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Passions in Poetry

Polygamy

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Brad
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since 08-20-99
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Jejudo, South Korea


0 posted 06-08-2001 03:58 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Do you think multiple wives or multiple husbands be allowed in America?

"With divorce rates high, out-of-wedlock births rampant, and most kids fated to spend at least some of their childhood in single-parent homes, the American family obviously has some serious problems. Tom Green is not one of them.

Whatever else you can say about Green, you can't say he's done anything to weaken the American family. On the contrary, he takes the concept of "family man" to heroic lengths. The 52-year-old Utahan is "married" to five wives, and they have borne him 29 children. Green is a polygamist—"

Here's the rest of the article:

Polygamy?

If you have time, please check out the first comment on the article; I thought it was interesting.

My position? Legalize it. I wouldn't do it but if someone else wants to . . .

Brad

Skyfyre
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since 08-15-99
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1 posted 06-08-2001 07:38 PM       View Profile for Skyfyre   Email Skyfyre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfyre

While I personally have nothing against the practice of polygamy (or polyandry, for that matter), the article cites many important social and financial issues which would have to be addressed before any such legislation was considered.  For example, should a family with three wives and (one would assume) an appropriately larger number of children qualify for "that much more" welfare?  While it might be argued that the children might be conceived out of wedlock anyway, in some cases the possibility of "marriage" might encourage an otherwise reluctant woman to keep a child she cannot afford.  David and Solomon, polygamists though they may have been, were also monarchs and not victim to financial pinches ...

What about health insurance?  "Well, yes, I need family health insurance for myself, my 5 wives, and our 26 children."  I'm sure that will go over REALLY well ... and when they can't afford it, it brings us back to welfare ...

Raising one family is difficult enough in today's economy ... I find it difficult to believe that raising 5 simultaneously would even be possible, even with a "commune" atmosphere (which is common among Mormons).

White Wolf
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2 posted 06-10-2001 01:53 AM       View Profile for White Wolf   Email White Wolf   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for White Wolf

I couldn't care one way or the other.  If you can support them good, then do it.  If not better think again.  As for me my career could support it but my heart can only belong to one woman.  Anyways that is my penny's worth.


The White Wolf

If life is just a game, when does it end cause I want to get to what is real.

catalinamoon
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3 posted 06-14-2001 12:01 PM       View Profile for catalinamoon   Email catalinamoon   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit catalinamoon's Home Page   View IP for catalinamoon

I think it is their business if everyone is happy and they can handle it financially. If it causes more kids to live in poverty, then I don't think it's ok. However, in general, I think it should be more a personal matter between the men and women, than a government matter
Brad
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4 posted 06-16-2001 02:47 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I think an argument can be made against polygamy (not necessarily moral but psychological) but nobody seems interested in making it.

Let's take the parallel between polygamy and divorce/remarriage seriously though:

If you fall in love again but simply don't have the financial resources to maintain two families, should remarriage be outlawed?

Brad
Alicat
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5 posted 06-16-2001 11:55 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Unfortunately, not a lot of research has been done or permitted involving psychological processes of plural marriage children. What they consider 'normal' may or may not mesh with the commonly held worldview...or may rather be very consistent with their particular worldview. We have no way of knowing without more specific instances, instead of generalities. I could list and detail personal accounts, since I have a few friends who were either married to a child of a plural marriage, and one who was married to a very conservative, though not polygamist, Mormon. They do have some interesting, if not sorrowful, stories. However, these could be construed as individual occurances and could not be applied across the board with relation to pluralistic marriages. Such will have to wait until a more thorough study is performed on these individuals.
fractal007
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6 posted 06-17-2001 02:26 AM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fractal007

I also take the "liberal" position held by most of the people here.  I don't care one way or the other.  This is due simply to the fact that it does not matter to me.  

Personally, I would not wish to engage in polygamy; I would rather love one wife with all my heart than several with only part of it, lol.

But we do need to consider the issues of what goes on in the Mormon church.  I have heard nasty stories of extreme devaluing of women among them, coupled with the complete destruction one's self esteem in many cases.  Of course, it's hard to be objective because I heard those claims on a video put out by the Christian church.  I don't mean to sound cynical, I mean, I AM a Christian, but I tend not to trust information when it comes from biased sources.

At any rate, if the allegations of devaluation of women are true, how do we address the problem?  It is the inailiable right of every human being to be free of oppression.  

"If history is to change, let it change. If the world is to be destroyed, so be it. If my fate is to die, I must simply laugh"

-- Magus

Skyfyre
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Sitting in Michael's Lap


7 posted 06-17-2001 02:43 AM       View Profile for Skyfyre   Email Skyfyre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfyre

Should remarriage be outlawed?  Good question, Brad ...

Perhaps I'm not the best person to comment on this, as I am not much of an advovate of the "M" word in the first place, but that's never stopped me before ...  

No, remarriage should not be outlawed ... but marriage, and divorce, should be much more strictly regulated processes.  It cracks me up that in some states there are waiting periods of up to 6 months for a marriage license, and yet a "simple divorce" takes a mere 7 days to execute.  So what we are saying here is "Take a while to make up your mind, but in case you change it, there's an easy out."  Child support, whether coming from father OR mother, should be strictly enforced, thus decreasing the likelihood of "accidental" children.  

