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Why Is Polygamy So Vilified In The Us?


docrick

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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.

What if your wives/women-you-were-courting were independently minded and wanted to take care of themselves?

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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.

Actually, polygyny has virtually been the exclusive privilege of the rich and powerful men.

~dancer~

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Men donating sperm to multiple females is a very primitive form of mating common in the animal world.

We've actually modernized this practice. We now have sperm banks.

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Men donating sperm to multiple females is a very primitive form of mating common in the animal world.

We've actually modernized this practice. We now have sperm banks.

...and Rock Star and Athlete groupies for lack of a cleaner term. :P

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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.

Of course persecution is not the issue. But there were other groups with odd marriage arrangements that invited scorn from the outside community. Shakers and the Oneida community come to mind. And I don't know of any Shakers and Oneida members who tried to set up a theocracy in American territories. That probably also played a part the LDS persecution as well.

Take care, everyone :P

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And I don't know of any Shakers and Oneida members who tried to set up a theocracy in American territories. That probably also played a part the LDS persecution as well.

Actually, the Mormons in Utah Territory sought statehood very early on after their settlement in the Great Basin. They wanted the right of self-government under the U.S. Constitution, but they were denied this for decades by intransigent and bigoted politicians in Washington.

Any element of "theocracy" in the territory was necessary to fill the void that was not being filled by the federal government.

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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.

Of course persecution is not the issue. But there were other groups with odd marriage arrangements that invited scorn from the outside community. Shakers and the Oneida community come to mind. And I don't know of any Shakers and Oneida members who tried to set up a theocracy in American territories. That probably also played a part the LDS persecution as well.

So do you agree that historical persecution of Mormons is prior to persecution of Mormons for polygyny?

And that the anti-polygyny laws, coupled with the disincorporation and disenfranchisement laws, had more to do with Mormons qua Mormons than with Mormons qua polygynists?

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What surprises me is that we have not seen on this thread (yet) verses in the bible condemning the practice of plural marriage.

I know there really aren't any verses specifically pointing to plural marriage and it's divine condemnation.

Thus my fascination with why the USA and western Europe with no "divine reason" for vilifying those that practice plural marriage.

I've read over and over on this board people saying they could never accept Joseph Smith or Brigham Young as a prophet because of their lack of morality practice plural marriage.

Bugs the heck out of me. They have no problems with Abraham but Brigham Young what a bad guy.

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

When I first had this discussion with my TBM wife, I mentioned that I thought the practice of polygamy was morally wrong. She took the viewpoint that it's in the OT and didn't view it that way even though she wouldn't be happy with it.

In justifying my viewpoint, if Jesus had mentioned it, I wouldn't have as much of a problem with it. This sort of goes along with what does each of us mean when we say the "gospel." For LDS, it's the OT, NT, PoGP, and the BoM. For the Catholic, it's Mathew, Mark, Luke and John (MMLJ) Mormons can morally justify most things if it's in one of the 4 books. Catholics (and a lot of other EV's) will use the teachings from MMLJ since they deal with the time Jesus was on earth.

Since America was based from mostly EV's coming here, IMO they viewed polygamy as a vile thing.

Just a thought.

I realize that LDS can support that polygamy is not an immoral practice. I think others are programmed that it is though. Show me where it's in "my gospel" and I'll give it more consideration.

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Yes,

Even my invitation to discuss polygamy as practiced by the Saints with an apples to apples comparison to monogamy as practiced today or in the 1800s gives the critics a free pass on the Biblical laws and examples.

I'd be interested in the reaction of someone who really searched their soul to ask themselves what objection to polygamy is there that doesn't also apply to the current state of marriage in the West?

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

When I first had this discussion with my TBM wife, I mentioned that I thought the practice of polygamy was morally wrong. She took the viewpoint that it's in the OT and didn't view it that way even though she wouldn't be happy with it.

In justifying my viewpoint, if Jesus had mentioned it, I wouldn't have as much of a problem with it. This sort of goes along with what does each of us mean when we say the "gospel." For LDS, it's the OT, NT, PoGP, and the BoM. For the Catholic, it's Mathew, Mark, Luke and John (MMLJ) Mormons can morally justify most things if it's in one of the 4 books. Catholics (and a lot of other EV's) will use the teachings from MMLJ since they deal with the time Jesus was on earth.

