Monday, July 18, 2011
I told you that this would lead to something worse...
The world is filled with folks with dire predictions of things that will go wrong, of domino effects that start in one place and end somewhere else. When I grew up it was communism. You had to stop it somewhere, or else... Well, most of those old theories of the world's demise have come and gone. Women vote and drive and have for a long time and not all the world's ills can be blamed on this. But there are areas in which precedent does matter. It matters with respect to the law.
If you are like me and have had to force yourself not to watch "Sister Wives" (about as impossible as turning away from the train wreck on its way to destruction), now you can say it. "I told you this would lead to something worse..."
After the show began airing, Utah law enforcement officials suggested the family was under investigation for violating the state law prohibiting polygamy. Now the Brown family is planning to file a lawsuit to challenge the polygamy law. They are not seeking that the state recognizes polygamous marriage. Instead, they are appealing to a 2003 United States Supreme Court decision, Lawrence v. Texas, in which state sodomy laws were struck down using as justification the unconstitutional intrusion on the “intimate conduct” of consenting adults. They arae seeking help from the federal courts to order states NOT to punish polygamists for their own “intimate conduct” as long as they do not break other laws (like those regarding child abuse, incest or multiple civil marriage).
In this case, one decision which at the time seemed fairly reasonable even though you may not like it will be used to force acceptance of something unreasonable which no one even likes to talk about (except those who watch "Sister Wives." And this is but the tip of the iceberg... Remember Bork and the big discussion of the right of privacy which may or may not be constitutional? Well, here we go again. Now how to prevent one argument from being used to justify something nearly everyone finds shocking and objectionable -- I do not know and I am not sure the Supreme Court will be able to figure this out either...
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If something that is shocking is done privately... should the State be focused on stopping it? This may be a very important thing for us when the day comes when our preaching is considered shocking and offensive to nearly everyone. That day is coming fast, me thinks.
If there can limits to the right to free speech, such as prohibiting shouting fire in a crowded building, then it seems reasonable that there are also logical limits to the right to privacy, like say prohibiting the murder of unborn babies.
With regard to sister wives, it seems there are no good choices because the choice is between polygamy and adultery. Polygamy looks a little better only in relative terms.
Attention Anon #2
I know it, you know it, and the
American people know it....
Polygamy is simply a cover up for
Adultery. Sin is sin.
"If something that is shocking is done privately... should the State be focused on stopping it?"
you mean something like abortion?
"Polygamy is simply a cover up for
Adultery. Sin is sin."
Indeed. And it is a shame that the Brown children are caught in the middle of all this. They didn't ask to be born into a polygamous family. They shouldn't suffer for the sins of their parents. Yet tragically they are. As a pastor, I am extremely concerned for the psychological, emotional, and spiritual state of these children. There doesn't seem to be any prospect of an ideal solution or a "happy ending" in their case.
Rev. Allen Yount
-- Oratio, Meditatio, Tentatio Faciunt Theologum --
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