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Starting the path to legal polygamy in the U.S.


rockpond

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The Brown family (of the reality TV series "Sister Wives") has taken up the banner of religious freedom and is fighting for polygamy to be legal in Utah (not just decriminalized -- which they already accomplished).  Hopefully this will be the case that goes all the way to SCOTUS and removes the ban for the whole country.  Article here and a relevant quote from it...

""Sister Wives" stars Kody Brown and his four wives Meri, Christine, Janelle and Robyn are reportedly pushing for polygamy legalization in Utah. In fact, the lawyers for the family had recently asked a federal appeals court to uphold a ruling that "decriminalized" plural marriages in the state.

Based on the lawsuit filed by the Browns, the family made famous by the TLC reality show "Sister Wives" contended that Utah's polygamy ban violated the constitutional rights of Americans to liberally engage in their religion, noting the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) practice of plural marriage."

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Thus begins the real reason the LDS Church has been so politically active in opposing gay marriage.

No seer stone was needed to see that once gay marriage was ruled constitutional, plural marriage would be the next milestone.

And once plural marriage is legal in the United States, on what basis will the LDS Church refuse to reinstitute it?

Interesting times.

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26 minutes ago, consiglieri said:

Thus begins the real reason the LDS Church has been so politically active in opposing gay marriage.

No seer stone was needed to see that once gay marriage was ruled constitutional, plural marriage would be the next milestone.

And once plural marriage is legal in the United States, on what basis will the LDS Church refuse to reinstitute it?

Interesting times.

It's legal in countries where the church is right now and the church hasn't reinstitute it yet.  I don't see why it would be different if it became legal here.

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28 minutes ago, consiglieri said:

on what basis will the LDS Church refuse to reinstitute it?

On the basis of what God commands.   It is up to you to decide if there is ANY church that is divinely led by God and act accordingly.

Edited by longview
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2 hours ago, bluebell said:

I'm not sure how I feel about it being recognized by the government. I do t know if I like the idea of the government legitimizing every personal belief about marriage. 

But I do support it being decriminalized. 

One would think that being decriminalised ought to be sufficient.

But it appears that, like the New Privileged Class, everyone wants their particular marital arrangements to receive direct government sanction -- and, by extension, legally enforceable expectations of active support by private actors, regardless of their personal principles and beliefs.

 

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1 hour ago, longview said:

On the basis of what God commands.   It is up to you to decide if there is ANY church that is divinely led by God and act accordingly.

The challenge will be that if there are three legal kinds of marriages (monogamy, polygamy, and SSM) and the Church teaches that 2/3 are sins, they are going to have to explain what validates a monogamous marriage bound only by the state in the eyes of God.

A monogamous state marriage is no more ordained of God than any other civil marriage.  Because true marriage has nothing to do with the state.
Now, if we are talking about marriages by GOD'S authority that's an entirely different issue.
The Church can't have it both ways.  Either the state has the right to declare who is truly married and who isn't, or they don't.

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34 minutes ago, Russell C McGregor said:

All the narcissistic assumptions of US-centrism encapsulated in a single sentence.

 

You can mock but President Nelson just admitted (in the Jan 10 YSA Devotional) that it was the US decision on gay marriage that prompted them to take action.  Other countries have had legal recognition of gay marriage for years.

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37 minutes ago, Russell C McGregor said:

One would think that being decriminalised ought to be sufficient.

But it appears that, like the New Privileged Class, everyone wants their particular marital arrangements to receive direct government sanction -- and, by extension, legally enforceable expectations of active support by private actors, regardless of their personal principles and beliefs.

 

As long as any one person's beliefs about marriage are codified into law, others will want equality.  Go figure.

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1 hour ago, rockpond said:

You can mock but President Nelson just admitted (in the Jan 10 YSA Devotional) that it was the US decision on gay marriage that prompted them to take action.  Other countries have had legal recognition of gay marriage for years.

That is true.

But in none of those countries has the Church been flushed into that particular sewer.

Nor have any traitors managed to pose as Latter-day Saints while trying to subvert the Church's doctrines.

(With which doctrines, needless to say, the recent decisions are fully compatible, contrary to the intentionally false claims of the intractably wicked.)

