June 20, 2024

Polygamy and Same Sex Marriage

kody-brown-sister-wives (Photo credit: kgranju)

Kody Brown has 4 wives—well, technically, his legal wife is the one in the black top, the rest are “sister wives”.  They, and their sixteen children, appear on “Sister Wives” on TLC.  Why is this interesting?  Because they are attacking Utah’s anti-polygamy laws based on the fact that they should be able to define “family” any way they want.

Oh, and this is the same line of argument that same sex marriage proponents use to defend same-sex marriage:

The legal arguments their attorneys Jonathan Turley and Adam Alba are using are similar to those used in many gay-marriage lawsuits: The Browns are being illegally denied the rights to freedom of association, due process and equal protection, as well as the rights of adults to engage in “intimate conduct” without government intrusion.

Utah’s anti-polygamy laws have caused “personal injuries” to the Brown family and trample on “the right of consenting adults to create a family environment of their choosing,” Mr. Turley and Mr. Alba argued in their July 13 complaint at U.S. District Court in Utah.  [Gay-marriage foes cite polygamy suit]

You see, this is interesting because this argument, that what any adults do in their own bedrooms is no one else’s business, and that families are however one defines them, was stated by those opposed to same sex marriage as a slippery slope that could end up validating polygamy, bestiality, etc.

To counter this, the Human Rights Campaign and other gay-rights organizations stated that they were making just a slight modification to the marriage law.  They wanted to keep it being two people, just allow any combination of sexes for those two people.

To do this, they made the rules of marriage arbitrary and therefore modifiable.  Those that promote polygamy can do the same, arguing that they’re not modifying the male/female component, just changing the quantity from two to two or more.  How is this not the same argument?

How can a homosexual couple state that they are not changing the definition of marriage by changing the sexes but keeping it two people, and say that another group can’t change the number and still be a family?

It’s the same set of arguments, and should these arguments hold up like the homosexuals want them to, don’t be surprised when a state that has same-sex marriage starts approving of polygamy under the same logic.  Or else they will be logically inconsistent.

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3 thoughts on “Polygamy and Same Sex Marriage

  1. Maybe I am just jaded. I don’t know. I know that there are many people within my own circle who are championing marriage as between only one man and one woman. I don’t know if I am *there*.

    It’s not to say that I am saying that I believe all unions are sanctioned, but that as far as the government is concerned- do they really have any room to deny *anyone* the right to join into a union- whether a person calls it marriage or not? It just strikes me that we’ve hit that slippery slope long ago, and people can have just about anything that they want in American anymore.

    I’m at the point where I just shrug my shoulders and try to teach my children what it means to live by the guidelines and commandments that God has given us, and to be set-apart. Folks can go on all day long about what is marriage, and what isn’t. I don’t think that marriage has anything to do with the state, and that maybe they should just get out of the business.

    I don’t know…. it ultimately seems that what Christians are doing is trying to force a sense of being a united people with those who are vastly different from ourselves in the most important ways. We’re trying to bend what is becoming a godless nation to God’s standards, though they are perfectly entitled to bring the consequences of evil actions down on themselves if they wish. We can’t MAKE them desire what God says is right and good for us, but “we” are trying to do just that through our government that is first and foremost designed to give us optimum freedom.

    What do you think? Talk with me about it?

  2. The difference between homosexual conduct and polygamy (polygyny) is that the Lord God condones polygamy while He prescribes death for homoseual conduct.
    Nowhere in the Bible is polygamy condemned. Some of the Lord’s favored had multiple wives. The Lord said (through prophet Nathan) that He gave David his wives. He gave David his former master, Saul’s wives and concubines, and if all those wives and concubines were not enough, He would have given him more.
    If a man died without an heir, his brother (nearest kinsman) was required to take his widow and beget children to his deceased brother’s name. It did not matter if the brother already had a wife.
    The Lord prescribed rules for the treatment of multiple wives and their respective children.
    Though the law of Moses forbade Israel’s kings from amassing gold, horses and wives, Solomon was not condemned for having 700 wives and 300 concubines but for taking pagan women.
    The Lord Himself is pictured as having two wives, Oholah and Oholibah, representing Israel (Samaria) and Judah (Jerusalem).
    Jesus is illustrated by the lord who is preparing to marry 10 women but 5 proved unfit.
    Jesus’ relationship with the church is spoken of as a groom and bride.
    His relationship with each of His millions of disciples is related to a husband-wife relation. The Seed, the Holy Spirit, is given to each of Jesus’ millions of “wives” (individual Christians). This Seed was what came to Mary and impregnated her with the Holy Embryo of Jesus Christ. He (the Seed-Spirit) physically gave life to the incarnation of the Son of God and spiritually to each of Jesus’ disciples.
    None of these things would make any sense if polygamy was prohibited or even discouraged by the Lord.
    The prejudice against polygamy is from pagan Greece and Rome, which forbade a man from having more than one wife (at a time) while permitting him to have all the concubines (slave women) he could manage.
    As in almost every society, region and age there are more women than men, forced monogamy results in many women being unable to have a husband. This encourages prostitution, which in turn threatens the marriages of other women.
    God blessed all four women of Jacob with two to six children each. Two wives and the personal maidservant of each of his wives bore children to Jacob-Israel. These were the patriarchs of the tribes of Israel.
    The great Reformer, Martin Luther somewhat reluctantly admitted that polygamy was not only permitted at large but in some cases encouraged by the Lord.

    1. I don’t see anywhere that God condones polygamy. The first place that it shows up is in Genesis with Lamech, and he was seeking to prove how powerful he was– he even claimed Cain as someone that he was better than. In the Old Testament narratives we see that nothing good comes of having multiple wives. In Deuteronomy 17:14-17 we see God state clearly that Kings of Israel were not to multiple wives to themselves. That Nathan stated to David that God had given him the wives of Saul is irrelevant. The command was that he was not supposed to have done it.

      It’s unclear from Deuteronomy 25 passage that a marriage was involved, simply that the man was to provide for an heir for his brother with his brother’s wife. This is a foreign concept to our culture, but in their culture, where becoming a widow would mean losing everything, it was important for the family to take care of itself. I would see this as definitely a good point against absolute monogamy in marriage, but I don’t see it as a point toward polygamy.
      The parable of the wedding feast does not illustrate 10 women waiting to get married, but 10 bridesmaids awaiting the groom– you need to better understand your Israelite marriage customs.
      The church is spoken of as “the bride of Christ”, not “the bride(s) of Christ).
      The verbiage that the New Testament uses is “joint heirs with Jesus”, not multiple individuals or brides. In fact, the Pauline epistles continually refer to the local body as having many members– making up one body, not multiples.

      And what was the result of Jacob having multiple wives? He had infighting between the children, fighting between the wives and concubines (the reason the concubines were given in the first place), a attempt to kill his favorite child, etc.

      And why do you leave out the commands for husband and wife–

      God said that a man and his wife become one flesh.
      God told Abraham that his original wife would bear the chosen son, not the concubine– it’s implied that this was the wrong choice.
      Solomon stated that a man should delight in a wife of his youth.
      God told the king to only have one wife.
      A majority of Israelite marriages were two-person marriages.
      Paul commands that a Pastor be a man with one wife.
      Paul commands that a Deacon be a man with one wife.

      Obviously, it’d be much nicer if we didn’t simply have narratives, but had more like epistles in the Old Testament. And yet, we never see God say anything positive about the outcome of having many wives. Only that it caused one man to want someone else’s and that it would cause a king to leave God.

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