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[T]he arguments against polygamy and incest aren't arbitrary moral arguments....

There is also a legal argument, Lance, but it's a bit complicated for most homophobes to follow.

While churches may define marriage as a sacrament, the law can only view it as a contract. Certain types of contracts can have exceptional definitions, and still be valid and legal. For example, contracts involving the sale of real estate must be in writing. Marriage contracts already have a lower age requirement than any other type of contract; the contract could be further defined as between two persons only, and persons who don't fall within certain degrees of consanguinity.

Your point about fumarese deficiency is one of many social arguments that could be used to exclude polygamous and incestuous unions from the legal definition of the marriage contract. Restricting the marriage contract purely on the basis of gender, however, probably violates already-existing civil rights law.


Make sure you pronounce it right when you bring it up. Except for the quotes it's spelled wrong every time.

"fumarase", like many enzymes it ends in -ase



Thanks for the edit. I fixed it.

mac macgillicuddy

I'm probably going to get flamed here as usual, but I'm also a glutton for punishment, so here goes:

I read this story too, and religion has nothing to do with it. An egomanical leader of a backwoods cult is standing in the way of addressing the issue. I'm not an expert in the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, and I don't even know exactly what the faithful's belief in polygamy is, but I do know a few members of the church and none would condone, or even relate to (pardon the unintentional pun), the polygamous practice described here. And they certainly wouldn't defend the horrific outcome as "God's will."


mac, perhaps you missed this?

Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), a sect that broke from the mainstream Mormon church 72 years ago over polygamy.

The official LDS Church, which banned polygamy in the late 19th Century, isn't mentioned or implied anywhere in Lance's post, although I can't speak for the original article as a whole.

And yes, it is a religious practice among the FLDS to take multiple wives, marry very young girls, and see that those girls have as many babies as possible. I recommend Jon Krakauer's book Under the Banner of Heaven, for proper context and scope.


There was a solidly political reason for banning polygamy in the late 19th century, too; Utah was not going to be admitted to the Union unless its inhabitants renounced the practice.

Which may explain part of this sect's holdout: they're the same sort of people that refuses to recognize US or even State laws as ones which must be obeyed.

mac macgillicuddy


I didn't miss it. That was my point: that this is a cult, started by two egomaniacs, and still led by an egomaniac more interested in a bizarre notion of personal power and control than faith--as cult leaders typically are; and it is NOT the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. But thanks for making it more clear.


Of course I knew that all the polygamists in the country aren't on Big Love.

My understanding is that Juniper Creek is based on Colorado City.

Beyond that, I don't see why we should forbid people from marrying on the basis of eugenics and potential birth defects potential children might have. That seems fairly outrageous to me. If a brother and sister want to get married, and it's genuinely consensual, I think that's totally gross, but I don't see what business the state has getting involved. Certainly I don't see how the state's involvement ought to be premised on some supposed state interest in preventing inbred children.

Polygamy is different, I think, in that it is essentially an entirely different sort of social system, and I don't see why the state should have to endorse that, especially since it's a social system that tends pretty strongly towards the "horribly exploitative."


That was my point: that this is a cult, started by two egomaniacs, and still led by an egomaniac more interested in a bizarre notion of personal power and control than faith--as cult leaders typically are; and it is NOT the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints.

No, it's not the LDS. Lance never said it was. It's not the Baptists or the Shia Muslims or the Swedish Lutherans either. It's the FLDS. But it's still a religious issue, because the FLDS is a church, and it's their religious beliefs that are causing this problem.

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