Thursday, August 6, 2009


Ever since I saw the somewhat apocryphal movie "Michael," one scene in particular has stuck in my mind. The misguided Angel wandering around muttering "Battle!" Well Battle it is, though Battle I have sought to avoid now for over a year.

It is fair to say that I had been dragged kicking and screaming from Montana, to Vermont. I did not want to be here, and like Jonah, similarly dragged from one place to another, I still don't want to be here. To channel Tina Fey's version of Sarah Palin, from here "I can see Sodom and Gomorrah, from my house." Or Nineveh. Whatever fits.

I arrived late Friday, August the 1st 2008 in a rain storm with a blown out tire on my trailer, a rough start. After showing up at the work God in his mercy provided for me, my next order of business was to pick a church, and I quickly found an OPC representative right in the Barre Montpelier area, Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Since I was moving because of the necessity of work, it was move first, pick a church next. The representative of my other denominational preference, the Presbyterian Church in America, was in St. Albans, which was a bit of a hike. Being short on funds and fuel, I chose COPC which was 3 miles from where I as staying. I first went there on August the 3rd, 2008. Olivia and Carl Durham graciously invited me to their home for dinner, the 3rd was communion Sunday, I cleared my participation in the sacrament with Carl (pictured below) and later that evening in his home, I let him know where I stood on marriage, and promised not to seek the spotlight on the issue.

I didn't seek the spotlight, but it came looking for me. I have long maintained that the "Gay Marriage" issue was tied to the legal practice of polygyny, since if it is preference that guides marriage rights and laws in our country, and there are "bisexuals," then if homosexuals are entitled to marriage, then bisexuals ought to be as well. The minimum configuration of a "bisexual marriage" is at least two members of the same sex and one member of the other. One of the members of the same sex has to be bisexual. To be married, and bisexual, and protect your relationships with all the benefits of civil marriage, three people must be married. Voilà! Polygamy.

It's harder to argue the issue of preference for numbers. A man might want lots of partners, or similarly a woman. We sure know that there are some of us that have a hard time confining themselves to one bed. It can be argued this "preference" is more widespread than gay or bisexual tendencies. So this too can be argued in the following way. A man or woman has a high sex drive, a desire for variety. His or her partners don't have such needs. Partner them all together and everybody gets what they want. If your wife wants sex once a month, and you find five such women, you could pretty much have met everyone's needs in marriage and sexual relationships.

When I was thinking of pushing the marriage issue I looked first at California and asked a friend to go with me there, and try to obtain a marriage license. The idea was, we don't have to get married, but if we go and get the license, the precedent is set. Once legally allowed to marry when married already to someone else, polygamy (and thus polygyny) is legal. I similarly wondered if someone would do that in New England, but of course, I had no desire to BE in New England. Ack! Ptooie! Yuck!

So what does the LORD in his foreordination do? He moves me to Vermont, and then in the 2009 legislative session, Vermont passes the first Same Sex Marriage law by exactly the number of votes necessary to override the Governor's veto of the bill. This is significant for several reasons.

One is that we are not bending a law written for heterosexual monogamy as marriage, we will now be testing and bending a law in Vermont based on sexual preference. Whereas I would have understood a defeat of polygynous marriage in the courts because of the excess of the courts in the first place, I have no problem with vying against the state for the rights of polygynists in Vermont when the voice of the people, it's state Legislature, has passed a law, intentionally protective of preference.

Next is that I have been brought into direct contact with with the point of the spear when it came to the Reformation's defense of marriage in the person of ordained Orthodox Presbyterian minister, Dr. Andrew Selle. Dr Selle, as you may recall, invested a lot of time and effort into the defeat of the Same Sex Marriage bill in Vermont. This same Dr. Selle cannot find the time to discuss the true Biblical "Traditional marriage" with someone in his own church and denomination. In retrospect, how good a representative of the Reformation is he, if he says "What's Next? Polygamy!?" No Andy, that was first, and it's never gone away. We have hymns in our hymnbooks written by polygynists. Many are based on the Psalms of David and more recently it is said that Martin Madan was a polygynist. In my church we all received an email from Carl about this, the church was very involved with time and resources:
"Today’s Times Argus says the public time for input on same sex marriage bill has already been set - Wed March 18 at statehouse. This will be for BOTH House and Senate so it will probably be the only one. I want to encourage people to go to and/or pray for this event - simply our presence is important, most don't need to say anything."
I completely agree that there is no such thing as "Gay Marriage" but when confronted with that specter, the church turned out. They turned out and worried aloud through an official representative that "what's next" would be Polygamy.