 

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20 minutes ago, Russell C McGregor said:

That is true.

But in none of those countries has the Church been flushed into that particular sewer.

Nor have any traitors managed to pose as Latter-day Saints while trying to subvert the Church's doctrines.

(With which doctrines, needless to say, the recent decisions are fully compatible, contrary to the intentionally false claims of the intractably wicked.)

 

Traitors posing as LDS while subverting church doctrines.  You crack me up, Russell. 

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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

Because true marriage has nothing to do with the state.

Society has a serious vested interest in the long term stability (and hopefully happiness) of the "basic unit" which consists of mother, father, children.  The state does not need to dictate religious formalities (or absence of any belief).  When the "basic unit" breaks down, crime tends to increase, poverty spreads, abuse becomes more prevalent, etc.

1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

Either the state has the right to declare who is truly married and who isn't, or they don't.

Marriage is like a contract.  Both parties must take the relationship seriously and commit to the long term fidelity of the "basic unit".  If there are breaches, only the state has the prosecution and enforcement authority to deal with various problems with broken marriages/broken families.  We would NOT want the churches to have legal authority (except maybe to perform marriage vows).  A marriage license is the minimum required.  Any religious rituals are optional (in accordance with your beliefs).

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36 minutes ago, longview said:

Society has a serious vested interest in the long term stability (and hopefully happiness) of the "basic unit" which consists of mother, father, children.  The state does not need to dictate religious formalities (or absence of any belief).  When the "basic unit" breaks down, crime tends to increase, poverty spreads, abuse becomes more prevalent, etc.

Marriage is like a contract.  Both parties must take the relationship seriously and commit to the long term fidelity of the "basic unit".  If there are breaches, only the state has the prosecution and enforcement authority to deal with various problems with broken marriages/broken families.  We would NOT want the churches to have legal authority (except maybe to perform marriage vows).  A marriage license is the minimum required.  Any religious rituals are optional (in accordance with your beliefs).

Sorry.  I don't approve of SSM, but this argument is weak.  An idealized "basic unit" doesn't address the issue I raised.
The Church can either say "only God's authorized marriages are valid" or the Church can say "the state can authorize marriages".

If they choose the former they can limit which marriages they consider valid to ones our gospel allows for (currently, only monogamous straight marriage).
If the choose the latter and say God approves of state marriage regardless of priesthood involvement they have no right to limit the kind.

They cannot sit there and reasonably say "non-priesthood civil marriages performed by the state are approved by God as long as they are in the image of a priesthood marriage".
Either God approves of a marriage or he doesn't.  Either God approves of the authority that binds a straight monogamous marriage or he doesn't.  If God approves of state authority to bind a marriage, then any marriage they bind would be valid.  If God is limiting his approval to marriages performed by his authority then civil monogamous marriages are just as invalid as SSM in the eyes of God.
 

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47 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Sorry.  I don't approve of SSM, but this argument is weak.  An idealized "basic unit" doesn't address the issue I raised.
The Church can either say "only God's authorized marriages are valid" or the Church can say "the state can authorize marriages".

If they choose the former they can limit which marriages they consider valid to ones our gospel allows for (currently, only monogamous straight marriage).
If the choose the latter and say God approves of state marriage regardless of priesthood involvement they have no right to limit the kind.

They cannot sit there and reasonably say "non-priesthood civil marriages performed by the state are approved by God as long as they are in the image of a priesthood marriage".
Either God approves of a marriage or he doesn't.  Either God approves of the authority that binds a straight monogamous marriage or he doesn't.  If God approves of state authority to bind a marriage, then any marriage they bind would be valid.  If God is limiting his approval to marriages performed by his authority then civil monogamous marriages are just as invalid as SSM in the eyes of God.
 

Actually JHL, that's really rather silly.

The Church can pick and choose which civil marriages it recognises, and it is entirely valid for it to recognise those civil marriages that are doctrinally coherent.

If we apply your logic consistently, we'd have to claim that if a person disagrees with the Vietnam War, such a person cannot agree with WWII.

God can approve of a valid marriage performed by some civil authority, and disapprove of an invalid marriage performed by that same authority. The earthly legitimacy of the authority does not override the intrinsic validity or otherwise of the marriage in question.

