Friday, October 10, 2008

Church, State, (Polygamy), and Gay Marriage

Oftentimes the stupid, perhaps stupidest, argument against gay marriage is this: if we allow gays to marry, then where do we stop? Bestiality? Polygamy? Adults marrying children? A father marrying his daughter? Where does it stop?

First of all, this argument is easily shut down with this: gay marriage is between two consenting adults.

Animals cannot consent.

(I'm trying my best to refrain from some really good jokes on that)

Children cannot consent.

Adults? Yes. Now, in the case of incest, well - there are, I won't even get into that. I want to discuss the connections between today's gay marriage debate and polygamy.

First I want to ask this: Is it our responsibility to shove our beliefs down non-believers throats? I always thought it was our responsibility to live as we see fit and treat others the way we'd like to be treated - lead the horse to water, at the very least. For my LDS friends out there, I invite you to read the Eleventh Article of Faith which states:

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

Would it be "looking/shooting past the mark" to say this could certainly extend to letting good, moral adults the ability to live in the manner in what they may, in accordance to dictates of their own conscience?

If gay people decide one day that living a gay lifestyle is immoral, they can stop. They may not be able to "straighten themselves out" (pun intended), but they can live a chaste life - if they decide it's immoral.

Now onto that damn P word - and just to clarify, I'm speaking as an LDS woman to LDS people. You might find it interesting anyway if you don't fall into that category.

California's Proposition 8, if passed, will amend the state constitution to say that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Hmmm. How does this tie into polygamy, you ask? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints doesn't practice that anymore, after all.

Just humor me a moment, please.

I'd like you to go back to the 1800s, when members of the church practiced polygamy. What do you think their argument would have been when the country rallied against the practice?

Religious freedom?
Consenting adults?

Hello? Is this thing on?

According to Utah History to Go: Struggle for Statehood, the Mormon push for Utah (then "Deseret") to become a state "occurred during the Republican party's first presidential campaign featuring a platform plank denouncing the 'twin relics of barbarism,' slavery and polygamy, the latter of which the Latter-day Saint leaders had recently acknowledged to be part of church doctrine and practice."

Interesting. Isn't the LDS church known for being largely Republican?

Polygamy was seen as a "relic of barbarism" - much, I'd assume, like the Republican party sees gay marriage today.

Just for fun right now I'd like us to consider something: What if the stupidest argument in the world is correct? What if allowing gay people to marry means that we'll open the immoral floodgates of sanctioned bestiality, incest, and - gasp - polygamy?

What if one day polygamy was legalized?

While the Church may not practice it today, the Church still believes in it, to such a degree that if you do not accept it, you are believed to be in danger of God denying you the Celestial Kingdom (the highest degree of heaven). This is a huge thing - bigger than I ever thought it was.

So what if it was legalized? I'm going to refrain from asking you if you would practice it if asked (and you'd better - if asked - or risk excommunication. I'm not kidding). It was only stopped because the government threatened the Church. That was really the backdrop to the Manifesto.

I thought this was something interesting to chew on, and what it comes down to is this:

Over a hundred years ago, the government stepped in and shoved their anti-polygamy beliefs down your ancestors' throats, much like what is happening today with gay marriage.

Would you have liked that?

Food for thought.


Anonymous said...

Alright Lisa, I agreed whole-heartedly with you up until the polygamy thing. Polygamy is not always about sex. Polygamy does mean "Many Loves", but there are polygamists that don't have sex. I couldn't name any, but I have heard of some. Granted, much of our society revolves around sex. And there are more women than you'd think who are open to having another person in their relationship.

And it's not focused on bringing another woman into the fold, but another man, even. You could have polygamists made up of all men. Or all women. Or a jumbled-up mix of both.

The point of polygamy is that as long as everyone is consenting and HAPPY, there is no limit to how many people are in the relationship. The same argument used in arguing for Gay Marriage can be used for polygamists.

Q: Everyone consenting? A: Yes. Q:Everyone happy? A:Yes.
Reply: Okey-dokey, have a nice day.

But that's my opinion and how I interpret what I've been told and what I've seen.

Lisa said...

lol, I'm editing. I really am. I started this out and - agh, I should really print it out on Word and not edit here, but such it is when you start doing something. Learn the hard way.

That was my point though, that the same argument made for gay marriage could be made for polygamists, and LDS who are very much against the idea of gay marriage need to realize that, chew on it for a spell.

And I can't imagine anyone being happy in that kind of relationship. I think too many are kidding themselves. But that's just me.

This is mostly written from an LDS perspective, not necessarily for the masses - at least the polygamy part. Maybe that helps?

Thanks for stopping by :)