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Why Is Polygamy So Vilified In The Us?


docrick

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Lest anyone think I am a polygamist I am not. I can barely handle the one wife I have!!!

In all seriousness, in other cultures in the world the practice of having more than one wife is not only lawful but encouraged. No jail time for these folks.

It cannot be argued that at one time the Lord condoned the practice of polygamy as evidenced by His prophets participating in the practice without divine reprimand.

I have read the new testament many times and there is nothing in there where Christ or any of the apostles outright and specifically condemns the practice of plural marriage.

Why therefore is the idea of plural marriage so repugnant to Americans?

I truly do not sympathize with polygamists in the USA today. They are clearly breaking the law and should be held accountable; but seriously folks I don't see why people get so worked up about this issue. The fact that the Lord condoned the practice anciently and in modern times is a complete non issue for me.

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docrick:

It is also the case in western Europe.

I think that part of issue is that even in Biblical times polygamy was not the rule, but was limited to royality and certain very well off men. Also in the West we have very different ideas about romantic love, sex, and marriage than was common throughout much of the world for about the last 1000 years.

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but seriously folks I don't see why people get so worked up about this issue.  The fact that the Lord condoned the practice anciently and in modern times is a complete non issue for me.

You must be a ...man? :P

Yes I'm a man but honestly what does that matter?

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I have looked within myself and believe that I can handle the responsibility though I do not seek it.

Of course the squeamish and unbelieving will always claim one is lustful and greedy for even admitting to such soul searching.......and I see the hs crowd ready to pounce too....

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Institutionalized polgyamy leads to a scarcity of women. Those with power and wealth have women, those without power and wealth are marginalized.

I suspect that if you did a survey of Utah circa 1880, you would see a clear connection between the number of wives a man had, and his status in the LDS church.

In Arab culture, I believe men can only have 4 wives, and they must prove they can afford them.

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I am a non-practicing polygamist. :P

I have always been a little puzzled at how our culture has a different response for roughly equivelent behavior on the part of different groups. Even in the 1800s it was accepted that powerful men had mistresses, but polygamy was quite the scandal. Perhaps its roots are in the victorian practice of turning a blind eye to private scandal, and it was the public practice by the Church that so outraged sensibilities?

I simply don't see where there was concern over the poorer men among the Mormons being marginalized. Show me a contemporary report with concerns over that and I'd be very surprised.

Even today with adultry we don't see outrage over poor women being marginalized when they have babies by two or three or more men. Instead we as a culture can't address race, poverty and morality because its not politically correct.

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Why therefore is the idea of plural marriage so repugnant to Americans?

Firstly, I would think that most women view polygamy as a subservient role. Sharing your husband with others? It just seems counterintuitive to how a person feels validated by another. Humans just seem to be too complex (or fragile) for such complicated human relationships.

Secondly, the current abuse(s) of the goverment's social systems...ie welfare for those who practice it, makes the practice of polygamy seem like an unnecessary drain and abuse on the social system.

Thirdly it is practiced by those who seem like religious zealots, hardly educated and poor...not to mention a bit red-neck. If Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Angelie Jolie or any number of A-list Hollywood celebrities embraced Polygamy, it would quickly become the rage and "hip".

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Jaybear:

Even those with lots of money were not always asked to participate in polygamy. It is true that to be asked you needed a level of resources to provide for all of their wives and children. Failure to provide support was grounds for excommunication.

My understanding is that it is not a hard and fast rule amongst the polygamous Muslims. But it is a very firm suggestion.

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Non-morman's hate polygamy because mormans started it in the US. And, mormans hate it because they no longer want to be associated with the practice.

And both hate polygamy because under age girls are married to men decade older than the girls. I think Polygamists would have less hastility directed towards themselves if if they restricked marriages to women 18 years of age or older.

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If polygamists, restricted their marriages to women older than 18 would you still feel as much animosity toward them?

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I, for one, would not. Live and let live. Personally, I don't think the goverment has any business regulating the sex life of adults. And the fact is Jeff's does not have multiple wifes, he has only one wife and the rest of the woman are just concubines with whom he has sex. Much the same as half the men in San Francisco.

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I guess I'm looking at this question as why is Polygamy villfied to a much greater degree in our general culture than adultry, fornication, divorce and a host of other behaviors with just as much religious and moral injunctions against them if not more?

That puzzles me- other than to say we tend to turn a blind eye to our own sins, and adultry and fornication are such a part of the popular culture now.

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Non-morman's hate polygamy because mormans started it in the US

You may be on to something there.

Had the practice started amongst folks not inclined to believe in prophets who get visits from angels and worse, maybe there would never have been an almost hardwired rejection of it.

Me? I'm still trying to find my toothbrush in this girls' dorm I'm doomed to dwell in.

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Had the practice started amongst folks not inclined to believe in prophets who get visits from angels and worse, maybe there would never have been an almost hardwired rejection of it.

I don't know about that. Other groups practiced polygamy, group marriages, etc., and were also vilified by contemporaries. The colonial period of American history was quite diverse as far as religious experiments go.

If Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Angelie Jolie or any number of A-list Hollywood celebrities embraced Polygamy, it would quickly become the rage and "hip".

One could make the case that most Hollywood celebrity types do practice polygamy, albeit it in a serial form rather than a simultaneous one.

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It is true that to be asked you needed a level of resources to provide for all of their wives and children. Failure to provide support was grounds for excommunication.

It a good rule.

This lesson seems to have been lost on the fundamentalists who rely quite heavily on government subsidies to support thier families.

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Firstly, I would think that most women view polygamy as a subservient role.  Sharing your husband with others?  It just seems counterintuitive to how a person feels validated by another.  Humans just seem to be too complex (or fragile) for such complicated human relationships. 

I certainly don't view it in this way. I view it as liberating. If you know anything about the LDS practice, women really had the power; divorce was much easier for them. I also think it opens up opportunities to women to use their talents in other areas. I just don't get this idea that somehow if a man has more than one wife the women don't have any power. What if they all decided to gang up on the guy!!

If you need another person to feel validated I guess you would have a problem with sharing a spouse. I don't see it that way. I think you have to have enough confidence in yourself that jealousy isn't an issue. If we are capable of loving more than one child, why is it we assume a man is not capable of loving more than one wife?

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I guess I'm looking at this question as why is Polygamy villfied to a much greater degree in our general culture than adultry, fornication, divorce and a host of other behaviors with just as much religious and moral injunctions against them if not more?

Much of the world today believes in equality.

Giving men the right to have multiple partners while not extending the right to women does not support the belief in equality.

Many women find the practice of sharing one's partner dispicable at best, disgusting and degrading at worst.

How would YOU feel if your wife wanted to sleep with a bunch of other men and you got to see her say, once or twice a month?

That puzzles me- other than to say we tend to turn a blind eye to our own sins, and adultry and fornication are such a part of the popular culture now.

Legalizing polygamy is to many, no different than supporting men sleeping with multiple women, while disallowing women the same opportunity.

Much of the world, (whether they follow their conscience or not) believes it is wrong to sleep with someone other than one's spouse (singular).

There are clear reasons why humankind has evolved to embrace monogamy. Men donating sperm to multiple females is a very primitive form of mating common in the animal world.

The vast majority of humans, the world over engage in monogamy because it has been proven over millions of years to be the most beneficial to individual survival and survival of our species.

There are reasons, in spite of primitive urges to sleep with multiple women, to own them, or even to engage in intimate relationships with them, why men have evolved to desire something beyond this.

IMO, it has to do with the more expanded sense of compassion, greater depths of emotion, a more beautiful experience of intimacy, and an enlightened ability to create a bonding that extends beyond survival, sperm donation, and animalistic tendencies.

Personally, I think this development in the human is so incredibly amazing, and such a beautiful gift to our universe that that which diminishes it, removes it, destroys it, and replaces it with a more primitive form of mating is not desireable or in the best interest of life and creation.

~dancer~

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As a culture, we are becoming more selfish, more self-centered. The righteous living of plural marriage requires the highest of character traits, which include being very unselfish. When people who have hardened themselves to the finer qualities of charcter, they can only look at the reasons why they would engage in any behaviorl For themselves it is all lust and greed and power trips. So they put that on others.

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Had the practice started amongst folks not inclined to believe in prophets who get visits from angels and worse, maybe there would never have been an almost hardwired rejection of it.

I don't know about that. Other groups practiced polygamy, group marriages, etc., and were also vilified by contemporaries. The colonial period of American history was quite diverse as far as religious experiments go.

I am aware of no other group, religious or otherwise, which practiced polygyny in the XIXth Century that was disincorporated, its assets caused to eschete, and its members disenfranchised and/or imprisoned because of the practice.

USU "Though I admittedly don't know everything about everything" 78

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That still doesn't explain why polygamy is seen as more vile than serial adulterers or serial monogamists? The women are still often stuck raising chidlren alone, having to deal with disease and heartbreak from those who abandon them. This is multiple partners who have no commitment to her. (There is of course the foolish hope that she will be the one who he really loves and stays with.)

Polygamy is a long term commitment to a person who enters into the relationship. How is adultry or serial monogamy less objectionable than being recognised legally in marriage to a man who is willing to support and honor that marriage, especially in light of the laws governing those marriages that gives the woman the right to condone or veto the marriage in the first place?

How was the issue of having a mistress somewhere while one's wife looked after the homestead any less repugnant to the victorian mind than a Mormon man declaring his spouses were legal and had full rights to his sustaining them?

If we are going to have a fair comparison, you must take an honest look at what the issues of both arrangements are, not compare the disadvantages of one with the advantages of the other.

That is what frustrates me about these polygamy discussions. No actual hard look at what it is and isn't, just a lot of justification based on emotional responses. The Principle in LDS doctrine is not about multiple sex partners, underage marriage, control over women or any other slander.

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If you think of your husband in the same way that you think of your children then I feel sorry for him...  :P

I never did when I was married; but I was speaking of how a man feels. <_<

The point was that it is possible to love other people, but I do feel that our understanding of love is just too limited now. .

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