Representation in “Sister Wives” Case

As has been the practice on this blog, I wanted to disclose my representation of the Brown family, who are the subjects of the new series “Sister Wives” on TLC. As in the past, any comments on the case by me will be limited. However, various people have suggested the reported criminal investigation as a subject for this blog and I wanted to explain why I have not posted anything on the controversy.

Bigamy is a third-degree felony under Utah law punishable with up to five years in jail. Prior prosecutions for polygamy have involved allegations of child abuse or child brides, which are clearly not present in this case. The use of this statute to prosecute the Browns would be in my view unconstitutional. It would also end a long-standing policy to confine prosecutions to those who abuse children or commit such crimes as fraud. We are confident that the authorities will find no such criminal conduct in this case and we intend to cooperate to the fullest in resolving any such questions from the State. I hope that the prosecutors will recognize that this would be bad criminal case making bad criminal law. It is, after all, a television show and there is no need to move the matter from the television guide to the criminal docket.

My representation as lead counsel for Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn Brown will obviously curtail my discussion of the case on this blog but, as in earlier cases, I will not interfere with the discussion of others on this blog.

Jonathan Turley

430 thoughts on “Representation in “Sister Wives” Case

  1. Jonathan,
    I’m glad to see that you’ve involved yourself in this case. Except in instances, i.e. Warren Jeffs, of abuse I believe that people have the right to develop and nurturing family situation that they can. Secondly, although the history is quite convoluted polygamy was a founding priciple of LDS, cast aside to make themselves eligible for statehood. I believe that in Utah and elsewhere the LDS community the LDS powers that be ignore the movement unless it obtains some publicity or notoriety. From my personal viewpoint the only problems I have with polygamy is that having been married and faithful to one woman for three decades I’ve found that one relationship is hard enough. Secondly, I always wonder how the polygamists feel about polyandry, or other variations. Good move and good luck.

  2. It seems like a silly law to me; the effect of polygamy is not unlawful (one man living with and bedding multiple women, having children by them, having common finances). The only legal issues are rights of visitation, inheritance, common property, etc. Same as the gay marriage debate in that respect.

    I am a liberal progressive but I am with the [social] libertarians on this point: it is really none of my business, the government should stay out of it except to adjudicate problems like it does with any other contract between multiple parties.

  3. Mike,

    This is the first I’ve heard about this family.

    Warren Jeffs and those that practice polygamy are members of FDLS (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints). I would assume Mr. Brown and his “sister” wives are fundamentalist Mormons.

    The problem I have with FLDS is their treatment of women as subservient to men, the “Lost Boys,” child brides–and some other things that Professor Turley mentioned. While the Brown women may not have been child brides–if they had been raised in this fundamentalist religion, they probably grew up with a certain mindset. I have to wonder if these women really feel free to express their own opinions.

    Have you read Jon Krakauer’s book “Under the Banner of Heaven”–about the founding and development of the Mormon religion and about the FLDS? Fascinating book!

  4. Tony C.,

    One problem with a number of these fundamentalist families who practice polygamy is that they live off the state. Some of these polygamous daddies do not financially support their large families. A number of them also keep their families far from society. Their wives and children are literally held captive.

  5. Professor Turley,

    I’ve never been more excited to be in your torts class. I hope we get to hear how the case is going!

  6. “Warren Jeffs and those that practice polygamy are members of FDLS (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints). I would assume Mr. Brown and his “sister” wives are fundamentalist Mormons.”

    Elaine,
    I don’t think that they are on the “Jeffs” side of the spectrum. Yet polygamist Normans would be fundamentalists in the sense that they are following the “original teachings.” Having watched the first episode the wives do not seem subservient, but then they were playing for the camera.The man is the boss aspect of Mormonism of all stripes offends me, but then too so do fundamentalist Christians.

    “Have you read Jon Krakauer’s book “Under the Banner of Heaven””

    Haven’t read his book, but I intend to now. I have read extensively about Mormonism and the LDS and feel it is an obvious scam with the same level sincerity and believability as Scientology. I suspect even that L.Ron did some cribbing from it for his own scam.

    While I’m offended by most of this tripe and sympathetically believe it goes against the power of women (that’s why I threw in Polyandry which I suspect these types would all find too scary) I do believe they have the constitutional right to behave sd dumbly as they can, providing no one gets hurt and no ones rights are violated. Isn’t LDS a fascinating subject though?

  7. To my mind this case is a little muddled because of the marriage-like ceremonies and holding out that there are multiple “spiritual” marriages.

    However, as written, the law punishes cohabitation, not just multiple marriages. I think that part of the law, at least, should be facially unconstitutional under the logic of Lawrence.

    ACLU of Utah has a quick overview of the statute and the Utah Supreme Court’s opinion of it: http://www.acluutah.org/bigamystatute.htm

  8. Mike S.,

    I think a lot of religions are scams–especially those of the televangelist/faith healer variety.

    I agree that consenting adults should have the right to do as they please as long as no one is getting hurt. I’d add, though, that some of the wives in polygamous marriages–who are now adults–may not have been adults when they became wives. That concerns me.

    Some of these women in polygamous marriages appear–to me–to be a lot like Stepford wives.

  9. Mike,

    I have read extensively about Mormonism and the LDS and feel it is an obvious scam with the same level sincerity and believability as Scientology.

    I feel the need to stick up for Mormons: yes, they believe in silly things, but then so do all other religions. As an atheist, it’s funny to me that people are so skeptical about Revealed Truth when it’s only fifty or two hundred years old, but so willing to accept it as Gospel when it is fifteen hundred or two thousand years old.

  10. James M.,

    “…it’s funny to me that people are so skeptical about Revealed Truth when it’s only fifty or two hundred years old, but so willing to accept it as Gospel when it is fifteen hundred or two thousand years old.”

    I agree. BTW, I’ll admit that I’m skeptical of all “Revealed Truth.”

  11. Mike Spindell 1, October 6, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    [snip]

    “Have you read Jon Krakauer’s book “Under the Banner of Heaven””

    Haven’t read his book, but I intend to now. I have read extensively about Mormonism and the LDS and feel it is an obvious scam with the same level sincerity and believability as Scientology. I suspect even that L.Ron did some cribbing from it for his own scam.

    ———————————

    I read it and enjoyed it, but then again, it played into my own prejudices. Read it, but don’t take it as a neutral or fair assessment of the LDS. Jon is using the Fundamentalist offshoots of the LDS (and the early cult days of the group) to grind a huge axe against religion as a whole, in a way that is very familiar to folks who post comments here.

    The early days of the LDS was absolutely a cult, and the unfolding of the “Doctrine and Covenants” (amendments to the previous texts, inspired by God, of course) rolls out like something from Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses.” That said, most mainstream, modern Mormons are nothing like the victims of the Scientology organization. Kooks like Warren Jeffs and Glen Beck are not well accepted by ordinary members of the LDS. (Well, maybe the public face of Glen Beck is accepted, but if an ordinary Mormon had Beck’s underlying Cleon Skousen-based conspiracy theories fully explained to him, he wouldn’t feel so fondly…)

    Specifically in terms of the Brown family: they seem nice enough, and it’s nice that there’s a public example of a polygamous family that isn’t raping children or scamming child support money. The whole “man worship” crap is creepy, but that’s none of my business. I actually watched their interview on the Today show a few weeks ago. I’d love to know what the ground rules were for that interview. I kept wishing that Vieira would ask them if they felt that laws regarding marriage should be changed… My guess is that such a question was agreed to be off limits as a condition of the appearance.

  12. One of the rights that Utah gave up when it joined the Union….the right of plural marriages and the women the right to vote…..

    Good going Jon…..If people want to have plural wives and it is an accepted tenant of the church doctrine….so be it.

    Mike S.,

    Good to see you around and posting…

  13. AY,

    “If people want to have plural wives and it is an accepted tenant of the church doctrine….so be it.”

    Whaddyah think if women want to have multiple husbands?

    ;)

    It certainly is good to have Mike S. contributing to our discussions at the Turley Blawg once again!

  14. “I feel the need to stick up for Mormons: yes, they believe in silly things, but then so do all other religions.”

    James M.
    All centrally organized religions are scams. What fascinates me about the LDS and the Scientologists is how close to the surface obvious the scam is. Personally I’m a deist Jew, who believes that while there may be a creative force informing the operation of the Universe, it is so far beyond our comprehension that to try to discern its’ purposes is and will always be futile.

  15. “That said, most mainstream, modern Mormons are nothing like the victims of the Scientology organization.”

    Tomdarch,
    While this is no doubt true, the LDS control of Utah is disturbing and while today’s LDS people are decnt people, their leadership has been historically corrupt by my lights.
    Understand though, I’m not into suppressing them, but think they need to be watched closely and their numerous peccadillos exposed. Try reading “Morman Murders” for good info on how things operate within LDS.

    I also must admit that as a Jew, even a Deist Jew, I am outraged at their program of posthumously baptizing those who died in the Shoah. That to me is unforgiveable, arrogant and ghoulish.

  16. Elaine This is one show I am not watching. I read about it on Huffington Post. The older obese wife was jealous at first when he met the slim new woman, but then she decided it was okay that he have a “new cute girl”. I am thinking of the James Brown song, “Its a Man’s World”.

  17. In an of itself, I am opposed to polygamy mostly because it so favors the domination of females by males. It may have made some sense perhaps during humans’ hunter-gatherer period, but now it looks more like a cattle rancher and his prized livestock.

    If, however, this case blows up the notion of government interference of marriage and thus opens the door to same sex marriages countrywide, I’ll hold my nose and wish the good professor success.

  18. Hey Mr. RC?

    Why cannot gays get married? What do you have against me and you have not even met me? What if I tell you that my parents were never married? What if I tell you that my parents were male and female? What if I tell you that my mom died and left no will and my dad did not get any of her estate because they were not married and her relatives took it all? Why can’t I get married to my lover? Why does it matter to you what I do? Can I also look in your bedroom? Can I tell you, you should not be able to marry a woman because she is Methodist? How come you can interfere with my choice but I cannot interfere with your choice?

  19. Swarthmore mom,

    I hadn’t heard of the show. I guess you could say I’ve been out of the “reality show” loop. I hadn’t even read about the “Sister Wives” show on Huffington Post.

    ******

    Gay Banger,

    I know a lot of gays who have been involved in long-term loving relationships–including the younger brothers of two of my dearest friends. I don’t understand how allowing them to get married would cause a problem for hetreosexual marriage.

  20. In an of itself, I am opposed to polygamy mostly because it so favors the domination of females by males.
    ———————————————-
    four women in one kitchen….all sharing one guy….that sounds more like masochism than religeon….not my cup of tea thankyou much…

  21. Here’s a good summary of Utah law on the issue of criminal bigamy from the ACLU :

    “A person is guilty of bigamy when, knowing he has a husband
    or wife, the person purports to marry another person or cohabits with another person.” Utah Code Ann. § 76-7-101(1) (2003). The law, therefore, applies not just to individuals who have obtained
    multiple marriage licenses, but also to those who are legally married to only one person, while also engaging in other marriage-like relationships that are not recognized by the state.

    Since 2004, the Utah Supreme Court has issued three opinions regarding the application of the state bigamy statute to criminalize the religiously motivated practice of plural marriage. In all three cases, the court has upheld the law’s constitutionality. State v. Green was the first of these recent cases to directly address the constitutionality of the statute.
    See 99 P.3d 820 (Utah 2004). Green, an avowed polygamist who participated in simultaneous spiritual unions with multiple women but who never maintained more than one civil marriage at a
    time, argued that his conviction under the bigamy statute violated his federal constitutional right to freely exercise his religion. The Utah Supreme Court, however, upheld Green’s conviction and the constitutionality of the statute. Although the court acknowledged that “Utah’s bigamy statute has an
    adverse impact on those wishing to practice polygamy,” it held that the law is rationally related to furthering Utah’s legitimate interests in regulating marriage and in protecting vulnerable individuals from crimes targeting women and children, which the court found “not unusually attendant to the
    practice of polygamy.”

    Subsequently, in February 2006, the Utah Supreme Court held that Hildale Justice Court Judge Walter Steed’s violation of the bigamy statute warranted his removal from the bench. In re Steed, 131 P.3d 231 (Utah 2006). When the town council of Hildale, Utah appointed Judge Steed to the bench in 1980, he had one wife to whom he was legally married and one “spiritual wife,” with whom he had a private, unlicensed relationship. At the time of his removal from the bench, Steed had one
    civil wife and two spiritual wives. Unlike the situation in Green, all three of the women cohabitating with Steed were adults when they entered into their private unions with him. Notwithstanding the fact that Steed’s case involved only private, consensual relationships between adults, the Utah
    Supreme Court summarily dismissed Steed’s constitutional challenge to the bigamy statute, stating, “In the case of a sitting judge, it is of little or no consequence that the judge may believe a criminal statute is constitutionally defective. A judge ignores the clearly stated criminal prohibitions of the law
    at his or her peril.”

    In May 2006, a majority of the Utah Supreme Court again upheld the constitutionality of Utah’s bigamy statute. State v. Holm, 137 P.3d 726 (Utah 2006). The State of Utah convicted polygamist
    Rodney Holm under the bigamy statute for his participation in a 1998 “spiritual marriage” to Ruth Stubbs. At the time, Holm was legally married to Stubbs’s sister. Holm challenged the onstitutionality of the “purports to marry” prong of the bigamy statute, and alternatively argued that engaging in private unions with multiple “spiritual wives” is a constitutionally protected expression of his religious beliefs as a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
    Holm invoked the landmark civil rights case, Lawrence v. Texas, to support his defense that the state could not constitutionally interfere with his choice to consummate his intimate relationship with Stubbs. See, 539 U.S. 558 (2003). In Lawrence, a majority of the United States Supreme Court held
    that a Texas statute criminalizing sodomy violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and, absent injury to a person or abuse of an institution the law protects, consenting adults enjoy the freedom to define their private intimate relationships within “the confines of their
    homes and their own private lives.” Although the Lawrence majority intentionally avoided interpreting the Fourteenth Amendment to protect same-sex or plural marriages, it notably left open the issue of whether couples enjoy the constitutional freedom to consummate their relationships with commitment ceremonies that do not confer state recognition of their unions.

    Four of the Utah Supreme Court’s five justices rejected Holm’s constitutional defenses, holding that his behavior fell “squarely within the realm of behavior criminalized by [Utah’s] bigamy statute.” Writing for the majority, Justice Matthew Durrant argued that the framers of the Utah State Constitution intended the bigamy statute to criminalize not only attempts to gain legal recognition of duplicative marital relationships, but also attempts to form duplicative marital relationships that are not legally recognized. Durrant cited Reynolds v. United States, an 1879 United States Supreme Court ruling that upheld the prosecution of a religiously motivated Utah polygamist, and asserted that a state statute may restrict an individual’s free exercise of religion as long as the statute does not impact people of different religious faiths differently. See, 98 U.S. 145 (1878). Durrant also dismissed Holm’s defense based on Lawrence, claiming that the ruling was limited to private, intimate homosexual acts, and that unlike private intimate conduct, “marriage has always been recognized as
    an institution the state has an interest in defining.”

  22. I believe that anyone should be able to marry who and whom they want and the government should not be allowed to determine who people fall in love with. With that being said, I agree with some here that most religions sanction the subtle and sometimes overt abuse of women. If the women involved in polygamy truly decide without pressure to involve themselves in these multi-party relationships, how can the government get in the way. I agree with Mike S. that I could only be with my wife of 36 years and I don’t think any Amazon women would want to put me in their stable!

  23. Gay Banger

    I’m usually fairly good at conveying my thoughts, but I obviously failed quite miserably in my post above. I strongly support same sex marriage. My post was intended to say that through I do not support polyamy with much enthusiam, if Professor Turley’s case blows up polygamy and an ancillary benefit is a national acceptance of same sex marriages, I’m fine with that. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

  24. rc,

    I understood what you meant perfectly.

    I also agree with you about institutionalized plural marriage. Without the type of gender imbalance caused by warfare, it is bound to be a destabilizing force (and at its worst lead to the type of radicalism seen in the middle east). However, I’m firmly in favor of the government not telling me with whom I can cohabit.

  25. Mespo,
    Thanks for the background info. This gives this case a new dimension since it seems that in certain instances in Utah the State (and courts)feel they have the right to define who can co-habit with who. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t bigamy defined in most states as multiple “legal” marriages. I find this frightening since it hearkens back to the glorious 50’s when a Kansas DJ spent two years in prison for performing cunningulous on his girlfriend. This is the dream America that many religious fundamentalists would like us to return to and that Utah has never seen to have given up.

    Rafflaw,
    I wouldn’t be part of any multiple marriage that would want me as a member, or is that club that I mean?

    Swarthmore Mom,
    Good link. Having watched all the shows so far I think the wives want a fourth to get this jerk out of their bedrooms. The husband really seems to be the dumbest of all the show’s adults, although we are not talking rocket scientists here.

  26. Mike S:

    “Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t bigamy defined in most states as multiple “legal” marriages.”

    **********************

    I believe a charge of bigamy reflects the notion that only one marriage can be valid – the first legal one – and that after that, any successor ones are void ab initio as against public policy. We need a matrimonial lawyer to chime in on this issue.

  27. “A person is guilty of bigamy when, knowing he has a husband
    or wife, the person purports to marry another person or cohabits with another person.” Utah Code Ann. § 76-7-101(1) (2003).

    This would appear to apply to every person who, while separated or in the process of divorcing one spouse, moves in (cohabits) with a new love interest. Does Utah go after people who move in with their new lover while going through their divorce?

  28. It seems to me that the government does have a right and a duty to prosecute true bigamists — people who marry multiple people without without the successive spouses realizing that their marriage isn’t legal because of a previous one that is still valid. Those spouses need some legal protection.

    However, in this case, the man has only one legal wife and the other three women understand that and the first wife seems OK with the situation.

    I do think that in this sort of situation that the “wives” following the first should realize that they have no right to any social security benefits other than from their own jobs. There should also be some sort of restriction on right of a family such as this from being eligible for public welfare. If people are going to take on this type of family, they should at least be able to support it without the help of tax money.

    I think that this is a very poor choice for the extra wives and should be a financially risky one for the husband if things go wrong with one or more wives. However, I don’t see that the people are actually committing bigamy or child abuse so the government should just butt out of the living arrangement part of it.

  29. I don’t understand why we have the bill of rights… when we public opinion seems to be what governs.

    According to the bill of rights, we have the freedom of religion.. . Is that ONLY if those in the government approve my religion?? It is MY religion NOT theirs… I don’t need or want others to necessarily understand – but respect and allow rights that are provided to me based on our constitution/bill of rights.

    These people are adults. They are not abusing others. They are providing for themselves. Let them live as they choose.

    Is it for me… well, that is no ones business but my own…

  30. I have to question the motivation behind the TLC show and Professor Turley’s immediate willingness to represent the Browns.

    Sister Wives bears an amazing resemblance, in format, to “The Housewives of…” franchise, but, of course, with its own
    dark and somewhat twisted premise that polygamy, as it is practiced by Fundamentalists, is an actual “choice” on the part of the women involved.

    Using the “Happy Wives of Utah” pretense to further the unquestionably illegal practice of polygamy is not a constitutionally protected right — and the first amendment and freedom of religion portions of the constitution were certainly not intended to protect the subjugation of women and children that is systemic within the fundamentalist culture.

    Women raised in these compounds are substantively brainwashed from the time they were born — and so their ‘happy-go-lucky’ acceptance of the situation is painful to watch, akin to a reality show based on the Stockholm Syndrome, or a real-life POW camp in which the prisoners live happily ever after.

    Regarding susceptible women, like Robyn, who are ‘courted’ or seduced into the polygamist culture, part of the fundamentalist strategy is to locate vulnerable women on the outside and bring them into the fold, so that the effects of repeated incest are diminished — in other words to bring new blood into the community to minimize birth defects and other consequences of persistent intermarriage with daughters, cousins, nieces and granddaughters.

    Bottom line, TLC’s manipulation of the media to further the fundamentalist agenda and pursue television ratings, and Professor Turley’s subsequent and immediate rise to their defense seems remarkably calculated and suspect.

    It is my sincere hope that the American public recognizes this for what it truly is, a publicity stunt in support of what has already been established as a criminal act and boycotts the show to avoid rewarding everyone involved.

  31. “Professor Turley’s subsequent and immediate rise to their defense seems remarkably calculated and suspect”

    “seems” is the key word here…I remember seeing his article in 2004 with this topic covered rather well…you may want to consider the fact that he has already taken a Constitutional stand on polygamy some time ago and even stated:

    “I personally detest polygamy.”

    So you assume that Professor Turley actively seeks out what he detests? It seems clear that his interest is in the correct and accurate application of the Constitution and its amendments.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/columnist/2004-10-03-turley_x.htm

  32. Diane:

    I share your concern about whether the persons involved in this rather extreme form of “marriage” are actually operating under their own free will or some misguided delusion brought on by low self-esteem. I am also concerned about the same feature in certain monogamous relationships, too. So, I see no reason, on that basis alone, to single out this situation for scorn. Your implication of sinister motives to Professor Turley seems similarly misguided since all you offer in support is timing, innuendo, and your suspicion. A shaky three-legged stool, indeed, to uphold such a provocative premise.

    I think your most telling comment is that you “detest polygamy.” That is certainly your right to do so, but it undercuts your status as the giver of neutral normative advice on the topic. We’ve got too many zealots deciding social policy these days. How about a reasoned argument on the topic, instead of a casual toss of mud to dirty the waters?

  33. I have been married for 17 years. I personally could not do this however I believe what ever works for people works. If this works, LEAVE THEM ALONE!

    I checked with some sources, they are not getting any kind of state/federal assistance. Kody, Meri and Janelle all have full time jobs and work. Christine cares for the children so she also has a full time job. I have been unable to obtain information on Robyn so not sure what she does.

    Seriously…they are all consenting adults, have been consenting adults as they were married after the age of 18, and have been raising their children as a family unit.

    I think the law and the mainstream mormons should just back off. Allow people to learn about alternatives. Maybe this would work for others, and for people like me…I just find it interesting to watch and see how well they are making it work.

  34. Raelene,

    “I just find it interesting to watch and see how well they are making it work.”

    I don’t think things are always what they appear to be…especially things on TV shows.

    Maybe all of Brown’s wives were consenting adults when they married him. Still, if these women were raised in the fundamentalist Mormon religion, I would assume that they were taught/indoctrinated to believe that living in polygamous families and being subjugated by men was what God wanted.

    *****

    mespo,

    “I share your concern about whether the persons involved in this rather extreme form of “marriage” are actually operating under their own free will or some misguided delusion brought on by low self-esteem. I am also concerned about the same feature in certain monogamous relationships, too.”

    I agree with you. There are many women who are subjugated/abused by men in monogamous marriages.

    I don’t think polygamy is beneficial to women or children. Just my opinion.

  35. Elaine M,,

    In as much as you don’t agree with it…I have never been able to date a multitude of women at the same time and not because I didn’t try, ugly ending for me…but, who is to say that this is wrong any more wrong than having your child baptized or circumcised by the seventh day…. It it anymore cruel than meeting a naked aboriginal tribe and they being naked, then forcing them to wear clothing, if after 2 millenniums they have dressed the way that they do?

    I may be aware of a lot of things….but some things I have not a clue in…I don’t understand why some people like the same sex…But I accept it as it is the choice that they make. We are indoctrinated in many ways and many beliefs…some acceptable to “normal” society some not….

    I profess not to have the answers….I do have the willingness as most here do to learn about what makes others tick…

  36. Elaine I agree with your statement, “I don’t think polygamy is beneficial to women or children”.

  37. Good Morning SWM….

    I too agree with you… but with only my values of right and wrong imposed upon them….I suppose this could be a semi-cult…..But, what do I know….Harry Blackmun said one of the regrets he had was not being firm in his convictions of Bowser V Hardwick which upheld the legality of Georgia’s sodomy laws….

  38. AY,

    I wasn’t speaking to the legality/illegality of polygamy. I don’t think it would benefit anyone if Mr. Brown is found guilty and imprisoned. If he were abusing his wives and children–that would be another matter.

    What about bigamy? I agree with what Gayle wrote in her comment:

    “It seems to me that the government does have a right and a duty to prosecute true bigamists — people who marry multiple people without [without] the successive spouses realizing that their marriage isn’t legal because of a previous one that is still valid. Those spouses need some legal protection.”

  39. Good morning AY The polygamist culture is male dominant. The women seem like victims to me. I doubt I will watch the show to find out more. Regarding the issue of gay marriage, no one is proposing that only gay males can marry. A woman having multiple husbands would not be permitted in this culture.

  40. Law are on the books about adultery…can anyone tell me who has been prosecuted in the last 5 years? Mike Cox’s Michigan’s Attorney charged with enforcing all of the laws of that state…guess what he committed Adultery….he was never charged…Why not? He admitted it…now give a black kid some crack and how long will he go away…..It is selective enforcement of the laws for the powers that be….

  41. It’s no longer legal but at one time a man in Texas who caught his wife in the act of adultery could shoot her.

  42. I believe that that is true until 1972 and over turned on the equal protection argument…it only applied to women in an adulterous affair with another male. Now the wife could have walked in on her spouse and it would have been murder…

    But then again until a few years ago…you could get your 6 pack and drink em on the way home so long as you were not drunk…now however, if you got out of your vehicle with that same beer…had to be beer…in some county’s you could be arrested under the open container law….go figure….some county’s are dry some are wet…some city’s even have parts of a city that are dry…. I say just don’t do it….

  43. >Regarding susceptible women, like Robyn, who are ‘courted’ or seduced into the polygamist culture,

    It seems Diane (unlike some of us poor deluded women who support Poly lifestyles) hasn’t done her research.

    Robyn, like Meri and Christine was raised in a Polygamist household. Kody and Janelle Brown were not and chose to be Polygamist. Nor do they live on compounds and the children are free to marry who they choose. Had you watched the programme rather than making assumptions based upon your personal prejudices you would have known that.

  44. Elaine,

    I don’t think anyone is arguing that true bigamy shouldn’t be punished as a type of fraud (and a very destructive one at that).

    Elaine & Swathmore mom,

    Elaine I agree with your statement, “I don’t think polygamy is beneficial to women or children”.

    I don’t think that being indoctrinated in a cult or fundamentalist religion is beneficial to women or children, period. Doubly so if the religion has a tradition of abusing children and women. However, I think you really need to remove polygamy from the fundamentalist culture to analyze it, since the law doesn’t just apply to people I detest.

    A stable, rational group of three or four adults are not going to screw up a kid just because there are more than two of them, in the same way that two men are not going to screw up a kid, just because they are both men.

    You can still go after the worst abuses of the fundamentalist polygamists, even after you legalize polygamy, e.g., through statutory rape laws (put in an irrebutable presumption that marriages, legal or otherwise, have been consummated). Cults also love to feel persecuted. Legalizing their way of life might help to open up those communities a little.

  45. Addendum:

    A woman having multiple husbands would not be permitted in this culture.

    The law has to apply equally to everyone, irrespective of the cultural norms within the fundamentalist community.

  46. Math riddle to dissolve freedom.

    If you have 3 men and 3 women living in a commune somewhere out west. It is consenting free love and no one (at least in California) cares.

    One of the three men remembers he is gay and returns to the men’s group home he lived in Florida near the beach. That leaves 2 men and 3 women. It is still self-expression and freedom and the authorities yawn.

    One more man departs and goes back to live with his cousins in Arkansas. That leaves three women and one man living together. Now an eyebrow raises in some local court and the shadowy word “poly” discussed over coffee. At what point are these numbers and the remaining commune members that take no action now in criminal violation? Where did freedom leave the equation?

