November 24, 2010

The Radicals' Approach to Social Engineering

Justin Katz

This entry to a recent First Things "While We're at It" column contains a familiar intellectual construction:

... The British Columbia Supreme Court will consider the legality of the province's laws after two members of a Mormon community in Bountiful, British Columbia, were charged with polygamy. The case will center primarily on religious freedom, but it may provide an opportunity to rethink the justification for banning polygamy.

"The problem," says Queen's University law professor Beverley Baines, "is that Canadian culture has changed significantly and there are many people living secretly in polygamous relationships. There is an assumption that polygamy is bad for women and children--but as long as it's a crime, no one is going to belly up and say they're living in the relationship. Until they decriminalize it we can't know if it's harmful in Canada."

The first thought to mind is Nancy Pelosi's admonition that Congress had to pass ObamaCare to see what it contained, but it hadn't previously occurred to me how apt a summary of the radical, or progressive, approach to social change that statement really was. It's all a grand experiment to them, no matter how many lives are damaged by the cultural underpinnings that they're so eager to sweep away.

Of course, to the extent that they are willing to consider evidence at all, progressives are likely aware that so many factors come into play, in the social arena, that no instance of cause and effect is ever free of the opportunity to dissemble and make excuses.

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I'm having a really hard time seeing what's so bad about polygamy that it needs to be prohibited. I'm guessing that even if gay marriage and polygamy were allowed, the vast majority of people will still choose the 'standard configuration' we're all familiar with.

Posted by: mangeek at November 24, 2010 2:38 PM

" instance of cause and effect [blah, blah, blah]"

Ummm, cause and effect requires that something actually has been tried (exactly what the professor above said). As Drucker put it...

"There is no 'scientific' way to set objectives... There are rightly value judgements ... one reason for this is that the decisions stand under incurable uncertainty. They are concerned with the future. And we have no 'facts' concerning the future."

But whatever, I'm going home to my wife and kids and put the finishing touches on my secret plot to destroy of the institution of marriage.

Posted by: Russ at November 24, 2010 3:27 PM


If you're interested in information about Mormon polygamy think about picking up and reading Jon Krakauer's "Under the Banner of Heaven". The group of LDS fundamentalists that practice polygamy near Salt Lake City, Utah are connected to a group in Bountiful, Canada.

Posted by: Phil at November 24, 2010 4:26 PM

One of the more famous polygamists was H.L. Hunt, an oil tycoon with three families. He could afford it and afford the lawyers should the SHTF. He might have been a serial monagamist, though.

Krakauer's book is eye opening - it paints a picture of a bunch of dirty old fap monsters moving teenage wives around like chess pieces, rewarding/penalizing their followers and pretty much excluding/running off the teenage boys who might otherwise have had a chance at a more normal family lives.


Wait a minute. Just TWO FLDS members - don't you need a third person here?


Posted by: chuckR at November 24, 2010 5:33 PM

As a twist, I find the Left's century old persecution of polygamy telling.
Many children of these unions are home schooled, brilliant and beautiful-born to a pair of REAL parents-not the "pretend" parents necessary in sodomite "couples", whose sexual (mis) behavior has never and will never, produce children.
Yet the Left's century plus old quest to put these parents (actually only the fathers) in Gulags continues unabated.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at November 24, 2010 6:54 PM

I have some difficulty in understanding why polygamy is illegal. Assuming it is a choice made by all. I don't see it succeeding unless all parties were brought up in a tradition of it. Else, they would not know how to think about it.

I am not sure that Jon Krakauer's "Under the Banner of Heaven" is any more reflective of the general attitude of Mormons than Conan Doyle's "A Study in Scarlet". The latter portrays Mormons raiding wagon trains to obtain wives.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at November 24, 2010 7:54 PM

What is all the crap about the Mormons?
There were lot of Mormons in the Border Patrol/INS because a lot of them had been missionaries in Latin America and were fluent in Spanish(15 extra points on the hiring test)and they were mostly pretty good agents.
I never attempted to understand their religion since I know next to nothing about the one I was born into.
Aside from not smoking,drinking,or using caffeine,they were pretty ordinary.I never met one who promoted polygamy as a lifestyle.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 24, 2010 9:53 PM

The latest "marriages" of Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh (as well as their 5th, 6th, and 7th ones which, if history is any guide, will take place as soon as their most recent "wives"... age a bit) will receive the full panoply of rights under American law, while -- as a result of this twisted, self-serving definition of "Traditional Marriage" -- gay Americans are denied all such rights even for their first marriages

Happy Thanksgiving to All

Posted by: Sammy at November 25, 2010 12:11 AM

Another teaching moment from sammy-how lucky can we get?
Guys like him make people vote against something they might otherwise not care about beause of their oboxious attitude.
I personally would never vote for Gingrich because of his hypocritical and dissolute lifestyle.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 25, 2010 6:21 AM

Is there no depth to the irrelevant crudeness to which these Leftists will not sink?

