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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

If the government can regulate religious practice such as polygamy, logically could they not regulate other religious practice and dress also?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26829points) November 19th, 2011

It is a federal crime to have more than one wife or husband, ridiculous as that is if marriage equality is the thing, even if that is part of your religious worship or cultural normality. What would keep the government from somehow skirting the Constitution and preventing people from wearing Kippa, hijab, kofia, kufi, Turban, burqa, abaya, etc, or practicing other aspects of their religion as to prayer, etc? Why is the Constitution for freedom of worship is only yanked from under the feet of polygamist?

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12 Answers

augustlan's avatar

It’s not only polygamy. Any religious activity that is against the law is illegal, period. Think of human (and sometimes animal) sacrifice, or denying your kid life-saving medical care. If it’s against the laws of the land, it’s not allowed, religious or not.

Now, whether or not polygamy should be against the law is another question.

cazzie's avatar

Marriage is not a religious bastion. Marriage is property rights, tax returns, state and federal benefits, parentage and custody of children in the realm of the law of the land.

Frankly, in my current situation, I would love another wife. Preferably a hot one who likes to cuddle.

dabbler's avatar

As noted polygamy is outlawed not for religious reasons but for other reasons that are reasonably against the law. A lot of current examples of polygamy involve child sexual abuse, for example.

One can always have multiple intimate relationships, and if they’re all with mutually informed consenting adults then enjoy !
One can also make all sorts of legal property arrangements among multiple parties.

But polygamy as typically practiced is usually seriously predatory in one way or another.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@cazzie Marriage is not a religious bastion. Marriage is property rights, tax returns, state and federal benefits, parentage and custody of children in the realm of the law of the land. It maybe in many cases, but not every place on the globe. If it were just a fancy name for protocol and circumstance, why are so many who are not allowed to use the nomenclature, fight so hard to use it when if they had something that worked just the same but called different would do?

@dabbler As noted polygamy is outlawed not for religious reasons but for other reasons that are reasonably against the law. The underlying reason has it roots in religion, maybe more in industrialized nations than other places.

A lot of current examples of polygamy involve child sexual abuse, for example. People being sheep, it is quite plausible the media only shows the worse and small part of polygamy, like they show the worse case, or exaggerated, of illegal immigrants. Want to vilify something, use the right buzz words and talking points, you can get the masses to believe with out using their Gray matter at all.

One can always have multiple intimate relationships, and if they’re all with mutually informed consenting adults then enjoy ! People can have that, yet they still go to court for the name, so there has to be something to it.

But polygamy as typically practiced is usually seriously predatory in one way or another. Again <cough> propaganda <cough>.

dabbler's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central “roots in religion” Our laws have roots in shared values. So what if there’s a coincidence or connection to “religion” ? In general that’s a good reason for a law.

“The media” doesn’t make up everything about these cases. Sure the media will sensationalize the cases, but it’s still true that girls below the age of consent are forced into polygamous marriages. I consider that predatory.

Your arguments that “religion” is the reason polygamy is outlawed are pretty thin, in my opinion.

You seem to be very strongly advocating polygamy. Can you point to good evidence that there are plenty of polygamous “families” in which everyone is happy with the situation and no one was coerced into it ? (Besides any TV reality shows, speaking of ridiculous media).

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@dabbler “The media” doesn’t make up everything about these cases. Sure the media will sensationalize the cases, but it’s still true that girls below the age of consent are forced into polygamous marriages. I consider that predatory. The media doesn’t make it up, they just embellish what they find to make a whale of a minnow. It is also true kids get abused by coaches of every sport, that doesn’t make any one who cares to coach a predator.

You seem to be very strongly advocating polygamy. I am advocating people get real with their hypocrisy. If marriage is for everyone from a secular stance, then it is for EVERYONE, no group excluded. You want me to drink that Kool-aid, then stir it right.