  47. “Sister Wives bears an amazing resemblance, in format, to “The Housewives of…” franchise, but, of course, with its own
    dark and somewhat twisted premise that polygamy, as it is practiced by Fundamentalists, is an actual “choice” on the part of the women involved.”

    Diane,
    All “reality” shows involving relationships are similar. As far as “dark and somewhat twisted premise” that is your personal value judgment which is not borne out by the show presented. The women involved, for the most part do come from polygamous backgrounds, but the fact that they made these choices as adults strongly suggests that they did not come from the compounds of the real fundamentalist crazies. Indeed they each seem to have had choices of whether they wanted single, or plural marriage. While I’m not a fan of plural marriage, I can’t automatically assume that those engaging in it are brainwashed or unaware of other choices. You strongly assert this, which is your value judgment and has no particular relation to the facts at hand,

    “Women raised in these compounds are substantively brainwashed from the time they were born”

    How do you know these wives were raised in compounds? If they weren’t then you are just revealing your own pre-judgments in the diatribes that follow in your post.

    “Bottom line, TLC’s manipulation of the media to further the fundamentalist agenda and pursue television ratings, and Professor Turley’s subsequent and immediate rise to their defense seems remarkably calculated and suspect.”

    Most fundamentalists in the US are strongly opposed to polygamy, so who’s agenda is TLC furthering? My guess is that they’re looking for ratings fiven the success of HBO’s “Big Love” and the interest many people have in the subject matter.
    As for Professor Turley assisting the defense his actions are perfectly in tune with his chosen role as a defender of constitutional liberty and your implication of another more sinister underlying motive is absurd and borne of the ignorance of your own value judgments.

    I reiterate that I believe plural marriage in any form is not a good idea, nor is “open marriage” (been there, done that, marriage collapsed”)or the other bright, shiny ideas of idealists thinking they’re on to the latest thing. This does not mean that the State has the right to pick and choose which ones have legal sanctity. However, marriage itself as legally defined in our country does seem to also be a “hit or miss” proposition. Perhaps the reason for this is that to make a strong, lasting relationship work requires people of a certain level of maturity and flexibility towards change.

  48. James,

    “However, I think you really need to remove polygamy from the fundamentalist culture to analyze it, since the law doesn’t just apply to people I detest.”

    Question: Are there any non-fundamentalist cultures in this country that espouse and practice polygamy?

    I wasn’t suggesting that polygamy should be illegal because I abhor it. I was just contributing to the discussion and expressing my opinion of polygamy. I believe Professor Turley was encouraging people to discuss/debate the subject.

  49. Elaine,

    I’m not aware of any mainstream groups, but I don’t think it’s relevant. The idea is easily removed from the religious context and isn’t inherently harmful.

    I was just contributing to the discussion and expressing my opinion of polygamy. I believe Professor Turley was encouraging people to discuss/debate the subject.

    Sorry if you took offense at my post. I thought I was just discussing the subject, and didn’t mean anything personal.

    It seemed to me that several people were arguing:

    * Certain fundamentalist groups practice polygamy
    * Those fundamentalist groups mistreat women and children
    * Polygamy entails the mistreatment of women and children

    I just wanted to suggest that if you removed the concept of polygamy from those fundamentalist communities, that conclusion doesn’t make sense.

  50. James,

    I didn’t take offense. I just wanted to make sure you understood my positon.

    I’m not as sure as you that polygamy isn’t inherently harmful. I still see polygamy (one man with multiple wives) as something that isn’t beneficial to the women and children involved. We’re just expressing our opinions/viewpoints on the subject as we haven’t discussed any definitive research findings on the effects that living in and/or growing up in polygamous families have on the wives and children.

  51. Elaine…

    You may find it interesting that since “gay marriage” was legalized in certain areas that those areas have had no discernible impact on their societies due to this legalization. The sky didn’t fall after all. What you will also find is that when polygamy is legalized there will also be no discernible impact on the areas legalizing it. Polygamy is already being practiced without government consent to a much greater degree than people realize. Legalizing polygamy will simply provide a means by which the government can collect licensing fees and distribute properties in the event of separation yada yada yada…no different that a typical marriage. Legalization will be beneficial to the women and children as they will no longer feel illegitimate or need to hide (hard to believe people in America have to hide). The biggest issues these families face is the persecution brought on by ignorant individuals that don’t understand this form of marriage and belittle those who participate in it.

  52. Scarecrow,

    “You may find it interesting that since “gay marriage” was legalized in certain areas that those areas have had no discernible impact on their societies due to this legalization.”

    I don’t know where you got the idea that I think gay marriage would have a negative impact on society. Following is a comment I wrote earlier on the subject:

    “I know a lot of gays who have been involved in long-term loving relationships–including the younger brothers of two of my dearest friends. I don’t understand how allowing them to get married would cause a problem for hetreosexual marriage.”

    **********

    There ARE polygamous families/communities in this country–as well as in Mexico and Canada–where children are abused, child brides are forced into marriages with much older men, boys are cast out when they reach a certain age, wives and children are literally held captive. Would you call those families typical? I guess our viewpoints of such polygamous families are quite different.

  53. Elaine, the point was that you will not see any negative impact on society should polygamy be legalized, just as there has not been any negative impact due to the legalization of “gay marriage”. It is likely that the women and children would actually benefit from the legalization of polygamy as I stated.

    “children are abused, child brides are forced into marriages with much older men, boys are cast out when they reach a certain age, wives and children are literally held captive.”

    These things have happened in certain religious groups, but they are hardly normative of the typical polygamous household. I do not condone any of those things either, but you seem to feel that these things are practiced by all polygamous families, or that if you form a polygamous family these things will happen automatically. Either assumption would be extremely incorrect. To quote the article you thanked me for giving a link to:

    “While the justifications have changed over the years, the most common argument today in favor of a criminal ban is that underage girls have been coerced into polygamist marriages. There are indeed such cases. However, banning polygamy is no more a solution to child abuse than banning marriage would be a solution to spousal abuse. The country has laws to punish pedophiles and there is no religious exception to those laws.”

    It just seems that you are unable or unwilling to understand that there are tens of or maybe even hundreds of thousands of polygamous families here in the USA alone that are operating successfully and without any criminal activity. You hear about a few situations that are sensationalized on the news and assume every polygamous family is like that…you need to look beyond he TV set for a little while…

  54. Swarthmore mom

    Same as I said to Elaine…the analogy is that what many feared would ruin their neighborhoods and society in general never materialized due to the legalization of gay marriage. When polygamy is legalized it will have a beneficial effect not a detrimental one. It has nothing to do with “gay marriage” being two individuals…it is about how a form of marriage other than one man and one woman only will affect society.

  55. Elai That was really funny. He is thinking about something that has to to with polygamy. Can you imagine having five husbands? It wouldn’t be the same as a man having five wives because the woman is supposed to “submit” to the man as it says in the bible.

  56. I meant Elaine Scarecrow I don’t think we need to be concerned about polygamy being legalized in the US or Canada anytime soon. It is legal in many Mideastern and African countries. We know haw well the new 10 year old brides work there. I look it as a movement backwards for women.

  57. Screcrow,

    It seems you like to read things into what I’ve written that I never intended to say. You also make a lot of assumptions about what I think and how I spend my time. It appears you also like to insult the intelligence of someone like me who may have a different opinion from yours.

    I never said that ALL polygamous families abused children or forced young girls into marriage. I didn’t state in any comment that polygamy should be banned.

    You wrote: “You hear about a few situations that are sensationalized on the news and assume every polygamous family is like that…you need to look beyond he TV set for a little while…”

    I spend a lot of time reading–not watching television. I’d suggest you not assume to know what I think and how/where I get my information.

    *****

    You wrote: “It is likely that the women and children would actually benefit from the legalization of polygamy as I stated.”

    Maybe…maybe not. I guess we won’t know unless polygamy is legalized.

  58. S – Polygamy IS legal in parts of Canada, and will likely be legal here in the US in the near future. The bigamy laws are clearly and obviously unconstitutional and will eventually be overturned.

    E – so tell me then, is your opinion based on the numerous polygamous families that you have personally known for many years that practice child abuse, forced under age marriage, and hold their families hostage? If so why haven’t you reported these individuals? Or is it based on the limited and biased information available to read that the general public feeds on? Bad news sells…good news, well that doesn’t sell so you are unlikely to read thousands of success stories about polygamous families. You are also unlikely to come across any novels about numerous successful polygamous families glamorizing them…the publishers know that wouldn’t sell. Have you compiled a complete demographic study of polygamous families in the US and failed too share it with the rest of us? You say over and over again that it is simply your opinion that polygamy will be detrimental to women and children, why is it that you have that opinion? If the practice is no longer ostracized by society how will that harm the women and children? The only thing causing any harm is the unconstitutional bigamy laws that drove polygamy underground in the first place.

  59. Elaine,

    It appears you also like to insult the intelligence of someone like me who may have a different opinion from yours.

    Scarecrow may have made a few incorrect assumptions in his post, but it wasn’t mean spirited.

    I never said that ALL polygamous families abused children or forced young girls into marriage.

    You certainly seem to be implying that it is “typical”:

    “Would you call those families typical? I guess our viewpoints of such polygamous families are quite different.”

    Why not respond substantively, rather than quibble that Scarecrow attributed the word “all” to you, rather than merely having child abuse be “typical”.

    I’m curious whether you feel that way based just on the fundamentalist practice of polygamy, or are you suggesting that it is in the nature of the polygamous relationship itself?

  60. Scarecrow,

    The bigamy laws are clearly and obviously unconstitutional and will eventually be overturned.

    I definitely wouldn’t go that far. I think there’s an excellent argument to be made that cohabitation with multiple people is legal under the logic of Lawrence, but there’s not really a strong argument that the government has to recognize polygamous marriages. If the S.Ct. ever forced the recognition of gay marriage, that would likely establish the precedent to argue for polygamy though.

  61. “Scarecrow,

    Tone down the hostility.”

    Well I guess that is one way to avoid answering the questions…I was being nice…you haven’t seen me get hostile… : )

  62. Scarecrow,

    Let’s not. This is a pretty civil blog.

    I do think the argument between you two is a little indicative of polygamy’s status in American society though — about what other lifestyle could you claim that child abuse is common, and have your angry response be lowering the tone of the argument?

  63. Scarecrow,

    Oh, I’m so scared! You can insult me all you want and try to intimidate me. I find it rather amusing. I’d suggest you relax. Don’t go getting your knickers in a knot!

  64. It is important to understand the attitude of those who established the bigamy laws and their intent…it was hardly for the purpose of anything they actually had jurisdiction to do…to once again quote the article by Jonathan Turley in 2004:

    “However, in its 1878 opinion in Reynolds vs. United States, the court refused to recognize polygamy as a legitimate religious practice, dismissing it in racist and anti-Mormon terms as “almost exclusively a feature of the life of Asiatic and African people.” In later decisions, the court declared polygamy to be “a blot on our civilization” and compared it to human sacrifice and “a return to barbarism.” Most tellingly, the court found that the practice is “contrary to the spirit of Christianity and of the civilization which Christianity has produced in the Western World.”

    Contrary to the court’s statements, the practice of polygamy is actually one of the common threads between Christians, Jews and Muslims.”

    Those statements may have been “Constitutional” then, but I hardly think it will stand up to scrutiny today.

  65. James…not to worry…I guess the smiley face was intimidating…but yes there are strong feelings on both sides, and both sides have legitimate arguments. One side sees the abuse that takes place and becomes angry about it. I don’t blame them, I agree with those feelings. But that is where it should stop. When individuals attribute the crimes of individuals onto groups then there is a serious problem that has to be confronted, and sometimes it takes a firm stand to get their attention. My intention is to make people like that think twice (if they actually go to the trouble to think at all) before making such statements.

  66. Scarecrow,

    There are two religion clauses in the First Amendment, Free Exercise and No Establishment. Banning polygamy is not an establishment violation. In analyzing whether it is a free exercise violation, the court looks at whether the law singles out a religious practice (e.g. animal sacrifice) or is neutral towards religion (e.g. butchering animals). Banning polygamy is neutral towards religion, because it affects everyone, regardless of their motivation for wanting to marry multiple partners (i.e. it doesn’t say “Mormans cannot marry more than one spouse”). Because of that, the law just has to meet rational basis review, which it likely does. (Look up Employment Division v. Smith; or the Free Exercise Clause and “neutral law of general applicability”)

    I think your better argument would be that there is a fundamental right to marriage. I don’t know that law off the top of my head — I’d start by looking up briefs on gay marriage. Hmmm, there was a district court judge out in California recently who I remember writing a good opinion on the subject — that might be a place to start.

  67. James,

    “Scarecrow may have made a few incorrect assumptions in his post, but it wasn’t mean spirited.”

    I’d say he/she went beyond that. I’ve been involved in a number of discussions at this blog. There have been times when people who disagreed with me started with snide remarks insulting my intelligence. Then–as the discussions got more intense–they even addressed me in vulgar terms.

    Maybe you didn’t see any insults in any of Scarecrow’s comments–but I did. I was just letting him/her know I was fully aware of what he/she was doing. I DO like people to keep a civil tongue–and to not personally attack people who have differences of opinion.

  68. Elaine,

    Rereading it, I guess I can see what you mean. If he’d replaced every instance of “you” with “people” in his last paragraph, I’d have agreed with him whole-heartedly.

  69. James,

    Scarecrow implied that I’m ignorant…and said that I was unable or unwilling to understand the subject of polygamy…and that I only rely on TV for news and information…and that I should look beyond my TV set. I consider all that an insult to my intelligence.

  70. Elaine,

    Right, he was wrong. But I think it was a combination of sloppy writing and a poor assumption. I read it as meaning “most people who take your position”, rather than anything personal — how could it be from a stranger on the internet? But I can see why you are unhappy about it.

    Maybe that’s just me being generous to him and projecting my own, nicer version of his argument though. (We’re always a little more blind to the failings of those who agree with us and quick to point them out about those who disagree with us.) I’d be happier if he apologized — I’m still interested in the subject of polygamy.

  71. Elaine M.
    1, October 8, 2010 at 10:16 pm
    Swarthmoremom,

    What is it about you and me? Are we insult magnets?

    ********************

    Swarthmore mom
    1, October 8, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Elaine I guess “they” don’t like the way we think. We are too uppity and we don’t know our place.

    *************************

    Elaine M.
    1, October 8, 2010 at 10:23 pm
    Swarthmore mom,

    Too uppity and outspoken for our gender to be sure!

    *************************

    I am, honest to god, ROFLOL

    Poor Scarecrow was just trying to point out, and I quote: “a serious problem that has to be confronted, and sometimes it takes a firm stand to get their attention. My intention is to make people like that think twice (if they actually go to the trouble to think at all) before making such statements.”

    How could any rational, clear thinking female take any of that as insulting?

    ROFLOL!

    Elaine & SwM … anyone getting a sense of deja vu?

  72. Blouise,

    Do you think Scarecrow has ever been a married woman? Do you suppose Scarecrow knows what it’s like to be a wife?

    Poor Scarecrow’s just a sloppy writer. That’s all!

    I do have to wonder why it’s the women who are the subjects of insults when some males have also expressed negative opinions about polygamy, including Professor Turley–who wrote the following in the USA Today article that Scarecrow was kind enough to provide a link to: “I personally detest polygamy.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/columnist/2004-10-03-turley_x.htm

  73. Elain, ignorance is a lack of knowledge…so yes, I find your statements demonstrating ignorance.

    Your opinion, and those like you with similar opinions are insulting to me in that I do have more than one wife. I have never raised a hand to one of my wives, and I have never beaten any of my children (although I have disciplined them). I have never used my wives to take advantage of any type of government assistance, and my wives are college educated as am I. I was born and raised Christian and consider myself to be a Reformed Calvinist if you must put me into a religious doctrine.

    I am in the middle of dealing with three different situations and last night was a short night, so to you James I apologize for my sloppy posts. To the insult magnets I can only say that they attract what they likely deserve.

    And since at least you James are still interested in the subject of polygamy I will try to ignore further ignorance by those who obtain their opinions without knowledge.

  74. Scarecrow,

    You have stated that you are a man. You therefore have no true understanding or knowledge about what it’s like to be a woman, a wife, a mother–as I do. I guess that makes you ignorant too.

  75. I am ignorant about many things…did I ever claim otherwise? You on the other hand seem to detest polygamy yet refuse to answer my questions. That in itself tell me pretty much everything I need to know about you and your opinions.

  76. Elaine,

    Some men and women are having a difficult time accepting and or adjusting to the changes taking place within our culture. The old ways are best for them because they know how to behave within that structure. Change calls for behavioral adjustments that aren’t clearly mapped out which heightens their sense of unease. Will I find a place for myself within the changed culture?

    If a polygamous marriage becomes lawful then that means a man may have more than 1 wife and a woman may have more than 1 husband. Should divorce take place, the property split and the child custody determinations should be very interesting for I don’t think the government can require prenups. (You will notice I make no mention of religion)

    Constitutionally I don’t believe the Federal Government should have any role in setting that law which is why I support the effort the Prof is putting forward. If States want to get into the whole thing including the property and custody issues then let ’em have at it.

    I would not function well within a polygamous marriage wherein I was one of several wives or the wife with several husbands. Too damn much work either way and my common sense tells me there would be too many “territorial” issues.

    My issue with the Mormons is that they only allowed one half of a polygamous arrangement … man with several wives … had they also permitted a wife to have several husbands then I might have been a little more sympathetic to their cause.

  77. Scarecrow,

    If you were one of several husbands who shared the same wife then perhaps you might be able to argue the point that a polygamous marriage is just.

    “To the insult magnets I can only say that they attract what they likely deserve.”(Scarecrow) … just can’t help yourself, can you?

    Here’s one for you … ask your wives to post … we’d love to get their opinions.

  78. Blouise I am curious…

    If polygamy became legal again and a certain religion, following their scriptures, believed it was a sin for a woman to have more than one husband, do you think it would be right for women within that religion to then demand to remain in that religion and also be able to have more than one husband?

    It is my understanding from the Bible that those outside the church will be judged by God, and those within the church are supposed to attend to matters within the church. Therefore I would argue that if any women within a church that follows the Bible wanted to have more than one husband they could do so, but would be required to leave the church…

    your thoughts?

  79. Scarecrow
    1, October 9, 2010 at 12:07 am
    I am ignorant about many things…did I ever claim otherwise? You on the other hand seem to detest polygamy yet refuse to answer my questions. That in itself tell me pretty much everything I need to know about you and your opinions.

    =========================================================

    Guess what Scarecrow … a grown women can decide not to answer a man’s question … we do it all the time … welcome to the real world.

  80. “Guess what Scarecrow … a grown women can decide not to answer a man’s question … we do it all the time … welcome to the real world.”

    Yes it is passive aggressive behavior…unfortunately I see it in all too many women these days…haven’t seen anything positive come from it…

  81. Scarecrow,

    I was hoping for something a little more reconciliatory; more like: “I’m sorry Elaine, I didn’t mean anything personal. It’s just that I get really frustrated with the mainstream attitude toward polygamy and I firmly believe that most people aren’t educated on the subject, and do get most of the knowledge about polygamy from the handful of horror stories that are all the mainstream media is interested in. I’m sorry if I incorrectly lumped you in with the majority, but you said some very hurtful things yourself, such as that child abuse and “holding women and children captive” (i.e. kidnapping) are ‘typical’ for polygamous marriages. That couldn’t be further from the truth — that only occurs in a very small number of highly publicized cases. Saying that any given man involved in polygamy is likely a child abuser is just as offensive as saying anyone who is gay is likely a pedophile, or something who is black is likely a criminal. It displays a very slanted, bigoted attitude.”

    I understand you wanting to stand by your principles, but there’s a way to do it that is more polite, less personal, but just as biting.

    Elaine,

    Ah, sanctimony. That will elevate the discussion.

  82. Scarecrow,

    There was one question that Elaine raised earlier that you might be able to help with: are there any groups other than splinters of the Mormon church and Islam that practice polygamy? In practice is it mostly a religious institution, or do secular people occasionally happen into it? Are there hippie polygamists? Do they interact with the religious polygamists at all?

  83. Scarecrow,

    Therefore I would argue that if any women within a church that follows the Bible wanted to have more than one husband they could do so, but would be required to leave the church…

    I don’t think that “leaving the church” has much impact for people who aren’t already enmeshed in that culture.

    Legally, you’re right — the Church can kick out anyone it wants.

  84. Scarecrow
    1, October 9, 2010 at 12:20 am
    Blouise I am curious…

    If polygamy became legal again and a certain religion, following their scriptures, believed it was a sin for a woman to have more than one husband, do you think it would be right for women within that religion to then demand to remain in that religion and also be able to have more than one husband?

    It is my understanding from the Bible that those outside the church will be judged by God, and those within the church are supposed to attend to matters within the church. Therefore I would argue that if any women within a church that follows the Bible wanted to have more than one husband they could do so, but would be required to leave the church…

    your thoughts?

    ===================================================

    Why in the world would I care? She can demand or not demand as she sees fit.

    If she wants to feel “special” by belonging to a church that allows a husband to have more than one wife … she’ll stay.

    If not, she can leave for there are thousands and thousands of churches out there, each one offering a way to feel “special” and maybe she’ll find one that has an area of “specialness” in which a wife may have more than one husband.

    Or she can decide that her desire to have more than one husband is a direct message from her god which makes her “special” enough to set up her own church.

    The choice is hers and if she believes she has to belong to a church in order to please the judgement of god … those are three ways she can accomplish said goal. She’ll be able to find passages in the Bible to support anything she desires … and no, I will not get into any discussion with you over passages in the Bible so don’t even bother to ask.

  85. “If you were one of several husbands who shared the same wife then perhaps you might be able to argue the point that a polygamous marriage is just.”

    I would make my arguments based on my religion, and it is just, that is if you understand it. Unfortunately most individuals are not interested in learning so I don’t waste the time. To those that sincerely desire to understand I make the time to at least provide them with a basic foundation to build on. I also understand that there are numerous individuals that practice polygamy that have other reasons for doing so or different religious beliefs than me.

    “To the insult magnets I can only say that they attract what they likely deserve.”(Scarecrow) … just can’t help yourself, can you?”

    : ) you expected me to miss that opportunity?

    “Here’s one for you … ask your wives to post … we’d love to get their opinions.”

    I shouldn’t even be wasting my time here like I am, but one of the things I am working on requires me to be at my computer and this blog actually provides a nice distraction at times. My wives have better things to do as well, and aren’t all that interested in this type of situation, but in the event that you meet one of them some day I’m sure you would have an interesting discussion with them.

  86. James,

    This is what I wrote in one of my previous comments:

    “There ARE polygamous families/communities in this country–as well as in Mexico and Canada–where children are abused, child brides are forced into marriages with much older men, boys are cast out when they reach a certain age, wives and children are literally held captive. Would you call those families typical?”

    I didn’t say THOSE families were typical. I asked Scarecrow if HE thought they were typical.

  87. “Guess what Scarecrow … a grown women can decide not to answer a man’s question … we do it all the time … welcome to the real world.”

    Yes it is passive aggressive behavior…unfortunately I see it in all too many women these days…haven’t seen anything positive come from it…

    ===========================================================

    Careful Scarecrow … you’re blowing your cover.

  88. Elaine,

    Except your next sentence was, “I guess our viewpoints of such polygamous families are quite different.”

    So it reads in full:

    “There ARE polygamous families/communities in this country–as well as in Mexico and Canada–where children are abused, child brides are forced into marriages with much older men, boys are cast out when they reach a certain age, wives and children are literally held captive. Would you call those families typical?”

    [Presumed answer, “No”]

    “I guess our viewpoints of such polygamous families are quite different.”

    [Implying you think the answer is “Yes”]

    But I will stop harping on it now.

  89. Careful Scarecrow … you’re blowing your cover.

    I kind of winced when I read his post. I was much happier with the sides of this debate about 3 hours ago.

  90. Blouise,

    You know how we passive aggressive women are. We’re usually docile and well-behaved–but when our husband’s won’t let us get near the computer, we can really get aggressive!

    ;)

    P.S. I think Scarecrow’s cover was blown some time ago.

  91. “Here’s one for you … ask your wives to post … we’d love to get their opinions.”(Blouise)

    I shouldn’t even be wasting my time here like I am, but one of the things I am working on requires me to be at my computer and this blog actually provides a nice distraction at times. My wives have better things to do as well, and aren’t all that interested in this type of situation, but in the event that you meet one of them some day I’m sure you would have an interesting discussion with them.(Scarecrow)

    Too bad … I’ve never met a woman who lives within a polygamous marriage … it would be an interesting conversation.

  92. Elaine M.
    1, October 9, 2010 at 12:48 am
    Blouise,

    You know how we passive aggressive women are. We’re usually docile and well-behaved–but when our husband’s won’t let us get near the computer, we can really get aggressive!

    P.S. I think Scarecrow’s cover was blown some time ago.

    =======================================================
    These boots are made for walkin’ …

    P.S. I caught your reference earlier. Think we should mention Buddha … to see what happens? :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  93. James,

    “I guess our viewpoints of such polygamous families are quite different.”

    [Implying you think the answer is “Yes”]

    *******

    I assumed he’d correct me if he thought my guess was wrong. And he did respond by saying: “These things have happened in certain religious groups, but they are hardly normative of the typical polygamous household. I do not condone any of those things either.”

    *******

    I winced way before you did.

  94. “Careful Scarecrow … you’re blowing your cover.”

    I know you don’t want to get into a religious discussion but it is an integral part of polygamy…at least the way it is to be practiced biblically. Passive aggressive behavior by a “Christian” wife is the primary cause of divorce in my opinion. It stems from a lack of understanding and improper teaching by the church. Most people that don’t understand submission assume it to be where one person is like a dictator, harsh and cruel. This is a typical attribute associated with polygamy…again because of the way some individuals have practiced it.

    Everyone I know is familiar with submission but usually does not even realize it because of the perspective they look at submission with. Submission is simply willingly subordinating ones will to another in a higher position. The best example is that of a President and vice-president of a corporation. The President makes the final decisions, but considers the input of the vice-president very carefully before making that decision.

    As a Christian I do not consider anyone better or worse than me. There are those that i like and those I dislike, but in God’s eyes we are all equal. God gave man headship over the family, and therefore in a Christian family the man is the “President”. He should pay close attention to the opinions and input provided by his vice-president or vice-presidents as the case may be, but ultimately he is the decision maker, and therefore also fully responsible for his decisions. This family structure actually works quite well when followed, just as it can in a corporation.

  95. Scarecrow,

    At this point you’re just reinforcing their negative beliefs about polygamy.

    Surely you can understand that from a the perspective of someone who does not share your faith the idea that a marriage needs a “president” is suspect, much less that the man is automatically elected. The fact that the man is a “good president” and listens to input from his wife/wives doesn’t eliminate the fundamental gender inequity you are establishing.

    Now, if you wanted to get more elaborate, and have a chief operating officer (of either gender) who is elected and can be removed by a board of directors (all the spouses), that might be an efficient way to administer the minutia of a marriage with multiple spouses.

    By the way, the quickest way I know to run a discussion into a brick wall is to say “God says I’m right.”

  96. James…I have never been nor wanted to be politically correct… it hurts my cause, but it is the way I am, and my friends actually appreciate my candid attitude because they have no problem understanding my position on things. Sorry if I make you cringe, but like I said, I am who I am, and I’m not afraid to be me.