 

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6 hours ago, consiglieri said:

And once plural marriage is legal in the United States, on what basis will the LDS Church refuse to reinstitute it?

I would stick with the "God said no" rationale that has worked for the last century and has kept practicing members from practicing it even in nations where it is legal.

2 minutes ago, VideoGameJunkie said:

What would be so bad about the church bringing back polygamy if it becomes legalized?

Nothing. I just doubt they will.

 

On a personal note I do not want polygamy legal. I have seen many examples of people living this kind of relationship and it is usually a timebomb masquerading as a dramafest. I pity the divorce judges who are going to have to sort out the fallout and the children born to fools whose main interest in polygamy is desperate pursuit of the perfect orgasm.

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3 hours ago, rockpond said:

As long as any one person's beliefs about marriage are codified into law, others will want equality.  Go figure.

But as you perfectly well know, Mister Rockpond, and contrary to the propaganda so assiduously circulated by those who hate the truth, the former commitment to authentic, traditional marriage did not represent "any one person's beliefs about marriage." It represented what everyone simply understood marriage to be.

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6 hours ago, consiglieri said:

Thus begins the real reason the LDS Church has been so politically active in opposing gay marriage.

No seer stone was needed to see that once gay marriage was ruled constitutional, plural marriage would be the next milestone.

And once plural marriage is legal in the United States, on what basis will the LDS Church refuse to reinstitute it?

Interesting times.

Of course, the LDS Church will not reinstate plural marriage, and the general membership does not appear to want it.  However, it will become as legal as same sex marriage, and for the same constitutional reasons.  Muslims and the FLDS will be practicing that, but not the LDS.

As to the "real reason" the LDS Church successfully supported Prop 8 in California and similar legislation in other states, well, I'm not going to second guess the Brethren, but am not sure they even realized the full consequences of their action.  Would be nice to have a frank interview with Elder Oaks now -- he might be able to give some perspective in retrospect.  Your Byzantine assumption clearly goes too far, Counselor.

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5 hours ago, Russell C McGregor said:

One would think that being decriminalised ought to be sufficient.

But it appears that, like the New Privileged Class, everyone wants their particular marital arrangements to receive direct government sanction -- and, by extension, legally enforceable expectations of active support by private actors, regardless of their personal principles and beliefs.

 

I don't see the church giving up their right to legally marry. Do you?

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7 hours ago, Russell C McGregor said:

But as you perfectly well know, Mister Rockpond, and contrary to the propaganda so assiduously circulated by those who hate the truth, the former commitment to authentic, traditional marriage did not represent "any one person's beliefs about marriage." It represented what everyone simply understood marriage to be.

A naive and ignorant view. 

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It may be legalized, but I don't think the legal argument for polygamy is as strong as the legal argument for gay marriage. A ban on polygamy does not discriminate on gender lines, after all. 

Edited by Gray
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11 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

The challenge will be that if there are three legal kinds of marriages (monogamy, polygamy, and SSM) and the Church teaches that 2/3 are sins, they are going to have to explain what validates a monogamous marriage bound only by the state in the eyes of God.

A monogamous state marriage is no more ordained of God than any other civil marriage.  Because true marriage has nothing to do with the state.
Now, if we are talking about marriages by GOD'S authority that's an entirely different issue.
The Church can't have it both ways.  Either the state has the right to declare who is truly married and who isn't, or they don't.

The state can not dictate church beliefs, and the church can not dictate law to the state.

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8 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I would stick with the "God said no" rationale that has worked for the last century and has kept practicing members from practicing it even in nations where it is legal.

Nothing. I just doubt they will.

 

On a personal note I do not want polygamy legal. I have seen many examples of people living this kind of relationship and it is usually a timebomb masquerading as a dramafest. I pity the divorce judges who are going to have to sort out the fallout and the children born to fools whose main interest in polygamy is desperate pursuit of the perfect orgasm.

You think most who engage in polygamy do so in "pursuit of the perfect orgasm"?  That's a rather shocking statement from someone who is LDS.  

And I'd be willing to guess that the second prophet of this dispensation probably holds the record for the most polygamous divorces.  And he's unlikely to be outdone anytime soon. 

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