Jump to content

Robert Gehrke: Utah should decriminalize polygamy — but legally it can’t


Recommended Posts

42 minutes ago, Valentinus said:
Quote
Quote

Was OD1 revelation or a response to the government? It can't be both.

It can't?  Why not?

Thanks,

-Smac

I guess God is subject to human law then. Apologies. I was wrong.

I don't think God is "subject to human law."  I do, however, believe that He takes into account the circumstances in which His covenant people are found.

Consider Matthew 2 (emphases added):

Quote

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judæa: for thus it is written by the prophet,
6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11 ¶ And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
16 ¶ Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,
18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
19 ¶ But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life.
21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.

God gave guidance (revelation) to Joseph through a dream to take his family and flee into Egypt.  Because Herod was a threat.

God later gave further guidance (revelation) to Joseph through another dream in which an angel appeared and told Joseph to return to Israel.  Because Herod was no longer a threat.

These revelations were given as a consequence to events in the world.  Many similar instances of such revelations are found throughout the scriptures.

So if God can give revelation responsive to events in the world, isn't it possible that He gave a revelation responsive to, say, the circumstances of the 19th-century Saints in relation to polygamy (and governmental intervention in, and prosecution of it)?

And if God can, in fact, give such responsive-to-events-in-the-world revelations, then OD1 could be both revelation and responsive to actions taken by the federal government under the Edmunds-Tucker Act in the late 19th century.

Thanks,

-Smac

Link to comment
1 hour ago, Valentinus said:

I guess God is subject to human law then. Apologies. I was wrong.

Smac already answered the error in this statement.

49 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I don't think God is "subject to human law."  I do, however, believe that He takes into account the circumstances in which His covenant people are found.

So if God can give revelation responsive to events in the world, isn't it possible that He gave a revelation responsive to, say, the circumstances of the 19th-century Saints in relation to polygamy (and governmental intervention in, and prosecution of it)?

And if God can, in fact, give such responsive-to-events-in-the-world revelations, then OD1 could be both revelation and responsive to actions taken by the federal government under the Edmunds-Tucker Act in the late 19th century.

When speaking of the Manifesto  (OD1) there are key elements to recognize:

1. It's not exactly a revelation.  It was the result of a revelation.

2. It changed the official policies and practices of the Church administration.  It did not change or alter the law and doctrine of polygamy to the individual (D&C 132).

3. Those who were willing and able to continue living or administering the law despite the Manifesto were both permitted and instructed to do so for 14 years following its issue.  Including most General Authorities. 

Link to comment
16 minutes ago, strappinglad said:

Decriminalizing polygamy is not the same as legalizing it , right? 

Well it's a felony in Utah and not a single case has been prosecuted in decades.

So on the scale it could look like:

Legalized->Decriminalized->Ignored 

Anti-polygamy laws are utterly meaningless in Utah these days.  Even after this personal push by a state senator with an axe to grind to increase the severity it has had zero impact on the practice.

Link to comment
2 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I think there were some bigamy cases but I think they were more prosecuted for welfare fraud.

I am aware of welfare fraud and abuse cases, so looking for specifically polygamy or bigamy practiced with the informed consent of all involved so the marriages themselves were the only thing illegal being prosecuted.

Edited by Calm
Link to comment
32 minutes ago, Calm said:

I am aware of welfare fraud and abuse cases, so looking for specifically polygamy or bigamy practiced with the informed consent of all involved so the marriages themselves were the only thing illegal being prosecuted.

Bigamy  (more than one legal spouse) is probably prosecuted regularly.  Duplicate marriage licenses are probably easy to prosecute.

Utah "polygamy" almost always has just one legal wife and the rest are just sealed.  I don't know anyone who has been prosecuted for this crime (incl. The unlawful cohabitation clause) anywhere in decades.  Fundamentalists haven't been arrested or charged in easily 30+ years.  Which is why increasing the penalty or even having the law on the books is really pointless. 

Nobody cares anymore as long as it's consenting adults.  If it ever became legal the Church would be in a difficult position, moreso than with SSM.

Link to comment
2 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Nobody cares anymore as long as it's consenting adults.  If it ever became legal the Church would be in a difficult position, moreso than with SSM.

When children are born or underage children are grafted in, then it becomes more difficult.  Have you read of boys being pushed out of communes because the old goats are grabbing the desirable peachy young girls?

Link to comment
45 minutes ago, Calm said:

I am aware of welfare fraud and abuse cases, so looking for specifically polygamy or bigamy practiced with the informed consent of all involved so the marriages themselves were the only thing illegal being prosecuted.

I had a vague memory of one and found it. It was in Texas in the FLDS church. While he only legally married one wife Texas law allows for common law and holding yourself out as marriage as a marriage even if it is not legally contracted though the church marriage records were used as evidence.

https://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/flds-leader-convicted-in-historic-bigamy-case/

He was convicted on three counts of bigamy and sentenced to 10 years.

Edited by The Nehor
Link to comment
12 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

God sure runs an exclusive club. Less than one person per thousand is an active member, and it needs to be winnowed further? Frankly I’m glad I’m going to hell. 

I guess you're unfamiliar with this:

13 Enter ye in at the strait bgate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Matt. 7:13-14

I understand that hell isn't all that bad, though the price of entry is quite steep, and mandatory.  It's not the Gary Larson version:

il_fullxfull.1423927737_d892.jpg

 

Link to comment
9 hours ago, smac97 said:

I don't think God is "subject to human law."  I do, however, believe that He takes into account the circumstances in which His covenant people are found.

