Today, a Canadian court upheld our anti-polygamy laws, in a case I have been following pretty closely. This case centers around the polygamous group living in Bountiful, British Columbia specifically and the law has been used to try and protect young women from being forced to marry. Now obviously, I think Bountiful and everything it stands for is sick, twisted and wrong. These young girls are born and raised in a sexist and abusive culture and have very little say in who they marry. Being wife number 6 to a 79-year-old man while still in your teens is wrong by anybody’s standards (well, I guess not everyone…yeah, I’m talking to you Warren Jeffs) and by no means do I support what those crazy Mormons are doing. (On a sidenote/rant: It drives me crazy to hear the rhetoric that the Mormon church and its members are using in order to distance themselves from all this muck. Do you know how many times I’ve heard people say “They aren’t Mormon!” or deny that they are a break-off from the Mormon church? This is what Mormonism looked like 100 years ago folks, deal with it. Ahh, that feels better.)
However, I don’t know that I’m really opposed to polygamy so much. I guess this is where some of my more libertarian views come crashing into my socially democratic ones. I don’t like the government telling people who they can and can’t be with. I’m a big supporter of gay marriage and straight marriage and any other kind of marriage provided everyone within said marriage is an adult and is happy to be there. I’ve looked into this a little and it turns out there is a whole community of people living in polyamorous relationships and they don’t look anything like they do in the cults/compounds of BC. There are women living with two husbands, men living with more than one wife…every configuration you can imagine (and I’m sure a few you can’t). They aren’t hurting anyone and if they want to have two husbands
God help them that’s their choice.
Surely there are already laws in place to protect adult men from marrying under-aged girls several times over. I mean, really. If not then there should be. I’m just not sure that it should ban polygamy outright. There are days when a sister-wife would come in pretty handy.
Although I am a Canadian, I have many American friends and have spent a lot of time in the US. I recognize the power and influence that resides below our border and therefore, follow closely the political and religious (the line between which is increasingly blurry I’m afraid) ongoings of the country. I have to say that I am discouraged, bewildered and sometimes afraid at the state of affairs these days.
The anti-intellectualism exhibited primarily by the right-wing in the US is shocking. People seem to pride themselves in having faith over having knowledge and refuse to listen to any information coming from the other side, even if it is fact. They don’t believe in fact anymore it would seem – only nuance and semantics. Fox news will lie outright (a good example would be when they labelled disgraced Florida representative, Mark Foley as a democrat) and people don’t even notice. And when they do notice they somehow, don’t care! A true democracy relies on an informed base and I’m afraid that the American media and the American people have failed to do their job.
The question though, is where does this lack of critical evaluation and consideration come from? I would argue it is rooted in religion. When you are encouraged to take things on faith rather than evidence it is only a matter of time before that same approach seeps into the rest of your life. When your brain becomes habituated to shutting down, not questioning and ignoring evidence which does not support your world view, it starts to atrophy. This effect is crystalized by a society that celebrates this “fiction over fact” mentality and it perpetuates itself into homes, schools and the media. My mother-in-law, who is Mormon, has a sign on her fridge that reads “Character is higher than intellect.” Each time we visit, my husband and I are tempted to write “And intellect is higher than God.” but so far we haven’t touched the damn thing. What does character mean exactly anyway? Grrr…this could launch me into a whole other subject so I’m going to stop thinking about that sign on the fridge door. That damn sign that sets such low standards for a growing family.
The point is, people have been taught not to think. If you have to force yourself to accept that the world, contrary to so much evidence, is only 6,000 years old than I suppose it is not at all a stretch to believe that the President is a socialist. And if your Republican friends believe it too than it must be true. Don’t bother to pick up a dictionary and look up the term “socialist” (the dictionary is probably produced by some left-wing atheist publisher anyhow) or ask yourself what it must be like to truly live in a socialist country, or heaven forbid, actually read the health reform initiatives in their original forms, without interpretation. Why is it that the national newspapers are writing at a grade 4-5 level? How is it that so many people don’t know that Africa is a continent, or what “socialist” means or how the scientific method works? How is it that health reporting is so bad that experts now say it is causing more harm than good, and even “reporters” don’t check facts?
How did religion come to trump reason? And most importantly, how do we fix it?
Today is the national day of prayer in the US and President Obama has decided to mark it quietly and privately. god bless him! (lol) It’s about time someone ends the tyranny of faith that has ruled Washington for far too long. The evangelical movement in the United States is an insidious force that has set the country back by decades, if not by centuries. The number of people in the country who do not believe in evolution or climate change is shocking. There are thousands of people who think that dinosaurs walked the earth with humans. Crazy ideas based on junk science have not only been allowed to bloom but have been encouraged by crazy laws that encourage “religious freedom”. The freedom to be ignorant. The freedom to be wrong.
Obama said in his inauguration speech that he would lift science back to its rightful place and, like it or not, part of that is keeping religion in its rightful place. In homes and churches, and out of the White House.