Our little group of Leftist terrorist wannabes grew up on Beavis and Butthead but didn't have the good parental guidance to be taught that the characters were not meant to be role models.

Posted by: BobN at November 25, 2010 10:34 AM


Krakauer goes to pains to let the reader know that the official Church of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City distances themselves from their past tolerance and endorsement of polygamy by its members. The breakaway fundamentalists pratice this lifestyle outside the Church and have set up their own communities in which the local government officials and police chief in one case were all practicing members of one such cult. It would seem to be rather hard for the twelve year old brides and small children raised in these communities to have their complaints of their treatment to be handled as the same complaints would be handled in a non- traditionalist communitie. Arizona in particular has in recent years has begun to crack down on these communities in the northern part of the state. What's also interesting is how much social welfare money was going to these places. It's a case of "leave us alone but send those checks".

Posted by: Phil at November 25, 2010 10:45 AM

Who would have thought polygamy would garner this much commentary in Rhode Island.

Posted by: G-Man at November 25, 2010 11:20 AM

What's also interesting is how much social welfare money was going to these places. It's a case of "leave us alone but send those checks".
Posted by Phil at November 25, 2010 10:45 AM

"NO human is illegal".

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at November 25, 2010 6:56 PM

"NO human is illegal".

Tommy, you needed to say it with the back of your hand pressed to your forehead.

Not just in the discussion about illegal immigration but among all of the current hot issues, that statement really does top the list of melodramatic, fatuous and completely irrelevant arguments.

Posted by: Monique at November 25, 2010 7:53 PM


I have assured Justin that I will abide by his rules about what kind of comments readers such as I can make to contributors such as you. I am not sure if it covers all comments that you make, or are you fair game if you comment on anothers post which is the case here? I'm thinking it's the former.

Posted by: Phil at November 26, 2010 7:33 AM

I hope Phil would check out Title 8 of the US Code.The refernces to aliens illegally in the US are numerous.
What you won't find are the words "undocumented worker" or "undocumented immigrant"-immigrant is of course mentioned in its proper context-i.e.a person legally entitled to permanently reside in the US who isn't a citien.
People are illegal insofar as they are here in violation of law.
Phil-if you don't like,too bad.You can work to change the laws and terminology if that is what floats your boat,but until they're changed(not too likely right about now)you will just have to live with it.
I'm sick of all this politically correct speech that is rotting public discourse.
If you call a hot dog a banana, it's still a hot dog.
When a brin damaged mutt like Patrick Kennedy flies into a rage at the word "alien",a legal definition,and he's been in Congress for 8 terms at the time,it explains a lot about what RI voters are doing when they go to the polls-they're surrendering their common sense.
Hey,Phil-I guess there are no ILLEGAL ALIENS taking your quahogging job,so you can afford to be magnanimous to tresspassers.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 26, 2010 10:23 AM

If you call a hot dog a banana, you may be referring to joe bernstein.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at November 26, 2010 12:07 PM

What are talking about. My comments had nothing to do with immigration legal or otherwise. Do you people not read? This was about the fundamentalist LDS members who have established communities in northern Arizona and elsewhere (Utah, Mexico and Canada) My understanding is that most of these people are U.S. citizens. What is so hard about this?

Again I did not write the line you object to. The thing that calls itself tommy cranston was responsible for that so take it up with tommy cranston.

Posted by: Phil at November 26, 2010 12:32 PM

otl-I had a disease as a kid where I could only have yogurt,bananas,and one or two other things for three years.I hate bananas to this day.I don't like hot dogs either.Did the Everclear wear off yet?

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 26, 2010 2:16 PM

Joe B. FLDS does not equal LDS. Odds are vanishingly small that you worked with members of the former.

Generally, I'm surprised at the laissez-faire attitude expressed towards old men with teenage sister wives, some who became so before legal age of consent, and their multitude of kids sometimes supported by welfare. We here in RI don't like it when that happens without the trappings of cult doctrine or even the flimsiest pretext of marriage. Krakauer isn't alone in describing the situation - Into Thin Air just gets him wider readership.

Posted by: chuckR at November 26, 2010 5:21 PM

Chuck R-you're probably right-I never noticed anything unusual about the Mormons I knew,so I guess they werejust plain old Mormons.
Did you know Nixon was a Quaker?Non-practicing I'd guess. LOL.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 26, 2010 6:01 PM

Phil-you're technically correct-Tommy Cranston brought the phrase up on this thread,but you used it or something similar(maybe that you'd never refer to someone as an illegal alien)on another thread sometime back.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 26, 2010 11:15 PM
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