The problem with polygamy


The Economist, January 22, 2016, had a special section on the Millenials.  Attached is one of the pages that caught my eye on polygamy.  It mentions that despite Islam and previously historic Israel  and Mormonism  all  encouraging polygamy, and some state legislatures in the US having a blind eye towards it, that polygamy is a “powder keg” for young men because of the inherent instability of the situation.

Israel’s use of polygyny and polygamy can be overwhelming at times when reading the Old Testament but to honest there is no mention of God condoning that, he just gave them laws acknowledging and governing their behaviour towards their offspring.

If a man has two wives, one loved and the other unloved, and they have borne him children, both the loved and the unloved, and if the firstborn son is of her who is unloved, then it shall be, on the day he bequeaths his possessions to his sons, that he must not bestow firstborn status on the son of the loved wife in preference to the son of the unloved, the true firstborn.

                                                                                   But he shall acknowledge the son of the unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his. (Deuteronomy 21:15-17)

Then there are laws forcing man to have polygamous relationships in the Old Testament like here:  

If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the widow of the dead man shall not be married to a stranger outside the family; her husband’s brother shall go in to her, take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her.

           If the living brother was already married, then we have here a command from    God for a man to have a polygamous relationship. If the living brother was already married, in order to obey the Lord, the man would be required to have more than one wife. If he refused to do so, he would be spit in the face and bear reproach (Deuteronomy 25:9-10).

Similarly,  If a man entices a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall surely pay the bride-price for her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the bride-price of virgins. (Exodus 22:16-17; see also Deuteronomy 22:28-29)

 
all of which rather infers that this is more of a punishment for his behaviour, and the the need to do right, than a reward.   John MacArthur, a modern Christian apologicist, agrees with my line of thought and believes that God did not want polygyny or polygamy because
straight off, he did not make two Eves did he?   

And while the Israelites did practise this sexual licentiousness,  to an incredible degree at times (see King David’s harem)  a rule it was only the wealthiest, or most lascivious of men that did so. 

 In  Mormonism, the Church of the Latter Day Saints,  polygamy was the norm before 1890.  They based it on several issues, most like Islam as they had more female converts than male, and wanted to increase their population quickly, but they were forced to give that up to become a state in the union, click here for the History.com article and while some state legislatures in the US have a blind eye towards the practice, the Economist rightfully points out  that polygamy is a “powder keg” for young men because of the inherent instability of the situation.

And finally, speaking of wayward governance, Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton,  wrote a book  that it “Takes a Village” to raise a child, &  claims it was an African proverb, there is no anthropological data for it, so let’s just loss that one out the door, because in short, polygamous societies do not work.

Why?  Because  with so many voices telling a child what or what not to do, whom does he trust?  How does he sort out the confusion?  Well in many cases, he does not, as it overwhelms them and results in  a society with “higher rates of murder, theft, rape, social disruption” from the academic study on the “Puzzle of Monogamy”.  You can read an abstract, where they discuss their biases and research methodology,  of the book, here 
It is about 13 pages btw.