Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why Only Two

Bill 158 (Guam) will require that the words "between one man and one woman" be added to The Contract of Marriage in the Guam Code. While the introduction of this bill has set off a predictable battle between those who would defend this definition and those who would oppose it, the next level of argument will be "why only two?"

Polygamy has a much wider and deeper pedigree than does same-sex marriage. For most Americans polygamy is a thing of the biblical past or perhaps an oddity of Mormonism. However, according to some studies, polygamy today is accepted and practiced by as much 78% of the world's societies.

In fact, polygamy has always been the norm, which is why Christ's teaching on the matter was so radical and remains radical today. Essentially, marital monogamy as a key societal institution, is a Christian legacy. Even the Supreme Court has said so.

In an 1890 Supreme Court decision against plural marriage, Justice William O. Douglas wrote that polygamy was "contrary to Christianity and to the civilization that Christianity has produced in the western world". (Obviously he didn't know about the separation of church and state.)

If our laws are no longer to be informed by Christian moral teaching, as we are consistently reminded by the proponents of same-sex legislation, then we must ask "Why only two?". If marriage is simply reduced to a legal contract between two people who care about each other then why not three people who care about each other?

This is not an "illogical extreme". The U.S. Supreme Court recently (2007) declined to hear a case involving a Utah man's claim that laws banning polygamy are a violation of his First Amendment religious rights and unequal treatment under the law.

While the Court may have declined to hear the case, the fact that it made it to the Supreme Court is telling of what is to come and validates Justice Scalia's warning that the Court's previous "signing on to the homosexual agenda" would pave the way for challenges to laws against polygamy, incest, and in fact all laws governing sexual conduct. (Lawrence vs Texas, 2003 - dissenting opinion)

Get ready Guam.
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