Friday, May 31, 2013

A Must Read: Told You So

John Stonestreet on how we are quickly sliding down the sexual slippery slope:

On Valentines’s Day, the Scientific American published an article claiming that polyamorists could “teach us a thing or two about love,” and the only reason to oppose it was bigotry because of outdated views about love and sexuality. As I said on my Point commentary about the article, the flow of the argument sounded far too familiar.

And now, as if on cue, Slate magazine published an article on April 15 by Jillian Keenan arguing that polygamy should be legalized. As Keenan notes, the arguments about gay marriage being a “slippery slope” that will lead to legalized polygamy is something “we’ve been hearing about for years.” To which she adds, “We can only hope.”

She continues: “While the Supreme Court and the rest of us are all focused on the human right of marriage equality, let’s not forget that the fight doesn’t end with same-sex marriage. We need to legalize polygamy, too. Legalized polygamy in the United States is the constitutional, feminist, and sex-positive choice.”

Keenan adds that legalizing polygamy would help to “protect, empower, and strengthen women, children, and families.” How? By ending the “isolation” where “crime and abuse can flourish unimpeded.” That is, if polygamy is legal, she says, victims of abuse would be more likely to report abuses to the authorities.

Finally, she argues that respect for religious freedom requires legalizing polygamy. It isn’t only fundamentalist Mormons she’s concerned about: she cites “academics” who “suggest” that there may be between 50 and 100,000 Muslims in the U.S. who practice polygamy.

This argument is simply foolish. Jonestreet goes on to write:

What’s most significant here isn’t the quality of Keenan’s arguments. The quality is poor. The treatment of women in countries where polygamy is legal makes her optimism about the impact of legalizing it seem dangerously naive. And her appeal to religious freedom is—shall we say—selective. There are plenty of law-abiding Americans whose religious freedom is under genuine threat who could benefit from this kind of solicitude.

No, the most significant thing about Keenan’s argument is not, to paraphrase Samuel Johnson, that it’s made well, but that it’s made openly.

Read the rest here.
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