Polygamy—Two Rights Shouldn’t Make a Wrong
What’s not legal is trying to combine the
multiple sex partners move in so that you can share the joy of sex as
the joy of cooking in the comfort of your mutual household. Do that, and you could find yourself charged
with polygamy under section 293 of the Criminal Code.
Prosecutions for polygamy seem to have been
very rare in
Talk about strange bedfellows!
Both feminist groups and mainstream Christian
groups, not known for seeing eye to eye very often, are lobbying for
government to press charges.
Although sharing a husband with another
woman wouldn’t be my
cup of tea, I don’t understand why our lawmakers insists that polygamy
outlawed. Some of the
Is it not conceivable that these are fully informed, psychologically healthy individuals, free from duress and telling the truth? If so, that would mean that polygamy is in their case a victimless crime—a mere offence against state fiat, rather than a violation of their rights or anyone else’s.
Those campaigning for prosecution
allege there is more
sinister behavior in
Those are troubling allegations. But pedophilia is a crime in its own right. So is holding someone against her will. So is intimidating or threatening someone. So is fraudulently marrying a second spouse
when you’ve lied and led her to believe you weren’t already married. These are all crimes that have genuine
i.e. persons who don’t want done to them what is being done, or who are
young to legally consent to what is being done.
If such crimes are
the answer is simple: we should
prosecute for them. But we shouldn’t
something that in many cases is a consensual, victimless activity on
off-chance that it will make it more convenient to catch people who are
committing different crimes.
While legal polygamy seems unthinkable to
today, it actually has a very long history.
Economist Theodore C. Bergstrom, in his paper “On the
Polygyny”, says: “Of 1170 societies
recorded in Murdock’s Ethnographic Atlas,
polygyny (some men having more than one wife) is prevalent in 850.” Polygamy was not outlawed in the
The bible is full of prominent figures who
wives: Abraham, Jacob, David, and
Solomon, to name a few. One Catholic
with whom I debated this point told me these cases were God’s way of
us by example” that polygamy “doesn’t work”.
However, if the existence of domestic discord among
speaks poorly for polygamy, what does today’s rampant divorce rate say
the wisdom of monogamy?
Ironically, when the legal challenge to the
The Muslim religion also permits polygamy. Western
Standard magazine recently reported that one Islamic group in
What irritates me is the people who are absolutely positive that their way is the best way, but who are afraid to put it to the test. Give people the freedom to choose and let’s see what happens. If mainstream Christians are right that monogamy is superior to polygamy, simply let the two systems operate side-by-side and watch all the Muslims be won over. If you’re not prepared to allow that test, doesn’t it suggest that you harbour uncertainty about the superiority of your own system?
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