Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Polygamy and the First Amendment

If we have a freedom to religion, then how does the government have the authority to assault polygamists?

It has the authority to do so because people don't give a crap about the first amendment until it protects their own interests.

What's with all of you people who can't just live and let live? Blessed are the peacemakers, right? But if you advocate using the coercive/violent powers of the government to win your way over others, then you are not a peacemaker. You are a conquerer, and I'm pretty sure that they weren't blessed on the mount.


  1. How is polygamy a religion?

  2. Marriage is a religious rite. The entire civic side of marriage--in regards to its legal status--is predicated upon this.

    Whose rights are violated by polygamy?

    If the answer is none, then the government has no business outlawing it.

  3. Golf Guy8:43 PM

    Unless I am mistaken, the government did not assault the polygamist because of their religious beliefs but rather because they were molesting children.

  4. I'm not simply talking about those people in Texas.

    Unfortunately, can we even trust the charges? Liars, even when they tell the truth, are scarcely believed.

    By the way, I was hoping that this post would bring you out of comment retirement!

  5. If that's the case, then homosexual marriage should not be illegal either. I believe you had some posts awhile ago against that issue. Are you being two-faced?

  6. Read the other posts! My argument was the same, for I am anything but consistent. The government has no business in marriages.

  7. Golf Guy12:23 PM

    I believe marriage was first a civil institution later becoming a religious ceremony when marriages were at first simply blessed by the church or religion. The idea a marriage regulation has it roots in the protection of the species.

  8. The first marriage was between Adam and Eve. It was consecrated by the Lord during a time in which no government existed (hence no death or misery in general).

    The regulation of marriage does not have its roots in the protection of the species. Needing a license from the state does not protect the species. As it is, the current regulation of marriage is about regulating society (i.e. telling people what to do, how to behave, and how much money to fork over on April 15).

    The government should only be able to "regulate" human behavior by preventing one person/group from depriving another person/group of his/their rights to life, liberty, and property.

    A man claiming to have more than one willing wife is not violating the rights of anyone else.

    Therefore, speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

  9. Golf Guy7:12 PM

    Before I argue this point further, let me make sure I understand your premises. Are these correct? 1) Marriage is first and foremost a religious rite. 2) This is founded in the fact that first marriage was between Adam and Eve consecrated by God. 3) Marriage was not use to protect the species. 4) Government should not be involved in marriage. 5) No one is hurt in a polygamist marriage. Lastly, I would like to know if you believe Adam and Eve were monogamous

  10. I accept your interpretation of my premises, though we may quarrel on the definition of certain things such as "to protect the species," and exactly how conclusions are drawn from the premises.

    As far as I know, Adam and Eve were monogamous, but I think that was largely by default--don't you?

    By the way, I endorse monogamy. I am not a polygamist. As far as the religions that endorse polygamy, I believe that they are shams. However, just because I don't pray towards Mecca doesn't mean that no one should be able to do so, and it's certainly none of Congress's business (see Amendment 1, and its enumerated powers in Article 1, Section 8).

  11. If Adam and Eve were married then there definately was a bit of misery.

    Also, this discussion is sorely missing the greatest travesty to civilization brought about by this whole polygamist thing. What was up with their hairdos.

  12. I applaud you, Murdock, for attempting to bring comedy to this overly serious debate.

  13. Golf Guy7:11 PM

    Taking Aristos’s warning about his mom seriously, let me first apologize for my perceived tardiness with this post.

    As Aristos points out he is anything but inconsistent. He has repeatedly stated that less government is better and in fact he may well believe that no government is best. Thus it is no surprise that he advocates government not be involved in the marriage process. According to Aristos, marriage is a religious rite. He points to Adam and Eve as the first marriage and its consecration by God for its religious impetus. Based on those premises he then points to the Constitution, in particular the Establishment clause, and concludes government inclusion in the marriage process violates a person’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as the state has no business interfering in church/religious matters. A summation of Aristos’s beliefs can best be describe by his question, “Whose rights are violated by polygamy?” While that is the question that spurred this debate it is the wrong question. The question that needs to be asked in this matter is, “whose rights need to be protected?”

    At first I considered attacking Aristos’s argument via logic with regards to Adam and Eve’s relationship being the first marriage. I concede it was a union and a blessed one but not a marriage. In its simplest form, marriage is a contract between two people. In today’s society those two people opt to include a third party, the state. I say opt because there is no secular law saying two people have to get married. Early recorded marriages (Egyptian and Greek) show the marriage contract was instituted to form alliances, accumulate and distribute property, and in the case of Greeks breed superior warriors. If there is any historical significance to marriage as we know it today it is based on these secular ideals and not a religious rite initiated with Adam and Eve. If marriage is not a religious rite then laws governing marriage cannot be against the Constitution with regards to Article I. Let’s also not forget that many people get married with no religious help. But perusing that line of reasoning is too easy and still begs the question of whether the state should be in the marriage business. Again, whose rights need to be protected and more germane to this argument, who is to protect those rights?

    Let’s start with children. Who is to protect children from forced marriages, arranged marriages and from marrying under age? The only institution that can do that is the state.
    When a marriage dissolves, who should settle arguments about custody? Again, the state.

    Next, the people who enter into a marriage contract with the expectation that their intended spouse is not already married. (This is not an argument against polygamy but rather bigamy.) How is that regulated? By the state through the issuance of a license. Again, when a marriage is dissolved who is to settle property disputes? Sad to say but people enter into a marriage contract with the state with the expectation of certain rights if the contract is ended.

    Marriage needs to be regulated by the state to insure children are not taken advantage of and lose their rights to liberty and happiness. Marriage needs to be regulated for adults to insure their rights of happiness (property) are upheld.

    Marriage without state regulation would be a disaster for children and unsuspecting adults. Back to the question that started this debate. Who gets hurts in a polygamist marriage between willing adults? I would argue the children of such a relationship(s) do but I cannot substantiate that. The willing participants? Perhaps their rights are being violated without their knowledge or with their consent. Can we allow people to willing give up their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Isn’t that just a step closer to taking them away?

  14. I'll need some time to respond, Golf Guy. Tomorrow is Natalie's first communion--a religious rite that eventually must be protected and regulated by the state...


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