Can Democracy Survive Polygamy?
Friday, June 02, 2006
Observing the landscape of America's contentious debate over marriage, scholar Stanley Kurtz of the Hudson Institute, remarks, "It has become necessary to offer a case against polygamy."
That such a claim would appear so utterly reasonable in our times is a clear sign that marriage is in big trouble. That trouble is not, for the most part, localized on the issue of polygamy, but the question of polygamy hangs over current controversies concerning same-sex marriage and the legal status of marriage as a social institution.
Stanley Kurtz is one of the nation's most prolific writers on issues related to marriage, the culture, and questions of controversy. What makes Kurtz's work especially important is the fact that he, though a stalwart defender of retaining the traditional definition of marriage, is able to write with a combination of clarity and charity. The argument Kurtz offers is, as time will tell, impossible to refute.
Kurtz's most recent essay, "Polygamy Versus Democracy," appears in the June 5, 2006 edition of The Weekly Standard. In this article, Kurtz begins by pointing to a television series about a polygamous patriarch and his complicated family. Most American readers will jump to the immediate conclusion that Kurtz is referring to the HBO miniseries, Big Love. Nevertheless, Kurtz is actually referring to a program popular in Egypt--a drama that focuses upon a polygamous family. As Kurtz indicates, the popularity of the television series set off a controversy that continues to rage through the Muslim world. the rest