More proof that Mormonism is not Christianity: the Utah State Senate approved a bill in committee that will decriminalize polygamy, reducing it from a felony to an infraction. The premise behind that bill is that it will encourage people (presumably women) in polygamous relationships to come forward when reporting other crimes, and that polygamists are tired of being treated like “second-class citizens.”
Well. The My Faith Votes post on this bill makes a compelling point against the bill: “decriminalizing polygamy will give more power to the abusers” and “the act of categorizing it as a mere infraction, with jail time only enforced for additional crimes such as fraud or abuse, sends the message (whether intended or not) that polygamy is a legitimate lifestyle as long as the adults are consenting.” The latter, I suspect, is the real point.
Everyone knows of Mormonism’s controversial history with polygamy. In an older, better America, polygamy was not just frowned upon—it was illegal. Indeed, the young Republican Party was organized to fight slavery and polygamy, which its platform proclaimed “the twin relics of barbarism.” In order for Utah to enter the Union, it had to do away with polygamy, which was accepted practice in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It finally did so in 1890.
But now we have an odd situation in which progressive dogma dovetails with a conservative religion. Progressivism’s successful assaults on traditional, monogamous marriage opened a Pandora’s Box of sexual deviancy. If gay marriage is acceptable, why not other forms of “marriage”? At least polygamy has historical foundations, unlike gay marriage, but it’s still a destructive social arrangement.
To be clear, I am intentionally conflating politics in Utah with Mormonism. The LDS faith dominates the State’s politics, and this bill has support from Republicans. With the usual acknowledgment that there are always rare exceptions, my premise is that a Republican in Utah is incredibly likely to be a Mormon.
As such, it seems like this bill is old-school Mormonism making a comeback—they can finally undo the indignity (as I suspect some of them see it) the United States forced upon them in 1890, and they can revive their original acceptance of polygamous relationships.
Polygamy is a dangerous institution. Indeed, the United States today essentially practices informal polygamy in the form of modern dating: alpha chads dominate the sexual marketplace, while normal guys struggle. Such is the outcome of polygamy: wealthy, successful men in traditional polygamous societies kept multiple wives, but most men never had the opportunity to enjoy marriage.
That’s a recipe for disaster. A stable society needs monogamous, opposite-sex marriages for the vast majority of its people. It prevents the shiftless shuffling of legions of young, unmarried men. It also causes the slow, demographic death of a country, and it destabilizes families, leading to a profusion of single motherhood.
Men become simpering betas and sexual mercenaries, hoping for a simulacrum of love. Women come to expect nothing more than a series of hook-ups and flings, then find themselves pining for the alpha lover of their youths while desperately seeking a pliant beta to raise her kids. It is a bleak, bleak scenario.
Polygamy merely formalizes a bad system. It also strips women of dignity, forcing them to participate in harem politics, jockeying for the favor of their man for the benefit of their children. It brings out the worst in men and women—a man domineeringly controlling his brood, and his women fighting cattily for a crumb of his affection.
Alternatively, a monogamous society creates stability and social harmony. Children grow up with two parents in the household, gaining important elements from their fathers and their mothers, as each provide something different to their children.
I’ll give the Mormons credit: they’ve made monogamy work extremely well, and they raise lovely families. They should stick to it.
And vote out Mitt Romney.