“Polygamy is the next civil-rights battle.”
That’s the new battle cry of proponents of “Christian polygamy” who say their lifestyle is one step closer to being accepted after the Supreme Court’s controversial decision last week invalidating state sodomy laws.
A website set up for media to get information about the pro-polygamy movement enthusiastically hails the Lawrence v. Texas decision, quoting from the majority opinion that Americans now have “… the full right to engage in private conduct without government intervention.”
As WorldNetDaily reported, critics of the decision believe the court has usurped the role of lawmakers, establishing a far-reaching precedent that threatens any law based on moral choices, including incest and polygamy.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia includes examples of non-traditional marriages in his dissenting opinion, saying laws against the practice are now open to review.
Scalia talks of “state laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality and obscenity,” saying “every single one of these laws is called into question by [the Lawrence] decision.”
Said the polygamy website: “Obviously, this [decision] means enormous ramifications for the civil rights of adult, freely-consenting, marriage-committed polygamists.”
The site links to a much more extensive site called TruthBearer.org, a page dedicated to promoting “Christian polygamy.”
Its introductory page states, “As preached here at this ministry, Christian polygamy is only about life-long-committed (hence, NONpromiscuous), consensual, NONabusive, loving Christian marriage. The only educational matter here is that this is about men ever-growing in other-centered, ministerial, giving, selfless love in marriage to more than one woman (as Christ so selflessly and givingly loves the Churches).”
The organizers say their aim is not to legalize polygamy, but merely to decriminalize it. They don’t believe government has any role whatsoever in regulating marriage.
A link to biblicalpolygamy.com presents what its creators claim are reasons that “polygamy really is biblical.”
Another site on “Christian polygamy” (which appears to have been created by those who established TruthBearer.org) states:
“Only a few short years ago, the mere suggestion of putting the words ‘Christian’ and ‘polygamy’ beside each other as one term would have been laughed at. It would have been called a ‘contradiction in terms’ and an ‘oxymoron.’
“But no one is laughing anymore.
“After much patient prayer, love, and work by committed Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-believing evangelical conservative Christians, from all kinds of different denominational backgrounds, the Truth is being believed and spread to others! Christian polygamy has become a reality and is now being taken very seriously in a number of spheres of influence.”
The Rev. Jerry Falwell, WorldNetDaily columnist and nationally known Christian minister, spoke strongly against the practice of having multiple wives, telling WND: “Christian polygamy is an oxymoron.” Falwell condemned the Lawrence ruling, saying it opened the door to “bestiality, pedophilia, even drug use” in the privacy of one’s home.
TruthBearer.org, based in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, was founded by Mark Henkel in 1994.
“You are speaking to a diehard constitutional conservative,” Henkel told WorldNetDaily, saying his support for the Lawrence v. Texas decision and polygamy is in line with the framers of the Constitution.
“My fellow conservatives are making a terrible mistake” by condemning the ruling, he said. “They are reacting like knee-jerk liberals.”
Henkel compared marriage to Social Security, citing some conservatives’ desire to privatize the government retirement program.
“Why not privatize marriage?” he asked rhetorically. “Why is big government a part of marriage?”
Henkel says marriage in the Bible is never linked to government and that today, the feds should not be able to dictate to Americans: “You’re only allowed one wife.”
Christians who believe the state should regulate marriage, he says, “are trusting in the false god of socialist government.”
Referring to the sodomy case, Henkel told WND: “Lawrence v. Texas has kicked open a whole new door for us.”
He says the ruling effectively voided every anti-polygamy law on the books, assuring that “whatever consenting adults choose to do” is permissible.
TruthBearer.org’s strategy, says Henkel, is to persuade “conservative, Bible-believing Christians” of the appropriateness and superiority of polygamy. When they are won over, Henkel says the liberal “tolerance-oriented” people will then come into line.
While Henkel uses the polygamy of biblical patriarchs as part of his defense of the practice, Falwell says those Old Testament men were sinning by taking multiple wives.
“The Bible very clearly condemns Christian polygamy,” he said. “[The Old Testament patriarchs] all did it in defiance of the Word of God. … God’s plan was Adam and Eve – not Adam and Steve, and not Adam and several Eves.”
Henkel’s movement is clear to point out that its philosophy is not based on historic Mormon polygamy: “Christian polygamy is not Mormon polygamy. The two have two distinctly separate foundational reasons and two distinctly separate histories. They draw no basis from each other.”
Editor’s note: WND’s acclaimed Whistleblower magazine features its July issue entitled, “THE CONSTITUTION: America’s ultimate battleground.” This special issue explores whether the Constitution is still America’s “supreme law of the land.”