Polygamy and the Police State

Here’s how same sex marriage will lead to a police state: First this article on Slate calls for the legalization of polygamy. The call for polygamy sort of springboards from the argument for same sex marriage. The piece argues from various viewpoints, but the underlying principle is the same: “Let us decide what marriage is.” Here is the defining last paragraph:

The definition of marriage is plastic. Just like heterosexual marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage, marriage between two consenting adults is not inherently more or less “correct” than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults. Though polygamists are a minority—a tiny minority, in fact—freedom has no value unless it extends to even the smallest and most marginalized groups among us. So let’s fight for marriage equality until it extends to every same-sex couple in the United States—and then let’s keep fighting. We’re not done yet.

Here is the real philosophical issue, and it lies beneath the same sex marriage debate–indeed beneath virtually every debate in our society. The proponents of polygamy (in this case) argue that marriage is “plastic”. In other words, its elastic. Its rubbery. It stretches. Its jello. It conforms and adapts and changes according to your needs.

Furthermore, marriage is only plastic and elastic because everything else is too. In other words, there is no such thing as Truth. This is what B16 and Pope Francis call “the dictatorship of relativism.” Nothing is secure or certain because nothing is revealed as Truth because if there were such a thing as revealed Truth there would have to be an objective source for that Truth. There would have to be TRUTH and TRUTH must be something which is reasonable and able to be articulated, and how can there be a source for a Truth that is reasonable unless that source is, itself reasonable and if reasonable then able to reason, and if able to reason, the intelligent and if intelligent then self aware and if self aware, then existent.

For the Catholic everything is connected. If marriage is plastic and elastic, then everything is plastic and elastic. We are “on the edge of a grimpen where there is no foothold.” Everything is up for grabs, there is no certainty and if no certainty, then no security. This is the philosophical and theological wilderness in which our culture if foundering.

However, people cannot live together in society with complete plasticity and elasticity. In a society where anything goes everything goes…downhill fast. Where moral disintegration exists societal disintegration soon follows. Everything starts to come apart at the seams. Societal chaos threatens.

Now here’s where I begin to really get the creeps: When there is no certainty in a society–no moral absolutes and no reason and no rules, then something must be done. People demand security. As disorder and chaos increase people demand order and control. However, without any greater moral absolutes, with a rejection of a greater lawgiver and a higher code of behavior the only force left to bring about order in society is the government, and the only laws the government will see fit to put into effect are the laws which help to preserve and consolidate the government’s already existing power and wealth.

The laws will have to be arbitrary because society will have already decided that all laws are arbitrary. Likewise the enforcement of the laws will rely merely on brute force because there will be no reason for the laws and therefore no reason (apart from force) to obey the laws, and there will be no justice because justice is based on reason and equity and a rationale that assumes there is such a thing as Truth. Law and justice will be the rule of force and nothing else.

Thus the ultimate irony that those who wanted a society “completely free” from absolutes where everything was plastic will end up with a police state where nothing is plastic and the total control is drastic.

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