While we’re focused on love today, since it’s Valentines, we thought it worth posting a couple of items from our Face Book page, to explain our stance towards practicing polygamists. This was a response to someone who suggested that we are unfair to polygamists, because only a few groups are actually abusive. Here is our response.
” Many of us come from a variety of polygamist groups, and so are speaking from a position of first-hand experience. We are well aware that not all polygamists are sexual abusers like Warren Jeffs. What we are critiquing is the practice, not individual people. As far as the practice goes, the abuses are built in – whether it be the emotional abuse of expecting a woman to share her partner and be happy about it, or the problems of sexual abuse that flourish in communities with few boundaries. Even Chief Justice Baumann of British Columbia, Canada, has said, ‘The harms associated with the practice are endemic; they are inherent. This conclusion is critical because it supports the view that the harms found in polygynous societies are not simply the product of individual misconduct; they arise inevitably out of the practice.'”
We agree with Chief Justice Baumann’s evaluation of polygamy. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t good-hearted people living polygamy–some of them are our relatives, and we love them–but good intentions can’t overcome the reality of a flawed and negative practice.