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Polygamy: An endeavour to get more out of life than there is in it.
Society may no longer define marriage in the only way marriage has ever been defined in the annals of recorded history. Many societies allowed polygamy, many allowed child marriages, some allowed marriage within families; but none, in thousands of years, defined marriage as the union of people of the same sex.
The family code in Egypt is one of the worst family codes in the Arab world. Polygamy. The husband is having absolute power over the family.
Nawal El Saadawi
It is useful to compare the Branch Davidians with the Mormons of the mid-nineteenth century. The Mormons were vilified in those years in large part because Joseph Smith believed in polygamy.
No Congress ever has seen fit to amend the Constitution to address any issue related to marriage. No Constitutional Amendment was needed to ban polygamy or bigamy, nor was a Constitutional Amendment needed to set a uniform age of majority to ban child marriages.
The state's interest in marriage is stability. Generally speaking, polygamy does not work for stability. Inherent in the whole polygamous movement is a deep and abiding misogyny and denigration of women. So polygamy is objectionable on lots of grounds.
The government doesn't really prosecute for polygamy anymore, but a lot of the arrests are of groups supporting themselves through welfare scams or for child abuse. So that was all I'd really heard about polygamists.
The principle of plural marriage was revealed to the Mormons amid much secrecy. Dark clouds hovered over the church in the early 1840s, after rumors spread that its founder, Joseph Smith, had taken up the practice of polygamy. While denying the charge in public, by 1843 Smith had shared a revelation with his closest disciples.
So many times in the history of Mormon polygamy, the outside world thought it had the movement on the ropes only to see it flourish anew.
It is Mormonism, Mohammedanism and heathenism and not Christianity which have proclaimed polygamy and debased woman from the sacred place of wife to the lower level of concubine. It is not Christianity which has sustained the social evil.
David Josiah Brewer
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