Married and Looking: Thank God for Polygamy in Canada

March 11, 2010

Drugs in the New Testiment

Filed under: Bible commentary — prariepolyguy @ 1:13 pm
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I’ve seen quite a bit of honest debate among Christians about Marijuana use. In so far as the argument is about medical use I have no dog in the fight, if it treats an ailment its a good thing, and probably better than most pharmaceuticals today. Recreational use is another thing, and something I’d like to add a bit of information too.

Much of the case for recreational drug use comes from lack of prohibition, and I believe said lack is more important than the opposition gives it credit for.

I would like to bring up Galatians. It’s one of the epistles that has a list of things which will indicate you are someone who will not inherit the Kingdom. Important lists, very much a don’t do this ever list. The Galatians list includes witchcraft. The witchcraft in Galatians is a specific sort that is only mentioned here and in Revelation. Its hyperliteral translation is medication, its application is the use of pharmaceuticals to alter consciousness. It’s witchcraft in that both then and now drugs are used to induce a ‘spiritual state’ in pagan rituals. I can’t find anything that would limit Paul’s prohibition against mind altering drugs to mystical use. It very much appears that recreational drug use period gets you lumped in following works of the flesh.

There are many cases where witchcraft and sorcery mean essentially what they mean to us, but in this case something different is meant. I don’t know if there where substance abuse issues in the 1600’s, perhaps the translators couldn’t relate, but there where such issues at the time of Christ and there are again today, we could use a little more clarity in our translation so earnest students of the Bible are not mislead.

One of my translation pet peeves is when several words with different meanings are all translated several different, overlapping, ways so as to obscure the meanings of all of them. Is it really too much to render pharmacia one thing and mageou another? They’re not even common words why do they have to share terms?

Either way, there is a case from scripture against recreational drug use that doesn’t lean on general principles or peoples opinions on whats acceptable. I said earlier that if there was a medical argument then I don’t care to oppose it, but if any substance is used for hallucinogenic effects its wrong.


March 5, 2010

It is Not good for a man not to touch a woman.

Filed under: Bible commentary — prariepolyguy @ 8:24 pm
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St. Paul has been railed against on many sides in the past and recently even by those who believe in Jesus. The forefront of the assault against him, so far as I’ve seen, deals with the perception that Paul was some way anti-marriage. This comes from various groups of Old Testiment thumpers who correctly see marriage and family as being crucially important to God’s plan, thus if Paul is against it, he is against God.

There are many points of Paul’s writings to consider, but for now I want to address 1 Corinthians 7. First I’d like to remind people that chapter and verse breaks (while ancient) are not original and thus for all intents and purposes arbitrary. They break mid topic or thought on a regular basis and are ultimately distracting. Anyway, Paul started talking about Fornication in 6:13 and finishes talking about it in 7:2 or 7:6 depending on how you look at it, and either way the chapter break tends to mess up both interpretation and translation.

Lets have a look at it, Verse 7:1 finishes “It is good for a man not to touch a woman” where the italics, like in a Bible, are words inserted for English readability with no original language parallels in original manuscripts. Those readability words are nice, in in the overwhelming majority of scripture they don’t change the meaning of the verse one bit. As they shouldn’t since they are not actually in the verse.  By itself it really doesn’t look good when compared Gods own statement “It is not good that Man should be alone.” and his solution to that problem, creating women.  Add Gods general command that mankind should leave their father and mother and cleave to their wife, and that one of the most basic marital duties (on both sides, as Paul himself elaborates on imminently after this subject) requires a great deal of touching.

Now, 7:2  “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” Why let everyone have their own spouse? To avoid. The reason here is in italics, the very focus of this verse is added by the translators. Now, I’m not saying they did a bad job, translation is very difficult and has to be done bit by bit then contextualized. 7:2 appears to be a rough translation done by verse rather than by subject and never properly reconciled (for it was properly reconciled to the context, the translator would not have had to create its focus from scratch). Normally you can cut out the italics and make good sense of the verse, “good for a man not to touch a woman” may not be exactly coherent, but anyone who reads on the internet regularly can see what the intent was.  “Nevertheless fornication” makes it sound like fornication is a positive here.  Now, I think we all know Paul is anti-fornication and the rest of the verse only makes sense in an anti-fornication light, so inserting to avoid is fair game if you only have the words in verse 2 to create a sentence.

Now, lets try ignoring the verse division, and cutting things off in our own way, lets start with “It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication” Next, lets cut out the non-original stuff, the italics and punctuation. “good for a man not to touch a woman nevertheless fornication” and the astute will already see what I’m getting at. Now, we have another oddity in this verse, an unexpressed Greek word. If you use something like Strongs you can see that there is a number in parentheses over it, meaning there is a word there but it doesn’t mean what they said. I can scarcely express the word better than Strong did, it is “A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act”*.  Remember I said fornication looks like a positive here? Well that’s because Paul is talking about a case where someone commits fornication, not avoiding it. So, now if we re add the appropriate italics we have

It is good for a man not to touch a woman and** cause fornications***”

Now that is a passage that harmonized perfectly with reason and scripture. It  doesn’t cause a problem with what come before it, and it harmonizes with what comes after, we now have.

It is good for a man not to touch a woman and cause fornications. Let every man have his own wife and every woman have her own husband.” Beautiful. Harmonious.