    To answer your earlier question – you might consider the basic human trait of coming together to fight a common enemy. You will see polygamists today with considerably different beliefs coming together to fight for the recognition of polygamy and to have the bigamy laws overturned. I am very firm in my religious beliefs, and would tend to disassociate with others with beliefs contrary to mine. Unfortunately for us our beliefs are different from many. Most Christians believe the monogamy doctrine the churches teach so that eliminates most individuals that I could associate with, and many polygamists have religious doctrine that also conflicts with my understanding of the scriptures. So in a nutshell I am willing to pull together with whoever I need to to make things right, but beyond that there are few that understand polygamy as a Christian. There are a few in the area I live and numerous individuals across the country and around the world, but we are obviously a small minority. You might find this site interesting:

    http://www.biblicalfamilies.org/

    I have noticed that there are a lot more people interested in polygamy…and fewer and fewer that think it is detrimental to women and children. I can only attribute it to people overcoming the cult mentality and becoming educated about it. There seems to be an endless supply of single moms, and a polygamous family willing to let them become a part of their family and love them is a welcome situation many of them never realized they could be a part of.

  97. “At this point you’re just reinforcing their negative beliefs about polygamy.”

    They are going to believe what they want to believe regardless of what I say or do. They intentionally feign harm and insult to their person (as they did to you as well) in an attempt to put their adversary on the defensive. Then they join together to reinforce, comfort, and console one another. Then they pat each other on the back, all the while not realizing that all they have accomplished was to close their minds a little further to the truths they could have learned. I see this type of behavior from time to time and understand it for what it is. I watched them do this and even fed them a bit to see how far they would carry it. If they want to remain ignorant in their understanding of polygamy that is fine with me, I wouldn’t give women like that a second look if I was in the market for a wife.

  98. Now James, on to what I really came here for. You made a comment about animal sacrifice and it reminded me of an article I had read about a Florida town passing a law against animal sacrifice. The law was overturned in the Supreme Court because it was considered unconstitutional.

    http://www.ndsn.org/july93/animal.html

    I couldn’t help but think of the parallels to what the government did to the LDS church in the 1800s. The town passed the animal sacrifice law AFTER they became aware of the practice, and the SCOTUS overturned it. It seems to me that the exact same thing happened to the LDS in the 1800s. Obviously if the LDS didn’t exist at the time these laws against bigamy would never have even been considered! How is it then that the principles applied to the animal sacrifice ruling cannot be applied to the original bigamy laws and other rulings based upon those laws?

  99. I also just saw an article this morning on a court case about the free practice of religious expression:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39576836/ns/us_news/

    So we have people sacrificing animals and that is allowed as a protected free practice of religious worship, people wearing things otherwise banned in schools and that is the protected practice of free expression of religion, but a man cannot take more than one consenting adult woman as a wife freely exercising his practice of marriage according to his religious beliefs? From a free practice of religion view this concerns me considerably.

    Again to quote Mr. Turley: “The difference between a polygamist and the follower of an “alternative lifestyle” is often religion. In addition to protecting privacy, the Constitution is supposed to protect the free exercise of religion unless the religious practice injures a third party or causes some public danger.”

    The practice of biblical polygamy does not mandate or condone under age marriage, abuse, fraud, etc… so how is it that the government can freely determine how I practice marriage, worship, expression, etc… if any of it is within the accepted practice of my personal religious beliefs and doctrine and it is not injuring a third party or causing a public danger?

  100. You stated “In analyzing whether it is a free exercise violation, the court looks at whether the law singles out a religious practice … or is neutral towards religion … Banning polygamy is neutral towards religion, because it affects everyone, regardless of their motivation for wanting to marry multiple partners … Because of that, the law just has to meet rational basis review, which it likely does.”

    If that is the case then the government can censure anything it wants as long as it does it to everyone. The government could actually use this to dictate what doctrine can and cannot be taught by the church! If this is the case then there is no need for the Constitution, it isn’t protecting me anyway. To me this is as scary as it gets!

    Using the “rational basis review”, reading the scriptures could be censured. Any biblical statements or doctrine contrary to the views of the government could be universally suppressed at the whim of the government as long as they do it to everyone. Any biblical statements could be termed hate speech and censured, and forms of worship and expression could be made to be illegal. Can you not see how dangerous this is? The “rational basis review” MUST be tempered with as long as “it is not injuring a third party or causing a public danger”.

    Publicly reading a passage from the Bible stating that homosexuality is an abomination to God is not hate speech unless the passage is used to incite people to persecute homosexuals. That would injure a third party. It would be no different than reading a passage stating that adultery is a sin and inciting people against someone that had knowingly committed adultery. In either case it is the misuse of religion to persecute an individual or group.

    For an individual or group to study the scriptures they believe to be the Word of God and learn that it is not sinful for a man to have more than one (consenting adult) wife and therefore choose to practice polygamy should be a protected religious practice. The fact that it is illegal actually baffles me.

    So there you have the reasoning behind my statement: “The bigamy laws are clearly and obviously unconstitutional and will eventually be overturned.”

  101. Right, I have a vested interest so I want to get this out of the way, I AM a poly woman (therefore happy to oblige Bloiuse).

    I heard about this thread throgh Scarecrow but for the most part I don’t agree with a lot of what Scarecrow stands for or how he expresses himself and we are diametirically opposed in many ways. Where we DO come together is the strongly held belief that for SOME people who choose it, a Polygamous relationship can be enpowering, loving and fun.
    For some people who don’t choose it and it is forced on them, it can be devestating, hostile and oppressive.

    I know for certain that Scarecrow believes in the former, so I don’t think it’s fair for him to be attacked as if the two things ‘polygamy’ and ‘female oppression’ are synomymous and since you wanted a woman/wife/mothers point of view Elaine, you have it. I am not a fundamentalist, I did not grow up Poly and I believe very strongly that people should have whatever relationship configuration they choose and should not be criminalised for it, not to mention the fact that the criminalisation of Polygamy has allowed the ‘real’ crimes sexually and socially, have been allowed to flourish, which I think is something Scarecrow mentioned but he was on the whole, ignored and belittled. Also there are a lot of people who are secular, who come into Poly for other reasons and would like to have the freedom to live their lives openly.

    It is not all about Patriarchal Polygamists men oppressing their women. Think outside the box people.

  102. Careful Elaine you may just find yourself an unwitting recipient of Blouise’s condemnation as I was:

    “To the insult magnets I can only say that they attract what they likely deserve.”(Scarecrow) … just can’t help yourself, can you?

    Seems that James has a pretty good take on you as well…

    “Elaine,

    Ah, sanctimony. That will elevate the discussion.”

    It would be nice to actually see something from you that is constructive to the discussion at hand…but I’m not certain that you are capable of that, I hope to find out differently.

  103. Scarecrow,

    If that is the case then the government can censure anything it wants as long as it does it to everyone. The government could actually use this to dictate what doctrine can and cannot be taught by the church! If this is the case then there is no need for the Constitution, it isn’t protecting me anyway.

    The scary scenarios you propose are all specifically targeting religion (and several of them are creating establishment violations as well). However, the laws against polygamy are neutral with respect to religion. They say (in essence) “You cannot marry more than one person.” Your response is, “But my religion demands (or allows) me to have more than one wife! This is unfair persecution!”

    This is directly analogous to the law at issue in Employment Division v. Smith. In that case, the issue was religious use of peyote. The law said (in essence) “You cannot use peyote.” Practitioners of a religion said, “But my religion demands (or allows) me to use peyote! This is unfair persecution!” The Supreme Court disagreed, and concluded that because the law applied to everyone, regardless of why they wanted to use peyote, it was not a free exercise violation.

    In the animal sacrifice case (Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah), the city passed a law that banned animal sacrifice, and was intended to specifically target a Santaria church. Banning animal sacrifice targets a religious practice and is impermissible. Regulating how animals are slaughtered and butchered is a law of neutral application, and a religious sect doesn’t automatically get special treatment. Put another way, if the law cares why you are killing animals, it’s more likely to be a free exercise violation.

    You might try arguing that polygamy is an inherently religious practice (and so would fit into the Church of Lukami Babalu Aye framework), but I’d disagree (and I imagine the Supreme Court would as well).

    The government cannot tell churches what to teach because it would violate both the establishment and free exercise clauses.

  104. Scarecrow,

    “The use of this statute to prosecute the Browns would be in my view unconstitutional. It would also end a long-standing policy to confine prosecutions to those who abuse children or commit such crimes as fraud.” (Prof Turley)

  105. Scarecrow,
    ” … It would be nice to actually see something from you that is constructive to the discussion at hand…but I’m not certain that you are capable of that, I hope to find out differently.”

    =============================================================

    For goodness sake … that was a very instructive video … it was sooo tongue in cheek but, make no mistake … I do not at all agree with its point which was that men should be seen, but not heard!

    It was very subtlety done but I caught it ’cause I’m thinking outside the box!

  106. Thanks Blouise, I too red that statement.

    “It would also end a long-standing policy to confine prosecutions to those who abuse children or commit such crimes as fraud.”

    So the government can acknowledge that there is a law but then chose to develop a policy that circumvents that law based on their policy?

    For quite some time now I have thought this very thing was a strong argument for the decriminalization of bigamy. If there is a law and the authorities blatantly and publicly ignore that law it should be reviewed and then either modified or overturned.

  107. Blouise,

    Maybe it’s only the female mind that can truly understand and appreciate satire.

    ***

    “For goodness sake … that was a very instructive video … it was sooo tongue in cheek but, make no mistake … I do not at all agree with its point which was that men should be seen, but not heard!

    It was very subtlety done but I caught it ’cause I’m thinking outside the box!”

    LOL!

  108. “that was a very instructive video”

    OH…MY…GOD…there is no end to it……….

    It was riddled with sarcasm and not the least bit funny to me. It fed into the feminist view that men are controlling, arrogant, and ignorant, and that should a woman inject anything intelligent into a conversation the men would be insulted and react with outrage. Quite frankly it wouldn’t surprise me if a few of the women participating in this blog don’t see things exactly as that video portrayed them. Again it was nothing more than the drivel I have come to expect from certain individuals.

    I’m glad that your sense of humor allows you to enjoy such things, but I fail to see how it is constructive in any way to the discussion at hand. But it wasn’t unexpected to see you show up and encourage such things.

  109. Hummm, I watched that whole Harry Enfield series when it was aired, there are quite a few of them, he also did plenty of them based upon class rather than gender but I wonder if Americans will understand the satire of those ones!

    However, that is by the by. You asked for a woman (and a non fundamentalist, non Mormon, non Islamic, a feminist, raised by a feminist, university educated, reasonably attractive ‘if I do say so myself’ well travelled, never been sexually abused, don’t have any ‘daddy’ issues, sex positive, with no history of mental illness OMG!!! What could possibly go wrong???) and I think it is rather telling that you ignored my message.
    You prove your prejudice more than you prove your points. Mock Scarecrow if you really feel the need to belittle people to get your jollies but the longer you keep ignoring the fact that some people don’t fit into your little ‘they are brainwashed, oppressed, abused, submissive, religious, teen brides’ (nope, sorry, wasn’t one of those either) paradigm, the longer that it looks like you are entrenched in your beliefs quite unreasonably.

    So, here’s to some adult intercourse (heh heh)and perhaps less of the drumming up of Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse classics.
    (yes indeed, the writers of those little gems are men….shock, horror….men CAN do something right!!!)

  110. James, I fail to see how drug use and marriage can be put in the same category. If a substance is illegal to use it should be illegal for specific reasons…such as damaging an individual by using it, causing an individual to be unable to function, etc…

    I am calling into question the motives of the original bigamy laws. What harm is being caused if a man takes more than one wife if she is a consenting adult? How does a man taking an additional wife harm him, render him incapable of functioning, etc…? What is the actual purpose of the bigamy laws and what are they protecting us from? I think you will find that the only real purpose of these laws was to force individuals and religions to follow the Christian/Catholic/Roman doctrine of monogamy. As you know I also believe these laws when enacted were a blatant abuse of the Federal Government and the power given to it by the people.

    The fact of the matter is that the laws were put in place to persecute the LDS church. The ruling against the use of peyote and associating that with the bigamy laws is a stretch beyond my ability to comprehend.

  111. Scarecrow,

    I firmly believe in the legalization of gay marriage, polygamy for both men and women, prostitution for both men and women, and pot … also peyote. I believe in taxing prostitution, pot, peyote, and churches … all at the Local, State, and Federal level.

    If one’s religion prohibits any one or all of these things then, other than paying taxes, one doesn’t have to partake in gay marriage or polygamous marriage or prostitution or pot or peyote. One can even preach against such practices from the pulpit … one can not, however, use one’s religion to coerce a non-member into following said dictates.

    I must admit that the above views have not gained the unanimous support of those with whom I have shared them. People seem to want to pick and choose from the list I just gave. I have even been criticized and accused of possessing a “wild west” mentality. Imagine!

  112. Scarecrow,

    “I’m glad that your sense of humor allows you to enjoy such things, but I fail to see how it is constructive in any way to the discussion at hand. ”

    ========================================

    Of coarse you don’t think it’s constructive … that’s what makes it so funny!

    I have also answered you seriously …

    It’s a mix, darlin’ …

  113. Isabella,

    I didn’t ignore you … I responded to your outside the box quip … geeze!

    “So, here’s to some adult intercourse (heh heh)” … careful kiddo, you’re breaking cover …

  114. Whatever Blouise…enjoy…

    Anyway…Blouise I tend to agree with you but think that any arrangement between consenting adults should simply be recorded as a civil contract by the State. I do not see the necessity of the state to regulate marriage in any form. Marriage was and is a religious practice that never required the state to interfere. To me the states being involved in marriage is an intrusion into the religious practices of individuals. The public services offered by the state can easily be accomplished without such regulation.

    I have to disagree with you on taxation or religious organizations. This would be establishing law and a clear violation of the first amendment:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  115. “Marriage was and is a religious practice that never required the state to interfere.” (Scarecrow)

    I was raised Congregationalist … marriage was never a sacrament and was always considered a “civil union” … see? Your meaning of religion and mine are immediately at odds which is why you should be left alone to practice yours and me, mine. The state has a role to play in that marriage is a contract involving property, etc. … all that bothersome legal stuff which requires a marriage license.

    I really do have to get moving … bye

  116. “all that bothersome legal stuff which requires a marriage license.” can easily be accomplished through civil contracts, licensing should be left for dogs and cats…

  117. ” licensing should be left for dogs and cats…” … why? don’t they deserve to run free?

    This is getting silly … a fond farewell … I’m going to miss the opening act …

  118. “why? don’t they deserve to run free?”

    No they don’t, they wreak havoc. I should have also included motorized vehicles.

    A license for your wife…I can see billions of people hysterically laughing from their graves… : )

  119. I don’t believe that the government should have its hands in deciding who can marry who but with that being said I feel there are some obvious problems with polygamy.

    Most have mentioned the obvious issues with polygamy concerning the way that women in these relationships are treated. I have to agree with Mike in that a man with four wives can hardly be a good husband to all four. But if a woman decides to put herself in that position than that is up to her.

    I think a larger issue though is when children are raised in such situations. A man can not be both a father and a husband to four wives and numerous children without neglecting some if not all of them. I don’t think that polygamy is fair to the children, who do not have a choice, in these relationships which is why I have some real issues with polygamy.

  120. Blouise,

    I haven’t patronised you, I would appreciate the same respect, especially considering there is a very healthy chance that I am not any younger than you are. Considering the only thing you know about me was that I was old enough to remember Harry Enfield when he was funny, it is safe to assume that ‘I iz an old lady!’

    However, I am not so old that I am entrenched in my views, taking one ‘quip’ (cute) to respond to in the body of one (now three) substantial posts is a little petty and far more infantile than I have been by using yoof lingo. On the whole I don’t usually write long responses to threads like this because frankly, whatever you say has very little effect on my life or peace of mind but I answered a serious request from you (to hear from a poly woman) with a serious response, I am not so ego driven that I demand any respect for that but I do want to know whether you are serious about hearing from someone in this lifestyle or don’t I count because I don’t fit the mould?

  121. Hi Chris…

    “the way that women in these relationships are treated”

    is strictly the result of the attitude and behavior of the husband, and not necessarily indicative of polygamous marriages in general. Women are often mistreated in monogamous marriages. It is a general misconception that leads to the conclusion that a woman would automatically be mistreated in a polygamous marriage.

    “I don’t think that polygamy is fair to the children”

    I grew up in a primarily Polish Catholic area and there were two families on the next block that had 19 and 23 children. It seems to me that if a family of 19 or 23 children had more than one mother to help look after them and keep the home in order that would have been a considerable benefit to them. I was one of four in my family, and my father and mother both worked full time with odd schedules, it is likely the the kids of the larger families on the next block actually got to spend more time with their parents than I did.

  122. Chris, I appreciate what you are saying but the ‘what about the children’ excuse has been used for years against anyone having a family lifestyle that people do not agree with including mothers working outside the homes, interracial relationships, divorce and gay parenting. These children are healthy and happy and you just have to accept that you might not like it but whether you think something is ‘fair’ or not to children in poly homes (as long as they are not being abused/neglected)than it really isn’t any of your concern.

  123. Isabella,

    You wrote to Blouise: “(yes indeed, the writers of those little gems are men….shock, horror….men CAN do something right!!!)”

    Are you assuming Blouise is a “man hater” because she thought the video I posted was funny? Are you assuming that I am? Why is that?

    *****

    FYI: Here are a few comments I wrote earlier in this discussion–

    “I agree that consenting adults should have the right to do as they please as long as no one is getting hurt.”

    “I agree with you. There are many women who are subjugated/abused by men in monogamous marriages.

    “I wasn’t speaking to the legality/illegality of polygamy. I don’t think it would benefit anyone if Mr. Brown is found guilty and imprisoned. If he were abusing his wives and children–that would be another matter.”

    *****

    I don’t think Mr. Brown should be put in prison. I’m concerned about the welfare of his children. I think putting their father in prison would work against the best interests of his children.

  124. Scarecrow,

    I didn’t mean that being in a polygamous marriage meant that they were mistreated, just that I find it hard to believe that a man could fulfill all the requirements of being a good husband to multiple women at the same time. But like I said, if adults decide to put themselves in such situations, then it is up to them.

  125. “I find it hard to believe that a man could fulfill all the requirements of being a good husband to multiple women at the same time.”

    This is a common perspective…I was not criticizing your opinions, only pointing out that the generalizations do not necessarily apply.

    Something most people do not consider is that when a man chooses to live this form of marriage he most certainly must learn to love more deeply, give sacrificially (of his time and resources), and (in the likely event that he has religious beliefs) trust the Lord entirely.

  126. Isabella,

    Ive never even seen the show. Nor would I base my opinions on what happens to one family. I do not know any poly families, so I guess I am assuming some things here. I just find it hard to believe that a man who has large numbers of children, whether it be with one woman or multiple women, can be a good father to all of them.

  127. Scarecrow,

    A man who decides to live this kind of lifestyle must do all of those things that you said in order to be a good husband and father. I believe it is easier said than done and being a husband myself do not believe that somehow these men are special, or that their marriages take less work. There are only 24 hours in a day, and one person can only do so much, so with so many things pulling in so many directions, I find it hard to believe that everyone is happy at the end of the day. But like I said if adults want to put themselves in such situations then that is up to them. My only concern is the children in these families.

  128. @ Elaine,

    >>Are you assuming Blouise is a “man hater” because she thought the video I posted was funny? Are you assuming that I am? Why is that?

    I don’t presume anyone is a man hater Elaine, I think you’d find I have a lot less tolerance for most men than the general public.
    And again….trying to get you onto the subject at hand rather than diverted to peripheral subjects. Many Poly women don’t WANT to have a husband to themselves full time, they don’t want to be everything to one person. One of the reasons why I wanted to live this way is the fact that no matter how much I love someone I am actually quite happy with my ‘me’ time without feeling guilty for neglecting my SO. I want to be able to go off for a while and be confident that not everything will fall apart if I do. Bit selfish? Yeah but so what? Who says that I should have to be the ‘all’ to one person? Don’t we have the right to have the family structures we want rather than what society has deemed the ‘one true way’?

    As fascinating as men are (bless em) I really would NOT like to live with one on my tod, because I prefer the company of women, I prefer talking to women, I have more in common with women, I like men too but in a single family home with only a man for company? Blimey I would be bored to tears…..

    @ Chris

    >>it hard to believe that a man could fulfill all the requirements of being a good husband to multiple women at the same time.

    Isn’t that subjective? If they all feel that their husband is a good one, than certainly their husband is a good one and perhaps the problem exists when your definition of what consitutes a ‘good husband’ is projected onto others?

  129. “This may seem a little extreme…but after all he did manage to name every one of them and even built schools to educate them…”

    I would hope that he would name and tend to the education of the children that he fathered. But this doesn’t mean that he was a good father. In fact I would be willing to bet that he barely knew many of them.

  130. Chris…agreed…there are only 24 hours in anyone’s day. Therefore a man choosing to have more than one wife will need to spend his time with his wives and children doing things together. As needed one on one time can be made available when requested. My oldest daughter often requested a little more time and I gave it to her whenever possible, I too enjoy those times. As a husband and father I know exactly what you are talking about…

  131. Isabella,

    “And again….trying to get you onto the subject at hand rather than diverted to peripheral subjects.”

    Did you read all of my comments to you? I thought I DID address the subject at hand.

    I’ll post them here again for your convenience:

    Isabella,

    FYI: Here are a few comments I wrote earlier in this discussion–

    “I agree that consenting adults should have the right to do as they please as long as no one is getting hurt.”

    “I agree with you. There are many women who are subjugated/abused by men in monogamous marriages.

    “I wasn’t speaking to the legality/illegality of polygamy. I don’t think it would benefit anyone if Mr. Brown is found guilty and imprisoned. If he were abusing his wives and children–that would be another matter.”

    *****

    I don’t think Mr. Brown should be put in prison. I’m concerned about the welfare of his children. I think putting their father in prison would work against the best interests of his children.

  132. Isabella,

    You are 100% correct. If a women feels that she has a good husband than that is all that matters. That is why I don’t have a problem with adults who want to have more than one spouse.

    Being a good father is less subjective though. So I find it hard to believe that men in these relationships can have multiple wives and multiple children without some of the children being neglected.

  133. I think one of the problems is a very modern idea of parenthood also, which is a little pressurising, now you not only have to be everything to your partner but everything to your kids (because you are so damned guilty that they are spending more time in childcare than with you) plus the very best employee EVAH!!!!

    Is there any time just to be yourself and NOT someones wife and mother? Or is living supposed to stop because little Tarquin needs some attention?

    Strewth….

  134. Scarecrow,

    Having at one time been a child myself, I’m glad that I didn’t have to request one on one time from either of my parents. I though that’s what made them good parents, they pretty much knew when I needed anything.

  135. @ Elaine,

    Wow…so you did! I suppose I was distracted by all your pointless sarcasm…won’t happen again, do forgive me.

    @ Chris

    What do you think consitutes neglect? Again, if there are one or two women around the home full time and one or two full time workers, picking up on little Tarquin again, what makes you think that he won’t get what he needs? Does Dad need to do this especially? Shall we outlaw single mothers because their children don’t have a man around at all…go around telling ‘those’ women their children ARE neglected purely on the basis of not having a father around at ALL (regardless of how well they are taken care of) and see how far that would get you.

    In other words, I don’t see how ‘not seeing much of daddy = neglect’ though if you are used to a certain amount of time with your father and then you lose that time than you might miss him, but what do you say to families who have fathers in the military/oil rigs/truckers?

  136. Isabella,

    You wrote: “One of the reasons why I wanted to live this way is the fact that no matter how much I love someone I am actually quite happy with my ‘me’ time without feeling guilty for neglecting my SO. I want to be able to go off for a while and be confident that not everything will fall apart if I do.”

    *****
    I’ve been married to one man for more than forty years. I have always had plenty of “me” time. My husband never makes me feel guilty if I go off by myself to conferences…or go out with friends…or spend time reading or writing or at the computer…or get involved with activities or with people other than him. He’s a man who is not possessive…who knows his way around a kitchen…who doesn’t think that doing laundry is “women’s work.” Things don’t fall apart when I’m away for a few days.

    My husband gets his own time too. I think it’s important for husbands and wives to give each other some space and time to themselves. One doesn’t have to live in a polygamous marriage to enjoy the kind of life you say you want. One just has to marriage the right individual.

  137. Chris…notice I said “a little more time”. Some children need more time than others, it is totally dependent on the individual child’s needs. Whenever my oldest daughter wanted more time than I was giving her she simply let me know and I made the time to be with her as she wanted. I never was very good at reading minds so I always try to communicate effectively to ensure that everyone knows they can come to me at any time for anything, and I will do my best to provide what they need.

  138. @ Chris

    Again, what you think of as ‘responsibilities’ of being a parent have been culturally defined and very, very recently! Many people, twenty odd years ago would have said the very same thing to any woman who decided to go out to work whilst she still had children at home. Go back 50 years and many people would have said the same to a woman who had a husband at home (no kids, just a husband).

    This is a cultural change Chris, your idea of parental responsibility is not the same as mine or indeed many people who have not had the same sort of cultural upbringing as you have had.

    Can’t you see that?

  139. Elaine…this is a sincere question…

    Have you ever wondered how much of his “me time” he might be or has spent with another woman or women?

    A man in a polygamous marriage has no desire or need to “cheat” on his wife; while it is very common for monogamous men to do so, which is usually detrimental to their marriage.

  140. @ Elaine,

    I think you have a very typical monogamous idealised mindset… of ‘the right person’ the right person will fit me like a glove and I would get everything I need from them.

    You know, I think it is great that you have a happy 40 year marriage but I don’t want the same thing you have, it wouldn’t be enough for me, though I appreciate that it suits you. However, no matter how much space I could have with one man I would always feel that something else was missing. Yes the husband has to be right for you in ANY relationship structure but that still doesn’t mean that he would be all that you want and need.

    Put it this way. If you married your husband and he is everything you want and you wanted children but he didn’t. Do you think you should be satisfied because you have the perfect for you husband or would you feel the loss of not having children?

    Or visaversa, he wanted kids and you don’t, do you think he should be satisfied with your lives because it is perfect?

    Having one thing you want doesn’t erase the other things you want out of life, having an excellent top man, doesn’t mean that you don’t want to have an excellent career either.

    No, the right answer isn’t ‘If he is perfect for you, he would want what you want’…..that is just romantic fantasy nonsense.

    I am not that soppy….

  141. Isabella,

    I understand that we have different cultural upbringings and different opinions. I’m not trying to change yours nor are you going to change mine. Just saying that from my point of view, and the way I was raised, I don’t think that this is the best way to raise children. And you have your opinion on the best way to raise children, and we disagree. Is that OK? I don’t think that polygamy should be illegal, I just think that in most cases it is not the ideal situation for children.

  142. @ Chris

    I understand that you are trying to be mangnanimous, I appreciate that I really do because people with the minority views can often be overwhelmed and bullied by the majority. So I don’t want you to think I am smacking aside your proffered hand.

    The only reason why I have continued with this for so long is that I think there is a great deal of knee jerk reactions to this particular issue, even amongst people who have generally open minds and liberal views about almost every other issue. It is a hobit I find curious, some of it extending from very strong romantic ideals about sexual monogamy and exclusivity, some are to do with a dislike of any lifestyle that seems to benefit one gender over the other (and if I had a penny for everytime I read something along the lines of “I wouldn’t mind so much if the women could have multiple husbands” Well duh…that is Polygamy also) and sometimes it is a religious conviction against anything that deviates from one man, one woman.

    Also, and I am not accusing you, but a heck of a lot of people have decried Polygamists for having lots of children as if they have to and will do…of course the Browns have lots of kids but that isn’t just one woman breeding 16 children, that is spread over four women, I am more concerned (as Scarecrow has said) of the mono families where the women are having one child after another for 20 years until her body can’t take it, plus raising them…what a nightmare.

    So, what I mean to say is, examine where the ick factor comes from in your mind and decide whether it is an issue that is purely polygamist but perhaps having to do more with a) having overly large families especially if you can’t afford it b) living with secrecy c) being teased for being from a poly home.

