Polyamory for All!

Sister's WivesThe gay “marriage” ruling, the gift that keeps on giving. As one headline read: “‘Sister Wives’ family points to same-sex marriage cases in arguing against Utah polygamy ban.”  Of course they would, and they would be perfectly logical to do so. In fact, the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling pretty much redefined marriage out of existence. Remember, when Justice Kennedy in the 1992 case that legalized sodomy said, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” This sounds like more at the heart of what Christians call the fall that we read about in Genesis 3. Satan’s temptation to Adam and Eve was that what God provided wasn’t good enough. If only they would listen to him they would “be like God, knowing good and evil,” the perfect equal to Justice Kennedy’s hubris.  

But the fact of the matter is if five justices on the Supreme Court were able to redefine marriage from what it has been for all of recorded history, then what is to keep marriage from being defined in all sorts of ways? Robert P. George at The American Interest says that the inexorable logic of the Supreme Court ruling leads in one direction:

On its own terms, the logic of the same-sex marriage movement inexorably leads to the embrace of polyamory and, even, the removal of legal sanctions against incestuous marriages.

If we want to be even more rigorously logical, then it can really lead to anything people can dream up. He states further:

The challenge for same-sex marriage supporters is either to accept polyamory on the basis of the very same vision of marriage, or to offer a new and more specific vision—one that can explain why number is relevant but gender is not.

Of course, the case for polyamory and its legal recognition presupposes that marriage is in fact what so-called “marriage equality” advocates have depicted it as being: committed sexual-romantic companionship or domestic partnership. And this is precisely what has been denied by defenders of what used to be known as “marriage” and is now called “traditional marriage” (i.e., as the union of husband and wife). Those defenders are most assuredly right when they say that the new idea of marriage is an innovation—not an “expansion” of marriage but a genuine redefinition, one that treats what has historically been regarded as a relevant difference, namely sex or gender, as if it were irrelevant, not central to the very idea and social purposes of marriage.

I introduce the case because it forces us to focus on the logical implications of abolishing the conjugal understanding of marriage in our law and replacing it with the revisionist idea of marriage as sexual-romantic companionship or domestic partnership, all by judicial fiat.

This change has happened so quickly and with relatively little social unrest, but make no mistake, this is a revolution. It has a long intellectual pedigree. I read a fascinating book recently by Paul Kengor called, “Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left has Sabotaged Family and Marriage.” Where we are with the “takedown” of the family could arguably be said to start with the Enlightenment, but Karl Marx and communism really got the ball rolling. Kengor argues that while Marx was focused primarily on economics, one of his stated goals in the Communist Manifesto was the abolition of the family, and it is obvious why. Nothing could come before the state, and the family was finally the most potent institution that could get in its way. But it took cultural Marxists to carry Marx’s failed economic model to the point we are today.

Kengor tells the story of something called the Frankfurt School where this idea of cultural Marxism had its genesis, eventually finding its way to America and most potently to American universities. John Dewey and Columbia University were its most ardent proponents, but as the 20th Century wore on, the school’s influence permeated all the elite institutions of American and Western culture. Everything exploded with what has become known as the sexual revolution in the 1960s, and in 2015 via Judicial fiat we have marriage defined out of existence. Progressives have never been real concerned about the unintended consequences of their continual push for “progress,” and I’m confident that this, as with all the rest of the sexual revolution will not end up in a good place.