Thursday, January 08, 2009

Reaping the whirlwind

"The charges brought yesterday against two leaders in the polygamous community of Bountiful, B.C., are likely the first steps in a process that could see Canada's anti-polygamy law struck down as unconstitutional."

So begins a story in today's National Post as the RCMP arrested and charged two members of a fundamentalist Mormon sects in Bountiful, British Columbia of practicing polygamy under the Criminal Code. While such charges are long overdue, it is extremely doubtful, in my opinion, that they will be able to survive a religious freedom defence under Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedom.  In 2006, a report for the federal government concluded that the present anti-polygamy law was unconstitutional and that, if enforced, would be struck down as such.  The courts have also shown a willingness to redefine the family as not being strictly the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, as evidenced by the legalization of gay marriage on the basis that to deny such a union was unconstitutional and a violation of the Charter.

The thing is, many people, including myself, knew that this is exactly where we would end up when marriage was redefined by our government and Charter reinterpreted in ways that, I am sure, the authors never even conceived of.  Supporters of same-sex marriage assured us that we were only being Chicken Little's crying that the sky was about to fall.  They were wrong and I fear, we will soon see the legalization of polygamy in Canada.

Hard not to reap the whirlwind when you have sowed to the wind (see Hosea 8:7).


didymus said...

But here’s the thing, people are in fact already defining marriage in different ways. Those fundamentalist Mormons are already defining marriage in a different way than you are, and taking them to court and prosecuting them I doubt will change their POV.

Plus, honestly, polygamy isn’t really all that big a deal. I live in Utah County, Utah, and I pass by the second largest polygamous church in Utah everyday in my commute to work. I have polygamous neighbors just up the way from my house. I’ve known a handful of folks who have left that “church” and have become Christians. And polygamous families have left as well. One family I know of with four wives has kept up the arrangement even though they have left that fundamentalist Mormon Church. From what I’ve gathered they simply didn’t want to break up their family, despite it being a little abstract, and so they go about town, the wives are friends, they hang out together, shop, just like everyone else. One local pastor’s wife used to reach out to the wives while working out at the gym, maybe someday that guy and his four wives will come around (and then we’ll have a polygamous family in our church).

Now I wouldn’t recommend legalizing polygamy, but if it were to be legalized, eh, it’s not all that big a deal.

Anonymous said...

Wake up and smell the coffee! No big deal, are you kidding me. Many of the these groups marry very young girls, who are simply told they must obey, is that also their religious right? The door is open and progression is always downward.

didymus said...


>Many of the these groups marry very young girls

But marrying young girls isn't polygamy, that's a different issue.

>who are simply told they must obey, is that also their religious right?

I didn't say I recommended it, nor do I agree with their erroneous religious views.

Wake up and smell the coffee! No big deal, are you kidding me.

No, I'm not kidding you. I got like 700+ polygamists in my neighborhood. Trust me, I ah, "smell the coffee". But their church is very insular, the families that are in it have been in it for a long time. Converts are few. Lets just say polygamy (unlike gay marriage) is not very contagious. And since those who are polygamists are already polygamists despite the current laws... Its just not that big a deal.