    And just in case you thought I was biased. No, I don’t have loads of kids, nor would I want loads either, the quiverful idea has me crossing my legs and I had no intention-wot so evah- of being in any other family but a purely egalitarian one. Even the youngest child gets their say. (gosh darnit!!!)

  143. ‘Mangnanimous’???

    Yikes…that feels suspiciously like a Freudian slip….perhaps I should fetch a prairie dress after all????

    *walks away, head bowed, five steps behind*

    ;o))

  144. scarecrow3710,

    I’m giving you a sincere answer.

    “Have you ever wondered how much of his “me time” he might be or has spent with another woman or women?”

    No. I trust my husband and he trusts me.

    *****
    “A man in a polygamous marriage has no desire or need to “cheat” on his wife; while it is very common for monogamous men to do so, which is usually detrimental to their marriage.”

    Both my husband and I understand human nature. Over the years, we have both found members of the opposite sex attractive. But we have a great marriage and a very special friendship. We have a beautiful daughter and we love our “in-laws.” We have a mutual respect for each other. We wouldn’t want to do anything that would jeopardize the wonderful life we have together.

    I also think that my husband might be more likely to cheat if I were possessive and didn’t let him have his space.

    Our way of life may be hard for you to appreciate–just as both my husband and I find your way of life hard to appreciate.

    BTW, my husband is having some of his “me time” this weekend. He went hiking in the White Mountains with some old friends–all males.

  145. Elaine Last night I told my husband I as on a blog discussing polygamy with a polygamist. He looked at me like I was crazy, but he didn’t say anything. I guess he was giving me space. lol

  146. (Big Post — I’m catching up on several hours I missed)

    Scarecrow,

    The ruling against the use of peyote and associating that with the bigamy laws is a stretch beyond my ability to comprehend.

    They are both laws that apply to everyone equally and are not targeted at a particular religion, even if they impact that religion more heavily than others.

    I already suggested that a more favorable line of argument about polygamy would be that there is a fundamental right to marry — I think that’s what you were reacting to in your reaction to the comparison to peyote?

    Morally and as a matter of public policy, I agree with you. I’m just trying to giving you a summary of the law on the issue (this is a legal blog, after all). I will reiterate that I think the analysis is far more favorable for cohabitation, than forcing the government to recognize polygamous marriages.

    I have to disagree with you on taxation or religious organizations. This would be establishing law and a clear violation of the first amendment:

    The Establishment Clause means that the government can’t make laws tending to establish an official religion; not that they can make no laws affecting churches.

    Arguably taxing all religious organizations is less of an entanglement than granting them tax exempt status so long as they follow certain rules

    Chris,

    re: one husband and multiple wives/children

    I think you’re assuming that the father/husband has to have the same relationship with multiple women that a monogamous husband has with his single wife. I think you’re right; that wouldn’t work. However, having the other wives provide emotional support and help to each other likely creates a different, complex relationship — not just a pale shadow of a monogamous marriage repeated multiple times.

    I think it’s also problematic that you’re assuming that children need to be neglected because a man has more than one wife. Having more than two parents could very well mean a child gets more attention, even if it isn’t always from the child’s father.

    If a monogamous family has both parents working, versus a polygamous family with two parents working and one at home, whose children get more parental attention?

    Isabella,

    Shall we outlaw single mothers because their children don’t have a man around at all…go around telling ‘those’ women their children ARE neglected purely on the basis of not having a father around at ALL (regardless of how well they are taken care of) and see how far that would get you.

    Excellent point.

  147. “Our way of life may be hard for you to appreciate–just as both my husband and I find your way of life hard to appreciate. ”

    Not at all…I grew up believing what I had been taught by society and the church, in fact I was married to my first wife for some time before considering taking an additional wife.

    I did not even consider polygamy until I was challenged by a Muslim gentleman. He stated “Why is it that the Christian church condemns a man for having more than one wife when their scriptures do not?” I went straight to my Bible to prove him wrong only to eventually find that what I had been taught my entire life was a lie.

    Since I took it upon myself to study the Bible on numerous topics in depth I have become aware of many things that I find most churches and society in general espousing to be truth to be anything but.

    What my efforts have caused me to become more aware of is peoples ignorance due to their lack of effort to seek the truth, government intrusion into the religious practice of marriage, and errant and false church doctrine.

  148. @swarthmore mom,

    Are you being purposely obtuse? Have you seen this show at all?

    His first wife is Meri, she was raised as a Polygamist and that is the type of marriage she wanted, Kody converted to marry her so he could live the kind of life SHE wanted. Janelle was the second wife and she was friends with them for a few years before they were married, she knew what she was getting. Christine was raised Poly also and wanted a poly relationship before she met Kody and Robyn was also raised in a Poly household and married MONO…she has now decided to marry a poly man…how you can claim to have any credibility making totally stupid statements (excuse me for getting personal but that was just plain stupid) like that?

    The mind boggles…

  149. Isabella,

    You wrote: “I think you have a very typical monogamous idealised mindset.”

    I have what comes as close to an ideal marriage as one can have.

    BTW, I didn’t have a “marriage partner mindset” when I started dating my husband. I was fifteen. I just thought he was cute and a really nice guy. I didn’t have a clue we’d end up marrying each other.

    Funny how a “poly” woman feels it’s okay to criticize a “mono” woman and her lifestyle–but doesn’t think that it’s okay if a “mono” woman criticizes a “poly” woman’s lifestyle.

    You provided me with your reasons for being involved in a polygamous family. I responded with proof that one can enjoy the same kind of life in a monogamous marriage. You apparently didn’t like my response. Now you feel you have to belittle my mindset…my romantic fantasy nonsense. It isn’t a romantic fantasy. It’s MY reality! Sounds like you can’t handle the truth! I think you may be jealous.

    You may not be “soppy”–but you sure did blather on about “whatifs” that have nothing to do with my life experience.

  150. Hey James! Welcome back.

    Considering all the recent developments it seems likely that the bigamy laws will be overturned hopefully sooner than later. I’m curious as to what your take is on the potential path this will follow.

    I see a similar path to that of the gay marriage progress. While I realize it is a separate and distinct issue, many consider them “linked” due to the “alternate form of marriage” agenda they both have.

    Sodomy laws were ruled unconstitutional…I believe the same fate awaits the bigamy laws in the very near future.

    Gay marriage eventually became legal in certain areas…polygamous marriages will be recognized (many think Iowa will be the first state to do so – I need to start looking for property there… : ) ).

  151. scarecrow3710,

    I’d say you find it difficult appreciating the fact that there are monogamous men who don’t feel the need to cheat.

    You see “ignorance” where you find people who disagree with you. YOUR truth isn’t everyone else’s truth.

  152. Elaine Now we have been attacked by a so called “poly” woman that might be a poly man or might not be either. A philanderer is a philanderer “poly” or not.

  153. @ Elaine

    Wow Elaine, talk about taking things a bit personally….

    I didn’t insult your lifestyle, I said that it was good for you, but I do feel that the ‘one twue soul mate’ thing IS romantic fluff….to me…though my aunt has been married nearly that long herself, my grandparents have been together longer, I have seen many happy ‘perfect’ married mono relationships.

    I totally accept your reality, I just don’t think it invalidates my points or fulfills all of my needs in a relationship. It certainly isn’t the kind of life I want, no matter how happy you are it simply ISN’T what I want or need. Can you accept that as different people we have different needs or do you think you can create a one size fits all marriage template?

  154. Isabella I won’t watch the show. I don’t watch reality TV at all. Didn’t even watch Ann Nicole Smith’s reality show.lol

  155. I think that Robyn Sullivan (Kody’s fourth wife) is a perfect example of why polygamy works. She was a single mother raising a family on her own. How many single monogamous men want to marry a woman with a number of children? I’ll tell you…very very few. Instead monogamous men want to produce and raise their own offspring, not raise those produced by other men. Congratulations Kody and Robyn!

  156. @ Swarthmore mom

    You can be a trucker named Frank for all I know, on the internet no one knows you are a dog. (however, if you want proof you can email me and I will offer up my telephone number, speak to my whole household if you wish, it is no skin off my nose).

    I insulted you because you deserved it, can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen or are you going to continue to play those adolescent ‘let’s gang up on the new girl, who’s with me?’ BS?

    I figure if you need your friends to back you up to help you feel better about yourself, than you should go back to the playground, leave the conversation to the adults.

  157. Elaine I would not like to take over for you. I have to make dinner now also. Poly’s are not my thing so maybe they can talk to each other.

  158. @ Elaine,

    I DID read carefully….I know what I wrote….

    There there dearest, perhaps you should get to working that dinner, after all you don’t have a partner spare to do it for you!

  159. Oh dear….all those liberated mono wives have to go away and make dinner…..gosh, what is a poor, oppressed Poly woman with loads of time on her hands meant to do now???

    Oh I know….I can do whatever I like……

    Och, it is a hard life, so it is….

  160. Actually Scarecrow, my best friend met the man who would become her second husband less than a year after her third child was born.

    Mono, poly, doesn’t matter, if you love someone and they want to share your life with you, well that is what counts.

  161. Isabella…I think you already recognize their tactics…they learned them in the 6th grade…I posted this to James much earlier and it seems that they have now turned their adolescent tactics in your direction…

    “They are going to believe what they want to believe regardless of what I say or do. They intentionally feign harm and insult to their person (as they did to you as well) in an attempt to put their adversary on the defensive. Then they join together to reinforce, comfort, and console one another. Then they pat each other on the back, all the while not realizing that all they have accomplished was to close their minds a little further to the truths they could have learned. I see this type of behavior from time to time and understand it for what it is. I watched them do this and even fed them a bit to see how far they would carry it. If they want to remain ignorant in their understanding of polygamy that is fine with me, I wouldn’t give women like that a second look if I was in the market for a wife.”

    On the other hand I think you have handled yourself very well…

  162. Isabella…I agree…but that is the exception not the rule…most men have the attitude that a woman is “used goods” if she has children, although I don’t subscribe to that philosophy myself.

  163. Thank you James and Scarecrow for your generous words.

    Yes I am a mouthy cow but I do make sense sometimes.

    :o)

  164. @ Scarecrow

    That is pretty ghastly…..yuck, I hate the dating ‘scene’ and the value judgement put on women as if they are commodities!

    Grrr, grrr, grrr

    *rant over*

  165. Trying again, as my typing leaves something to be desired…

    Professor Turley is a brilliant and accomplished attorney. The Browns are lucky to have him on board as lead counsel….

  166. Isabella although we do bump heads from time to time I think that is what allows us to grow (stretch) as individuals…Iron sharpens iron…mouthy cow? hardly. Intelligent outspoken woman…absolutely, and one I respect very much…

  167. Scarecrow,

    I see a similar path to that of the gay marriage progress. While I realize it is a separate and distinct issue, many consider them “linked” due to the “alternate form of marriage” agenda they both have.

    I think it depends on how gay marriage is legalized. A judicial decision legalizing gay marriage would likely apply just as powerfully to adult polygamy. However, if it’s accomplished by legislation before a judicial opinion happens, it might be a long long time until polygamy is recognized.

  168. @ James

    So when the bigamy laws are overturned what would then lead to the legal recognition of polygamy? Would a legally married individual then have to apply for a marriage license for an additional spouse? They would be turned down. Then they would have to file suit against the state?

  169. Scarecrow,

    Yeah, it could be brought up like that. Presumably the first step is to eliminate the criminal penalties for cohabitation. After that, people would be free to bring such a lawsuit without fear of opening themselves up to prosecution (as seems to have happened to the Browns with their TV show).

  170. For anyone interested, the TV show is going to have a marathon on TLC next Sunday (a week from tomorrow). I set up the pilot episode to record because I’m curious after this discussion.

  171. scarecrow3710
    1, October 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm
    Elaine…this is a sincere question…

    Have you ever wondered how much of his “me time” he might be or has spent with another woman or women?

    A man in a polygamous marriage has no desire or need to “cheat” on his wife; while it is very common for monogamous men to do so, which is usually detrimental to their marriage.

    ==========================================================

    What a strange question for a Christian man to ask a married woman.

    Even more interesting is that Elaine chose not to respond with the obvious rejoinder, “Have you ever wondered how much of her “me time” any one of your wives has spent with another man or men? After all he has far more to take care of with many wives than Elaine has with one husband. How can he be certain he alone is enough?

    Ask any nurse in any delivery room in any hospital in any state in any city … how many of your patients do you know positively have delivered babies not conceived with the husband standing next to them? (blood type) They will roll their eyes and say, “I lost count years ago.”

    Those cheating husband that Scare talks about have to be cheating with someone.

    Once again, that was a very strange question for a Christian man to ask a married woman.

    It was crude both in the asking and in the implications. Elaine obviously chose not to respond with like-crudeness … I, on the other hand, am not as refined.

    I also have to wonder if a true polygamist would risk it all by talking so openly about his/her situation on a public forum such as this … given that the practice is still considered illegal … (IP addresses, etc.)

    Oh well … not my concern … on to other things …

    (you guys are improving)

  172. “What a strange question for a Christian man to ask a married woman.”

    With adultery (secular definition) as commonplace as it is I can only assume that you are totally ignorant of the statistics involved otherwise you would not find it a strange question. My ESV Bible finds the word adultery or derivatives thereof 71 times in 62 verses; apparently it was somewhat common in biblical times as well…

    “Even more interesting is that Elaine chose not to respond with the obvious rejoinder, “Have you ever wondered how much of her “me time” any one of your wives has spent with another man or men? After all he has far more to take care of with many wives than Elaine has with one husband. How can he be certain he alone is enough?”

    Elaine actually managed to directly answer my question, and I thought it was a fair answer.

    “Ask any nurse in any delivery room in any hospital in any state in any city … how many of your patients do you know positively have delivered babies not conceived with the husband standing next to them? (blood type) They will roll their eyes and say, “I lost count years ago.””

    My mother was an obstetrics nurse for most of her her entire life, she retired from the position of Head Nurse at a prominent VA hospital. She told me numerous interesting stories but somehow failed to observe the overwhelming evidence you have compiled from your sources. In any event, if that was even remotely true I would think it likely the fathers of those children were often married to another woman and they were both unfaithful – you know…birds of a feather…”Those cheating husband that Scare talks about have to be cheating with someone.”

    “Once again, that was a very strange question for a Christian man to ask a married woman.”

    We got it the first time – Once again there is nothing unusual about that question considering the rampant “adultery” practiced among monogamists…all you have to do is read the news. You will likely find a politician, business men, religious leaders (although they seem to go more for boys), etc… in sexual trysts of some sort that end their careers. Funny thing is, I have yet to read one story of that nature about a biblical polygamist.

    “It was crude both in the asking and in the implications. Elaine obviously chose not to respond with like-crudeness … I, on the other hand, am not as refined.”

    It was an honest question, and considering how long it took her to answer it made me wonder if I had inadvertently opened some old wounds. You don’t have to state the obvious…we already have you figured out.

    “I also have to wonder if a true polygamist would risk it all by talking so openly about his/her situation on a public forum such as this … given that the practice is still considered illegal … (IP addresses, etc.)”

    Bring it on…if you haven’t figured it out yet, the government realizes that when these unconstitutional laws were passed they were done so with absolute prejudice against the LDS church and not only will they lose such a case, the public will see it as big government persecuting productive citizens, which is the way they will see the case against Kody – read the comments in just this blog alone and that becomes obvious. There have been far too many rulings by Federal Judges and higher courts for the bigamy laws to stand much longer. Beside they already have their hands full in Texas and Utah…and they are about to get their butts kicked!

    “Oh well … not my concern … on to other things …”

    Seems rather ironic that you make such an effort (even a double effort to inform me how improper you feel the question was) to address this only to state that it is not your concern.

    One last thing you may want to consider…women talk…and they love to talk amongst themselves…should one of a man’s wives commit adultery it would be a rather short period of time before everyone would know…also there are more people around so if someone was participating in an extramarital affair it would be obvious very quickly that someone had modified their schedule to allow for such a rendezvous. This is not the case when there is only one individual to hold another individual accountable as in a monogamous marriage. Eventually, once legalized, there will be accurate statistics available to compare the two types of marriages; I think many will be surprised at the success, lifestyle, and commitment demonstrated by polygamous families.

  173. Swarthmore mom,

    “Elaine Now we have been attacked by a so called “poly” woman that might be a poly man or might not be either.”

    You mean you have a suspicion that Isabella might not be who HE says SHE is????? Oh, say it ain’t so!!!! You think, maybe, that someone commenting on this blog who says she’s a “poly” woman might be a “poly” man? Or could said person possibly be an androgynous “poly” individual with two names…or more? Maybe we should nickname this person…”Polyanndrogynous.”

    **********

    Swarthmore mom & Blouise,

    Posers rarely have a clue that they can be easily detected. In that way, they are akin to trolls.

    **********

    Blouise,

    I’m guessing that scarecrow3710 feels a need to have sexual relations with more than one women and attributes such a feeling to all other men. He’s just doing a little projecting…that’s all.

  174. I haven’t personally met Isabella, but there is no doubt in my mind from what I know of her that she is exactly who she says she is.

    “I’m guessing that scarecrow3710 feels a need to have sexual relations with more than one women and attributes such a feeling to all other men. He’s just doing a little projecting…that’s all.”

    You couldn’t be more wrong (but after all we are getting used to that).

    The only posers I see around here are those that continuously take this blog off topic…hmmm I wonder who they could be…probably just some little old ladies sitting around with nothing better to do (either they don’t have a husband because any sane man would run from them, or they aren’t getting any action themselves…hmmm I may be on to something!)

  175. I find it interesting that many anti-polygamy women and some I see posting here seem to suffer from what is known to polygamists as “First Wife Syndrome”. A rather interesting article was written by John Whitten and is available to read here:

    http://newlookatmarriage.blogspot.com/

    It is dated Thursday, December 10, 2009 and is the second discussion listed. John very accurately describes the attitudes and behavior demonstrated by some of the monogamous participants I have seen post recently on this blog. Enjoy!

  176. Elaine and SwM,

    We played for awhile but come on, words like blimey and cow … just not part of the everyday vernacular.

    Although I joked about it, I have three very good friends who were born and raised within the LDS and are very active within their wards today. Never would either of the two men think to ask a married woman the question Scare put to Elaine … especially with the suggestion of infidelity he used as justification.

    Please do not judge The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints based on anything these posters had to say.

    Example: “(either they don’t have a husband because any sane man would run from them, or they aren’t getting any action themselves…hmmm I may be on to something!)” That is not something a member of the Church would ever write, especially about little old ladies.

    We get a lot of visiting posters but they come as individuals, and those who choose to, stay as individuals eventually getting to know the regulars and then becoming regulars themselves (that’s how I did it) … this bunch always comes as a group and always sink into porn … this is the third incarnation since I began to notice the similarities and I’m certain it’s many more for you two.

    Buddha told me they always show up when the Prof is in the news and sure enough … here they are. I like to think of them as our own little dedicated trolls … regulars in their own way.

  177. BTW … the latest “Hick” ad produced by the National Republican Senatorial Committee … wouldn’t surprise me in the least to learn that brilliant idea came from our own little group of ….

  178. Blouise…there seems to be a bottomless pit from which you are able to dredge an unending supply of ignorance and delusion. I have frequently participated with Isabella on another completely unrelated web site that discusses polygamy without regard to religion although most that participate are Christian. While researching polygamy I came across Professor Turley’s 2004 article which I previously posted a link to. That was the extent of my knowledge of Professor Turley for quite some time. A few months ago I became aware of his Twitter account and eventually became a follower which then led me to his blogs. This is one of the only blogs of his that I have posted on…I think I may have left a comment or two on a few other blogs, but I don’t even remember them off hand.

    Isabella became aware of this blog because I posted a link to it at the other web site that we both participate at. In the event that you read Isabella’s early posts you will see that she makes that statement.

    How you got me and Isabella confused with the LDS church is beyond comprehension. The LDS church has strictly forbidden polygamy since 1890 and does so to this very day. Proof positive that your ignorance and false accusations seemingly have no limits.

    Actually I have not found a church locally that correctly teaches the biblical stances on marriage, divorce, adultery, and polygyny (polygyny is specifically a man with more than one wife – so that in your ignorance you don’t accuse me of a spelling mistake) so in essence you are correct; I do not claim affiliation with a local church at this time. However I did go to a Calvary Chapel for many years. When I questioned the pastor on multiple occasions about inaccuracies of his statements when compared to scriptures I simply got opinion rather than a defense from scriptures – so I decided to leave that organization, and upon further study concluded that it was a cult based on the fact that the founder of the organization is a false prophet.

    Your ramblings on about trolls are senseless, but seem to be true to your character. Keep up the good work…I think there may be one or two individuals yet that don’t consider you to be an idiot…but at the rate you’re going it shouldn’t take much longer…

  179. @Blouise

    1) I can’t speak for Scarecrow but for my part there are no cohabitation laws where I am so what do I have to fear? Not like I live in Utah or nowt.

    2) Just how culturally ignorant ARE you? This is the flaming internet you silly cow, not everyone on here comes from your little hamlet of the USA you know….in fact *whispers* I hear that there some people in the world who don’t….speak…American English….

    You might want to sit down while your brain tries to process that bit of information.

    3)As Scarecrow has said, LDS are not Polygamists, that would be the FLDS and as I said before, I am not a fundamentalist of any sort. Scarecrow CAN and HAS attested to the fact that we don’t see eye to eye religiously, I came here because I wanted to read more about the Brown’s lawyer, I stayed ONLY because I felt that Scarecrow was being bullied, being the only person on here who was pro-polygamy, even to the extent that his opinion was totally disregarded because he was MALE. As a pro-poly woman (with a big mouth) I felt I would be remiss if I didn’t come and support him.

    I have been a member of message boards for years, some of them very, very political, religious, full of arguments, warnings and bans for members who get out of line, but I honestly can’t remember being on one where the adult members have engaged in such infantile onlien bulling tactics such as talking about people to each other, accusing them of being gay or trans (omg, are you 13 years old or something) or accusing them of lying. It is pathetic and sad and not what I was expecting when I got onto this thread, I thought there would be people talking rationally about the issues, instead, childish merde and ‘one twue way’-ists….total fail ladies, the men have behaved much better.

    @Elaine

    Wow, I am almost speechless that you can be so incredibly ignorant that you would think you are actually insulting me by inferring I could be intersex or gender non-defined? Wow….just wow….the only way you have insulted me is by assuming I would feel bad at being associated with them. One of my good friends is a transman, I love him, I also know plenty of transwomen. Assume I am some sexual minority bigot did you? More fool you then innit?

    I have never been mistaken for trans (big arse, big boobs, no hair wotsoever…don’t need to shave my legs even) but if someone was brave enough (and I seriously doubt it) to say that to my face, I would thank them.

    Nice try though bunny.

  180. Blouise,

    “We get a lot of visiting posters but they come as individuals, and those who choose to, stay as individuals eventually getting to know the regulars and then becoming regulars themselves (that’s how I did it) … this bunch always comes as a group and always sink into porn … this is the third incarnation since I began to notice the similarities and I’m certain it’s many more for you two.”

    *****

    BTW, I missed blimey and cow. I don’t always read every comment–and sometimes I just skim comments made by ceratin posters.

    We’ve had a few really weird “incarnations” in recent weeks of the puerile “crusty socks” variety…posters who don’t particularly like satire and tongue-in-cheek humor.

    I would never judge a group of people because of what an anonymous poster wrote. Some people like to write a lot of crap when hiding behind their anonymity.

  181. Elaine and Blouise I have been off and on this blog for about a year and half. It can get quite vicious at times. Isabella reminds me of the woman that attacked AY about his son’s death. She is clever and she will cut you to shreds if given the opportunity.

  182. scarecrow:

    “The only posers I see around here are those that continuously take this blog off topic…hmmm I wonder who they could be…probably just some little old ladies sitting around with nothing better to do (either they don’t have a husband because any sane man would run from them, or they aren’t getting any action themselves…hmmm I may be on to something!)”

    ******************

    I find our posters quite diversified, “old” only in the sense of having experienced judgment, able to freely associate, and, though they have quite a lot to do, are still willing to share their thoughts with us. You, on the other hand, seem to be of the hit & run, one topic variety, who, when challenged, seems all to willing to turn to vitriol in place of rational response. If that’s what it takes to get some “action” — base crudity — sign me up for the monastery.

  183. “not everyone on here comes from your little hamlet of the USA ..”

    *********************

    Doesn’t this tell us everything we need to know about Isabella? Hamlet? I do so appreciate the erudite, urbane, and sophisicated denizens of all the rest of the world who graciously deign to permit us the unequalled privilege of bailing their arses out every single time some petty dictator puts a scare into their weasely psyches. You need not love us, just don’t insult the people who are willing to — and who do — send their most precious commodity to your little backwater to do what you should be able to do for yourselves.

  184. Isabella,

    “Wow, I am almost speechless that you can be so incredibly ignorant that you would think you are actually insulting me by inferring I could be intersex or gender non-defined?”

    I didn’t INFER it; I IMPLIED it. You’re the one who did the “inferring.”

    I’m sooooooo incredibly speechless that you don’t understand the meaning of the word “infer.”

    ;)

  185. SwM,

    The sheman is a good little troll and the info concerning his/her attitude towards AY is in character.

    He/she also keeps demanding recognition as a legitimate entity that should be recognized and engaged. To what end and for what purpose? There is nothing to be learned that I couldn’t find in a “Porn for Dummies” book or pick up from a drunk in some bar.

    The only purpose in engaging at all is to move them from their initial “take me seriously” stage to their inevitable “porn-r-us” reality … once that is accomplished, anyone reading the thread dismisses them as inevitable static.

    Once again we have angered them to the point that they resort to the name calling porn action that is likely the reality of their off-line existence.

    It only took a few hours and … here’s the most entertaining part … it was accomplished by three little old ladies as they were preparing dinner and going to the theater …

  186. I missed this….Oh well….I have not seen the need to comment on or belabor the ignorance of some….they are self explanatory…they do it themselves….

    SwM, I appreciate what you had to say and Blouise…Thank you too…

  187. Wow…..picking on vocabulary Elaine….how….desperate….

    Ditto the equally pained…’she is just like the insensitive person who mocked a grieving parent’…oh yeah, you can totally see that in my posts about…polygamy…yep, makes total sense, Swarthmore Mom, you are a GENIUS!!

    By the way, as far as hiding behind a computer screen goes, IIRC it was I who offered up my telephone number and email address…oh by Elaine, you probably missed that because you don’t read every post by certain posters…sure you don’t….

    Hummm, wow, Sheman….gosh that…hurt….not.

    What part of respect for Trans people don’t you understand Blouise? I want to know when you will start insulting the blacks and the Jews…it is a slippery slope doncha know???

    As for Porn….I didn’t know that Gender queer was a porn term, you are obviously more versed than I am. Mind you, I have heard that there is more of a need for porn and prostitution in sex negative monogamous societies so way to go girls….you are perpetuating the system, hope you feel good about that.

    @ Mespo

    You couldn’t even begin to know what I am about…but if banging on your little patriotic drum will mean anything to me you are sorely mistaken, I really, truly don’t care.

    Isabella – still pondering how small minds can get ‘porn’ from words like bum, boobs and intersex…CLASS!!!

  188. I don’t understand why everyone feels the need to insult each other. If you get insulted, either ignore it or ignore the person. Why spend your time mocking and speculating about someone online based on nearly zero evidence?

    Everyone basically stopped talking about polygamy 100 posts ago.

  189. Yikes…..I apologise to all those who aren’t Elaine and might therefore try to read through all those typos….using another computer and I am not used to it.

    *sigh* All this ‘tude from the ladies is quite dispiriting, I don’t know why women of a certain age get their knickers (oooh hark at her, she is speaking the porn again…) in a twist over polygamy but I do find them more defensive over the issue than men and younger women, there must be something in it, perhaps a fear that when you get older and your looks start to fade that your men might ‘want’ Poly and you would be gradually replaced by a younger more attractive person…you need to read Franklin Veaux’s ‘How to be a secure person’ It might help with your heightened levels of insecurity.

    You’re welcome.

    xx

  190. @ James

    You are right, Polygamy is less and less part of this thread (though I DO honestly feel that there is some correlation between age, gender and poly hostility, it perhaps wasn’t the right place to start pondering that). I will tone it down from now on, if anyone has something sensible to ask me about polygamy, jealousy issues or poly advocacy than I will be more than happy to talk about it seriously slate wiped clean, no hard feelings and all questions answered honestly.

    I really do write with more passion than I feel on a subject and I sometimes forget how much that winds others up.

    thanks for your well balanced posts, I do enjoy reading them.

    Bels

  191. Hey James!

    When I decided to check back in for a minute I was glad to see your post. All morning I was thinking what a waste of time and that I should just ignore their ignorance, they are not interested in learning anything. they simply state that they don’t think it is for them but it shouldn’t be illegal…ok…we got that part…anything else that might contribute to the subject at hand? (is there an echo in here?)

    Yes I might be a one blog wonder…this is really the only subject I have seen on Professor Turley’s blog that I decided to dedicate any of my time to…otherwise my interests are elsewhere. Is that a bad thing? Because I am not Turley groupie or a “regular” does that make my opinions any less valuable? It seems to me that if the folks here wanted others to become regulars they would treat them a little differently than we have seen the newbies get treated here…Isabella is right there is a weird kind of territorial thing going on here…they are like dogs tied to a tree barking at everything that goes by…I keep looking out my window to see if some little old monogamous lady is going to squat in my front yard and mark her territory. Interestingly enough on the other sites I participate on I see people giving warm welcomes to newbies and making an effort to make them feel welcome. Maybe it is a “legal” or “lawyer” thing. I know a number of practicing lawyers and they all go home at night and drown themselves in liquor to deal with the crap they are involved with all day long.

    Any way…thanks for bringing a little civility back to the blog…I actually have hope that I may find something worth reading yet…

    Isabella…thanks for the back up…hindsight being 20/20 I think we should have left the dogs alone…but it was fun after all.

  192. I realize a warm welcome from individuals in the legal field is asking a lot…but you may be interested in a small sample of what I see at other sites…

    Greetings,
    I’m Cynthia, soon to be moving to south central Texas, I’m a Christain woman that attends the United Methodist church and I am looking forward to learning more about plural marriage. Although I am quiet, generally, I hope to be able to add to topics as they come up.
    CM

    1st reply:
    Welcome!

    2nd reply:
    “I am looking forward to learning more about plural marriage”

    This is probably the best place for it.

    Welcome!

    3rd reply:
    Hello and welcome!

    We look forward to getting to know you better and interacting with you here.

    4th reply:
    Hi Cynmi,
    I am also new here and received a warm welcome and would like to do the same for you.
    Glad you are here,
    AnneMarie

    5th reply:
    Welcome,

    Glad you found us. :)

    6th reply:
    Hey Cynmi, welcome and enjoy.

    7th reply
    Hello Cynmi welcome i am new to this site as well take care

    8th reply:
    Welcome Cynthia! I hope you find lots of new friends here!!! :D

    9th reply:
    Welcome, Cynthia! My father’s family is in TX. I spent many hot summers in East Texas. I hope your move is good. I look forward to getting to know you!

    His Blessings,
    Julieb

    10th reply:
    Hi Cynmi,

    Good to see you here. I am also new and enjoying the welcomes and warmth. Looking forward to getting to know everyone better.

    Julie

    11th reply:
    Hello, I am new too–first post actually! I look forward to getting to know everyone as well.

    12th reply:
    Hi, I know you posted a while back. I am new to the forum as well. I hope that you find all the information and friendships that you need.
    God bless you,
    David

    Now I realize that half of you probably just dropped dead from heart attacks or had strokes…but much of the world operates like this…go figure…

  193. “I don’t understand why everyone feels the need to insult each other. If you get insulted, either ignore it or ignore the person. Why spend your time mocking and speculating about someone online based on nearly zero evidence? Everyone basically stopped talking about polygamy 100 posts ago.”

    James,
    Good call to which I’d like to add my own two cents.

    Isabella’s and Scarecrow’s contributions here are to be appreciated. In discussing polygamy what better need that two engaged in the life and representing both sexes. Have they at time been overly vituperative? Absolutely. However, having re-read every post on this thread I’ve got to admit that I’m not at all certain whether it was them, or some of our regulars who started firing first. Much more I don’t care. Let’s tone down the sniping and tune up the discussion.

    My own viewpoint is that this is essentially the type of case fought out on many battlefronts, that deals with peoples ability to live alternative lifestyles without the interference of the State or the value judgments of the community for their daring to behave differently.

    Social Control is the real issue and the norms that must be enforced to maintain that control. If people ignore one norm, then they tend to question others, at which point the Corporate,
    Military and Religious establishments find themselves threatened.
    The conundrum, unseen to many, is that progress ensues when norms are questioned.

    I think Isabella presents the best case for her choice in that it doesn’t base itself on imagined scriptural justification, but plainly states her personal reasons for her lifestyle choice. I like Scarecrow’s sincerity, but question his biblical scholarship. Firstly, it is based on what I call The Torah and he calls the “Old Testament.” It always amuses me that Christians pick and choose those Torah passages that appear to support their viewpoints and ignore those that don’t. While numerous examples of plural marriage are recounted in the Torah, a great many of them are disastrous (Hagar anyone). The plural marriages in the Torah reflected the entire Mid-East of that time
    and I think were shown to be problematic to make an allegorical point. If this isn’t true than why for at least 2,000 years have the Jews, even the most fundamentalist sects, stayed with single marriage. It really is our book and we know it better than you do.

    Nevertheless I think Scarecrow is sincere in his beliefs and in many things and open minded person. He has attacked and been attack and I really can’t say who shot first. I wish him well in his life choice and believe that for now for him and his family it seems to work.

    I hope this thread is helpful to Jonathan in his case preparation given the attitudes and arguments presented. For me Blouise sums up my feelings best with:

    “I firmly believe in the legalization of gay marriage, polygamy for both men and women, prostitution for both men and women, and pot … also peyote. I believe in taxing prostitution, pot, peyote, and churches … all at the Local, State, and Federal level.”

    To which I add, amen.

  194. Anonymously Yours
    1, October 10, 2010 at 10:46 am
    I missed this….Oh well….I have not seen the need to comment on or belabor the ignorance of some….they are self explanatory…they do it themselves….

    SwM, I appreciate what you had to say and Blouise…Thank you too…

    ======================================================
    You are most welcome

  195. Hi Mike…I have seen a few of your posts and tend to respect what I see…I will give you a brief background on myself and the way I came to believe what I believe so there are no misconceptions.

    I grew up Lutheran but fell away from the church in my late teens…the ritualistic nature of the worship made church attendance more of an event than a time actually worshiping the Lord. I considered myself a Christian but really had no clue what it meant to be a Christian. I find the majority of Christians to be in that same condition.

    I moved to Colorado in my late 20s and began my family. One night after years of not praying, reading my Bible, or attending any church I had a personal encounter with Jesus. Nope, I’m not a drinker (I do have a beer from time to time though), and never had the inclination to do drugs…I hadn’t had an anchovy pizza before going to bed either…it was a real, in person, encounter. You would think that after that a person would start going to church twice a day, but I didn’t change a bit for about two years.

    I began to read my Bible again (the one I got when I was a teenager before I left the church) starting with page one and went all the way through. I began to attend a small Lutheran church and got the same old feeling I remembered from before but I kept going. Eventually I found a radio station that had a through the Bible non-denominational teaching on it and I was astounded by how much and how quickly I was actually learning what the Bible had to say.

    I began to attend a Calvary Chapel and my understanding continued to increase. During this time I read three more different translations of the Bible cover to cover. I then came across a program on the Internet called e-sword which is available for free to download at http://e-sword.net/ this was an invaluable tool. I began to do word studies through the Bible. I would research a word such as adultery and see how it was used and what were the circumstances involved when it was used in the New and Old Testaments.

    Eventually I began to notice things being said from the stage by the pastor that didn’t match up with what was in the Bible. When I confronted him he started repeating what he said on stage and giving me his opinion. I explained to him that I was not interested in opinion, rather I wanted to know if he could back up what he was saying from scripture. After a few encounters of this nature I simply left the church since things were only getting worse with what I was hearing from stage.

    For example:
    “God created Jesus” – sounds more like Jehovah’s Witness kind of stuff.
    “Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac proves that Abraham believes in resurrection” – can be assumed, but does not prove it.
    “We are all judged by the same standards” – scriptures state that teachers of the Word will be held to a higher standard.
    “God intended ___” fill in the blank – if God intends for something to come to pass it will, what God intends He accomplishes – it also presupposes that the individual that states that knows the mind of God and what He intends.
    on and on and on it goes…

    I am now reading “The Reformation Study Bible” (R.C. Sproul general editor) which is an ESV. I’m about half way through it. I am also looking for a church with a pastor that actually reads, studies, and understands what the scriptures say – not simply parroting a doctrine that was ingrained in him. I have a few simple questions for a pastor: 1) Is it sinful for a man to have more than one wife? 2) What is adultery? 3) Is divorce recognized by God, and would you remarry a woman that has been divorced to a man other than her first husband?

    I have discovered that there are more heathen and pagan elements in the modern Christian and Catholic churches than there is biblical doctrine. It’s like being told that George Washington was an English General then reading a history book and learning that he was an American General.

    I have not found a pastor (in person – I know some on line) yet that got #1 and #2 right so I haven’t bothered to get into 3# or #4. I have discussed my findings with many pastors and usually end up with the dear in the headlights look because they cannot contradict the things I say from the scriptures, although there have been a few that show promise. I even made a small 16 page exegesis on polygyny and put a cover letter with it including my name and cell phone number. I printed numerous copies of this document and gave it to the pastors of churches in the area (there are a lot of them around here). In my cover letter I explained that I wanted to hear from them, that I was interested to learn if I was twisting the scriptures to fit my own doctrine, or if I was deceived. I asked them to refute my findings from the scriptures if they disagreed with them. I did not receive one response, and was rather disappointed with that. So I converted the document to .pdf format and emailed it to numerous individuals at Christian web sites…same results. Friends that I have had read it tell me that they do not see anywhere that I have misinterpreted anything, and that it is well written. I have come to the conclusion that the things I have learned from the scriptures are correct and accurate (to the best of my ability to discern them). I believe that the Old and New Testaments are integral to each other, after all, Jesus didn’t have the New Testament to teach from, He was speaking it into existence teaching from the Old Testament, and had this to say:

    Matthew 5:18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

    The goal of a Christian is to become more Christ like, and as you can see from my militant attitude I have a ways to go…I freely admit that…I don’t think God is done with me yet… : )

  196. “While numerous examples of plural marriage are recounted in the Torah, a great many of them are disastrous (Hagar anyone). The plural marriages in the Torah reflected the entire Mid-East of that time and I think were shown to be problematic to make an allegorical point.”

    Actually the majority of the plural marriages in the Bible were not indicated to be problematic as you presume. I think you might find this an interesting read:

    http://www.newcovenantpatriarchy.com/images/uploads/Man_&_Woman_in_Biblical_Law_5.pdf

  197. “If this isn’t true than why for at least 2,000 years have the Jews, even the most fundamentalist sects, stayed with single marriage. It really is our book and we know it better than you do.”

    Actually it wasn’t driven underground until around 1100, so I will take issue with you here as well. There are very specific reasons for things resulting in the current situation we have today. In 1869 a gentleman went to a considerable amount of trouble to compile and publish an extremely interesting document:

    http://biblicalfamilies.org/doc/HistoryOfMarriage-1869.pdf

  198. From a post I left at another site:

    Defining “Marriage”…

    Post by Scarecrow » Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:21 pm

    Throughout history the definition of “Marriage” has frequently included a man with more than one wife. Even when monogamy was instituted by law and/or culture in certain areas it was common for these “monogamous” men to have mistresses, which under different circumstances would have most certainly become their wives as well.

    I just came across an interesting book by Edward Westermarck defining marriage in the 1922 edition of The History of Human Marriage on page 26 as:

    “MARRIAGE is generally used as a term for a social institution. As such it may be defined as a relation of one or more men to one or more women which is recognized by custom or law and involves certain rights and duties both in the case of the parties entering the union and in the case of the children born of it.”

    Downloadable at: http://books.google.com/books?id=UigZAA … &q&f=false

    Josephus, late in the first century, states “for it is the ancient practice among us to have many wives at the same time.” in “The Antiquities of the Jews” volume 17 chapter 1.

    “it is” is present tense meaning that it was being currently practiced when Josephus wrote this late in the first century. “the ancient practice” indicates that it was nothing new and had been practiced throughout known history.

    Along with other extra biblical evidence that polygyny was commonly practiced how is it that polygyny is thought of as anything but biblical?

    Why is it that polygyny is not recognized as marriage based on the fact that it was the custom and part of the culture? Clearly without the interference of other cultures this would still be a common practice today and be considered a cultural norm. Is this not a valid argument for the legalization of polygyny?

  199. Scarecrow,
    Thank you for your attempt to clarify both yourself and your beliefs. However, while I can see you are a thoughtful and serious person in your quest for God and have provided some personal insight into what has led you on your path, it is irrelevant to me.

    Not that I don’t feel sympathy to your struggles, far from it, for it is a brave person that tries to live in this world according to her/his honestly arrived at belief system. I’m convinced that you do have bravery and intelligence to try to find your own path in the world. Your reasons though are irrelevant to me because as long as you have come by your marriages without coercion, your spouses are independently committed and you children well taken care of, then I think you should be allowed to pursue you chosen lifestyle without State interference.

    The reason I find Isabella to be more persuasive is simply because she is in the lifestyle for reasons personal to herself.
    To me that is how it should be. My current monogamous marriage of three decades is not my first. In my prior marriage I was in what is called an “open relationship,” that at its’ heart had a “menage a trois” with two women. It was an experiment for all of us and in the end we weren’t capable of making it work. I don’t regret the experience and learned much from it, mostly about my own pomposity, egocentricity and the fact that I really was a “nice Jewish Boy from Brooklyn,” who yearned for a normal monogamous relationship and family. Because of my experiences I didn’t come to believe that such relationships were bad, only that I wasn’t suited for them.

    We each, if we are thoughtful people, have to make our own decisions on how we lead our lives. I credit both Isabella and you with having the courage to do so, apparently without the assistance/coercion/comfort of a cult. I believe that everyone should have the freedom to figure out what kind of relationships would make them feel fulfilled, with the obvious exceptions, of course.

    To answer you further though, you really must realize though as a Christian, that it was we Jews who wrote The Torah are not really a part of the so-called Judeo-Christian continuum. Jews have devoted multi-thousands of pages of discussion as to the meaning of the Torah and did so without any Christian exegesis.

    For instance:

    “Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac proves that Abraham believes in resurrection” – can be assumed, but does not prove it.”

    The simplest explanation for this strange passage is that the writers wanted to get the point across that if you wanted to worship God, you didn’t need human sacrifice to do it. Since at the time human sacrifice was a world wide phenomena (read the “Golden Bough,” or the “Masks of God” for sourcing) this was an indication of how the nascent Judaism was different from the religions of the rest of mankind.

    The Torah was adapted into the Christian Canon (from a Jewish perspective) because Jesus was a Jew and because it lent an ancient cachet to Christianity in its’ infancy. You of course have every right to a different interpretation, but understand that we Jews reserve our right of authorship/interpretation, even though Christians have anathematized The Torah as “The Old Testament.”

    This shouldn’t be a problem because I think we’d both like to see a world where people are free to think out and choose their own world views and lifestyles. As I’ve written before, although I am a Deist Jew my philosophy is to follow the esteemed Rabbi Hillel who stated:

    “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”

    and iterated as a companion piece:

    “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And when I am for myself, what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?”

  200. Scarecrow,

    I’m afraid I have to agree that the Biblical details behind your beliefs are irrelevant to me.

    I will say, though, that it amazes me that there are Christians out there who don’t take the time to extensively study the Bible. It seems like once you accept the premises that God exists and has written a book, the only logical course of action is to become an expert on it. So to that extent, at least, I can empathize with your frustration at finding the people in your former churches unwilling to engage with your Biblical scholarship.

  201. Mike,

    I’m assuming I’m one of the “regulars” that you’re referring to. I’m not sure exactly what set things off—but I have to say that this isn’t the first time on the Turley Blawg that we’ve gone off in other directions.

    I admit to having a snarky, sarcastic sense of humor. That’s not a secret to regulars who comment on the Turley Blawg. I honestly didn’t think anyone would take umbrage at the first Harry Enfield video I posted. Then Isabella wrote the following: “So, here’s to some adult intercourse (heh heh)and perhaps less of the drumming up of Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse classics. (yes indeed, the writers of those little gems are men….shock, horror….men CAN do something right!!!).” That’s when I began to wonder if Isabella was really a woman. I guess you aren’t as skeptical as I am.

    It may be that “little old ladies” like me have certain life experiences that we call to mind when talking about a subject like polygamy. I see polygamous marriages as male-dominated. I know there are also lots of monogamous marriages where men are dominant.

    I grew up in a paternalistic society/religion—at a time when women were supposed to know their place, obey their husbands, defer to males, and assume males were the wiser and smarter sex. Well, over the years I learned that men weren’t wiser and smarter than women. I also know how demeaning it felt to me and to other professional women I worked with when our opinions were discounted by male bosses because of our gender. Fortunately, times have changed for most women in this country.

    I have strong feelings and opinions about the rights of women. Maybe I came off too strong in some of my comments—but my opinions are what they are. People can disagree with my opinions. That’s okay with me. We wouldn’t have interesting discussions on this blog if we all agreed with each other. But if posters insult my intelligence or attack me personally, I will usually respond—except to certain trolls who aren’t worth the effort.

    I’m happy that women have a more equal standing in our society today. I’m proud to have a strong daughter who knows how to speak her mind and isn’t afraid to stand up for herself. I feel sad that not all girls will grow up in families—whether polygamous or monogamous—where they will be valued as equals and not view themselves as inferior to males.

  202. “it amazes me that there are Christians out there who don’t take the time to extensively study the Bible”

    Unfortunately many “Christians” go to church (if they even manage to do that) to have someone tell them what they should believe…I know this because I was one of them for a long time. I rarely meet a “Christian” that has read the entire Bible, much less studied it. Church seems to be more of a good ol’ boy’s club and an opportunity to conduct business…rather than a gathering together of the brethren for worship…: (

  203. Oh yes…I understand the Jewish side of things, I have Jewish friends and talk with them about these matters. As a Christian it is not difficult to understand. The Apostle Paul (who had a personal encounter much more dramatic than my own), a “Pharisee of Pharisees” explained things like this:

    Philippians 3:3-7 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh–though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

    Romans 2:28-29 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

    Romans Chapter 11
    I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.” And David says, “Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them; let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and bend their backs forever.” So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean! Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? If the dough offered as first fruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

  204. Elaine:

    “I grew up in a paternalistic society/religion—at a time when women were supposed to know their place, obey their husbands, defer to males, and assume males were the wiser and smarter sex. Well, over the years I learned that men weren’t wiser and smarter than women. I also know how demeaning it felt to me and to other professional women I worked with when our opinions were discounted by male bosses because of our gender. Fortunately, times have changed for most women in this country.”

    Very interesting. Men and women used to tend the farm and small business together. My wife’s grandfather and grandmother were farmers and equal partners in the venture. She took care of the business side and he took care of the fields and stock.

    The pioneers who went west built their homes and farms and small businesses together. It seems (judging from movies of the thirties) that this type of partnership was still viable. Things seemed to change during the war years and after with men being the more dominant sex. I think World War II had a devastating effect on this country with veterans returning home not getting adequate help with handling their war experiences. I further believe the 60’s was a symptom of the problem. The neurotic child of dysfunctional parents so to speak.

    Your thoughts?

  205. Byron,

    I’ve started working on an answer to you–but I’ve been sitting at the computer for a few hours and I need to get myself into a more comfortable position. I hope you don’t mind waiting for a response. I will say this though–I don’t see it the same way you do.

  206. Byron,

    Things seemed to change during the war years and after with men being the more dominant sex.

    I think you’re reading far too much equality into early American history. Women didn’t have the right to own property in their own name until the mid-19th century. Women didn’t achieve the right to vote until 1920. Just because husband and wives worked together, doesn’t mean that there wasn’t pervasive, systematic inequality.

    As for WWII; conventional wisdom is that many women got jobs outside the home for the first time during the war.

  207. Elaine,

    I know exactly what you are talking about … the white gloves. I was fortunate enough to have a mother and maternal grandmother plus a father and maternal grandfather who did not “hold” with all that “stuff and nonsense”. I was taught to stand up for myself, speak for myself and accept nothing less than I had earned. I was cautioned to not marry until I was at least 25 and to not marry anyone who was less than 26. The reason was summed up in one word … maturity.

    The series on TV entitled Mad Men depicts the women that I knew very well. I was different than the majority of women I encountered because I was independent and having been raised that way felt confident in my opinions and actions. My husband was raised by a strong minded career woman whose husband supported her in every decision she made. We, my husband and I, were a perfect fit. Our daughters are independent and their husbands are mature men who have no fear of a strong woman.

    You, my dear Elaine, have the right to your opinion and have spent enough years on this planet contributing to the advancement of civilization thus earning the right to express your opinion in any damn way you see fit. No woman should be criticized for refusing to accept crude words that are meant solely to debase her by those attempting to score cheap points in an argument.

    There is an old saying that we musicians often repeated: “Critics are those who stand behind the lines and shoot the wounded as they return from battle.”

  208. Scarecrow:

    “One night after years of not praying, reading my Bible, or attending any church I had a personal encounter with Jesus. Nope, I’m not a drinker (I do have a beer from time to time though), and never had the inclination to do drugs…I hadn’t had an anchovy pizza before going to bed either…it was a real, in person, encounter.”

    ****************************

    You had me up ’til there. I think some details are in order if you’re going to play the “I met Jesus on the road to Denver” card. Even Saul gave us an account of what happened. I’d like to know facial features, dialect, mannerisms, and distinguishing marks. If you could describe his garb and general demeanor that would be of interest, too.

  209. […] This show got over 2 million viewers for the premiere, and with such viewership comes, obviously, scrutiny. The scrutiny wasn’t limited to the Today Show, however: Utah police are looking into possibly prosecuting the Brown family for bigamy. Not really surprising given the huge media attention, and with this whole law school thing going on, I didn’t pay much attention to the progression of the story. That is, until my Torts professor announced that he would be representing the Brown family. My professor, a constitutional law scholar, explains his reasoning here. […]

  210. The interesting thing about personal encounters is that each one I am aware of is unique, yet they all match up with the scriptures in some way. You may already be familiar with the Apostle Paul’s…he (and those with him) saw a bright light and Paul was blinded (not to mention that he got knocked off his (high) horse)…Paul heard a distinct voice but the other men did not, etc…

    Since telling about my encounter I have had numerous people tell me about theirs and I have quite a few very interesting encounters that I could tell you about…but on to mine…what I will tell you is what happened…

    I had a king sized water bed and was sleeping on the left side of the bed on my stomach, facing to the left toward my dresser. My right arm was by my side and my left arm was bent so my hand was under my pillow just under my face. I was sleeping soundly when a pressure came upon me. It was a dream to me at first, a very real very vivid dream. The pressure continued to build and I became semi-conscious not knowing if I was dreaming or if I was awake. The pressure continued to increase and finally caused me to awaken. I opened my eyes and saw my dresser. It was a very strange sensation because I felt something pushing me down but couldn’t move my arms to push back, as if I was paralyzed. I was fully awake now without a clue what was happening and the pressure continued to build to the point that I thought that my chest was going to touch the base of the bed through the mattress. By this time the pressure was so great that I could breath out but could not breath in and I began to pass out. I thought “so this is it, this is what it feels like to die.” At that moment the pressure disappeared and I came up like a bobber that a fish had been playing with…it was an older style water bed mattress that didn’t have any baffles in it so it acted like a puddle that someone had thrown a rock in, and the waves of motion were considerable for a water bed. Then I heard a very distinct voice say “This is the weight of your sin that I carry for you”. I knew instantly that it was Jesus, and remembered that “the wages of sin is death”. I had had a near death experience and met Jesus simultaneously.

    Upon telling about my encounter to my younger sister she became very excited and told me that when she was in college she had dedicated her life to Jesus and after praying heard an audible voice simply state “Learn my Word.” I had a retired California highway Patrolman tell me of his encounter and I have been studying numerous accounts by Muslims that have encountered Jesus. Perhaps the most interesting one to me was of a young Muslim gentleman who was imprisoned and devoted himself to practicing his religion to the utmost of his ability. He soon became the Muslim leader in the prison community (an honor for someone of his age). One evening Jesus manifested himself within the cell of the man and simply stated “I am Jesus, I am God”. then disappeared. The man shrugged it off until it happened a second time many days later, at which point he bowed down and worshiped Him. He didn’t dare tell anyone about it for fear of being put to death by the other Muslim inmates, but when he got out he went to a place that was safe and then told his story. Another Muslim gentleman was sitting on a dock when two men appeared out of nowhere. One of the two men stated “Jesus is God” and then they vanished as quickly as they had appeared. There are thousands upon thousands of such encounters. Michael Youseff is a good source of information on these types of encounters. He is from Egypt originally and is extremely familiar with what has been happening within the Arab regions and in particular the Muslim communities there.

    When I came across this verse for the first time after my encounter I got goosebumps all over my body like I had never had before:

    John 14:21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

  211. Scarecrow and Isabell

    I am no lawyer or law student, nor am I a member if organized religion. I believe that our country should acknowledge any marriage between two people gay or straight. Why only two u ask? What about federal and state taxes should they be rewritten and have tiers for different number of spouses as they have for children now? What about earned income tax credit? With mutliple spouses the number of kids goes up I would assume. I would like your opinions on that, but I do have some questions for both of u if u don’t mind since I assume u aren’t married to each other, things might work differently.

    1. How do u handle health insurance? The legal spouse and all his children from each marriage could be on one policy? What about a wife who isn’t legal and is a homemaker?

    2. If u have homemakers that aren’t leagally married then they are eligle for social security if u die? How do u keep that fair?

    3. Do u have a will that divides everything equally between all your children and wives?

    4. How is income handled? Dies every adult have a debit card to the same account that all family income is deposited? Or are “allowances” given?

    5. Do your children go to public or accredited private school or are they home schooled?

    6. Do u believe that both girls and boys should attend college and work outside of the home as adults?

  212. “What about federal and state taxes should they be rewritten and have tiers for different number of spouses as they have for children now? What about earned income tax credit? With multiple spouses the number of kids goes up I would assume.”

    An additional spouse at this time has to file individually and claim her children as dependents. In my opinion our tax system is beyond bizarre. There are so many laws, rules, and regulations that a trip to the IRS with any particular scenario will likely net a different answer from each representative you talk to. So there is no easy answer to your question, but your suggestions are along the lines of what would likely happen.

    1. How do you handle health insurance? The legal spouse and all his children from each marriage could be on one policy? What about a wife who isn’t legal and is a homemaker?

    Pretty much similar to the tax situation. A family policy for the legal wife and an individual and kids policy otherwise. The changes to insurance would also be similar to changes in the tax system.

    2. If you have homemakers that aren’t legally married then they are eligible for social security if you die? How do u keep that fair?

    At this time I am unaware of a way to make this situation “fair”. This is to me yet another reason to legalize it so that this and many other issues CAN be addressed and corrected.

    3. Do you have a will that divides everything equally between all your children and wives?

    Yes. One of my wives just took the bar exam and is the primary beneficiary. She is responsible to see that everything of this nature is handled correctly.

