While Utah makes the move
May 17, 2001 1:45 AM   Subscribe

While Utah makes the move on this "multiple marriage family", maybe we should review our Polygamy 101. Take special note that while one might support polygamy, it may not follow to support polyandry, bigamy, polyfidelity and-or polyamory. Phew! Let the lines be drawn!
posted by Dick Paris (21 comments total)
"About 30,000 people in Utah and neighboring Arizona and Colorado are estimated to be involved in polygamist relationships."

I wonder how many women get into these multi-wife marriages because its a good covert way to live with other women and not have the church come down on you? After all, what hubby Zaragrunudgeyon doesn't know won't hurt him.
posted by pracowity at 2:36 AM on May 17, 2001

Polygamy.com does not support "polyandry", where one wife has more than one husband at the same time. Polyandry is a practice which has never been prevalent in human societies and condemned by all major world religions.

Except Tibetan Buddhism among the Ladakhi - or are these people backwards and marginal at best?
posted by dukejohnson at 3:14 AM on May 17, 2001

I'd have no problem with the idea of this guy marrying several women so long as everyone's of legal age, but what I've read on this indicates this guy's marrying them when they're like 12 or 14. What consenting adults do is their own business, but this guy's doing the equivalent of child molestation, even if it is with the consent of the females in question, it would set a dangerous precedent were this to be allowed uncontested.

The real problem here is this guy got on Sally Jesse Raphael and started making a stink about it. Those thousands who practice polygamy in Utah do so in secret. You can't get on a nationally syndicated television show, admit to breaking the law, and then act surprised when there's a knock on your door the next day from the police.

...well you can but then you look real stupid.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:15 AM on May 17, 2001

But the authorities said they could no longer ignore Tom Green.

Wow. That guy'll do anything for publicity....

then again, Freddie Got Fingered was pretty appalling.
posted by crunchland at 3:22 AM on May 17, 2001

I think this is part of a pre-olympics purge in Utah. Incidentally, if you're Mormon and try this you get booted. Also, the marrying of 12-14 year olds is pretty vile, although historically "women" used to get married at an early age in this country (but that doesn't make it right).
posted by mecran01 at 5:33 AM on May 17, 2001

I'm still trying to figure out why someone would WANT to have more than one wife. Living with one is sometimes challenging enough.
posted by darren at 7:07 AM on May 17, 2001

Mike: "I'm married to three women."
Joe: "That's bigamy!"
Mike: "Big-of-you? It's big-a-ME!"

Thank you. Thank you. Make sure you tip your waitress and drive safely. Good night.
posted by darren at 7:15 AM on May 17, 2001

I was wondering how he supported all of these "wives" until they made mention of them being on welfare. I am surprised he wasn't on Springer.
posted by a3matrix at 7:30 AM on May 17, 2001

I have no problem with what people do in their own homes except when it costs us 46,000 dollars a year.
posted by keithl at 8:40 AM on May 17, 2001

Then prosecute for welfare fraud. This polygamy thing is a narsty red herring. BTW, I think he was on Jerry Springer. Is that a crime?
posted by norm at 8:55 AM on May 17, 2001

The polygamy thing is to make an example. There are hundreds of women who have "escaped" from polygamist marriages who have roundly denounced something that they once believed in as being abusive and unnatural. Many of the "marriages" are arranged (by polygamist fathers) when the women are young teens and they are given little or no say in the matter. This is not necessarily about people's freedom to form the families that they want at all.
posted by Dreama at 9:15 AM on May 17, 2001

Ok, prosecute for child abuse, molestation, statutory rape. Prosecuting for polygamy is an intrusion into privacy where there shouldn't be one. Again, this is a red herring. The law exists to force conformity to the majority's irrational will, not to protect vulnerable women.

This is not very on-topic, but the case of polygyny also demonstrates the theological bankruptcy of the Mormons. The founder, Joseph Smith said that polygamy was A-OK, so did Brigham Young, and then to gain statehood the Prophet at the end of the 19th century indicates God changed his mind AGAIN and polygamy was a sin.
posted by norm at 9:57 AM on May 17, 2001

Wasn't the whole point of polygamy an effort to increase the numbers of believers? (Anyone who has played Black & White can understand this.)

And now that there are 10,354,241 Latter Day Saints in the world (source), isn't this whole one-man/many-wives thing pretty much unnecessary and archaic?
posted by crunchland at 10:15 AM on May 17, 2001

smith mostly said it was ok in private, most of his marriages were secret, he was even married to women that were already married i believe...

i have pictures of my great-great-grandfather in his striped prison uniform sitting next to mormon church leaders...all of them in for polygamy....my mormon heritage is lots of relatives--he had 40 kids.

theological bankruptcy Exactly...though...

i don't think that--polygamy-- is as big of a deal as only letting white men hold the priesthood until 1978, or the waves of excommunications of feminists and ERA supporters.

but...seriously, lets not get into all of that here. MeFi is far too tempting of a place to vent--especially about religion.
posted by th3ph17 at 11:31 AM on May 17, 2001

seriously, lets not get into all of that here. MeFi is far too tempting of a place to vent--especially about religion

So you get to drop a few bombs, and call the time-out as well? Sheesh, th3ph17. Can't have your cake and eat it, too.

A few general points: Mormon polygynous practice was a limited practice among a small segment of the faithful (2-5% of adult males is a commonly sited figure); Calling Green and his supporters "fundamentalist Mormons" is about as accurate as calling Lutherans a Catholic minority; taken in context, ending polygyny is hardly proof-positive of "theological bankruptcy"... and th3ph17 is right, debating that here would hardly be productive; prior to 1978, plenty of non-white men had the priesthood... if you're going to complain, you might as well get it right: prior to 1978, men of African decent were not extended the priesthood; "waves of excommunications"? a several dozen is hardly "waves".

Anyway. I had to chime in as MetaFilter's token Mormon... no offense intended.
posted by silusGROK at 12:10 PM on May 17, 2001

doesn't it seem like the problem here is that the guy says he's married to all these women? if he said he was married to one of them, and the rest were just living there, and then he adopted the children they produced so that they could have his surname, would that still be a problem?

I mean, can the state dictate that sort of thing?

seems to me the problems here are underage sex and - in some cases - extreme welfare. I do think that if you can't support them, you shouldn't continue to marry people and have children.

posted by rebeccablood at 12:20 PM on May 17, 2001

The government has every right to prosecute child abuse, welfare fraud, but not the right for consenting adults to screw up their lives.
posted by owillis at 12:25 PM on May 17, 2001


sorry. you are right. that was a pre-lunch, low brain-energy post, and i was off-topic really.
posted by th3ph17 at 1:41 PM on May 17, 2001

The jury is out... and an announcement is expected in the next day or so.

Funny thing: the trial is going on not 1000 feet from here: I didn't realize where the trial was until I went to lunch and saw the TV vans. Crazy.
posted by silusGROK at 8:14 AM on May 18, 2001

Those weren't TV vans; they were trucking in his wives and kids.
posted by pracowity at 2:14 AM on May 19, 2001

5 wives... 29 kids... and a really big satellite antenna.
posted by silusGROK at 8:14 AM on May 21, 2001

« Older   |   Is there anyone NOT blogging? Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments