Why are religious conservatives trying to change the biblical definition of marriage and curb religious liberty?
The same activists who support a wide definition of religious liberty that entails sweeping legal exemptions for Christians and who believe that US laws must closely follow biblical dictates, are now upset that a religious family has successfully challenged Utah’s anti-polygamy statute. Polygamous marriage remains illegal in Utah, but the decision allows polygamous families to live together legally.
As we’ve pointed out, polygamy and incest were commonplace in the Hebrew Bible. “If you’re going to be a strict literalist, there’s nothing wrong with polygamy,” notes biblical scholar Michael Coogan.
Naturally, social conservatives are blaming progressives and President Obama for the Utah ruling, and boasting that they predicted it all along.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council called the decision “collateral cultural and religious carnage” of the gay rights movement and warned — maybe for the first time in its history — that the ruling would “turn back the clock on women’s rights.”
James Dobson wrote that “just as same sex marriage led straight to polygamy, the destruction of the family will quickly undermine the foundations of the nation,” while the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown maintained that there is “no doubt that the arguments for same-sex marriage were a template for this case.”
“We warned from the beginning that once the biblical standard of man-woman marriage was breached, there would be no logical place to stop,” the American Family Association boasted. “Though we have been accused of exaggerating and scare-mongering, this ruling shows that we were right all along to sound the alarm. Bans against incest are now at risk of being overturned.”
Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver agreed: “Once you cross the precipice to deconstruct marriage so that it includes people of the same sex, there’s no logical or legal way to stop the avalanche of further deconstruction of marriage – which includes polygamy and even polyamory, group marriage.”
Gary Bauer predicts that the “prohibition against incest will be the next assault of the revolution being forced on us by the cultural left led by Hollywood and the political left led by Barack Obama,” adding, “America’s leftist elites want to rip our nation away from Judeo-Christian values. If they succeed our ‘shining city on a hill’ will just be another brothel.”
- Russell D. Moore: “When Marriage is Elastic Enough to Mean Anything, in Due Time it Comes to Mean Nothing” (blackchristiannews.com)
- Is Polygamy Headed For The Supreme Court? (dish.andrewsullivan.com)
- Federal Judge Opens the Door to Polygamy (canadafreepress.com)
- Should polygamy be legal? (forthesakeofscience.com)
- For now, Utah won’t prosecute polygamy alone (fox13now.com)