Monday, August 23, 2010

Rick Santorum Was Right

The ink isn't even dry yet on Judge Vaughn Walker's decision to end several millennia of traditional marriage by overturning California Proposition 8. In anticipation of an appeal to the United States Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed the judge's decision, but there will ultimately be a showdown.

A few years back, then-Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania got a big horse laugh when he suggested that polygamy would be the obvious next step after gay marriage became "normalized." He was ridiculed mercilessly by the left wing "anything goes" crowd. But we've come a long way, baby. And where did the gay marriage movement get its first major push outside the gay community? Answer: TV and Hollywood movies. Progressively sympathetic productions in specials, as well as in drama and comedy series, made the rubes in flyover country think they were out of step with mainstream America.

Tearjerkers about gay lovers kept apart by traditional marriage bigots became a staple. The TV and movie industries kept pushing the agenda. Over a period of about twenty years, we went from actor Perry King whining that playing a gay character had ruined his career to La Cage aux Folles, the blown-up (literally) gay marriage on Dynasty, and Will and Grace. There are now at least twenty mainstream TV shows which feature regular gay characters and couples.

Quite a transition, right? Well, laugh at Sen. Santorum if you will, but the same pattern is starting to emerge for polygamy. First, cable TV brought us polygamous Big Love on HBO. It is fiction, but presented as a forbidden practice that suffers from all the problems of traditional marriage combined with the deleterious effects of those bigots who also opposed gay marriage. For some reason, it doesn't rate any better in Utah than it does in, say, San Francisco or New York, but it has been a successful and ongoing serio-comedy-drama.

But fiction isn't enough. So in the tradition of 60s porn (pre-"if you show it, they will come" Supreme Court decisions in the Miller and Roth cases), polygamy will now be given the scientific, cultural and positive portrayal we all know it richly deserves. The Learning Channel (which now styles itself "TLC," since much of what they showed involved little learning and a lot of editorializing) is beginning a seven episode reality show called Sister Wives. It follows the daily lives of of the members of a polygamous family.

In the red-herring vein of gay marriage, this show follows the predictable pattern of establishing that polygamists are people too, with wants and needs just like everyone else. Co-producer Bill Hayes effused over the family he was chronicling: "Their children were so well behaved and polite and healthy and happy. Pardon the cliche, but the proof was in the pudding (he can't even get his aphorisms straight--the proof of the pudding is in the eating). What a bunch of great young people, and there was nothing strange about them. They have an unusual lifestyle, but for them, it was their lifestyle." Any guesses about which side of the issue he's on?

The show follows the family and particularly the patriarch, an advertising executive, as he seeks to marry his fourth wife. Says Hayes about the illegality of the multiple marriages, "while the family had been living in quasi-secret over its lifestyle for many years, Hayes said the Browns decided to do the series to show that polygamy does not have to be a world enshrouded in dark secrets." When criminal activity becomes a "lifestyle," hold on to your hat. Decriminalization then legalization will be the next step. And this TV show will help to promote that concept.

The patriarch, Kody Brown, actually did an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune in which he said "In the past, polygamists have had to be secret due to the threat of indictment or expulsion from work. Our civil rights got thrown out a long time ago. Even though society has evolved to the point of not knocking on my door with pitchforks and a lynch mob, that doesn't mean that they couldn't get away with it." Get it? The real miscreants here are those bigots with the tar and feathers who can't legally harm the polygamists, but they might do it anyway. That one is from Al Sharpton's Tawana Brawley handbook.

So just like gay marriage and illegal immigration, polygamy is being elevated from a crime to a civil right. Game over. In California, they'll probably have to judge-shop to find somebody willing to ignore the Constitution, history, and Western civilization other than Judge Vaughn Walker. He's likely to believe only in gay polygamy, and so far, the practice is largely heterosexual.

Back at the time that Sen. Santorum first suggested that gay marriage would lead to a flood of other presently-illegal marriages, he was lambasted by gay activist Dan Savage in an editorial in New York Times: "Striking down an insulting, discriminatory, unconstitutional law will not, as Santorum fears, open the doors to incest, adultery, bigamy, and bestiality. Straight people blew those doors off their hinges long, long ago." Another "gotcha." You see, straight people who opposed gay marriage were bigots and hypocrites and secretly participate in all those practices. All straight people, you know.

The previously ridiculous idea of two members of the same sex getting married used to be on that list of "insulting, discriminatory and unconstitutional law." Several state courts, a couple of legislatures, and now a federal court have taken gay marriage off that list against all logic and precedent. Santorum saw the inevitable parallel. Savage listed all those things that would "never happen," not realizing (or at least lying about) the fact that he had just produced the shopping list for the lawyers and activists who will follow the road map of gay marriage successes.

16 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

My theory, Hawk is that these Hollywood film types are not happy unless they are rattling cages and pushing the envelope on weirdness. As you point out, what appears to be laughable may marketed as the norm. Personally, I am waiting for the gay human and sheep weddings we all know deserve a break. Big Love, indeed.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: I hope I'll be pushing up daisies for several years before that happens. LOL

The Hollywood and TV crowd are indeed trying to rattle cages (successfully, I might add), but the overriding problem is that both are controlled by leftists and moral equivalency advocates. In too many cases, the weirdness and deviancy they're pushing is a mirror image of their own lives. They really believe this crap they're peddling. They don't want tolerance, they want open acceptance and legal recognition.

BevfromNYC said...

