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September 30, 2005

Normalized Polygamy in the Netherlands

Behold, the slippery slope in action. (Hat tip to The Brussels Journal.)

The Netherlands and Belgium were the first countries to give full marriage rights to homosexuals. In the United States some politicians propose “civil unions” that give homosexual couples the full benefits and responsibilities of marriage. These civil unions differ from marriage only in name.

Meanwhile in the Netherlands polygamy has been legalised in all but name. Last Friday the first civil union of three partners was registered. Victor de Bruijn (46) from Roosendaal “married” both Bianca (31) and Mirjam (35) in a ceremony before a notary who duly registered their civil union.

Yes, I understand that "slippery slope" arguments can be ... slippery. It's easy to make them, but harder to prove that they're happening. Well, this story is that proof. First same-sex marriage, then civil unions, and from civil unions you can go literally anywhere. Quoth the groom:
Victor: “A marriage between three persons is not possible in the Netherlands, but a civil union is. We went to the notary in our marriage costume and exchanged rings. We consider this to be just an ordinary marriage.”

Next stop, normalized polygamy. That's not some dire prediction. That's what is happening and will happen if we don't hold the line somewhere. I've heard those who suggest that they're for same-sex marriage but not anything further. But this story proves that, having opened the door a crack to let in just one person, a whole multitude stands ready to take advantage of the breach. You can call those who wanted the door to stay closed all sorts of names--prudish, intolerant, homophobic, narrow-minded--but regardless of how accurate or inaccurate those names are, when it comes down to what was predicted would happen, you can also call them "correct".

Will that change the minds of those pushing for civil unions here? For most, I have my doubts, although I have no doubt that they'll be shocked--SHOCKED--when the first trio get married here. "I had no idea" will be no excuse.

Posted by Doug at September 30, 2005 08:22 AM

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Cats and dogs, living together! Mass hysteria!!

Posted by: Dan Trabue at September 30, 2005 09:27 AM

But polygamy is in the Bible. God's favorites were David and Solomon, yet both had many wives (Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.) And Abraham had two wives, which seemed to be just fine with God since he chose him as one of the main prophets of the time.

In Genesis 29:16-30 Jacob marries both Leah and her sister Rachel. He has children by both Leah and Rachel's maid Bilhah, but Rachel remains barren. Due apparently to Rachel's generosity to her husband, the Lord eventually allows Rachel to conceive.

But all that is moot... Jesus came to give us a new law... love one another. That's what it all boils down to. Otherwise, we'd all be condemned to hell for wearing pearls, eating shellfish and pork and cutting our hair.

Posted by: Robin at September 30, 2005 09:47 AM

Not everything in the Bible is theology. Just because some people did it, that doesn't mean that it is God's plan. David committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed. The union produced the next person in the line of faith. Abrahams extra wife created a rival nation which is still an issue to this day. There was rivalry for years among the 12 tribes because of Jacob's mess.

There were some practical resons why this was accepted in the day. Sometimes the male population was outnumbered because of losses in battle. However, for the tribe to survive rival attacks, all the women needed to be busy 'making new soldiers'. This is not the issue in our society today.

You have to go back to the original plan, Adam and Eve. Not Adam and Steve. Not Adam, Eve, her sister, and thier maids.

Posted by: Bruce at September 30, 2005 05:53 PM

God never regulated sin - He prohibited it.

Take levirate marriages - God commanded them, without making any accomodation for a man that was already married. For a man that was already married, who had a brother that died without an heir - polygamy was commanded by God. God does not command sin.

The Bible also says "I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more." (This was David committed adultery - the wives he had were not enough). God said, "I would have given you more." God does not offer sin.

We have to be careful about calling sin, that which the Bible does not call sin. Certain segments are doing it right now with alcohol.

Because it has been abused (like with Jacob and his wives), does not mean it is universally called "sin".

Posted by: Ellen at October 1, 2005 09:47 AM

Wow, so biblical literalism IS driven by domestic political agenda.

Glad to see you folks clearing up the complex heurmenutical issues there.

So clearly the most important thing in a time of war is tax cuts. Even if one can not find a place in the bible where that may actually be expressly asserted - for or against - it really doesn't matter, since only blind loyalty to the party leaders matters.

