What does the Bible say about polygamy? Is there any validity to the claims of some that polygamy is a constitutional right? Is it healthy? Do recent rulings by federal judges and statutes passed by state assemblies on homosexual unions have implications for how “marriage” will be defined in the future? If a man can marry a man, can he marry his cocker spaniel. Two men? Two cocker spaniels?
These questions aren’t going away. They are in the headlines of today’s newspapers and are the leading stories for the nightly news. Individuals, churches, and private organizations concerned about the definition of marriage need to educate themselves and speak out.
In a recent article in Christianity Today entitled Can America Still Bar Polygamy?, John Witte Jr. who is the Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law and director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University writes, “The harder legal question is whether criminalizing polygamy is still constitutional. Texas and other every state still have these laws on these books. Can these criminal laws withstand a challenge that they violate an individual’s constitutional rights to private liberty, equal protection, and religious liberty? In the 19th century, none of these rights claims was available. Now they are, and they protect every adult’s rights to consensual sex, marriage, procreation, contraception, cohabitation, sodomy, and more. May a state prohibit polygamists from these same rights, particularly if they are inspired by authentic religious convictions? What rationales for criminalizing polygamy are so compelling that they can overcome these strong constitutional objections?”
The reason I bring this up is that I have not seen anyone address it as an issue in the 2008 elections. The way these issues are resolved is not going to be a matter of who has the best arguments or what is true. These are issues that are going to be decided by those with political power. That is something to think about when you cast your vote this November.