Since America was based from mostly EV's coming here, IMO they viewed polygamy as a vile thing.

Just a thought.

I realize that LDS can support that polygamy is not an immoral practice. I think others are programmed that it is though. Show me where it's in "my gospel" and I'll give it more consideration.

Show where it is in the "gospel" NOT to practice it or where the practice is condemned by Christ or an apostle.

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Show me where it's in "my gospel" and I'll give it more consideration.

But do you so vehemently oppose the free practice of others religious views, when they are not in "your gospel"?

Would you go into a chat room for divorced fathers and tell them how repugnant their practice of divorce is?

Would you go into a chat room for rappers and tell them how repugnant their promotion of adultery and fornication is?

Would you go into an Islamic chat room and tell them how repugnant the practive of polygamy is?

Would you go into a gay and Lesbian chat room and tell them how repugnant their lifestyle is?

If the answer is yes, than you are probably jutified in telling the same to the LDS, but you wouldn't be an accurate reflection of our society in general who do not share the same shock and disapproval of diversity than they do the LDS history of polygamy.

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The marriage between one man and one woman was ordained by God for the noble purpose of deciding who gets my stuff when I die. Alternative unions based on romantic love for another human being throw a monkey wrench in the works and are an abomination.

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Show where it is in the "gospel" NOT to practice it or where the practice is condemned by Christ or an apostle.

Mathew 19:4-5

He said in reply, "Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?

I realize that he is refering to the case of divorce here, but a reasonable explanation is for only one man with one woman. It's the safe proposition. Most Christians viewed it that this is God's plan.

I'm sure that you disagree though.

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Show where it is in the "gospel" NOT to practice it or where the practice is condemned by Christ or an apostle.

Mathew 19:4-5

He said in reply, "Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?

I realize that he is refering to the case of divorce here, but a reasonable explanation is for only one man with one woman. It's the safe proposition. Most Christians viewed it that this is God's plan.

I'm sure that you disagree though.

This passage does not eliminate the possibility of a man marrying more than once. You are reading it with a bias.

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This passage does not eliminate the possibility of a man marrying more than once. You are reading it with a bias.

yep. I agree. But I the question is why is polygamy so vilified? So I believe most people who are not LDS are doing the same whether that is right or wrong.

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What others do does not necessarily concern me.

You suspend judgement on others and I respect that ...and so you are probably not the one for me to ask. But I will ask it for those who do have a strong reaction to it:

Why does polygamy illicit a stronger reaction in our culture than these other acts which are much more explicitly condemned in the Judeo-Christian tradition?

P.S. Blueadept, I was debating the issue using "we" and "you" generally. My own family has seen many examples of good people who's marriages did not work out, and I would not pass judgement on them. I am very sorry if the example using divorce came across as cutting in any way.

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What others do does not necessarily concern me.

You suspend judgement on others and I respect that ...and so you are probably not the one for me to ask. But I will ask it for those who do have a strong reaction to it:

Why does polygamy illicit a stronger reaction in our culture than these other acts which are much more explicitly condemned in the Judeo-Christian tradition?

IMO, I suspect that other Christians throw it in the same category as the issue of homosexuality. Right or wrong. Murder is throughout the bible and with the way today's society is, it's not a big deal.

The point is that EV's and Catholics have the idea that marriage is between one man and one woman. It's up to everyone else to prove it's not.

This is where LDS have the uphill battle to prove that the practice of polygamy is not immoral.

Unfortunately, most people have already have an opinion and it doesn't agree with LDS. So you have the problem of people not listening to you that it can be a moral thing.

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What others do does not necessarily concern me.

You suspend judgement on others and I respect that ...and so you are probably not the one for me to ask. But I will ask it for those who do have a strong reaction to it:

Why does polygamy illicit a stronger reaction in our culture than these other acts which are much more explicitly condemned in the Judeo-Christian tradition?

