One of Dalrock’s posts has spawned a multi-day doctrinal debate between various people on the topic of Biblical marriage; it’s been quite the chewy read, and while long,* I do recommend it. I dipped my toes in a little bit, mostly to support commenter Lyn87 (if you want a synopsis of this person’s argument, there’s some helpful links in this comment). One of the good things about this discussion is that the people debating are doing so in a respectful, intelligent manner – for the most part. There’s a few insults here and there but not the kind of scorched-earth trolling that happens at more brutal communities! (Hang out at Vox Day’s blog long enough and you will find yourself becoming inured to witless insult-mongering and acquiring a taste for high-class insults, that’s for sure! Or maybe I just started out with thicker skin and learned to appreciate those who can simultaneously use outrageous language and make a cogent argument at the same time.)
*And by long, I mean over 600 comments.
Artisanal Toad’s explanations of why he thinks polygamy is A-OK remind me of the time I ran into a couple at the local mall who were doing “Christian” outreach for some kind of crazy offshoot cult that involved interpreting passages about the new Jerusalem as there being some kind of mother goddess equal to God. They were referencing passages, yes, but their interpretation thereof was so far-out whacky that I really had a hard time talking to them even for a few minutes. It was as if they had neatly constructed an alternate, nonsensical universe and locked themselves in. It was very strange.
Perhaps reading John C. Wright is causing Catholicism to rub off on me, but one thing I would appreciate in debates over Biblical interpretation is knowledge of how Christians have interpreted passages and applied them historically. (I’m predisposed to that, I think – my Protestant denomination likes its church history, going all the way back.) While ancient opinion isn’t authoritative, I think it’s helpful to see how Christians in very different cultural circumstances have approached things like marriage and polygamy.
Interestingly enough, in missions fields where polygamy is commonly practiced, having multiple wives is not a problem for converts – the missionaries simply instruct them not to take any more wives than they have when they join the church. The polygamous marriages are recognized and tolerated, but not encouraged to multiply.
From a “secular” standpoint, of course, polygamy (like welfare-supported babymommas, on the other extreme) is incompatible with Western social and civil norms, so as a Westerner myself I’d have to be against it for that reason, if no other.