*He does include to avoid on the list of things this has been translated to for his own reasons.

** Nevertheless can be more accuratly translated ‘but’ here, though rendering it ‘and’ lets me explain the passage much faster in English. ‘and’ is a valid rendering anyway

***This is plural in the Greek. I believe the reason is can be deduced from Matt 5:32 where both the divorced wife and whoever marries her are caused to commit adultery. Fornication is like adultery in that it takes at least two,  causing one act of fornication invariable causes at least one other. The ramifications of that may cause others as well.

March 4, 2010

Polygamy and Freedom of Religion in Canada

Filed under: Pro Polygamy — prariepolyguy @ 1:48 pm
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It seems very backwards to me that recent defense for polygamy comes from freedom of religion. It should be the opposite, freedom from religion, or rather the laws and tennents of a specific religion, should be what is argued for.  Monogamy as we know it is to my knowledge strictly Romanized Christian theory. Yes, there where pagan monogamists (I mentioned Rome last post) but their idea of monogamy would not mesh well with our idea of monogamy. In all of the several cases I know of there is a system of concubinage, slavery, or wife sharing that makes their monogamy a far cry from our 1:1 ideals.  Monogamy as we know it is nothing if not for being established religous law that was conveyed to the Canadian system via English law*.  If the state is indeed secular and favorable to different beliefs it doesn’ t have grounds to promote a strictly orthodox Christian view of marriage on the population weather they be heterodox Christians or some other thing.

Yes, nowadays secularists such as feminists appear to support monogamy as well, but from all I’ve seen it seems like they actually disapprove of polygyny** while supporting or favoring the toleration of polyamoury (or polyandry). The support for monogamy only goes far enough to condemn polygyny.

*A recent U of Calgary paper worked to show the anti polygamy laws we have on the books now where introduced to keep native populations in line, to be honest they make a good case.

** Only the man is allowed to have more than one spouse or partner.  When I say polygamy I generally mean this.

March 3, 2010

Monogamy for the benifit of women?

Filed under: Anti Monogamy — prariepolyguy @ 5:01 am
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Probably the most irritating thing to me when I read about things against polygamy is the constant assumption that monogamy is better for women or somehow in womens best interests. Are people really so naive to think that monogamy and womens lib went hand in hand or had anything to do with each other? Monogamy was not implemented for the benefit of women, why is there so much talk as if it was? Weather we trace it to Roman Law to prevent too many full citizens or popular early gnosticism that viewed sex and marriage as of the devil or slightly better than hellfire we don’t have a woman friendly policy.

In the 300’s we see monogamy mandated for clergy. In the 600’s we have it for everyone, and in the same century we have the view that women are not even to touch the altar and that the Eucharist was too holy to be touched by a woman’s bare hands, she had to wear white linen gloves. We hardly have time where monogamy would be established for womens sake. Even up to the 1700’s we have writing on how monogamy hurts women, its only in the last century that its been seen as something for them or for their benefit.

Even in more recent history we have monogamy working directly against women. Among the Mormons we have Martha Hughes Cannon, the first woman in any state senate in the States. She was the wife of a polygamist. We have women gaining the right to vote in Utah in 1870, then that right being taken away in 1887 by the Edmunds-Tucker antipolygamy act. That’s right, women lost the right to vote in an antipolygamy act… It took them 8 years to get it back. Monogamy once again is against women, its simply not to their benefit, its to mens benefit. Frankly most men prefer girlfreinds, mistresses, or worse than wives. They certainly don’t want to be outnumbered by wives, it becomes much harder to promote total top down control of women.

To whit many would respond that polygamy usually practiced with that kind of control in our time. Well, yeah, but its because in deeply Islamic countries the law directly opposes women. Women aren’t kept down by the family but by society at large. Without the law backing him the husband doesn’t have total top down power in polygamy, he has less power since he loses the strength advantage and he has more views and reasons to consider.

Put it this way, in monogamy if a man is head of the house and has veto power, any split vote is 1:1, his veto power wins, he is an automatic dictator. In a house of a husband and 3 wives you have much more of a republic, the man as head of house might resolve 2:2 votes but he ought to hesitate if there is a 1:3 vote against him. He should believe his wives to be intelligent and responsible and realize that he would be leading the family into trouble by ignoring their council.

If a man is abusive is he really going to have a use for polygamy? 2:1, even though men are much stronger than women if they support each other he is in trouble.

The only way polygamy goes wrong is if laws or culture prevent women for standing up for themselves. At present thats what polygamists cultures in the medias limelight either actually do or are accused of doing.

Getting into polygamy

Filed under: Uncategorized — prariepolyguy @ 4:03 am

A couple years before we where married we began discussing polygamy as something that might suit some things that we both wanted in a marriage. We took about a year to study before we got serious about it, primarily we studied scripture then history. To be honest once the ‘no woman would want it’ rhetoric is scrapped and falsified (by my own experience) the other objections fall away as petty, foolish, or downright wrong very quickly. So we decided to take a few years just the two of us and start looking. In that time we kept reading and reasoning and our views on polygamy have changed from ‘its good for us’ to ‘the reasons people oppose it are very messed up’. I guess after so much time reading I want to write about it a little, theologically monogamy is bogus and ultimately hurting the Church, and practically it has much more potential for harm than good.

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