P.S. Blueadept, I was debating the issue using "we" and "you" generally. My own family has seen many examples of good people who's marriages did not work out, and I would not pass judgement on them. I am very sorry if the example using divorce came across as cutting in any way.

You are making assumptions that the people who are anti polygamy are more tolerant of adultery, which I have never seen in my experience. I am strongly opposed to polygamy as you know, and I just as strongly would condemn adultery and divorce. (except in cases of abuse or an affair)

The people I find in our culture today who are neutral, supportive, or tolerant of polygamy are the same people who are supportive or tolerant of adultery,divorce,pornography, swinging, homosexuality, and serial monogamy. (with the exception of LDS)

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The point is that EV's and Catholics have the idea that marriage is between one man and one woman. It's up to everyone else to prove it's not.

This is where LDS have the uphill battle to prove that the practice of polygamy is not immoral.

Unfortunately, most people have already have an opinion and it doesn't agree with LDS. So you have the problem of people not listening to you that it can be a moral thing.

That's probably the best rationalle I've heard for it yet. Tradition!

I'm not sure I'd be happy with the results though if polygamy enjoyed the same media and popular culture acceptance as homosexuality and adultry (regarless of my opinions about their relative "right" and "wrong" ness).

Even when I believe Polygamy was commanded by God, it was a very closely regulated and restricted practice. People going into it willy nilly for their own reasons, and not at the express command of God, the consent of their existing spouses and the calling of a Prophet or Temple Sealer wouldn't be likely to satisfy my own sensibilities regarding the matter.

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Show where it is in the "gospel" NOT to practice it or where the practice is condemned by Christ or an apostle.

Mathew 19:4-5

He said in reply, "Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?

I realize that he is refering to the case of divorce here, but a reasonable explanation is for only one man with one woman. It's the safe proposition. Most Christians viewed it that this is God's plan.

I'm sure that you disagree though.

Clearly this is NOT condemnation for plural marriage. A man can marry wife A and become one flesh and then wife B,C,D ad infinitum and be one flesh.

Clearly we interpret this scripture differently.

My point is that there is absolutely nothing in the bible, OT or NT that specifically condemns plural marriage. In fact the scriptures demonstrate multiple times men of god, prophets taking more than one wife.

With this information it is just amazing to me that the majority of people absolutely look at plural marriage as condemned of god.

The early saints actually had the United States Government after them for practicing plural marriage.

What a bunch of malarkey.

The condemnation of plural marriage is nothing more than the "philosophy of men mingled with scripture."

I don't know or really care if the the Lord will require plural marriage again but I sure won't be up in arms if he does.

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P.S. Blueadept, I was debating the issue using "we" and "you" generally. My own family has seen many examples of good people who's marriages did not work out, and I would not pass judgement on them. I am very sorry if the example using divorce came across as cutting in any way.

No offense taken.

Being a cast off from my own faith for 3 years made me appreciate the Catholic Church's viewpoint though. It believes it's there to protect the sanctity of marriage for it's members. It took a lot for me to understand that someone could be forgiven for having an abortion, but I couldn't be forgiven if I was living with someone who wasn't my spouse. (civil divorce or not)

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You are making assumptions that the people who are anti polygamy are more tolerant of adultery, which I have never seen in my experience. I am strongly opposed to polygamy as you know, and I just as strongly would condemn adultery and divorce. (except in cases of abuse or an affair)

The people I find in our culture today who are neutral, supportive, or tolerant of polygamy are the same people who are supportive or tolerant of adultery,divorce,pornography, swinging, homosexuality, and serial monogamy. (with the exception of LDS)

My assumptions are based on the treatment of it in the news, popular culture and in discussions with others. There is little doubt that polygamy is better for shock value these days than serial monogamy, adultry or fornication. In fact the latter are often pushed by popular culture. Big Love is the lone exception to that rule.

Even in the 1800s the most virulent critics of polygamists were often powerful men who had mistresses of their own. Senator Reed Smoot of Utah once quipped to a fellow Senator (with a known mistress) who was pressing him on the issue of polygamy. "Sir I am a polygamist who does not polig, while you are a monogamist who does not monog."

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