    4. How is income handled? Does every adult have a debit card to the same account that all family income is deposited? Or are “allowances” given?

    I have one main account in my name only. I make all deposits to that account. I have a separate joint account with each wife and each account has debit and credit cards associated with it. I transfer money to accounts from my main account as needed.

    5. Do your children go to public or accredited private school or are they home schooled?

    My older children are finishing public school and the younger ones are in private school. One of my wives Just graduated with a degree in Education, High School English. She will be homeschooling those not already attending a school.

    6. Do you believe that both girls and boys should attend college and work outside of the home as adults?

    All of my wives have or are obtaining college degrees. All children with an adequate aptitude for college will be encouraged to attend. I only have one that has graduated from high school and she is attending a local community college and will transfer to another college of her choice after her second year – at least that is my understanding of her current plans.

  213. >>I honestly didn’t think anyone would take umbrage at the first Harry Enfield video I posted. Then Isabella wrote the following: “So, here’s to some adult intercourse (heh heh)and perhaps less of the drumming up of Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse classics. (yes indeed, the writers of those little gems are men….shock, horror….men CAN do something right!!!).” That’s when I began to wonder if Isabella was really a woman. I guess you aren’t as skeptical as I am.

    @Elaine

    Can I clarify that I did not take umbrage with the video (in fact those skits and the Dutch gay policemen are their funniest creations imho) the reason that was I appreciate the irony of using humour created by men, to insult a man who has been (basically) accused of being misogynistic purely on the basis of supporting Polygamy AND being told that because he was male, his opinion wasn’t needed, which is a pretty poor way, as far as I am concerned, to win an argue your case. A poly woman was asked for so I commentated on that, although if you look I actually posted ‘before’ to point out something particular about the programme. Though I realise now that the reason why there are such mistakes is because some people commenting on the thread haven’t even watched the series in question and are just commentating on a knee jerk response to what they ‘think’ polygamy is, which again is not how everyone does it, not the Browns and not many people I personally know. Scarecrow again, does things in a different way, we are not all homogenous. The reason I asked you to ‘think outside the box’ was because it is pretty easy to google any number of Poly terms and find these people.
    I don’t hate men, nor do I think they should be the head of me by virtue of having a penis BUT I am not going to ignore irrational misandrist postings either, if that makes people doubt my gender than that doesn’t bother me, I can give TMI about my vag to prove that I am in the gyny club but do I really care enough to do that? No, besides it would probably just be accused of being pornographic again.

    @Byron
    Fantastic post and having an interest in social history (especially the roles of women in non mainstream or marginalised societies). What I have heard is that in harsher environments where a woman’s work was considered vital to the health and wealth of the community (and not just the family) women were afforded far more status than in environments where women’s work was less vital to the whole community. Recently we heard about fish wives and how vital they are to local communities, they actually controlled the money (sorry I know it is OT but it is one of my interests).

    @ Curious
    No problem with your questions, though I think Scarecrows answer might be more relivant to what you need to know.
    1) We don’t need it.
    2) Not applicable.
    3) We will create wills yes but since no one has any more than anyone else, financially, this is not as fraught as you might think.
    4) Everything is shared.
    5) Children are all in a normal state school.
    They can do as they jolly well please, it is not for me to impose my values on them but to guide them all to be strong, independent adu
    6) lts who don’t have to ask anyone for anything but can do it for themselves. Not only do I not see, gender distinctions, I appreciate that any child raised here is free to express themselves outside of heteronormative, gender specific roles.
    With me you are free to be.

    Aha, I have just realized that Scarecrow has replied to you already and, as you can see, his answer was different from mine.

  214. “It may be that “little old ladies” like me have certain life experiences that we call to mind when talking about a subject like polygamy.”

    Elaine,
    We’re at least fairly close in age, if indeed I’m not a little older. I’ve enjoyed your wit and intelligence since you’ve began posting here and more than suspect we share similar views of the world. I can’t say whether or not Scarecrow and Isabella are sincere in who they say they are, but they present themselves with enough intelligence for me to accept they are really who they say they are. If so then we have a good opportunity in this thread to get perspectives that are not often represented publicly and so I’ve been disappointed with the sniping and if you read what I’ve written I don’t exonerate either of them from the fracas.

    I too am no fan of polygamy and share your concerns that in many instances it leads to the oppression of women. With two adult, female children this is of course a concern to me. I do believe that in a non-coercive situation people have the right to explore alternative ways of living, without State/Societal interference. I am equally concerned, however, with the Fundamentalists and religious zealots, who may oppose polygamy, but feel that Man is the “Lord and Master.” Ironically, this is true of LDS doctrine at the same time they purportedly oppose polygamy.

    Years ago in the 60’s when Civil Rights and the War were my chief political concerns, I had sympathy for the rising “woman’s
    movement” but bridled when they compared themselves to people of color as being equally oppressed. As the years have passed I’ve come more to the view that all these varied oppressions are of one piece. That is the need of the plutocracy (corporatocracy, elite, or whatever) to maintain its power over the rest of us. I don’t see this in conspiratorial terms as some do, merely the coalescing of mutual interests when they feel their reins on us slipping. That is why to me racism=misogyny=homophobia and so on. The elite reserve for themselves the right to live as they choose, they just don’t want you and I to do it.

  215. @ James

    Yes that happens. It isn’t what happened to me. It also does not explain my sister who was praying, the CHP who was driving his cruiser, or the multitude of others that were active in the middle of the day when they had their encounters. I also realize that as an atheist you have to find a “rational” explanation for things to avoid the spiritual things…that is not meant to be an insult, simply something I have observed in numerous people.

  216. Byron,

    I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to your question–but I wanted to answer your question in a thoughtful manner.

    *****

    You wrote:

    “The pioneers who went west built their homes and farms and small businesses together. It seems (judging from movies of the thirties) that this type of partnership was still viable. Things seemed to change during the war years and after with men being the more dominant sex. I think World War II had a devastating effect on this country with veterans returning home not getting adequate help with handling their war experiences. I further believe the 60′s was a symptom of the problem. The neurotic child of dysfunctional parents so to speak.”
    *****

    First, I’m not a neurotic child of dysfunctional parents—just so you know.

    Second, I agree with what James wrote.

    I would assume the pioneers who moved westward worked out their family structures so that they could survive financially and live a decent life. Not everyone lived on a farm or owned a small business.

    I know that prior to WWII—at least in some areas of our country—women teachers were discriminated against. If they got married, they were required to leave their teaching positions. I often wondered if that was the reason why there were so many “old maid” teachers around when I was growing up. Even into the 1960s, female teachers were still being discriminated against. My married sister was required to leave teaching when she got pregnant and started “to show.” That was in 1966! That was not an after effect of WWII. That was a continuation of a past practice.

    Women have a long history of having to fight for their rights. Why did it take the US until the 20th century to give women the right to vote? Why did we need Title IX? Why did we need the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009?

    I think WWII may have actually been an impetus for the advancement of women. A lot of women went to work in factories. They took on the jobs of men who had gone off to war. (My late mother-in-law worked at the Watertown Arsenal in Massachusetts.) I’d surmise these women liked having “their own” money.

    After WWII, many of the men who fought in the war got a college education—thanks to the GI Bill. I think the veterans of WWII most likely fared much better than those of WWI. WWII veterans from working class/blue collar families who got a college education could now move into professions—working as doctors, lawyers, businessman, etc. Most of them probably wouldn’t have had that opportunity if it hadn’t been for the GI Bill.

    Other things changed our society too: automobiles, radio, television, air travel. We became less of an agrarian society and more of a manufacturing society. People began leaving the farms and moving to cities. People became less insular…started looking beyond their own communities…started to think about making better lives for themselves, including women—many of whom had gotten a taste of being independent and self-sufficient during WWII and liked it.

    Regarding the 1960s: I remember that as a split decade. The early years of the sixties were like an extension of the “Father Knows Best” era. Then everything started to change. I believe one important impetus for that change was the Vietnam War. Young men didn’t want to fight in that war. Many disagreed with our country’s involvement in the war. The latter part of the sixties—when there were war protests and feminists out fighting for women’s equality—were a reaction to government policies and lies and young people deciding they were going to speak out in hopes of changing things. To be sure, there was a lot of turbulence for several years. But we don’t have the draft anymore, many women have been able to break the glass ceiling, married and pregnant teachers have the right to continue working.

    That’s how I view it.

  217. “The Apostle Paul (who had a personal encounter much more dramatic than my own), a “Pharisee of Pharisees” explained things like this:”

    Scarecrow,
    Most learned Jews and even the unlearned like me don’t believe that Paul could have possibly been a Pharisee, being a born Roman and working for the Sadducee High Priest. The Pharisees were the rebels fighting Roman occupation and no Pharisee would have had Paul’s early career. The quotes you provide from Paul and his exegesis of the passages he quotes doesn’t make your point at all.

    We Jews do not believe in grace. We are distinctly “of the flesh” and are commanded to be. Our belief is that God wants us to heal this world and not some hypothetical world to come. Heaven is not really a part of Jewish doctrine, or indeed current Jewish thought.

    “Oh yes…I understand the Jewish side of things, I have Jewish friends and talk with them about these matters.”

    No you don’t understand the Jewish side of things. This is true just as I can’t understand what it is like to be in a polygamous relationship, a believing Christian, or someone who feels they’ve had a personal contact with God. I can imagine what it would be like to be a person of color, but my imagination of necessity would fall far short of the mark. This is true likewise for me understanding what it would be like to be a woman, or to give birth.

    As for your Jewish friends not all Jews are learned about Judaism, much less its’ argument with Christianity. Some even consider themselves Messianic Jews, which is an oxymoron. I would call myself semi-literate about Judaism, with my children and wife being much more knowledgeable. However, I am well-read and well versed in the Jewish differences with Christianity and I reject the concept of a Judeo-Christian continuum.

    That being said far be it from me to put down your religious beliefs as a Christian, it is just that you need to know that theologically the two faiths are opposed. This is fine because everyone should be entitled to practice their faith as they see it, without outside forces trying to enforce their beliefs upon them. The Romans found the Jews perplexing because other conquered peoples had no problem adding the Roman pantheon to their own Gods. In fact the Roman Pantheon was a poor copy of Greek beliefs. A pious Jew could not worship the Emperor as a God, for instance, even perfunctorily. To the Romans this behavior was insane and in fact to many since, the Jewish way does seem insane in its insistence that Jews should be able to worship as they believe.

    I am a Deist and not a Pious Jew, but the visceral feeling I have as a Jew runs strong as does an empathy with my people. These are feelings that a non-Jew can never have and without the
    emotional baggage can’t really get it. However, as I said I can’t really feel what you feel either.

  218. Mike S.,

    “As the years have passed I’ve come more to the view that all these varied oppressions are of one piece. That is the need of the plutocracy (corporatocracy, elite, or whatever) to maintain its power over the rest of us. I don’t see this in conspiratorial terms as some do, merely the coalescing of mutual interests when they feel their reins on us slipping. That is why to me racism=misogyny=homophobia and so on. The elite reserve for themselves the right to live as they choose, they just don’t want you and I to do it.”

    *****
    I have a few questions for you:

    – Do you think it’s the plutocracy that has encouraged men who abuse their wives and/or treat them like inferior beings to do these things?

    – Do you think members of the KKK lynched black men because of the plutocracy–or just because they were racists?

    – Why has the plutocracy–over the years–chosen to oppress some groups more than others?

  219. “Things seemed to change during the war years and after with men being the more dominant sex.”

    Byron,
    I know you like history and would suggest you do further reading if you think it was only after WWII that men became dominant. Men have dominated women for at least 3,000 years in almost all societies all around the world.

  220. @ Mike,

    Sorry if it is slightly OT again but I loved that blog, there wsa nothing in there that I did not agree with.

    “The clear problem in Sister Wives is not the polygamy, it’s the patriarchy. There is no negotiation, no consent-seeking, and, therefore, no equality. And that’s incredibly oppressive and detrimental to women.”

    Too true, Patriarchy and Polygamy often go together but you need not be patriarchial to be a polyamist and you need not be a polygamist to be patriarchial, people should try and see the issues for what they are. Great blog!!

    re: Byron, I just think he was thinking of a certain narrow field in the changing marital experiences, there was a certain kind of ‘back to the kitchen’ element to the post war era, all the more vexing because women had by then experienced a taste of independence that they had not previously experienced. Of course, this is also tempered by class and culture as some women had no choice but to work anyway hence WOC often breaking away from the mainstream feminist movement and feeling that the movement wasn’t catering to their needs. (sorry, off topic again).

  221. Many atheist experience spirituality and simply refuse to credit a deity for the experience. Likewise many agnostics experience spirituality and credit it as a normal part of life dismissing the claim that its source is a higher knowledge outside the human existence.

    Religious organizations prefer to ignore these facts as it threatens their claims that spirituality is of god and god is as they see him. Those within the fold are “special” and thus receive spiritual insights. Those outside the fold are not special and thus can’t possibly have legitimate spiritual experiences.

    True mystics inside or outside a religious order have difficulty in explaining their experiences as the more they try to find the words, the more the message is hidden. However, they KNOW with a certainty that can not be shaken that their experience was real.

  222. Isabella,

    There was a huge flight of whites to the suburbs after WWII. Since suburban living is a key ingredient of the 1950s idealized, wife-in-the-kitchen lifestyle, perhaps Byron was reacting to that flight as a necessary component of that lifestyle?

  223. Swarthmore mom
    1, October 11, 2010 at 11:44 am
    Elaine You are are right sistah. No man has walked our walk.

    =========================================================

    yep

  224. @ Mike

    Duh…I meant the hearts and mind blog. I thought you had linked to it but realise that it is just linked to the bottom of the thread….I am so vague!

    Anyhow, re: The ‘Judeo-Christian continuum’ thing

    I have been shouted down more than once for telling a Christian this very same thing. I really hate that phrase.

    FYI, Messianics tend to be pretty common in polygamy, not certain why that is but it is just something I have noticed.

  225. The last LSD experience I had was aboard a party boat, on a big, deep lake, surrounded by close friends. I imagined that I was sent by God to expiate the sins of the world and was to do so by stripping naked and diving into the 300 foot, choppy water. Incidentally, I’m a lousy swimmer. I struggled with this in my mind for a while and then determined that if it was god’s will I must do it. I got up and started to prepare myself by pulling off my swim trunks when the loud voice of my friend Elliot shouted”

    Mike, pull your Goddam trunks up, there are families on this lake. go sit down you’re on an acid trip!

    I sat down relieved that I wasn’t going to have to die for humanity and waited out for the LSD to leave my system. My experience was so real an vivid that 31 years later I remember it with clarity and can feel it emotionally. Last trip I ever took.

    I don’t write this to belittle Scarecrow, because I admit to him that it is through many of my experiences with the alternative reality of psychedelics that showed me reality is not always what it seems. I write it to illustrate that our individual interpretations of reality need to be constantly re-examined to determine what is real and what is wish fulfillment.

  226. Swarthmore mom & Blouise,

    Here’s an example of male dominance gone to the extreme from my own family:

    I had one grandparent to whom I never developed an emotional attachment–my paternal grandfather. I didn’t cry when he passed away. I didn’t feel much of anything. He was not a nice man. I don’t think he ever spoke a word to me directly.

    When my paternal grandmother was in her sixties, she began losing her eyesight because of cataracts. She’d put her hand over the gas burners on her stove to see if the burners had been turned on when she was preparing meals. You see, my grandfather wouldn’t let her have the eye surgery she so sorely needed–so she struggled on. One of the first things my grandmother did after the death of my grandfather was to have her cataracts removed. Fortunately, she didn’t have to spend the last three decades of her life–she lived to the age of ninety-seven–as a blind woman.

  227. Mike S:

    “I know you like history and would suggest you do further reading if you think it was only after WWII that men became dominant. Men have dominated women for at least 3,000 years in almost all societies all around the world.”

    I didn’t mean it quite like that. I was musing on why feminism got started and why women were treated differently. Women in the movies of the 30’s were different than women in the movies after the 30’s. Women in the movies of the 30’s seemed more equal to the men. During and after the war they became more nurturing in movie roles and more of what we would call traditional. I think the Victorian era put them on a pedestal.

    From some of my reading of the history of Rome it appears, and maybe I am inferring something that is not there, women may not have been “equal” citizens but they certainly seemed to carry a good amount of weight. They may not have ruled but they certainly were not ignored by the emperors and dictators of Rome.

  228. @ James

    Well yes, it was the white, middle class ideal wasn’t it? Women having all these wonderful labour saving devices to free up time for them to do…….even more housework/child care/bland leisure activities, whatever, as long as they were home when their husband and children came home.

    Speaking of the emptying of the tenements, there was a wonderful article the other day about homeowners associations not allowing clothes lines versus the need to change habits regarding energy use and the fact that tumble dryers are almost completely unnecessary to use in the summer. Anyhoo, someone was quoted as saying that for many Americans a clothesline looks ‘poor’ it reminds them of the urban underclass.
    Not really relevant but I thought it was interesting.

    I think the separation of whites from the urban areas definitely meant that by the time the feminist movement came along that they were less likely to understand the lifestyle of urban women (total generalisation of course but you know what I mean).

  229. “FYI, Messianics tend to be pretty common in polygamy, not certain why that is but it is just something I have noticed.”

    Isabella,
    I didn’t really know that and find it of interest, though I can’t fathom why that’s so. The Messianics I’ve met have either been Jews brought up with no knowledge of Judaism and thus were sitting ducks, or pimply faced twenty somethings, who presume to tell me stuff they have little understanding of. come to think of it that groups also includes young Mormons and Evangelicals. Their smug certainties, tempered by little life experience, deeply annoys me and I’m sometimes a little abusive verbally, which i regret but not too much.

    Glad you agree on the Judeo-Christian thing it’s a pet peeve of mine. I don’t believe in ecumenism. I believe in live and let live.

  230. Byron,
    Good point I read your remarks too simplistically. However, even though women seemed more empowered in the 30’s they still lacked the acceptance as equal individuals. What you write of Rome is true to an extent, but it was clearly a Patriarchal society.

  231. @Isabella and scarecrow

    thanks for your answers. Since you were so forthcoming I have some more. I have no problem with who people love or how many as long as they are consenting adults. I also am keeping religion out of it and believe in equal rights for men and woman so I wouldn’t care if a woman had multiple “spouses”. Correct me if I’m wrong but I am assuming Isabella doesn’t reside in the US since the tax question was NA, so some of these might be better answered by scarecrow. As a liberal live and let live person socially but a financial conservative here are my “issues” with multiple legal marriages.

    1. Under current law an example “one spouse dies the other spouse gets $1,000 a month survivor benifits from social security at retirement age. If multiple marriages were legalized and you have 4 spouses do you believe that each spouse should get $1,000 or that each spouse should get $250?”. If u believe $250 then I’m fine with it. I wouldn’t want to support a change in law that finacially awards poly life styles. Not accusing you of this but in this society some people would go for the financial gain in the situation and marry multiple time for government money.

    2. This question isn’t meant to offend you and is abused by people not living the poly life style so let me say upfront that I believe that if anyone is on public assistance of any kind that if they get pregnant that no additional resouces should be allowed for that family, so the question. “if a clause in the legalization of multiple spouses was that if the family was receiving Any public assistance any further marriages wouldn’t be legally recognized”. Would you be okay with that?

    3. Next healthcare. Currently in traditional healthcare plans it is priced by employee, spouse, and “family” meaning Any number of children. I personally think that someone paying the same amount for 1 child and 12 children is rediculous and unfair. I believe that It should be a per person cost, so that someone with fewer children doesn’t pay inflated prices because someone else choose to have 12 children. Is you opinion that if multiple marriages were legalized that someone with 1 wife would pay the same amount monthly than someone with 4 wifes on the employee and spouse plan?

    4. On a more personal note, you said u have one single account and one with each spouse that u transfer as needed. It seems that u have highly educated “spouses” that are more than capible of finacially supporting them selves. Let’s assume you have 4 wives. 1 that has 2 children and works outside the home. 1 that has 6 children and works outside the home. 1 that has 1 child but does the home schooling for everyones children but makes no outside income, and one with 5 children and is the “homemaker”. Does the income that the 2 wifes that work outside the home get deposited into the joint account with that wife or your single account? If your single account do u transfer the same amount to each wife each month for there personal needs (there clothes, makeup, manicure hair etc) and u pay for everything else? All bills and expenses for the children and household? If the other way how is there not jealousy between the 2 woman who don’t make money from the outside but work to educate everyones children and run the house?

    5. In later years when everyone is retired (using the above example). How would you handle the issue if one of the homemakers decided to get a divorce and leave the family. Would they be legally entitled to 20% of household income? And please don’t answer this with we won’t get a divorce life happens.

    I know that all my questions are financial but I just wanted to know how far u have thought legalized marriage through from that side. Im not voicing an opinion of what I think either way, but right or wrong can u see the complexaties and cost associated with changing the number of legal spouses a person has to the tax payers and do you think it is justified when you can live the same life you are living now without the legalization? Also do u believe the number of multiple spouses would increase if legalized just for the financial reasons to “scam” the system.

    Just thought of this but what about getting married multiple times to illegal immagrants for financial profits. I’m afraid this would open too many things that we as a society don’t want that has nothing to do with a real poly family that does it for thr “right” reason.

  232. Women in the United States have made incredible progress in achieving equality and have done so while still maintaining marriages, homes and families. Except for a brief period in the early 1900’s, we have done so without riots or killing.

    We are now moving ahead with great speed as more of us are enrolled in advanced degrees at university and we are entering those profession requiring these degrees in greater and greater numbers. We are also entering the “blue collar” trades in large numbers.

    As we were able to advance thanks to the efforts of our mothers and grandmothers, our daughters and granddaughters are able to go further than we with greater ease. We have also been raising sons and grandsons who understand our assertions and erect no barriers to our advancements.

    It is still a battle on many fronts but we are steadfast in our determination and … the “ol’ girl network” is huge.

  233. @ Byron

    The Roman women of the Patrician class may have been strong minded but Roman society was totally patriarcal, the women had no rights, men had absolute control of their families and if they decided to kill you or sell you to slave traders they could do so.

    It was said that early Christianity was popular amongst women and slaves precisely because of the idea of things being better in heaven even if things totally sucked on earth.

    Roman women were shocked by the notion that Celtic women being able to choose their lovers openly whereas Roman women risked death if they were caught with any lover. Look at Messalina? Ok, an exteme example but still….

  234. Blouise I like that “ol girl network”. I sent my daughter to an all girl non denominational high school. The goal was the empowerment of young women.

  235. Elaine, SwM, Anon N,

    Elaine’s story struck a chord within … just last week I drove a 70 year old neighbor to her doctor for a follow-up appointment after her first physical in 10 years. Her husband died three months ago.

    He would not drive her to the doctor as she seemed perfectly healthy to him.

    As soon as he was buried we got her to the doctor. She now has heart meds, glasses, and blood pressure medicine. She feels like a new woman. Next week she’s getting her driver’s license. Her son came home for the funeral and left the next day.

    We organized her finances, took care of Medicare for her and called in a handiman to fix things in her home. Her funds are adequate to her needs.

    The “we” I’m referring to are her neighbors, men and women.

    Her husband’s death saved her life.

  236. “FYI, Messianics tend to be pretty common in polygamy, not certain why that is but it is just something I have noticed.”

    Very true…many individuals I interact with are Messianic Jews…there are also many other religious belief systems represented.

    I imagine it is possible to have a polygamous family without any type of religious structure to it, however I think it is likely that the success rate would be far below the 50% rate currently seen in monogamous heterosexual non-religious marriages…you know, the “Adam & Eve” type of marriage (interesting that I need to use so many terms to define the marriage scenario I want to address). I think this would be the case due to the additional variables in the relationships which would create additional challenges to the relationships.

    “Polygamy is still present among Jews in Israel, Yemen and the Mediterranean.”
    Jonathan Turley 10/3/2004

    @ Mike…I guess I should have said I understand the perspective that has been expressed to me, not necessarily yours…I didn’t take anything negatively from you so don’t worry…everyone in general that does not want to believe what I (and many many others) have experienced have to find another explanation for it and I have heard some rather inventive things that are if nothing else entertaining…

  237. Women have a good deal of power. Why did men vote for the passage of the 19th Amendment? I heard it was put up or shut up, i.e. “I have a headache dear”.

    Men are simple creatures.

  238. Byron,

    I guess I don’t watch enough old movies to really comment on the broader point you’re making about the 1930s, but I do have an interest in ancient Rome. I understand the point you’re trying to make about some women being influential, but Rome was very much a patriarchy. There’s lots of examples of how, but this one is illustrative: a man sleeping with (and having children by) his own slaves was not considered adultery.

  239. Byron,

    In re Roman history, you are by in large correct in your assessment of woman’s role in Roman society, however, their story is replete with examples of women who wielded vast power from the shadows. The one that immediately comes to mind is Antonia Minor, the mother of Emperor Claudius. She was a hard woman and although she held little sway over Caligula (even going so far as to commit suicide rather than put up with his abuses), she laid the political groundwork for the ascension of Claudius (who was one last gasp of sanity between the reigns of Caligula and Nero, although she berated poor Claudius every chance she got).

  240. Byron
    1, October 11, 2010 at 12:56 pm
    Women have a good deal of power. Why did men vote for the passage of the 19th Amendment? I heard it was put up or shut up, i.e. “I have a headache dear”.

    Men are simple creatures.

    ===========================================================
    Really? That’s what you heard? According to my grandfather who voted for passage, it was simply the right thing to do.

  241. @ Byron

    Oh yes the infamous Lysistrata technique… ;o))

    @ Scarecrow, you are right, secular poly relationships are terrifically problematic.

    @ Curious, I hope Scarecrow can help you answer your financial queries, we have a different way of doing things and we don’t have any ‘home makers’.

  242. “Very true…many individuals I interact with are Messianic Jews…”

    Scarecrow,
    I suspected as much. Please let me emphasize that despite what rationales are given “Messianic Judaism” is not Judaism in any way. It is Christianity borrowing Jewish trappings. Those you meet might be Jewish from the perspective that their mother was Jewish, but religiously they are Christians and so really unable to let you know how Jews feel, or think.

  243. @Isabella. Do u want multiple spouses legalized and if so why and how would it benifit u and your family? What exactly would change?

  244. Mike S.,

    I’m going back to the discussion of sniping on this blog and about some of the “regulars”–who are females–being involved with it on this thread. I’ve been commenting on this blog for over a year. I have read many threads where male “regulars” have insulted other posters–and in some cases with much more intensity. You are a voice of reason at the Turley Blawg. Have you ever called out male regulars for that type of behavior?

  245. Curious,

    “You” are typing out long enough posts that two extra letters is not that big a deal, but would make you come across so much more credibly.

  246. Elaine,

    Mike S. has taken issue with male regulars when the sniping has gotten out of hand. He is quite even handed, but his motive (IMO) usually seems to be to keep the conversation moving and not just idle chastising. Consequently he’s more likely to say something when he’s actively involved in the topic.

  247. I’ve read some very strong words on this blog, very strong. In comparison, Elaine’s were so mild and pale in their complexion as to be almost invisible.

    Oh yes, I am going to be very interested in the answer and examples.

  248. @James

    If I were worried about being credible I would be using spell check as I know and have accepted my grammer and spelling, to put it bluntly sucks. :), however I’m not posting here because I need or want to feel that u all think I’m intelligent! I just truely am just interested in different lifestyles and am taking advantage of the opportunity to ask 2 people that live that lifestyle how it works and what there opinions are. I don’t think it’s wise to take a stance on an issue without looking at it from both sides.

