Saturday, May 22, 2010

Thought and Deed - Belief vs. Practice

Before I launch into another "polygamy sympathizing" rant, I want to express my appreciation to whomever it was who republished my "vitriolic" anti-David-Leavitt post on the MORMON MATTERS website.

Leavitt Alone, You Idiot!

If nothing else, it stimulated some good dialogue. One commenter reminded us that Utah's state constitution has an anti-plural marriage clause in it. Accordingly, I remind the commenter that this clause has been found unconstitutional (see Coyle v. Smith, 221 U.S. 559 [1911]).

Today's sermon is on the topic of thoughts and deeds. I trust that my readers are all endowed with a sufficiently robust I.Q. and have no difficulty understanding the distinction between thought and deed. The (despicable) Reynolds Court had no difficulty drawing a distinction between thought (belief and opinions) and deed (practices) when it (Justice Morrison Waite) wrote:

"Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices."

Americans have had this concept pummeled into their heads for so many years that they can all recite it very capably - government may not punish bad thoughts, yet it may absolutely punish bad acts.

Why, then, do Canada, Utah and Texas punish the thinking of some and not the acting of others?

I have vigorously decried the insane Canadian anti-polygamy law in previous posts. Please indulge me as I attack it again. Canada is investing millions of calories and lawyer-hours in wringing its hands over what to do about the handful of Fundamentalist Mormon polygamists in Creston/Bountiful (B.C).

Gay marriage is legal in Canada. Gay thought is protected; gay copulation is protected. Homosexuality is FIRST an abstract concept, existing only as an urge or inclination in the mind of the gay human. Only SECONDLY is homosexuality a deed or act, manifested when gay partners engage in the physical act of sexual contact and intercourse. When gayness was still a crime on this continent, NOBODY was ever prosecuted for gay thoughts, just gay deeds (just as the Reynolds belief/exercise doctrine decreed).

With polygamy, this all gets turned on its head. No doubt, millions of right-thinking Canadians regularly "sleep around" (fornicate, shack-up, cheat, etc.). Like homosexuality, fornication and adultery are legally protected in Canada (as in the U.S.). Smart Canadians understand that polygamy (or "plural marriage") is a cultural or religious CONCEPT. It is abstract. It is merely a notion in the mind of the observer or practitioner. When I say I "embrace" polygamy, I simply reveal that, in my mind, I don't reject the concept or lifestyle. I don't literally become a polygamist (culturally or religiously) until I do the tangible matrimonial things (ceremony, sexual acts, cohabiting, etc.).

In Texas and Utah, at least a dozen noble citizens sleep around recreationally. It is almost the State sport. These lusty folks commit the physical acts of adultery and fornication (unenforced crimes). They often satisfy the standard of bigamous/polygamous conduct, but they do not cross the dread felony threshold until they have BAD THOUGHTS. I don't mean bad thoughts like the ones involving nudity, erotica, genitalia, sex, disrobing, foreplay, arousal, toys, lingerie, talking dirty, etc. - NO !!!!!!!!! --- I mean bad thoughts like the ones about Mormonism, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, fundamntalism, D&C 132 and the like.

You see, in Texas, Canada and Utah, the sex acts will get you NO prison time. The palpable deeds will NEVER make you a criminal - it's the thoughts that get ya'!!!!

We all know that incest is a crime, right? I mean, if you have sex with your minor (or even adult) daughter, you go to prison, right? Well, . . . . what if you went to bed with a girl you met at bar, and you tell your friend that, while you were engaged in sexual acts with her you fantasized that she was your daughter? Can your friend then go to the police and accuse you of committing incest (in your mind)? The sex acts were legal, but the thoughts were incestuous, right? Absurd, right? It would never hold up in a court of law, because you cannot be convicted for having bad, abstract fantasies in your head, right? . . . . UNLESS YOU BELIEVE IN POLYGAMY (religious or cultural)!!!!!!!!!!.

You see, pretty soon, Wendell Nielsen will go on trial in Texas for having one legal wife and some other women whom he thinks of as "wives" (not "daughters"). He is not being charged with incest. He is being charged with "bigamy". In Texas' view, his crime is that he has one legal wife, a handful of other (always adult) partners with whom he has allegedly shared a dwelling or a bed but, WORST OF ALL, he believes in the biblical doctrine of plural marriage as restored through Joseph Smith. That's the kicker - that's what makes him a felon - not the women, the sex, the children, the cohabiting (all protected acts throughout Texas, Canada and the U.S.) - NO, it's the thoughts in his head, the abstract notions of theology and religious doctrine shared by at least 13 million Latter-day Saints.

So, as Canada prepares to revisit its ridiculous anti-polygamy law, I remind the honorable court and distinguished Canadian subjects that what the law tries to do is criminalize thought, not deeds, just like Utah's laughable bigamy statute (not to mention that no witnesses or evidence are needed to secure a conviction !!!!!).

A few hundred years back, America (see Salem, Mass.) hanged witches. What is a witch? Is it a lady with a black hat, a broomstick, and a face like Glenn Close? Or is a witch a woman who concocts mysterious potions and puts hexes on her enemies? Eventually, America decided that executing purported witches was unacceptable because their crimes were largely of a religious/ecclesiastical nature, and we no longer wanted to criminalize blasphemy, heresy, and even "witchcraft".

So, recreational copulators go unpunished while the religious ones go to prison. To me, that is punishing the thoughts and not the deeds, which is precisely the opposite of what the Reynolds Court so hypocritically strove to codify.

Have, fun, Canada !!!! - - (and Barbie, too).





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