extreme than homosexual marriage, which to my knowledge has never been practiced, anywhere, anytime.
It has often been said that hard cases make bad law. In other words, if you try to make laws that handle every odd and extreme case you’ll simply wind up with lousy laws. In the case of the Siamese twins I think people could agree to let them get married without feeling any need to toss out the laws against polygamy.