Polygamy Debate

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  • Topic: Polygamy, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith, Jr.
  • Pages : 1 (365 words )
  • Download(s) : 298
  • Published : September 27, 2012
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Polygamy is the state or practice of having two or more mates at the same time, this includes both Polygyny (the union of one man with more than one woman - literally, ‘many females’) and Polyandry (the union of one woman with more than one man: literally, ‘many males’). Polygamy is a social phenomenon that has existed for thousands of years in cultures around the world. Polygamy is believed by some to be condoned in the original texts of many faiths - in the Bible from Lamech’s marriage to Adah and Zillah in Genesis (4:23), to Joseph’s four wives (Gen 29-30). In Judaism, most of the prophets - God’s messengers - were polygamous. Solomon is said to have had 700 wives. In America, substantial controversy surrounds Mormon fundamentalist forms of polygamy. In the 1840’s, Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, approved the practice of polygamy. In 1896, Utah's leaders were forced to abandon polygamy in order to achieve statehood. Polygamy is a felony in the state – albeit not often prosecuted. In 1953, the American public reacted adversely to a ‘polygamy raid’ in Utah, causing a reduction in the enforcement of polygamy laws in Utah and elsewhere in the United States in subsequent decades. For more than a century, the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints has expelled those practising polygamy. Polygamy has been maintained, however, by break-away Latter Day Saints Churches such as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints (FLDS). This church was led by Warren Jeffs before his high-profile arrest in 2007. In 2008, starting on April 4, Texas State officials "raided" a FLDS community in Elderado, Texas, and took 416 children there into temporary legal custody in an effort to protect them from allegedly abusive conditions. This has enlivened the polygamy debate in the United States and internationally. Many polygamists and non-polygamists strongly advocate the practice. And, with an HBO show called "Big Love" that features a...
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