Ummm, LawHawk, you might want to take a look at this....

http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/sunday-review/living/i-married-the-eiffel-tower-832519.html

And why is it you never see women wanting more than one husband? Ever wonder why? ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

I'm really starting to think that the best thing for the government to do is to get out of the marriage business entirely and leave it up to churches, with the government ignoring "marital status" entirely and people in the private sector being free to recognize whatever marriages they want and ignoring the rest.

I suspect that once you take the politics out of this, marriage will return to being a stronger institution and the people looking to subvert it will lose interest.


"Big Love," by the way, was a pretty good show for the first couple years. I didn't keep up with it after that though.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew, I think this might be the one place where the Europeans are way ahead of us with civil marriages. As i understand it, you must have a civil "ceremony" with the town clerk, but a religious ceremony is up to the couple. They are not interchangeable like in the US. This makes sense to me. I mean, isn't marriage really a just a financial contract between two people? Well, as far as the courts are concerned anyway.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, As far as the law is concerned, it's just an arrangement of certain rights -- like rights to marital property in the event of divorce or death without a will. All of that could be done (and probably be done better) by having people file the appropriate paperwork with a county register. That could even be a good way to force people to consider answers to questions they should consider, like what happens to your stuff if you die.

By getting rid of government-sponsored marriage, all of that stuff could still be done without the religious attachment. At the same time, because "marriage" would return to being a religious term, it would probably strengthen the institution because churches are much better at couples counseling and forcing people to consider their vows seriously than the government is.

It would also depoliticize it.

There would be much more to consider, but I'm thinking the idea seems sound and sounds like it would end the problems that government involvement is currently causing.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Big Love> never appealed to me that much even at the beginning. But it wasn't so much the plot as the acting (or overacting).

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: My ex didn't even want one of me (and I have to admit, she was probably right). LOL

There is such a thing as polyamory, but it's rare in what has for time out of mind been a man's world. But sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose, and like love and marriage, a horse and carriage, you can't have one without the other (thank you, Frank Sinatra).

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew and Bev: The institution that is (was?) marriage has been one of the foundations of Western civilization. I can live with domestic partnerships involving one man and one woman, or one man and another man, or one woman and one woman. Still, I have to draw the line beyond that. Aside from the fact that anything other than a traditional marriage skews nature and families, melding traditional marriage and domestic contracts removes the strong bond of marriage without a concomitant advantage from any of the other arrangements.

People should be free to dispose of their worldly goods, form partnerships, and spread their wealth as they see fit.

It's one thing for me to reluctantly accept legal domestic partnerships between couples, but multiple marriages take away a foundational institution upon which the West and America were built. There is more than just "one man, one woman" to a traditional marriage. Taking it out of the religious realm could eliminate part of the problem, but polygamy is more than just that. We have been too quick to become "modern" and abandon basic marital concepts (including uncontested and no-fault divorce). "What God hath joined together let not man put asunder" is good advice.

A marriage is a contract, but so much more. Altering the basic idea of marriage to include multiple concurrent marriages will further weaken American society. And I've mentioned in posts previous to this one that the ultimate goal is to remove religion entirely from American life. In my book, let couples, and couples only have their civil ceremonies as the legal requirement, then have a religious ceremony if they choose.

But that won't end the problem. I've discussed this before. It's just a matter of time before some man-man or female-female couple decides to sue a church or synagogue for refusing to perform a gay wedding. And now cometh the civil law, with all its human rights and equal rights nonsense that trumps the First Amendment freedom of religion. When religious marriages have full Constitutional protection, I may relax a bit. But I will still be unalterably opposed to polygamy.

StanH said...

This is all part of the ‘60s free love, if it feels good do it, or as you say moral relativism crowd, “if you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one your with.”

Part of the destruction of America requires the breaking down of all things that make us great, traditional marriage being one. Honor, pride, patriotism, personal responsibility, victory, morals, (the list is long) will all be couched as provincial, ignorant, we all know the rattle, one only need listen the blue coasts will tell you.

In my opinion, we must put the counter culture on a shelf at the Smithsonian viewed by future generations as a time when America almost lost it’s soul. And the culmination being the ascension of Barry, the worst president in the history of the USA.

Sorry I haven’t posted guys in the past few days, I’ve been out of town.

Patti said...

bev: not another husband, but i'd take a sister-wife, especially if she cooks and cleans! wait, is that sexist even coming from the same sex?! whatever. i could use an extra pair of hands...

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: Then welcome back. The sad truth is the counter-culture has become the culture. We're no longer in a battle to hold onto western culture, but western civilization itself.

LawHawkRFD said...

Patti: I truly don't know how to reply to that. LOL

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

I don't know much about polygamy except for Big Love which I am sure is not even close to what is the truth.

I have heard that the boys from polygamist's households are kicked out to fend for themselves after they turn 13. Girls are married off before 12. Most are uneducated.

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: Most of the practicing polygamists in America are members of cults. The Mormons gave up polygamy in order to obtain statehood for Utah, but there are multiple offshoots that refused to give in. They've been marginalized and cut off from the mainstream society. It's somewhat inevitable that their standing in society would be rather low. Somehow, plural marriage and low levels of education and, well, civilization seem to go hand-in-hand. The Mormon offshoot cults are basically only the most highly visible, but there are others which have taken passages from the Bible and built a belief system around them--the very description of a cult.

Witness the magnificent state of high culture in the Middle East and Africa where plural marriages are sanctioned by religion and society. There is something inherently wrong with plural marriages, a fact Western civilization recognized a couple thousand years ago.

ArmChairGeneral said...

HE just likes to rock the boat

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