Q: How Is Polygamy Different From Re-marriage?

Q: How is polygamy different from re-marriage?

A: Polygamy may prove to be more responsible!

It is far more acceptable to leave the woman and the children and leave them without benefit of a father in the home and all the attendant risks of poverty for the woman and her children… (and yes, it is the women who suffer the most, they always do.) Ultimately, leaving the other parent of your children (and the children themselves!) for the new model is the new polygamy.

On the flip side of the coin, when Muslims (a lathe patriarch of the Bin Ladens) tire of their older infertile wives they say in quick succession (in front of a Muslim male witness):

I divorce you
I divorce you
I divorce you

and it is done.  It is common for the divorced woman to then remain in the compound in her little apartment or home and to then be supported by her sons… (Anyone who thinks we don’t have this here needs to come to Ohio and visit the second largest Somali community outside of Somalia – those “sisters & cousins” are not sisters & cousins!

My friends’s husband has reared children from her previous marriages as his own…  But the more normal and accepted pattern would be what my best friend in HS school experienced – his very well paid (6 figure) father divorced mom, managed to get a pittance of child-support obligation, and moved into the new suburb with the new wife in the new home with the step daughter three hours away in another city… Acceptably leaving his children and their mother to scrape by on a teacher’s salary.  But hey, at least that isn’t polygamy! (Right?)

Now had the high school buddy’s father set up the mother of his children in a small home on the property where he could have attended to his fatherly duties and not allowed them to languish in poverty where groceries had to be placed of high interest credit cards and medical care had to be foregone at times when the choice was between paying the gas bill or dental work…

Well, where would that have fit into the grey area of today’s very acceptable proto-polygamy of abandoning one’s spouse and progeny? Very tricky isn’t it?  I mean, vows are vows until “people gotta be people” and women need to prove they are no man’s woman or men need a new woman that “understands them better”…  Children caught in the cross-fire are just collateral damage… I guess.

Catholics the time has come to re-examine what marriage is, what the end purposes of it are, what vows mean, and how we have – of late – demonstrated far greater concern with “our happiness” than any sense of obligation to vows we make before God and man.

This is no advocacy or defense of polygamy.  If anything, what we are promoting culturally in America is far worse than polygamy… and that isn’t to say having a harem is good at all.  So as the bricks come down the FLDS, start to ask “How is it that much worse than what we are doing in the suburbs as a matter of course with second wives and strip mall divorce lawyers?”

The answer will be telling.

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2 Responses to Q: How Is Polygamy Different From Re-marriage?

  1. nan says:

    Once again, it’s about options; in our system, either party may decide to dissolve the marriage and either party may remarry. The polygamist Muslim wife doesn’t have that option. She doesn’t seem to have the option to remarry, either. Yet the Muslim man may replace her (since he’s limited to 4 wives, he would be likely to put an older wife out to pasture after her sons are old enough to support her). It’s simplistic to view serial marriage as the problem with our system.

    Family law has likely changed a bit since your friends parents were divorced; in many states assets accrued after marriage are marital property, and split equitably. The result? The initial disparity in the former partners assets is lessened, which means the former family has a better shot of escaping poverty because she got the house and a chunk of his retirement plan. As it stands, men still have higher earning power so will likely replace the assets awarded to the former spouse in a divorce. One of the most common reasons for divorce is financial; which means the divorce rate might escalate in these uncertain times, since so many were financing lifestyles through credit.

  2. ” in many states assets accrued after marriage are marital property, and split equitably. “

    Presupposing there are assets to split. A remarkable number of Americans have no assets to speak of. My friend who went 2.5 years without a car and walked to a job where he made 27K a year while living with a friend for $300 a month all inclusive had – at the end of his 2.5 years of no car payment, car insurance, gas expenses, cable, or utilities… pretty much exactly $0 in real liquid assets save what little there was in his savings account. CDs aren’t free – they also have little resale value.

    Nan I am NOT making a case for polygamy – I am making a case for lifelong responsible monogamy. The current systems we have in place at the civil level is one thing. Those systems are no where near good enough or acceptable for a disciple of Christ. Catholics must demand for themselves a higher standard.

    This isn’t taking the case of the FLDS and supporting them – this is saying what we are accustomed to doing – dumping the ex wife for a pittance and walking away from the children co-created in a marriage is as bad or worse.

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