Polygamy and Such

An odd skirmish has broken out, and you can note a bit of it at Dale Courtney’s blog here. In the past, we (Dale included) have advanced the argument that to legalize homosexual marriage is necessarily to open the door to polygamous marriage. This used to be laughed at by authorized solons and pundits, but no more. If we are simply going on the basis of what people might want to do, and we have no transcendant grounding for our laws, then what possible basis could we have for allowing men to marry men and women to marry women, and then to turn around and limit marriage to only two? Tradition? Right, like we care about that. This argument is compelling, cogent, and unanswerable. And so, true to intolerista form, when you don’t have an answer, make up stuff and counterattack.

For advancing this cogent argument, what thanks does Dale get? Well, he gets attacked as though he were defending polygamy. I am normally a mild-mannered minister, but this calls for two expletives — land of Goshen and hush my puppies. Now this is silly enough that something else has to be going on, and this was pointed out by a clear-thinking someone named Kate at Dale’s blog. When the intoleristas “accuse Dale Courtney of supporting polygamy and pedophilia, when they know full well he doesn’t, it looks suspiciously to me like this is the first salvo of another around of libel and harrassment aimed at CC/NSA. I wondered what it was going to be.”

I think I know and for those following all this — you can’t say you weren’t warned. The curtain has risen, but the third act has not started. The stage hands in our Diversity Theater are still getting the furniture arranged on the stage. They are surreptitiously placing crockery on the end tables so that they can be pitched at us later. So this is what I think the next act in this play will be about. We have been accused of just about everything under the sun (racism, fascism, plagiarism, others isms too, theocracy, tyranny, and sliding down the bannister), but for some mysterious reason we have not (thus far) been accused of aiding, abetting, harboring, conducting, overseeing, or managing any kind of sexual misconduct or weirdness. Some might say that we have not been accused in this area simply because we are not guilty of such behavior. But that can’t be it — the ideas of guilt and innocence are alien concepts to our accusers, and appear to be quite beyond their theoretical capacities. I was talking with my father about this a couple months ago, and he was baffled by the apparent restraint. But given the nature of the people we are dealing with, he assumed it was just a matter of time. I was not so sure, but it is starting to look as though he was right.

This accusation against Dale (that he somehow supports pedophilia) is really out there on the skinny branches. And this makes no sense unless we are in for a new barrage of accusations — in the desperate hope that they can finally get something to stick. If the desire and plan is to get something to stick, well, then, throw something sticky.

As a pastor for almost thirty years, I have seen quite a number of people destroy their lives, marriages or both through sexual disobedience. Sometimes there is church discipline. Sometimes the cops need to be involved, along with the prosecutor. Sometimes lawyers help a couple divide up what they both threw away. Sometimes there are children who were abused, kids whose wounds won’t really bleed until they’ve grown. And so we can expect (at some point) the accusation that pastoring people who have wounded themselves this way is somehow a subsidy. But Jesus said that He came for the sick ones, not for the healthy. That is simply the grace and goodness of God.

However, the fact that the grace of God is an entirely defensible place for a minister to be does not mean that I have any intention of spending all my time on defense. So here is the argument again, the one that resulted in this absurd charge against Dale. What is the standard for sexual ethics? Is it the Word of God? Or is it whatever sexually fallen human beings might want to “make legal” for themselves? Homosexual marriage is being pressed on us right now. We have had homosexuals all through history. Right. So we have. We have also had polygamists all through history, and right down to the present. That okay? We have also had pederasty down throughout history. Is history really the argument? Is history the standard? When we point out that these marital absurdities are all really the same absurdity at root, we cannot be accused of trying to encourage the process. A reductio ad absurdum is an argument to be understood, not a grab bag from which to pull out random nouns to throw back at the one presenting the argument.

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