Most especially, however, instances of infidelity in a marriage should be assigned a much more grievous penalty.  Currently, the best you can hope for if your spouse is unfaithful is a better divorce settlement -- assuming either of you owns anything in the first place.  

Of course, the infidelity angle takes on a whole new light in the case of polygamy ... one would assume that consummation of any "new" marriage would occur only by permission of the previous spouse(s).  I dunno ... sounds rather complicated to me, whether legally, financially, or emotionally ...

Ron
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8 posted 06-17-2001 03:04 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

I think one has to be extremely careful when imposing morality on others. "I don't think it's right that your children can't have new clothes every September, so I'm going to pass a law making it more difficult for you to have children."

I also think that any restriction on marriage and family is extremely dangerous. Give a political group control over future demographics and, within a generation or two, they can breed opposition into extinction.
Stephanos
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9 posted 06-17-2001 10:31 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I have a hard time imagining how legalizing polygamy would be beneficial.  First of all, if America's divorce rate is so high (around 50% last I heard) among monogamous marriages, wouldn't adding spouses only complicate matters?  The financial pressures, emotional dilemmas, and domestic responsiblilities all would be doubled, tripled...etc...  I think it would be better to focus on ways to improve our commitments to one partner and work on our marriage skills as a nation.  If we can't juggle one ball (so to speak) why go to two or three?

As far as imposing morality being a negative. . . I don't always see it as such.  Any legislation ends up "imposing" some sort of morality.  And it is often for the benefit or protection of society.  Choices must be made.  Not all considerations are merely political.  I'm sure there are lots of the grass roots (like myself) who don't agree with polygamy, and politics has little to do with it.  Of course one could brand anyone's convictions, concerns, and opinions as "political" in nature, for they are self expressive.

Being a clash of religious ideas among Mormons and Christians, (for whom it may interest), polygamy is usually defended and censured from the pages of the Bible.  I remember the article seemed to suggest that polygamy in the bible is scripturally "sanctioned".  The evidence given for this was that King David, and Solomon, among others were polygamists.  However honestly in my estimation of Old Testament scripture, no positive sanction is given, though no harsh rebuke, unless you count as rebuke the recorded woes and negative consequences arising from multiple spouses, which is a reasonable estimate in my opinion.  And such negative excerpts can be found about David and Solomon.  Then to balance things, the New Testament makes many statements that favor monogamous marriage.  When controversy with the jewish religionists occurred about marriage and divorce, Jesus referred that "it was not so in the beginning", pointing out the union of Adam and Eve being made "one flesh" (Mark 10:2-9).  Also a leader of the church in 1 Timothy 3:2 must be "the husband of one wife".  So the Mormons have a hard case to maintain if they are appealing to the Bible for support.

But aside from the biblical morality, I can see much practical/ social/ psychological reason for avoiding polygamy as a nation.  

(Besides, any of you guys who feel its okay gutsy enough to really try it???) LOL.

Stephen.  

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (edited 06-17-2001).]

Ron
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10 posted 06-17-2001 11:56 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Any legislation ends up "imposing" some sort of morality.


What morality is imposed by a law requiring a business license? Taxes? Zoning? Driving on the right or left side of the road?

Morality is concerned with ideas of right and wrong conduct, and that's fine. The law, however, should concern itself with protection. Your personal view of right and wrong should only become law when it also serves to protect an individual (or, more rarely, society as a whole). Killing is immoral and illegal, and that's as it should be. Eating meat on Friday may well be immoral, as some would claim, but it isn't illegal - nor should it be.

There are several problem with legislating morality (not the least of which, it doesn't work), but my biggest gripe is that it inevitably leads to an attempt to protect people not from others, as the law should do, but from themselves. Your case against polygamy, Stephen, is an example of just that. You don't think it would work, because of high divorce rates, financial pressures, emotional dilemmas, et cetera. But not once do you suggest it personally would hurt YOU as an individual.

There is no greater oxymoron than "victimless crime."
Stephanos
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11 posted 06-18-2001 10:58 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron,

So you are saying that in order for something to be a valid law, it would have to exclusively protect the "other guy"?  I'm not a lawyer, but it is my suspicion that there are many laws on the books for the protection of people from themselves.  Before you demand examples I will have to look into that one, and get back to you.  But even if we look at it the way you suggest, no one lives "in a vacuum".  I couldn't agree more with what you said about "victimless crime".   What hurts us inevitably hurts others.  And yes I know that it would be dangerous to get out of balance with this concept.  I do believe people should be allowed to harm or help themselves, to make mistakes, else we would turn legislation into tyranny.  But such a public phenomenon as marriage has very wide implications.  How about the effects on the polygamists children and families psychologically?  How about for society in general?  I mentioned financial concerns.  Does an already strained welfare system pick up the pieces?  I am just touching on a few things.

Maybe the present laws about polygamy are derived from more than mere "tradition" (which isn't always a bad thing), or a thoughtless kind of morality.  There could  very well be valid reasons.  A thoughtless morality can be a bad thing.    But so can a thoughtless advocation of "rights" at all costs.  There should be a balance.

I simply think polygamy would touch far more than the individuals directly involved (who made the choice).

Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (edited 06-18-2001).]

 
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