    I am a bottom line person, and while I understand that some people need to speak of religion and morals to make an argument or make a decision, and some people just like to discuss the issues on and on…. I learned that those are issues that your not likely to change someones opinion on no matter how hard u try. So I like to cut through that crap and get to what I consider to be the bottom line. What is the true cost to society finacially….. Is the finacial cost fair to society as a whole? The other stuff nobody will ever agree about, and god or the higher power will judge us individually for the choices we make in the afterlife, but we have free will now to decide if we follow the law of man, if we don’t then we should expect to pay the consequences right of wrong in the eyes of god. And we as citizens of the USA shouldn’t make laws based on our own opinions morals or religon if there is no personal injury consiquences or finacial unfairness to everyone as a whole

    thank u ;)

  249. Mike S. & Byron,

    It may be that women didn’t feel more empowered in the thirties. It may be that many men in the thirties–during the Great Depression–could have felt as “un-empowered” as women because the men had lost their jobs and couldn’t find work anywhere. Such men couldn’t support their families–or themselves. I think a lot of men who were out of work felt powerless–as many women always have–about the condition of their lives.

  250. Buddha Is Laughing
    1, October 11, 2010 at 1:56 pm
    Elaine,

    Mike S. has taken issue with male regulars when the sniping has gotten out of hand. He is quite even handed, but his motive (IMO) usually seems to be to keep the conversation moving and not just idle chastising. Consequently he’s more likely to say something when he’s actively involved in the topic.

    =========================================================

    Ah … but was the sniping out of hand on Elaine’s part?

    Judgement call perhaps?

    Tricky when the subject matter is polygamy, criminal charges based on “allegations of child abuse or child brides, which are clearly not present in this case. The use of this statute to prosecute the Browns would be in my view unconstitutional.”(JO), religion, and men/women.

  251. Buddha,

    Thanks for your answer.

    Now here’s a question for you–which you can choose to answer or not:

    Do you think my “sniping” got out of hand on this thread?

  252. There are some misogynists that visit this blog from time to time. I was attacked by one once and Mespo defended me. You have had a lot thrown at you on here, Elaine, but you are amazingly strong.

  253. I do not have either Elaine’s or SwM’s email and am only communicating with them on the this blog.

    Since reading Mike’s “call-out” I have been practicing a great deal of restraint … attempting to follow Elaine’s example …

    It would be unwise for anyone to assume I am petting a soft, fluffy kitten.

  254. Elaine Buddah gets very strong with people that attack him and that’s perfectly okay, and it’s okay for you too. Those posters took a whack at your family and your beliefs.

  255. I’ve read the entire set of posts again and although Mike can speak for himself? I got the impression he wasn’t targeting anyone specific, but rather everyone.

    As far as the topic goes, I don’t think poly marriages are a bad idea from a contractual standpoint and can be as rewarding or damning as any mono marriage. The problem with poly marriages is simply complexity. More parts with differing agendas and functions leads to more problems as a mathematical proposition. For that alone, it’s a bad idea – and read this carefully – for most people. I know a very few people with the right psychological makeup for a poly situation, but I do know some. When a poly marriage goes bad, take the worst divorce case you can think of and multiply. Instead of the potential a single family car wreck, you have the potential for a highway style pileup. And yes, this is one time where saying “think of the children” IS a valid point. They run the risk of losing not just immediate family (mom and dad, direct siblings), but the risk of losing an extended family. While an extended family can offer benefits, those benefits also come a extended (read higher) cost upon loss or dissolution.

    Even if poly marriages were a legal option, they are not a universally good idea based on both a C/B analysis upon dissolution (always hope for the best, but plan for the worst) or the difficulties of coordinating compatible psychological states from all participants.

    Just like you can ride a motorcycle without a helmet in some states, it’s still a good idea to wear one.

    But no one has ever said being stupid is against the law.

    As long as what you want to do doesn’t interfere with the lives and/or rights of others, feel free to make as many dumb decisions as you like. Poly marriage – while some small minority may be able to make it work in a healthy fashion – are simply a bad decision for most people.

    Bad or good, decisions are a consequence of free will.

  256. Elaine,

    Not a bit. Compared to how I maul my attackers before I skin them alive, your “sniping” was quite ladylike and proper. But again, I don’t think Mike was targeting you with his comment, but rather the whole thread.

  257. Buddha,

    “I got the impression he wasn’t targeting anyone specific, but rather everyone.”

    This “little old lady” regular has a different perspective on the subject. I won’t, however, speak for my fellow “little old ladies.”

    *****

    Blouise,

    I’ll supply the bourbon!

  258. Buddha,

    Buddha Is Laughing
    1, October 11, 2010 at 2:34 pm
    I’ve read the entire set of posts again and although Mike can speak for himself? I got the impression he wasn’t targeting anyone specific, but rather everyone.

    ===========================================================

    Really? Interesting take on it.

  259. Elaine,

    I point to this section of Mike’s post:

    “However, having re-read every post on this thread I’ve got to admit that I’m not at all certain whether it was them, or some of our regulars who started firing first. Much more I don’t care. Let’s tone down the sniping and tune up the discussion.”

    Re-read that while keeping in mind psychotherapists are trained at diffusion techniques.

    I won’t speak for Mike’s thoughts without caveat, but I will say this about him based solely upon my considerable past interaction with him: had he meant to address you specifically, he’d have done so with greater specificity.

  260. Elaine,

    This little ol’ lady thinks Buddha is being an excellent wingman and I commend him for it.

    I agree with the rest of his post.

  261. Buddha,

    I may not be a psychotherapist–but I’m an adult woman who knows how to read between the lines. Which regulars were involved in the so-called sniping on this thread? It may be that Mike didn’t want to call out a group of “little old ladies” in a discussion about polygamy and male domination of women.

  262. Elaine M.
    1, October 11, 2010 at 2:54 pm
    Buddha,

    I may not be a psychotherapist–but I’m an adult woman who knows how to read between the lines. Which regulars were involved in the so-called sniping on this thread? It may be that Mike didn’t want to call out a group of “little old ladies” in a discussion about polygamy and male domination of women.

    ============================================================

    Well said

  263. Elaine,

    You are free to read Mike’s comment as you will, but my take on the situation was asked and honestly given. Mike to my reading was merely trying to steer the group, not the individuals stemming from his clearly addressing that he “didn’t care who started it” and by not placing blame on any one party. De-focusing blame is a key technique in diffusion of tensions.

    It was a “play nice and don’t make me get out of this chair, childrens” as opposed to “Bad Elaine! Quit tormenting those trolls/people!”

    If Mike had thought you got out of line with defending yourself, I really do think he’d have called you out on it by name. If he was truly upset with you, he’ll have to answer that himself, but I don’t think he was.

  264. Buddha,

    I don’t want you to think I’m suggesting that Mike is a sexist. I DO believe he is one of the voices of reason on this blog. I find his comments insightful and often very persuasive. I understand that Mike wanted to get the discussion back on track. But I felt I had to respond to his first post about the sniping when he agreed with James that we should just ignore insults. There are times when I will not ignore personal insults.

  265. “It was a “play nice and don’t make me get out of this chair, childrens” as opposed to “Bad Elaine! Quit tormenting those trolls/people!” (Buddha)

    ==========================================================

    I left the classroom a long time ago … I still pet kittens, but never on command.

  266. Evidence, please.

    I cited why I arrived at the reading of Mike’s post that I did, Blouise.

    It’s an area that’s going to fall into the area of inference/implication until Mike himself answers for his state of mind should he choose to do so.

  267. Elaine You don’t look like a “little old lady” in your picture. You have got it going on. The was a woman called the GWU mom who posted on here. She had a good life and a good husband, and she got attacked by a couple of women. One isn’t here any longer unless she posts under anther name and the other one is here on and off. I think some people resent people who are leading a good life with a wonderful family.

  268. Elaine,

    I have no problem with you defending yourself and I’m pretty sure neither does Mike. Personally, I get a kick out of it when people stand up. Self-defense is a right that comes with breathing and transcends any law. I don’t think he was trying to quash you as much as he was simply steering the group for the aforementioned reasons: his choice in language, his known area of expertise and the fact I’ve seen Mike call people out before – which he does with great directness and clarity.

    Ultimately he’ll have to answer your question to his mindset in re those comments. I may be good, but those psychic lessons Blouise was giving me aren’t taking. :)

  269. Blouise:

    “It would be unwise for anyone to assume I am petting a soft, fluffy kitten.”

    What does that mean? Are you saying you aren’t a softy or that you aren’t Ernst Stavro Blofeld?

  270. Swarthmore mom,

    Thanks. That picture was taken this past July on my daughter’s wedding day. I have some good family genes. I’m nearly sixty-four and haven’t gone gray yet.

    I have an OUTSTANDING husband. He’s the one who helped me to learn how to speak up for myself…helped me build my self confidence. I was not very assertive or outspoken before I married him–I was just a wiseass. My husband admires and respects strong women.

  271. Swarthmore mom
    1, October 11, 2010 at 3:09 pm
    Elaine You don’t look like a “little old lady” in your picture. You have got it going on. The was a woman called the GWU mom who posted on here. She had a good life and a good husband, and she got attacked by a couple of women. One isn’t here any longer unless she posts under anther name and the other one is here on and off. I think some people resent people who are leading a good life with a wonderful family.

    ==============================================

    You said a mouthful with that one. It was that attitude that, in my opinion, led to the first real swipe at Elaine … the one about a cheating husband. (Buddha, that’s part of what I meant with the term “context”) Before that swipe, the disagreements were simply differences in opinion. That was an intentional move to the personal and away from the theoretical.

  272. Ultimately he’ll have to answer your question to his mindset in re those comments. I may be good, but those psychic lessons Blouise was giving me aren’t taking. :) (Buddha)

    That’s because you haven’t paid for them yet … as soon as the check arrives and clears … viola!

  273. Blouise I was shocked when the “christian” man said that to her. He seriously took the low road and wanted to inflict damage.

  274. Blouise,

    If you are asking who I thought threw the first punch? I’d be glad to answer that as well, but since you already identified it, I’ll just say that I do think that was that comment that crossed the personal line (drew first blood so to speak). If that had it been directed at me it would have immediately resulted in an incendiary response. Not the nuclear option, but I’d have certainly gotten out the flamethrower.

  275. Byron,

    You lurker, you … no, the reference is to the video Elaine posted earlier on this thread. I’ll repost it so you don’t have to go hunting:

  276. Swarthmore mom
    1, October 11, 2010 at 3:27 pm
    Blouise I was shocked when the “christian” man said that to her. He seriously took the low road and wanted to inflict damage.

    ========================================================

    Yes, and, in my opinion, it was based more on the point you made a couple posts ago than the polygamy issue. So then I really got into the game and no one is going to tell me to get out of it … no one.

  277. And HOW did I respond to the question about whether I ever had had suspicions that my husband might be cheating on me?????

    WITH A SINCERE AND HONEST ANSWER!!!!!!!!!!

  278. I agree that that comment was beyond the pale, but I think things got off track quite a while before that.

    I think it was a combination of Scarecrow being unintentionally rude (or perhaps thinking he was being mildly “internet rude”, which is a completely different scale than real life), Elaine taking offense (too much offense in my mind, especially if we are grading on the internet scale), and Scarecrow 1) not apologizing and changing his behavior while things were still salvageable and 2) becoming insulted himself, which lead to further unpleasantness.

  279. But I suppose everyone has to guard their own honor. It was a lot easier back when you could challenge people to duels.

  280. Buddha Is Laughing
    1, October 11, 2010 at 3:30 pm
    Blouise,

    If you are asking who I thought threw the first punch? I’d be glad to answer that as well, but since you already identified it, I’ll just say that I do think that was that comment that crossed the personal line (drew first blood so to speak). If that had it been directed at me it would have immediately resulted in an incendiary response. Not the nuclear option, but I’d have certainly gotten out the flamethrower.

    =============================================================

    Exactly and, to be fair to Mike S., I suspect he might not have read it well or not recognized the implications (and there are many) to the “successful, happily married, and intelligent” women who refer to themselves as the three little ol’ ladies.

  281. James M.,

    That thing about duels didn’t work out so well for the better man in Alexander Hamilton’s case. Trial by combat has its drawbacks. :D

  282. Elaine M.
    1, October 11, 2010 at 3:41 pm
    And HOW did I respond to the question about whether I ever had had suspicions that my husband might be cheating on me?????

    WITH A SINCERE AND HONEST ANSWER!!!!!!!!!!

    ==========================================================

    Yes, you did. I went to the mud, happily, willingly, and would do it again and again and again.

    Shoot, my kitten just ran away. Here kitty, kitty.

  283. Buddha,

    Back to the theory of diffusion…

    Mike wrote the following:

    “However, having re-read every post on this thread I’ve got to admit that I’m not at all certain whether it was them, or some of our regulars who started firing first. Much more I don’t care. Let’s tone down the sniping and tune up the discussion.”

    If Mike’s only intention was to get the discussion back on track, why not just write something like this: “This discussion is getting off track. Let’s not insult each other. Let’s get back to the subject of this thread.” I think he was trying to do more than tune up the discussion.

  284. Elaine M.
    1, October 11, 2010 at 3:52 pm
    Buddha,

    Back to the theory of diffusion…

    Mike wrote the following:

    “However, having re-read every post on this thread I’ve got to admit that I’m not at all certain whether it was them, or some of our regulars who started firing first. Much more I don’t care. Let’s tone down the sniping and tune up the discussion.”

    If Mike’s only intention was to get the discussion back on track, why not just write something like this: “This discussion is getting off track. Let’s not insult each other. Let’s get back to the subject of this thread.” I think he was trying to do more than tune up the discussion.

    ========================================================

    Now … we’re gettin’ it on …..

  285. James,

    Of course, Scarecrow was only being “unintentionally” rude–but Elaine “took too much offense.” It’s a good thing I don’t own a pistol. I’d challenge YOU to a duel!
    ;)

  286. Elaine,

    I will stand as your second … please choose bow and arrow … I’m a very good archer … not so good with pistols

  287. Elaine,

    I knew I might be opening up a can of worms with that, but doesn’t this whole discussion about Mike’s post have even less basis for it than Scarecrow’s original post? At least Scarecrow directly insulted you.

    I guess I grade behavior on the Internet on a continuum from “ur a fag” and talking about what you did to someone’s mother at the low end, to polite discussion on the high end. When one is used to dealing with the low-end, the stuff you’re choosing to take offense at seems a little bristly.

  288. @curious

    Personally, oh yes, in the same way as I believe that gay partnerships should be legal, it is the right to have each other acknowledged as equal partners legally. It is the right to be considered family more than anything else, a breakaway from the presumed monogamous, heteronormative standard. It doesn’t make a blind difference in every day life because I don’t have a fear of being arrested myself. However, I feel the pain of other poly people who don’t have my freedom to be open, like the Brown’s.

    By the way, my spelling and grammar are terrible also, I am just too lazy for my own good really….another reason to be poly because three pairs of hands are better than one or two gosh darnit…..if I could afford a butler/cook/maid/driver….. ;o))

    @ Buddha
    >The problem with poly marriages is simply complexity

    Darn tootin! Relationshiops and hard in general and the more people the more hard they get. Not everyone has the time, skill or the desire to do the huge amount of communication and processing involved in a poly relationship. Really you have to be completely bonkers to do it and yet…..

    >Bad Elaine! Quit tormenting those trolls/people!”

    I don’t consider what I have been doing as trolling btw, just because I am new to this blog and have an uppopular opinion doesn’t make me a troll.

  289. Rereading my last post: I don’t mean that you don’t have cause to feel insulted at all on this thread (I do think Scarecrow definitely crossed the line) — but Mike’s post isn’t something that you should be concerned about. And yes, even after seeing many more of Scarecrow’s posts, I still don’t think that first post was intended to be personally insulting.

    I’m laughing at myself a little as I type that, because I so shouldn’t have opened up that can of worms again, but since I already did it last post, I’ll try to explain briefly.

    This is more or less an anonymous argument — some of the regulars know each other, but from Scarecrow’s point of view, everyone is just a random screen name. When you’re arguing with a random screen name, saying something like “You’re opinion is wrong, you’re stupid, stop watching TV and get your facts straight” is insulting, but it isn’t personal.

    It seemed like you took it personally — as if someone “real” had said you weren’t smart and watched too much TV, rather than some stranger on the internet.

    I tried to express it earlier with the comment that it can’t be personal because he doesn’t know you personally.

    Oh well, I know my last post didn’t make thing any better, but hopefully this one will at least give you a glimpse at where I’m coming from.

    The Internet: Birthplace of Godwin’s Law.

  290. Sorry to interrupt but I thought I might post something actually relevant to the topic at hand and answer “Curious”.

    I think I have figured out why there are only a handful of regulars at this blog…who wants to read through all this crap, much less participate in it on a regular basis?

    Is there a way to delete the mountain of unrelated posts so that people who find this blog and are interested in reading legitimate comments can do so quickly?

    @ Curious…

    1. If multiple marriages were legalized and you have 4 spouses do you believe that each spouse should get $1,000 or that each spouse should get $250?”.

    There will most certainly be different family structures. In the case where there are multiple spouses not working and only one income I can understand that you would not feel that it is fair for them to receive the $1000 each, but what about the scenario where the husband and two wives are working and two stay at home? Would you expect each of the 5 to potentially receive $1250 then? While there will be a number of families with more stay at home than working, I think the majority will be the other way around and it would actually end up favoring the monogamous families since the polygamous families will be contributing more and receiving less should the system stay as it is. If the program was modified and benefits paid based on the household and its contributions rather than the individuals that would likely be more equitable.

    2. “if a clause in the legalization of multiple spouses was that if the family was receiving Any public assistance any further marriages wouldn’t be legally recognized”.

    I don’t agree with that, however I would agree to a stipulation that their public assistance would not be increased because of the additional marriage. If a family chooses to grow they should then take the responsibility of supporting that larger family. In other words, to add a member to the home simply to obtain government assistance should not be allowed, but if a working member becomes disabled or looses a job and is unable to find employment then there shouls be the same ability for assistance as an individual or to person marriage.

    3. Is you opinion that if multiple marriages were legalized that someone with 1 wife would pay the same amount monthly than someone with 4 wifes on the employee and spouse plan?

    Nope…I tend to feel the same way as you do…if you want the wives and kids…provide for them…Insurance companies could easily tailor a policy for a poly family, which of course would cost more because there are more adults involved…not sure if they would address the children situation that you mentioned as it might be seen as discriminatory against the children.

    4. you said u have one single account and one with each spouse that u transfer as needed…

    It all goes into the single account and then is transferred into other accounts as needed, essentials come first, luxuries last depending on what is available. Each individual is valuable to the family, just in different ways and serving different purposes.

    5. How would you handle the issue if one of the homemakers decided to get a divorce and leave the family. Would they be legally entitled to 20% of household income?

    I personally believe that if an individual (monogamous or otherwise) should not have the right to anyone’s income. If they were single and unemployed when they came into the relationship then they will be single and unemployed should they chose to leave. Just as if a high income professional chooses to leave they should have the right to take their income with them. The only exception would be if the family supported them while they were receiving their education which enabled them to acquire that position, then there should be adequate compensation to the family, but not forever. If there are kids involved they should stay with the family they are growing up with unless there is abuse, this would stem any thoughts of divorce considerably. But if a woman chooses to leave she should be granted equal time with her children, I just do not feel the children should ber removed from their father and extended family without just cause.

    “do you think it is justified when you can live the same life you are living now without the legalization?”

    It needs to be legalized for the same reasons other types of marriage are legal. I actually wish the government would get out of the “Marriage Business” altogether and simply record civil contracts between individuals or groups similiar to the way it records partnerships, corporation, etc… Contracts can be drawn up to fit each situation and modified as needed. All this fighting over marriage simply is not needed whatsoever. The ironic thing is that the “Christian” or “religious” segment of the population are the ones that brought the government into the marriage business…now they are up in arms because the government isn’t always doing things their way any longer…think of the wasted millions or maybe even billions of dollars because of this…

    “Also do u believe the number of multiple spouses would increase if legalized just for the financial reasons to “scam” the system.”

    I know that the number of legal spouses would increase, many are waiting for the day…the only way to “scam” the system is to remain unmarried and therefore qualify for public assistance.

    “Just thought of this but what about getting married multiple times to illegal immagrants for financial profits.”

    Again with poly legalized it can be regulated and therefore the abuses minimized. There isn’t a government program in existence that someone hasn’t figured out a way to abuse. The key is to structure it carefully to minimize the potential for abuse.

    By the way, I don’t mind answering your questions, I appreciate the opportunity to present this information for all to read. (hoping that they manage to get past all the tripe and actually drill down far enough to get to this)

  291. “You are a voice of reason at the Turley Blawg. Have you ever called out male regulars for that type of behavior?”

    Elaine, yes I have and on too many occasions for this old guy to remember or enumerate. I have also made myself clear on many occasions as to where I’m coming from regarding women and feel no need to further defend myself in that area.

    The truth is that I didn’t try to name who threw the first punch, because I was hoping, vainly it seems, that we could all get beyond it. Whether you write, SWM, Blouise or a host of others writes I will always call out those who would denigrate you because of your sex. However, that in and of it self is paternalistic because all three of you and other female writers here are more than capable of fighting your own battles, without my defense. I was very careful in how I phrased myself and I would ask you to re-read what I’ve written to really see if my actions were patronizing, or if I was truly interested in the opportunity to talk with people in the lifestyle.

  292. “You are a voice of reason at the Turley Blawg.”

    Elaine,
    That has not always been true either and I’ve had my share of flame wars. I would like to be the voice of reason, but I’m just an old guy who sometimes lets wisdom overtake my too combative nature.

  293. “Elaine M. 1, October 11, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Buddha,

    Back to the theory of diffusion…”

    When you don’t want to discourage the conversation but rather steer it, it is best not to lead with “You trolls stow your crap.” Defensiveness is a conversation killer. Since Mike was interested in fostering the conversation, he watered down the blame before saying to move along. That is a tactic, but there are indeed others. He could have ignored blame, assigned it and whitewashed/minimized it, or dilute it (which is what I think he was going for). I’m sure there are others as well. Only he can answer as to his choice in tactics, but I think he was displaying the diffusion strategy nonetheless. Maybe it was a tactical misstep as it has apparently drawn your ire, but I think the strategy was sound. You aren’t going to disparage a tactical quibble, are you? Consider that not only was he not directly addressing your actions, but Mike’s current state. We’re damn lucky to have him posting at all. He’s probably tired much of the time and taking drugs that are most decidedly not of the entertainment persuasion. I’m not trying to be his apologist, but I think you should ask are you really upset with Mike mild by comparison rebuke or with the clown who nastily questioned the Mr.’s marital fidelity in place of substantive rebuttal? At worst Mike may be guilty of not rushing to your defense, but I don’t think he’s attacked you. I don’t know his state of mind, but from what I read of the posts I know who I’d be upset with and it isn’t Mike. But that’s just me. It is not my offense to be taken.

    That being said, I am going to withdraw from the slings and arrows part of the program and let Mike address his intent and tactical choices as he has the only actual answers. Further address is speculative and possibly counter-productive. If Mike meant any personal slight, I’m sure he’ll address it when he feels like it with the same directness you have in stating your complaint with his comment.

    Now consider the tribulations of this Internet scrape if we were all married and arguing over date night or the kids?

    Aye, there’s the rub.

    Error in a given system is compounded by the numbers of components/participants.

  294. Doh!

    Never mind.

    I see Mike got here while I had to go to the door and answered much as anticipated.

    Now . . . you kids don’t make me get out of this chair again! ;)

  295. Isabella,

    I wrote in an earlier comment: “But if posters insult my intelligence or attack me personally, I will usually respond—except to certain trolls who aren’t worth the effort.”

    I responded to you a number of times. I wouldn’t have if I thought you were a troll.

    ******

    James,

    I don’t use a “random screen name.” I post under my own name. You can easily find out who I am by clicking on my name at the top of each of my comments. If someone addresses a comment to me that includes an insult, why is that YOU think that I SHOULDN’T think that the insult was directed at me? Why do YOU think I shouldn’t I take it personally?

  296. Blouise,

    CONGRATULATIONS! Have a grand celebration!

    Hubby has returned from the White Mountains–and we’re going out for dinner to one of our favorite restaurants.

  297. SWM:

    Isabella sounds like Tootie although based on Tootie’s posts I don’t think she is into gay marriage and polygamy. But hey you never know. Sex and Libertarianism are not incompatible and certainly a libertarian would be in favor of gay marriage and polygamy or at least not opposed.

    Funny how it’s all about the individual with us free market types. Although personally I agree with Buddha on polygamy, it would be a legal and emotional bitch.

  298. Byron You pick it up too. I am thinking someone other than tootie. There is something familiar about Scarecrow too. We have had these “biblical scholars” before.

  299. “It may be that Mike didn’t want to call out a group of “little old ladies”

    Elaine and Blouise this was snarky and I’m probably older and frailer than either of you. I didn’t address your names because you have become fixtures here and I was trying to avoid having to ascribe blame. Now in truth most of the comments made by Turley regulars were quite mild and those from Scarecrow and Isabella more in tune with the flaming you get in other net venues. I believe that in the course of this long discussion they came to realize that and toned it down. That becomes irrelevant though because you all defended yourselves and you positions skillfully and artfully.

    This is again what I wrote after quoting and agreeing with James.

    “However, having re-read every post on this thread I’ve got to admit that I’m not at all certain whether it was them, or some of our regulars who started firing first. Much more I don’t care. Let’s tone down the sniping and tune up the discussion.”

    “Elaine (to Buddha)
    “Do you think my “sniping” got out of hand on this thread?”

    Now if you want to take umbrage with that it’s your right, but I do think you are reading far more into my words than was there.

    As to previous battles with women Jill and I did have a blow-out last year. I see my taking on someone of the opposite sex as a sign of respect, especially since there is no one who could find anything even vaguely approaching sexism, or patronizing of women in my writing.

  300. SWM:

    I have had enough of confrontation, I dissed Gertie/30% and regretted it. He/she was actually very interesting and was quite knowledgeable about a good many things. Actually so is Tootie and she took a lot of shit from everyone as well.

    Everyone has their own opinions and beliefs, you and many others here think I am wacky as hell with my free market ideas and I cannot understand why people who are for gay marriage and other civil liberties can be against free markets.

    We should all calm down and embrace diversity, I don’t like vanilla and can go to a web site where I agree with everyone but what the hell fun would that be? And what would I learn?

  301. “This “little old lady” regular has a different perspective on the subject. I won’t, however, speak for my fellow “little old ladies.”

    My dear little old lady Turley Regulars,
    You realize of course that you’re ascribing to me words and attitudes whose only basis is your own suppositions of who I am. Are your connotations unfair given my body of work here, certainly in my opinion, but then your use of “Little Old Ladies” is a rhetorical device that has no basis in anything I’ve written and a demonstration of ironic sarcasm.

  302. Byron,

    Don’t underestimate yourself.

    We think you’re wacky for other reasons beside free markets.
    :)

    I mean that in the nicest way possible.

  303. “- Do you think it’s the plutocracy that has encouraged men who abuse their wives and/or treat them like inferior beings to do these things?

    – Do you think members of the KKK lynched black men because of the plutocracy–or just because they were racists?

    – Why has the plutocracy–over the years–chosen to oppress some groups more than others?”

    My answer is yes to all of these questions. The reasoning is simply that there are so few of them and so many of us. Yet they have the Lion’s Share of the resources. Then need division among us, just as they need xenophobia, because that keeps them in power. The poor white southerner, who was also being oppressed could take comfort that black people were of a lower status and thus objects of abuse. The ability to abuse blacks kept the poor white from realizing how much they were getting screwed.

    When it comes to women, who are smarter and more powerful than men (don’t think me patronizing I’ve been writing this for years)
    the males who are bigger and stronger physically need to find ways to overcome those strengths and thus maintain power. I’ve also been writing for years that the problem with the world is that we organize our society just like the great apes, with the biggest an toughest ape running the show. In the modern world strength and toughness have been replaced by money and power.

