By Diogenes (articles ) | February 28, 2008 6:15 AM
Mark Steyn backhands the Brits for their capitulation to political Qur'ectness:
You can't (for the moment) marry multiple wives within the United Kingdom, but if you contract a polygamous marriage in a jurisdiction where polygamy is legal, such as certain, ahem, Muslim countries, your better halves (or better eighths?) are now recognized as eligible for British welfare payments. Thus, the concept of "each additional spouse" has been accepted both de facto and de jure.
Steyn's witty wording inadvertently puts into sharper relief some aspects of the theology of marriage. A man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh. Would there be any wife to wife one-flesh-ness between a Muslim's multiple brides (or, to take an OT example, between Jacob's wives Leah and Rachel)? Hard to see how.
More debatable is his contention that a Muslim holding a full house might refer to his "better eighths" rather than "better fifths." Would it be a different man made whole in a different way by each of his four wives (wedded either serially or concurrently) so as to produce eight marital relationships? Or does the hub to which the spokes are attached remain constant (so as to produce five)? Most Britons must realize that neither understanding is easy to reconcile with the traditional Christian notion of the nuptial bond. But come to think of it, Henry VIII had his own ideas about marital cleaving, didn't he?
An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:
Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!
Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our final 2013 goal ($29,824 to go, assuming receipt of matching funds):
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!
Posted by: -
Feb. 29, 2008 3:50 PM ET USA
What hypocrisy! The Brits outlawed polygamy in Hongkong! It was perfectly accepted and common for a man of means to have more than one wife and family, if he could provide for more than one household (of course, each needed separate accommodations.) As long as the husband provided well, the wives were happy, especially if they had enough "legs" to play mah-jong. But, under British common law, it was outlawed! Now, if you're Muslim, it's not only legal, but the gov't will pay for it!
Posted by: -
Feb. 28, 2008 1:19 PM ET USA
Another step down the slippery slope: If one form of ex-territorial plural marriage has obtained legal recognition, then what is the principled legal objection not to recognize any and all forms of ex-territorial plural marriage? And if it recognized in law post-hoc, what is the principled objection to contracting a new plural marriage in the UK? If a marriage is formed and recognized in its "1 man/2 women" form, what stops the 2 women from divorcing the man in this relationship?