I guess Father Abraham was not a true believer doing righteousness.... Oh that's right, he was jewish, and not a neoCon... so come on work out which of your biblical positions you were hoping to defend before trying again.

Posted by: drieux just drieux at October 1, 2005 12:26 PM


Posted by: Matt at October 1, 2005 01:19 PM

Uh... drieux just drieux... if it's me you're addressing (sarcasm doesn't impress me, by the way)...

I'm a single mom with 2 teenagers and very much against polygamy as it would be practiced in today's society. I wouldn't want it for me and I wouldn't want it for my daughter and (given most of the girls I meet today) I wouldn't want it for my son.

I'm just saying that I can't see it being called "sin".

The rest of your post - gee whiz - this was a post about polygamy (or civil union when you take out God and put in the government). Did you really expect commenters to address tax cuts? Or do you just use any old topic that you can find to go on the attack?

Posted by: Ellen at October 1, 2005 01:33 PM

Ellen, something just occurred to me last night regarding God regulating vs prohibiting sin.

Is doing something God "hates" a sin?

God hates divorce. He's pretty clear on that. Yet He regulated it in the Old Testament. When the Pharisees spoke to Jesus on this subject, the said that Moses commanded them to give a certificate of divorce. Jesus corrected that, saying that they were permitted (not commanded) to divorce because they were weak. Thus God regulated a behavior that He personally hated.

How does polygamy rate? Not sure; we never get quite the same pronouncement against it, although I believe the tradition of monogamy comes from Paul's list of requirements for church elders, including being the husband of 1 wife. If it's good enough for the elders, it's probably good enough for the rest of us. But I'll agree that it's not directly dealt with.

My main issue at this point is that while this "Biblical polygamy", if you will, is what the article is about, there is literally nothing to keep this arrangement from expanding to 3 men and 4 women in a "civil union" or other such thing. If one says that there is no good reason to limit marriage to opposite sexes, and no good reason to limit it to 3, what is the limit, if any? What about age? If limiting to a man and a woman is discriminatory, certainly a case could be made for age discrimination. There's been a big push in England to reduce the age of accountability (or whatever the legal term is) to 12.

Those who promote civil unions just for two same-sex partners will be hoist by their own petard. When NAMBLA becomes mainstream, nobody can claim ignorance as an excuse.

Posted by: Doug Payton at October 4, 2005 08:53 AM

A rate limiting factor in a communal living arrangement--and that's effectively what would result--could be the amount of government and/or corporate subsidies. Will a company draw the line on "spousal" benefits to the employee and the first signer of a living arrangement contract only? Or will they be the first entitiy to yank the rug out from ALL arrangements, including married couples?

I'd rather not find out.

Posted by: eLarson at October 4, 2005 09:45 AM

Or could a company make that decision and not get sued by the ACLU?

Posted by: Doug Payton at October 4, 2005 09:49 AM

It would make for an interesting test case, wouldn't it?

Posted by: eLarson at October 4, 2005 10:24 AM


You mention Paul's prohibition to the elders and that his prohibition is "good enough for the rest of us."

An important question here is, "what circumstances existed in Ephesus and Crete that would make such a requirement as this appropriate for the epistles to Timothy and Titus?" If polygamy did not exist in the churches of the time this restriction makes no sense at all. If there was no probability of church leaders having more than one wife how could Paul, by inspiration, make an issue of it? The fact that this restriction appears in these epistles is secondary proof that polygamy was in the church at that time, just as church history affirms. The suprising thing is that, even though polygamy was in the church, Paul made a restriction only regarding elders and deacons. If polygamy was a detestable thing, how could Paul refuse to tell Timothy and Titus to eradicate it from the church?

The plain truth is, God never prohibited the practice. He prohibited the things that would harm us and our relationship with Him. In order that humans might know exactly what our sexual boundaries are, God specified what He did not permit. He did not command any positive sex act. Humans are not required to engage in sexual conduct. God's mandates tells us what sexual behaviour we must avoid. Once we have learned what God prohibits sexually we can then confidently enjoy whatever sexual activity is possible outside of those prohibitions.

Posted by: Brett at October 7, 2005 05:25 PM