  304. Elaine,

    I already feel stupid having brought it up again, when the better part of valor was to let it go (I wish WordPress was more like Gawker where you get 15 minutes to edit your posts before they’re locked forever).

    If it’s alright with you, I’ll belatedly shut up.

  305. “Since Mike was interested in fostering the conversation, he watered down the blame before saying to move along.”

    Buddha,
    You know me too well. My last defense though is to blame it all on James. his reasonable post called for me to affirm it and in doing so engender the enmity of people I’d rather not fight with.
    Bad James.

  306. bUDDHA:

    yeah, yeah I know I am the eccentric relative you keep locked in the attic. :)

    Though “Ruprecht” wasn’t as dumb as he made out to be. Keeping with a Steve Martin theme.

    “Oh, Lawrence! This is the happiest day of my life! I think my testicles are dropping!”

  307. Byron,

    Just for the record, I don’t think you are the least bit wacky and I would agree with you completely about the free market system if we actually had one.

    Now … if you have a fork with a cork on the prongs … (Buddha’s Ruprecht reference) …

  308. I haven’t been on here before, so no, I am not someone called Tootie. As Scarecrow mentioned before, I only came on here purely because Scarecrow posted the link, I really, seriously have very little interest in legal things otherwise.

    So weird……

    @ Elaine

    I know you did not refer to me as a troll, I was responding to Buddha’s line, I just don’t want anyone to think that just because I am new, that I am only here to wind people up, to me, that is the definition of a troll. I am just here to answer any questions and respond to things from a poly side.

  309. Mike,

    The “little ol’ lady” reference is ours and has nothing to do with your posts … it is a poke at ourselves by ourselves … we’ve each achieved beyond our dreams, we’re smart, we’re comfortable, we’re happy with our lives, our children are successful adults and our grandchildren (in my case ’cause I don’t know if the others have any)are headed in the right direction … we are the new little ol’ ladies because we are no longer “spring chickens” and it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves of that for it is time to move over and give the next crop of accomplished females room. We all have daughters and we know exactly what we mean … age gracefully with a sense of humor. Ironic … perhaps, but also true.

    Now … my daughter and granddaughter have returned and we are going pumpkin shopping so I will address the rest later. Thank you for responding.

  310. Blouise,

    Pumpkin shopping sounds fun. I was debating making a pumpkin pie tonight, but was going to make due with canned stuff.

  311. James M:

    you make pumpkin pie from scratch? You are my hero. :) My grandmother always told me the canned stuff was just as good and much easier. She swore by Libby’s brand.

  312. Mike S.,

    Buddha brought up the subject of your calling out male regulars when their sniping/insults have gotten out of hand. I was, therefore, asking Buddha if HE thought my sniping had gotten out of hand. I didn’t say you had said or implied that. I’m sorry if it seemed that way to you.

    I also wasn’t ascribing to you “the little old ladies” tag I used to refer to Blouise, Swarthmore mom, and me. Read what Blouise wrote on the “little old ladies” topic. I was actually poking fun at myself… and my elder female blog friends.

  313. Blouise & Swarthmore mom,

    When I wrote “elder female blog friends”–I wasn’t implying that you’re older than I am! Just wanted to clear that up.

    :)

  314. Byron,

    To be fair, the door isn’t actually locked.

    “Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Oklahoma!”

    That is one funny movie.

  315. Scarecrow:

    Your “encounter” with the divine:

    I had a king sized water bed and was sleeping on the left side of the bed on my stomach, facing to the left toward my dresser. My right arm was by my side and my left arm was bent so my hand was under my pillow just under my face. I was sleeping soundly when a pressure came upon me. It was a dream to me at first , a very real very vivid dream. The pressure continued to build and I became semi-conscious not knowing if I was dreaming or if I was awake. The pressure continued to increase and finally caused me to awaken. I opened my eyes and saw my dresser. It was a very strange sensation because I felt something pushing me down but couldn’t move my arms to push back, as if I was paralyzed. I was fully awake now without a clue what was happening and the pressure continued to build to the point that I thought that my chest was going to touch the base of the bed through the mattress. By this time the pressure was so great that I could breath out but could not breath in and I began to pass out. I thought “so this is it, this is what it feels like to die.” At that moment the pressure disappeared and I came up like a bobber that a fish had been playing with…it was an older style water bed mattress that didn’t have any baffles in it so it acted like a puddle that someone had thrown a rock in, and the waves of motion were considerable for a water bed. Then I heard a very distinct voice say “This is the weight of your sin that I carry for you”. I knew instantly that it was Jesus, and remembered that “the wages of sin is death”. I had had a near death experience and met Jesus simultaneously.

    The likely cause is sleep paralysis (summarized in Wiki):

    “Physiologically, sleep paralysis is closely related to REM atonia, the paralysis that occurs as a natural part of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Sleep paralysis occurs either when falling asleep, or when awakening. When it occurs upon falling asleep, the person remains aware while the body shuts down for REM sleep, and it is called hypnagogic or predormital sleep paralysis. When it occurs upon awakening, the person becomes aware before the REM cycle is complete, and it is called hypnopompic or postdormital.[5] The paralysis can last from several seconds to several minutes “by which the individual may experience panic symptoms”.[6] (described below) As the correlation with REM sleep suggests, the paralysis is not entirely complete; use of EOG traces shows that eye movement is still possible during such episodes.[7] When there is an absence of narcolepsy, sleep paralysis is referred to as isolated sleep paralysis (ISP).[8]

    In addition, the paralysis may be accompanied by terrifying hallucinations (hypnopompic or hypnagogic) and an acute sense of danger.[9] Sleep paralysis is particularly frightening to the individual because of the vividness of such hallucinations.[8] The hallucinatory element to sleep paralysis makes it even more likely that someone will interpret the experience as a dream, since completely fanciful or dream-like objects may appear in the room alongside one’s normal vision. Some scientists have proposed this condition as an explanation for alien abductions and ghostly encounters.[10] A study by Susan Blackmore and Marcus Cox (the Blackmore-Cox study) of the University of the West of England supports the suggestion that reports of alien abductions are related to sleep paralysis rather than to temporal lobe lability.[11]

    (…)

    Many perceptions associated with sleep paralysis (visceral buzzing, loud sounds, adrenal mental state, presences, and the paralysis itself) also constitute a common phase in the early progression of episodes referred to as out of body experiences.[16][17] Mental focus varies between the two conditions; paralysis sufferers tend to fixate on reestablishing operation of the body, whereas subjects of out-of-body episodes are more occupied by perceived non-equivalence with the body.”

    Science, it seems, has a more likely and rational, if not as provacative, explanation for your experience.

  316. Buddha,

    My husband and I enjoyed the Hell’s Grannies video. You best be on the lookout for us “little old ladies.” When we don’t have our morning prune juice, we can get nasty!
    :)

  317. @scarecrow

    1. For social security I believe the $1,000 benifit in my question should be based upon the amount of contribution the employee made not the amount of people it is supporting. So no I wouldn’t agree to the 1200. I think it should be 1000 total if u had 1 spouse or 20.

    2. As for children benefits, I have a problem with the system as a whole. This is probably not going to be a popular opinion but I believe that if someone is going to bring a child(s) into this world then the need to be finacially and emotionally able to support them for the childs whole life not the parents. I believe that a parent should have life insurance to provide after death and a good family and friend community to provide after death emotionaly. Although I understand that this isn’t the attitude of all parents and the children shouldn’t suffer for that so really there isn’t a acceptable and fair finacial outcome for those unlucky children. Unfortunetly, I realize that whether or not multiple marriages are legalized people can still have as many children as they want (and even in the case of a person who is just having children with multiple children with multiple women not in a poly relationship). My problem with this legalization of multiple spouses stems from my personal opionion that having too many children can be irresponsible. To legalize it could condone that activity. It only makes sense that if you have 6 wives at a minimum you would probably have 6 to 12 kids on the low side. A great number of our country have enough trouble supporting a family of four. Emotionally with 12 children and 6 wives that is 18 people so with working to support everyone if you were lucky you might get one on one time with every person once a month. Again this is just my opinion but I don’t see how you could have a first hand one on one relationship with each person. I also believe this about the duggars though and they aren’t poly.

    2. We agree on the health insurance and I’m sure you are correct about the number of children. I still don’t like it :)

    3. As far as the divorce situation we totally disagree but I doubt either of us will change our minds. But my opinion, first of all a women not earning outside income who spends 20 taking care of the home or homeschooling the children has contributed greatly financially speaking to the family. Had she been working how much would you have paid someone to do these things (btw I do have a college education and would go crazy being a stay at home wife). Also u stated that the children should not be removed from the “family” and the mom should be able to visit? That’s a huge diffence in poly. Is your opinion that in any marriage the person leaving the relationship should loose the right to be the primary care giver? That would be an absolute no go for me for legalizing poly.

    Also if the mom left the family are u saying that she would get visitation with all the children or just her biological ones? You can’t have it both ways. Either all moms ate legal mothers of all children or they are not. This brings up a whole can of worms for mothers rights?

    In making you case would there be anything else that u would like me to understand before I would make my decision that would apply to all people wanting to legalize multiple marriages regardless of there religion?

  318. Buddha,

    “You aren’t going to disparage a tactical quibble, are you?”

    I wasn’t attempting to disparage anything. You’re the one who said that you didn’t think Mike was targeting any regulars. You said you thought he was talking to everyone. I disagreed with your view and was trying to show you why I did. That’s all. I wasn’t angry or upset. I was just trying to explain things from my perspective.

    *********

    BTW, I’m getting dizzy from scrolling back and forth on my computer so I can read previous comments addressed to me and then respond to them. I’m done for now. I hope this will be the end of the “who-said-what-that-got-someone-else-pissed-off-first-and-who-wrote-nastier-comments-and-whether-certain-posters-responded-to-other-poster-in-the-appropriate-manner” discussion.

    As far as I’m concerned–the case is closed!

  319. lol

    Elaine,

    I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I love that movie. But what may be surprising is that with my comedy bent that one of my favorite performances is that of the late John Vernon as Dean Wormer. I had seen him is sooooo many other films and TV of my youth playing outlaws and heavies (like bad guys on “Mission Impossible” and Fletcher in “The Outlaw Josey Wales”), when I saw “Animal House” (first run, at the drive-in, way under age) it just blew me away and opened my mind to the possibility that dramatic acting and comedic acting is a line that can be crossed if you’re good enough. “The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me.” But his funniest scenes were all facial reaction – when Straton hits the golf ball into Wormer’s office and when the guy fires up the chainsaw to get the dead horse out. If you look at his career he was clearly a journeyman actor who worked steadily from the early 60’s until his death. Never a leading man, but the man had some chops.

  320. Elaine,

    I’ll turn 65 next month so no “taking umbrage” from me.

    Will you visit me if I’m sentenced to double secret probation?

  321. Buddha,

    I laughed out-loud at the grannies skit … 2 of my friends have purchased motorcycles because they “always wanted” one … their daughters think it’s cool, their sons are going nuts about it. I wouldn’t ride with either one of them.

    But I might go on an afternoon purse swinging walk with them … the high school track team is out running the streets almost every afternoon.

  322. James,

    Hope the pie thing went well. I love pie but my least favorite is pumpkin and I have never made one without using a doctored can filling.

  323. Mike,

    Thank you for your response.

    We are in complete agreement regarding polygamy. We have differences on the matter of sniping which will work themselves out over time.

    I wish you well.

  324. Blouise,

    “But I might go on an afternoon purse swinging walk with them … the high school track team is out running the streets almost every afternoon.”

    Just remember fall is approaching. There should be plenty of leaves to hide the bodies under. ;)

  325. Buddha,

    lol – we’ll probably pile the leaves, hide in them and jump out with purses swing

    Trust all is well with you

  326. Blouise,

    I’ll turn sixty-four next month…on the 15th. What’s your birth date?

    I’ll be at the Snarky Little Old Ladies House serving MY double secret probation sentence along with you. You bring the scotch; I’ll bring the bourbon.

    :)

    I make an excellent homemade blueberry pie with Wyman’s of Maine frozen wild blueberries. They’re actually better for pies than the fresh “steroid” blueberries you get in the supermarket. I use a Fannie Farmer pie crust recipe. The crust comes out delicate and flaky. Oh my, I’m making myself hungry.

  327. Buddha,

    I agree with you about John Vernon’s acting in “Animal House.” I’m sure it would come as no surprise that I loved the movie too. Speaking of facial reactions–John Belushi did some great “acting” with his eyes.

  328. Elaine,

    Belushi was an Albanian mutant. What Hunter Thompson said about his attorney Lazlo applies to Belushi. He was “one of God’s own prototypes, not meant for mass production.” Not many people can make you laugh by just raising an eyebrow, but Belushi sure could. You can’t train to a talent like that. It’s genetic.

  329. @ mess…see my reply to James (I know that actual posts relevant to the topic are difficult to dig out of all the crap that has been posted)

    @ Chris

    “I wouldn’t agree to the 1200″

    In that scenario there were 3 working and two at home, a higher ratio of those contributing then a monogamous family with a stay at home mom…thus the higher rate…

    “My problem with this legalization of multiple spouses stems from my personal opionion that having too many children can be irresponsible.”

    This is assuming that the only reason a polygamous family would form is to produce children. What if a man that can’t have children (or doesn’t want anymore) falls in love with another woman and decides to marry her because he loves her? If that happens today he has to divorce his first wife if he wants to marry the other woman that he also falls in love with. Also, there is an abundance of older single women past the age of childbirth because men tend to die younger than women. If an elderly gentleman wanted to take more than one wife are there any particular reasons that he should not be allowed to?

    “Emotionally with 12 children and 6 wives that is 18 people so with working to support everyone if you were lucky you might get one on one time with every person once a month. Again this is just my opinion but I don’t see how you could have a first hand one on one relationship with each person. I also believe this about the duggars though and they aren’t poly.”

    As you already realize in a poly family at least there are a number of moms so compared to a large mono family there is considerably more time available with a parent.

    “But my opinion, first of all a women not earning outside income who spends 20 taking care of the home or homeschooling the children has contributed greatly financially speaking to the family.”

    Agreed, I did not mean to belittle anyone because of their occupation. A stay at home mom still has a “cost” to the family to “employ” her. She has all the needs of anyone else and therefore “costs” the family for her to be a part of it. Her vehicle expenses are likely higher if she is shuffling the kids around. If she leaves and becomes a financial drain to the family, how is that beneficial to the family?

    “Is your opinion that in any marriage the person leaving the relationship should loose the right to be the primary care giver?”

    No, If there was abuse the woman and children should get out. If there is not abuse, removing the children from their other half-siblings and adults they have considered their parents as well would be very detrimental and they would feel isolated and rejected. As it is they will feel rejected by their mother should she leave the family. Polygamy creates a very strong family bond that is different and likely more secure than a mono family can typically provide.

    “Also if the mom left the family are u saying that she would get visitation with all the children or just her biological ones?”

    She should be able to see anyone in the family, and it would be my hope that she would eventually reconcile with the family.

    “In making you case would there be anything else that u would like me to understand before I would make my decision that would apply to all people wanting to legalize multiple marriages regardless of there religion?”

    Well I will probably think of a number of things later as I consider your question, but the first thing that came to mind was to have you consider the reverse scenario. What it there was an abundance of women and poly marriages were legally required (let’s say that first mono marriages would be legal for up to five years then a man would be required to take at least one more wife) and you were expected by your family, friends, and peers to become part of a poly marriage (or remain single), but you for some reason detested the thought. Would you want the law changed so that you could practice a monogamous marriage as you desired to, or would it be fair for the government to force you into a poly marriage?

    There are a considerable number of polys that have nothing to do with the type of poly that most people see played out on the news. Personally don’t agree with the way I see poly practiced based on certain religious doctrines such a the Muslims who condone beating their wives under certain circumstances. I believe poly marriages should follow the same basic standards that mono marriages follow now (abuse, age, coercion, etc…).

    Legalization would considerably reduce the current abuses of the system (again if structured correctly when legalized), and allow women (and their children) legal rights that are otherwise lacking.

    Legalization would allow accurate statistics to be collected.

    Also @ Chris…would I object to my wife having multiple husbands.

    I believe this may have already been addressed, but in the Jewish, Christian, Catholic, Muslim, etc… religions (as well as most cults based on those religions) it is considered adultery for a woman to sleep with a man other than her husband (so the answer to your question is Yes since I am a Christian). If a woman does not claim to be a part of a belief system that prohibits a woman from having more than one husband then it is completely up to her. In some religions it is disputed if a man can have more than one wife, in this case he would need to follow the doctrine of the particular denomination that he was a part of.

    By far the strongest arguments in the courts will be the right to marry, but to me it is a restriction of the free practice of my religion which is supposed to be protected by the Constitution and its amendments.

    Last but not least, I think you will find these videos interesting:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/PolyPride3#p/c/9D7A09FE24C33E64/4/m4tXJTCYFHA

  330. Scarecrow,

    Regarding alimony after divorce for mothers who don’t work outside the home : If she leaves and becomes a financial drain to the family, how is that beneficial to the family?

    You can’t have legal rights work in only one direction. Alimony isn’t always appropriate, but when it is, it needs to be granted in polygamous marriages, just like monogamous marriages. The concern isn’t just for “the family” but for the spouse who is leaving.

    I can’t speak to other states, but I can give you just a couple of quick facts about how alimony works in Florida. Alimony can also be permanent or rehabilitative (e.g. to support the needy spouse while they get an education so they can find a job). Alimony isn’t automatic, it’s based on need. Florida makes presumptions about alimony based on the length of the marriage: alimony is presumptively inappropriate in short marriages (less than seven years) and is presumptively appropriate in long marriages (longer than 17 years).

    Alimony serves a number of functions, but one is particularly important for polygamy: it stops a controlling spouse (normally, a husband) from holding an unhappy wife economically hostage to keep her in the marriage. This is particularly important if the wife doesn’t work, or if the husband controls all the money.

    There’s another, related post coming about child custody.

  331. Addendum to my last post: Florida also just added durational alimony for short- and medium-term marriages.

    Regarding child custody issues:
    Question: “Is your opinion that in any marriage the person leaving the relationship should loose the right to be the primary care giver?”
    Answer: If there is not abuse, removing the children from their other half-siblings and adults they have considered their parents as well would be very detrimental and they would feel isolated and rejected.

    That presumption is never going to be applied. Courts look at what the best interests of the child are, and that standard is not going to change. Best interest of the child analyses are all going to be extremely fact based, but they are not always going to end up with the children living with the plural marriage, rather than the single spouse. There’s a bunch of factors, but some of the ones that could frequently cut towards the single parent would be: who do the children want to live with? Who is the children’s primary caregiver? What sort of relationship exists between each of the parents and the children?

    The desire for continuity is also considered, and would tend to cut toward staying with the polygamous group.

    Now, you know I’m in favor of legalizing polygamy, but you seem to want a policy of: “Once you’re in, there’s no way out.” If things worked the way you seem to want, in order for a parent who spent the last fifteen years raising her children to leave a polygamous marriage, she would have to already have a high-paying job lined up for herself (since there would be no chance of alimony), and would still need to leave her children (because she couldn’t be the primary residential parent). She’d basically be trapped in the marriage forever, unless she was willing to leave her kids. That’s a picture of polygamy that is extremely ugly.

  332. “She’d basically be trapped in the marriage forever, unless she was willing to leave her kids”

    Perhaps in a worst case scenario it would appear this way. I personally feel that divorce (poly or otherwise) should follow the lines of what I previously stated. If an individual wishes to leave a marriage they should not be rewarded for doing so with cash and/or kids unless there is abuse involved.

    The first thing I would want to know is why is she wanting to leave the family. The family has supported and provided for her, what has changed that she “wants out”? No marriage situation will ever be perfect, it takes a continuous effort. The family would be doubly hurt if they had to support the leaving spouse; the remaining members of the family would have reduced financial resources with which to support the remaining family members, and the remaining members would have to make up for her efforts around the home, or rearrange their finances if she worked outside the home. No matter how it plays out the remaining family members lose. If she leaves, the family has to make up for the work she did and still support the children. There is no scenario in which the remaining family “wins”. If the woman leaves and gets the kids and cash I would consider that one of the most selfish and damaging things an individual could possibly do.

    I understand how alimony and child support works, it is fairly universal across the US. I think it will be applied in a similar way to how it is currently done with mono couples divorcing, so you don’t have to worry about anyone being trapped.

  333. @Scarecrow

    > If an individual wishes to leave a marriage they should not be rewarded for doing so with cash and/or kids unless there is abuse involved.

    Call me old fashioned if you will, but young children need to be with their mother, they are not a commodity like cash is either. As bad as I feel about any father not being able to see their children, I do not think it is appropriate to say a woman can’t walk with her children if she doesn’t want to be married anymore. Abuse is not the only deciding factor in the termination of a relationship and as much as I do believe that people should make an adult, responsible decision before they marry, life isn’t always predictable and a woman shouldn’t be punished for making such a hard decision.

  334. Isabella,

    You’re old fashioned. I think there’s plenty of times when children should continue living with their mother (when they are young, she is fit, and she is the primary care giver, I think it’s almost always true). However, there are stay at home fathers out there, and unfit mothers as well. For those reasons, favoring the mother sucks as a legal presumption. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t consider factors like who is the primary care giver that tend to favor the mother in a traditional, one income family.

  335. @ James

    Yes James, I DO know an unfit mother (well, I must admit, I know more about her, she is the mother of a friends nephew) her son actually decided he would rather live with his grandparents at the age of 12, she used to leave the kids at home and go out to get drunk all night, so yes. I understand they exist.

    I also know some amazing capable fathers whose children are not wanting for anything emotionally.

    I am not talking about the exceptions though and in general, I think taking children from their primary carer for any reason IS terrifically selfish and probably doing the child far more harm in the end. I know that as a mother I have a particular sensitivity in this issue but I just don’t think it is in the best interest of a young child to live away from their mother, however a teenager should be free to make their own choice.

  336. If you referred to them as the “primary caregiver” rather than “the mother” I’d agree with you. However, you’re making your own culturally loaded assumption about who the primary caregiver is when you say “I just don’t think it is in the best interest of a young child to live away from their mother”.

    Other than that, it sounds like we basically agree, except that you’re looking at what happens in most cases, and I’m looking at what happens in the more unusual cases.

  337. Actually James I am not making the exact same point in that post and that is causing confusion so apologies. I am responding to your point about the primary caregiver usually being the mother, I agree with you and I was responding to that.
    You were using legal terms and I was using that to support that point.

    However, my first comment to Scarecrow AND the second part of the post to you was responding from a personal bias that despite knowing many good fathers and a couple of really bad mothers, in my opinion I don’t think it is ever justified to compel a good mother to leave her child/ren.

    I am hopelessly biaed I do admit that.

  338. Isabella,

    I think most fathers feel the same way about good fathers, which is why the law has to step in and decide custody disputes.

  339. From the AP

    NAIROBI, Kenya – President Barack Obama’s polygamist half brother in Kenya has married a woman who is more than 30 years younger than him. The 19-year-old’s mother told The Associated Press on Friday she is furious that her daughter quit high school and married the 52-year-old. Mary Aoko Ouma says her daughter tried to marry Malik Obama two years ago, but the mother says she wouldn’t give permission. Malik Obama, who is Muslim, has two other wives. Polygamy is legal in Kenya if it falls under religious or cultural traditions. In an interview broadcast by Kenya’s NTV that was filmed without his knowledge, Malik Obama says he married the 19-year-old but didn’t say when.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101015/ap_on_re_af/af_kenya_obama_s_brother_1

  340. “Call me old fashioned if you will, but young children need to be with their mother”

    Actually this is a new concept. 100 years ago, if a woman wanted to walk, she had to leave her children behind. They were considered the property of the husband.

  341. @ Chris

    I think you are confusing the two concepts, as the (misogyinist) law stood, women were also property of their husbands, as were the children (all children claimed by him as his anyway) however, that does not mean that they did not believe that children need their mothers, in fact it was a ploy often used to compel women to stay in relationships which were bad for them.

    It took a really desperate woman to leave her children behind and in that way the law favoured the men, there was nothing in law which said ‘children need their fathers’ rather the law was ‘children are the property of their fathers’.

    As I said, women’s social history is a favoured topic of mine.

  342. I’m a mainstream Mormon and have alway been taught to shun even the appearance of condoning the polygamous lifestyle at all costs. I grew up in Oregon but now I live in the same Utah valley as the participants in this show. I’m an involuntarily-divorced father and over the past years I have come to reconsider the notion of polygamy, though I would never leave my church and will never do anything other than sympathize with many polygamous families. I now know polygamous families personally that are decent, down-to-earth, and loving families. The astounding fact everyone seems to miss is the caring, nurturing, and loving parenting that takes place with the children. This lifestyle is probably not for everyone, but if you think that this lifestyle is somehow deficient for the children involved, compared with neighbors and most families,who put their children in daycare for 10 hours a day, then you are simply deluded. No sober or sane perspective of these people, witnessing it first-hand, can come to this conclusion. The caveat here, of course, is that I’m talking about the non-criminal and/or non-abusive polygamous lifestyle. Everyone knows about the crazy and abusive polygamists, who operate and socio-pathologically thrive on the margins of a disenfranchised or outlawed culture–like so many other sociopaths who operate on so many different fringes of the marginalized populations of our societies. Because they can get away with so much on the un-monitored margins, sociopathic personalities will always be associated with such subcultures. However, you must look beyond the headlines and surface portrayals to understand a cultural choice such as this, just as you would for any alternative lifestyle.

    I offer this with the following perspective: I was the primary caregiver for my children before my wife left me and took our children. I fought court battles for two years just to be able to watch my children during the day instead of having them in daycare for more than 10 hours per day. I have never been anything but a loving and completely devoted father to my children, and I live in a state which calls itself a “family values” state. Yet I could not prove to the state in court (or not yet, Mr. Turley, in case you’re reading) that a loving and fit father (with no dispute on this characterization whatsoever) is entitled to care for his children over institutionalized daycare despite the “inconvenience” it causes their mother. Really. That is the reason. I’m not making that up. The judges words were that my daily father care causes “too much shuffling of the children.” I would add that I live less than two miles from their mother. And the daycare is seven miles away. And I had to pay for the daycare, by law, to boot, even as I sat in my home office and yearned and ached for my children in such a way as words cannot describe. That is how entrenched daycare parenting is in our society. Something is wrong in the current state of family law and the presumptions it holds based upon notions of equality for women.

    I studied feminist literary criticism in college; this is not feminism, and it never was imagined that real feminist notions of equality would ever lead us to this. Real feminism has been hijacked by bullies and entitlement-mongers and driven little girls away from their most important and essential of protectors–their fathers. I look forward to a progression that involves a truly equal partnering in the most fundamental and important work we have together between the sexes: parenting children. As I see it, the polygamists I know simply have a much healthier concept of this than anything currently in the “mainstream” society of family law or legal reasoning. I realize that many here will not like these words, but they are the truth.

  343. @ J. Wight

    That is probably the most powerful statement I have read to date with regard to the care of the children. This has been one of the most ignored arguments for polygamy, and likely the most important. Due to the exceptionally poor quality of public education I consider the public schools nothing more than extended public day care at taxpayer expense.

    I hope there will be testimony of this caliber at the hearings in Canada:
    http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Dozens+file+affidavits+Supreme+Court+polygamy+case/3682372/story.html

  344. My feelings on the Browns are that Kody and the wives work and support their family. They are not living off the government so there for the state should stay out of their personal life. Kody states he is only legaaly married to Meri so what law is he breaking. I myself would not in a million years live this lifestyle but they are all consenting adults free to live their life as they want to.
    I watched the whole season and will continue to watch them however long TLC will film. Good luck to the family.

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