So I asked Jim: “Why couldn’t polygamy be legal — if it was among consenting adults.” He shook his head: “Because it’s nutty.”
I’ve been reading Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer. He explores the hidden societies of Fundamentalist Mormonism in the hinterlands of the West. Their form of polygamy encompasses incest and pedophilia in a violent male-driven society that makes the Taliban look like pussies. So I get why that’s not so good.
But would it be any better if polygamy were legalized, out in the open and regulated? Some of us say that about drug culture — make it legal; drive out the corrupt element. You have to ask yourself these questions.
But then I thought of the hippie/free love cultures of the Sixties. How did that work out for the Peace & Love generation? My brush with such stuff tells me it was an experience most people were happy to put behind them. Male egos… steaming jealousies… lack of privacy… whispering shifting alliances. Bad.
So I agree with Jim that it’s nutty, but should all forms of relationship nuttiness also be illegal? Maybe it boils down to how children get treated in the process of adults carrying out their beliefs. If the children are regularly abused or neglected, even in the name of religious or cultural freedom, society has a duty to step in and make some laws.