Can you point to good evidence that there are plenty of polygamous “families” in which everyone is happy with the situation and no one was coerced into it ? Can you point to evidence that say all or most polygamous marriages are predatory in nature, or that they consist of underage females being forced or coerced? Do you have the facts that say that polygamous marriages or more chaotic, and miserable than the usual marriage? I don’t think you can. Even if you did, it would be no different than if I found such, the validity would be suspect. So, lets go by the logic. If it was as prolific as you allude to, you would not hear about it once every now and then. It would be all over the evening news like the occupy movements or the murders in the seedy part of town. If you can fathom how many polygamous unions there are out there, the amount one can prove what you say is a very small percent.

dabbler's avatar

Forcing under-age girls into marriage is not a minnow.

Who said marriage is for everybody? That wasn’t me.

Who said all polygamous marriages are predatory? That wasn’t me either.
But there aren’t that many of them, and a lot of the ones about which there is public knowledge are ethically screwed up for reasons other than just having more than two people involved.

And some comparison to “regular” marriages is irrelevant.

You asked a question about polygamy being illegal due to religious reasons and several of us replied that’s a false premise. The real reasons polygamy is illegal are enumerated in several answers above. If you don’t like them, or think they are incorrect, fine I encourage you to contact your legislators and get the laws changed.

If you just want to fight with someone about this, or justify polygamy with arguments that are not generally accepted and for which you’ve provided no evidence, I’m not interested.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@dabbler Forcing under-age girls into marriage is not a minnow. Yes, it is more than a minnow. However, using a dozen people out of tens of thousands to mark the whole collective is like catching two kids with blunts in their pockets and making a drug epidemic in the school.

But there aren’t that many of them, and a lot of the ones about which there is public knowledge are ethically screwed up for reasons other than just having more than two people involved. There you go, again making a statement with no qualifier. What example do you have that those in polygamist unions or more screwed up over others who could just as easily be grafted into that statement?

You asked a question about polygamy being illegal due to religious reasons and several of us replied that’s a false premise. That IS NOT what the question was about, that is the question people tried to make it. The question deals with religious freedom and the Constitutional right to pursuit it thereof. Furthermore, if the government can hinder that right as it does with polygamist, of which multiple wives are a part of their religion. Using whatever premise, can the government sidestep the Constitution and say people can practice their religion, but you can’t wear a hijab, burqa or an abaya using the idea that weapons, or other items can be smuggled under Them. Apparently, the right to practice one’s religion unfettered is all on if the government wants to let you do it, regardless of the Constitution. Can you hear me now?

You have made what side of the fence you stand on very, very clear

ETpro's avatar

@augustlan That’s not really so. For instance, a certified shaman of certain South American religions can legally give their flock a tea called “ayahuasca”“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayahuasca even though it contains a drug called DMT. DMT is classified in the US as a Schedule 1 drug. Native Americans are also allowed to use peyote in their religious practices. So the question is a legitimate one. The only answer I can offer @Hypocrisy_Central is the the Supreme Court seems to decide how they want any issue before them to come out, then look for some obscure way of spinning what’s actually written in the Constitution so that it now says whatever they want it to say.

Abortion being legal because of an inherent right to bodily privacy that the Founders forgot to mention, and Corporations being citizens even though the corporate structure of today did not even exist in 1776 provide glaring examples of both the left and the right reading deep between the lines.

augustlan's avatar

@ETpro I know you’re right. I should have said “most”. I do know there are exceptions.

cazzie's avatar

You may use a preacher to get married, but you use lawyers to divorce. I stand by my first answer about marriage.

The other topics are very muddied. I like @ETpro s examples.

dabbler's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Hey, “religious practice such as polygamy” is right there in your subject line.

You misinterpreted my answers if you think you have any idea where I stand about skirting constitutionally guaranteed rights to free expression of religious practice. I’ll all for that and will defend it. I think restrictions on wearing a burka or a hijab or a yarmulke are none of the government’s business. That’s what side of that fence I’m on. I’ll agree with you on that.
For example, I support the decisions noted above to bypass controlled substance laws to allow use of ayahuasca and peyote by practitioners who use them for genuine religious purposes.

My previous answers pertain to the faulty premise that polygamy is outlawed for religious reasons. And yes, you do already know what side of that fence I’m on.

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