Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Polygamy vs. Democracy

Stanley Kurtz points out why you can't have both.
Marriage, as its ultramodern critics would like to say, is indeed about choosing one's partner, and about freedom in a society that values freedom. But that's not the only thing it is about. As the Supreme Court justices who unanimously decided Reynolds in 1878 understood, marriage is also about sustaining the conditions in which freedom can thrive. Polygamy in all its forms is a recipe for social structures that inhibit and ultimately undermine social freedom and democracy. A hard-won lesson of Western history is that genuine democratic self-rule begins at the hearth of the monogamous family.
He ads, in a post on The Corner:
While this article has plenty to say about marriage, and while it does address the "slippery slope" argument, there's also a lot that's relevant to the war on terror, and even to our disputes over immigration.

One point implicit in the piece is worth a mention. The polygamy issue shoots down facile comparisons between Christianity and Islam. The contrasting stances toward polygamy of Islam and Christianity have everything to do with why democracy appeared in the West, but not the Middle East. And if you want to see how traditional American Christians respond to a real theocracy (instead of the imaginary theocracy their critics claim they're pushing), take a look at this piece.