I haven't been worrying much about polygamy. But after reading Instapundit'
s words below, maybe I should be.
WORRYING ABOUT POLYGAMY: There's
been a lot of that on the right lately, much of it tied to questions of whether
polygamy is being used to "normalize" gay marriage, or the reverse.
pretty good argument that polygamy is usually bad for the societies it appears
in, producing a large surplus of sullen, unmarriageable young men. On the other
hand, those are usually societies in which women, especially -- but men, too --
are mostly poor and uneducated. If polygamy were ever to become popular in the
United States, which seems unlikely to me, I doubt it would look much like
polygamy in, say, Mali.
I'm occasionally amused by the implication that
there's something unnatural about polygamy, though: It's quite possibly the most
common form of marriage in human society, and certainly far too common to
dismiss as some sort of perversion. (Heck, read your Old Testament). But I think
that most of the polygamy-talk now is just a symptom of the gay-marriage debate,
rather than a genuine freestanding concern.
The solution to all of this, of
course, is to separate marriage and state. There's no reason why the government
should be involved in this sort of thing (the origin of Tennessee's statute
requiring marriage licenses, it turns out, was a desire to ensure that county
clerks got fees, not exactly an overwhelming justification) and there's no
reason why people's private living arrangements should be part of public debate.
That's my take, anyway.
posted at 10:58 AM by Glenn Reynolds
I enjoy reading Instapundit daily. But today I couldn't disagree with Glenn more, especially his concluding sentences. Yes polygamy is a lousy idea, but so is gay marriage. Society has every right to care about people's private living arrangements, especially when children are involved. Societies, nations thrive when they espouse a marriage = one man + one woman equation for family life and child rearing. Indeed, any other arrangement severely limits procreation. The biological, spiritual and emotional design of men and women is to be heterosexual. To casually or radically dismiss that design is in the short term foolish, in the long term catastrophic. The state may not be best at condemning the polygamy or the homosexuality. I personally believe that is best left to a friend, faith or God. And it is never the state's job, or anyone's for that matter, to reject the individual. But if it takes the state to protect heterosexual marriage, then that's what it takes.