Consider Matthew 2 (emphases added):

God gave guidance (revelation) to Joseph through a dream to take his family and flee into Egypt.  Because Herod was a threat.

God later gave further guidance (revelation) to Joseph through another dream in which an angel appeared and told Joseph to return to Israel.  Because Herod was no longer a threat.

These revelations were given as a consequence to events in the world.  Many similar instances of such revelations are found throughout the scriptures.

So if God can give revelation responsive to events in the world, isn't it possible that He gave a revelation responsive to, say, the circumstances of the 19th-century Saints in relation to polygamy (and governmental intervention in, and prosecution of it)?

And if God can, in fact, give such responsive-to-events-in-the-world revelations, then OD1 could be both revelation and responsive to actions taken by the federal government under the Edmunds-Tucker Act in the late 19th century.

Thanks,

-Smac

This explanation I can get behind. Thank you, Smac.

Link to comment
On 9/16/2019 at 10:22 PM, Robert F. Smith said:

No.  There would be no reason for such an announcement.

As for a change in the state law, that would require either (1) a state constitutional convention and rewrite, or (2) a U.S. Supreme Court overturn it as unconstitutional, which would negate that part of the Utah state constitution.  The latter is most likely, as you seem to understand.

Who would have thought that we'd see the day when judicial activist judges decree the free practice of religion includes consenting adults?

Respectfully, I still think it will happen secularly (maybe in every country other than the US) within 10 years

Link to comment
11 minutes ago, nuclearfuels said:

Who would have thought that we'd see the day when judicial activist judges decree the free practice of religion includes consenting adults?...............

It is more likely to be a straightforward decision based on the Equal Protection clause simply extending non-traditional marriage rights to a broader group.  Not a religious issue at all.  Just as same-sex marriage legality was not a religious issue.  Of course Muslims and Fundamentalist Mormons may be the ones benefiting, but it would not be limited to them, because it is not a religious issue.

Link to comment
13 hours ago, nuclearfuels said:

Who would have thought that we'd see the day when judicial activist judges decree the free practice of religion includes consenting adults?

Respectfully, I still think it will happen secularly (maybe in every country other than the US) within 10 years

I suspect legalizing multiple marriage will be a social disaster and a legal nightmare.

”I did not know he was already married.” “The box on the license saying you were informed of other marriage was checked and you signed it.”

Divorce court with two men and their wife. Who pays child support? The biological father? Both? What if the child is adopted? How do you split property three or four or five ways? What if they all joined at different times? Who gets alimony? Who pays it?

One thing I would like to see codified in law, preferably constitutional law, is a minimum age for marriage. Preferably at least 16 even under extraordinary circumstances. Kind of scary how low the exception ages can conceivably go.

Link to comment
On 9/17/2019 at 4:11 PM, JLHPROF said:

Smac already answered the error in this statement.

When speaking of the Manifesto  (OD1) there are key elements to recognize:

1. It's not exactly a revelation.  It was the result of a revelation.

2. It changed the official policies and practices of the Church administration.  It did not change or alter the law and doctrine of polygamy to the individual (D&C 132).

3. Those who were willing and able to continue living or administering the law despite the Manifesto were both permitted and instructed to do so for 14 years following its issue.  Including most General Authorities. 

I wonder what the revelation was. “Keep practicing it just not in the US, or if you have to just keep it secret.” Cause it didn’t stop until 1904. (And even then had issues.)

Link to comment
On 9/17/2019 at 4:23 PM, The Nehor said:

I had a vague memory of one and found it. It was in Texas in the FLDS church. While he only legally married one wife Texas law allows for common law and holding yourself out as marriage as a marriage even if it is not legally contracted though the church marriage records were used as evidence.

https://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/flds-leader-convicted-in-historic-bigamy-case/

He was convicted on three counts of bigamy and sentenced to 10 years.

What we learn from this: have as many relationships as you wish. Just don’t have paperwork for more than one.

Edited by Bernard Gui
Link to comment
20 minutes ago, SettingDogStar said:

I wonder what the revelation was. “Keep practicing it just not in the US, or if you have to just keep it secret.” Cause it didn’t stop until 1904. (And even then had issues.)

You can read it.  It was a PR statement as a Church organization advising members not to enter into illegal marriages.  That's all it says.

Designed purely to save the temples according to Pres. Woodruff.  That was his concern he took to the Lord.  How to save the temples.

Link to comment
11 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

You can read it.  It was a PR statement as a Church organization advising members not to enter into illegal marriages.  That's all it says.

Designed purely to save the temples according to Pres. Woodruff.  That was his concern he took to the Lord.  How to save the temples.

Oh I know, I was just teasing. I’ve never seen or heard of an actual revelation (other then that brief dream mentioned at the end of the OD 1). The problem is that dream or no...they kept practicing it 

Edited by SettingDogStar
Link to comment
7 minutes ago, SettingDogStar said:

Oh I know, I was just teasing. I’ve never seen or heard of an actual revelation (other then that brief dream mentioned at the end of the OD 1).

Oh there was definitely an actual revelation.  All the historical accounts support that.  It just wasn't instruction to cease plural marriage.

If it were most General Authorities of the day were in apostasy and disobedience to God.

Link to comment
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...