During this same time frame I sought to become a member of the local OPC church. I was again revealing to the session, not the congregation as a whole, about my beliefs about marriage. I have been denied membership at Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church, even though I have complied with all the questions on their membership requirements adequately. They seek to bar me from membership on the basis of my marriage beliefs, but those are not said to be core issues by the church.

COPC farmed out their response to me to a Hebrew Scholar, half a world away, Stewart "Woody" Lauer (Kobe Reformed Theological Seminary). His answers were inadequate and I will be discussing them later, here. God willing. The church has now put me off referring to their faith in an argument as yet undiscovered, that they plan to answer me with, when they get the chance to spend the time looking for it. I have now cleared the internal requirements of the church to be private in our disputes, not public. Their refusal now clears me to be public. I have also been turned away by the Presbytery.

These are important hurdles to clear. There are a number of things happening in the next few weeks. Same Sex marriage becomes legal in Vermont next month. It is necessary first to find someone willing to submit to a test case of marriage law. If someone were to come forward and attempt to register their marriages to more than one legally, then we would have the beginning of a test case in Vermont for polygamy.

A legislative agenda is farther away. My registration as a lobbyist in Vermont had no more than symbolic importance this year. There was no possibility of crafting and advancing a legislative solution so quickly on the heals of the narrow passage of the Same Sex Marriage bill in Vermont. January 2010 is really the first opportunity to push for that in the legislature. I don't think the gays will be on our side. The Polyamory crowd so far has seemed to me to be arrogant and bent on the entire destruction of marriage, though in theory they should facilitate the legal framework necessary.

Polyamory groups are for entirely egalitarian approaches to marriage as expressed in civil law. That is an anathema to the concept of either polygynous marriage or monogamous marriage in the Biblical sense. If they craft the agenda, marriage laws will be used against our marriages, not for them.

I urgently seek contact with someone willing to register their marriage legally in Vermont as a polygamy. If this goes to a legislative agenda, it's going to be expensive. I would remind everyone that this is an activity not likely to make many friends, and it will put me in real danger, though that danger is probably more related to stress and economics than it would be physical.

At this point I need support of all kinds, and so far I have not seen much at all. If there is no support, I have to question doing this at all. I am a husband, I do have a family, if this pursuit threatens those priorities, and no one cares, I have to re evaluate what I am doing and ask if all I am doing is casting things in front of others, to be trampled.

There is a large Christian polygyny crowd out there right now. I know this. What I do I do primarily for YOUR protection. Expect to see more in the way of posting to Vermont Polygamy as September approaches. I will be going into greater detail on my interaction with the church during this month. Barring extraordinary events, the only thing that will stop me will be my denomination choosing to engage me internally on the topic of marriage. Something at this point, that would greatly surprise me.


  1. I'm confused. Are you seeking rights for polygamy because you are a polygamist or as a way to fight same-sex marriage?

  2. I don't see there being any hope of revoking "Same Sex Marriage" laws in the near future, so I'm not trying. I don't care what the ungodly do, this is laid out in 1st Corinthians 5 & 6. Those outside the church, God judges.

    If you read back in this blog, you will find that I am also for the legalization of Marriage Contracts, which would allow us within limits to define each of our marriages as we see fit before the civil law. I think there is a window now, that would allow for polygamy and marriage contracts and would then as a consequence, protect monogamies.

    I am a polygynist in terms of advocacy, but not in terms of practice. What I am trying to do is carve out protection for Biblical marriage in the law, not attack that which others would call marriage. In doing so I think we open the door to polygyny which I think is an entirely righteous estate before God. This is in essence what Esther and Mordecai did when confronted with an attack on the Jews from unbelievers, they did not seek to regulate the unbelievers behaviors, they sought to protect themselves, through the law.

  3. I think that I understand your view but I'm still trying to figure out where I would stand on this issue. There's so any layers to unravel so I've got more research to do yet. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Well, "stay tuned," and you could read things on my companion blog, "The Modern Pharisee." I am in the middle of composing my next in this series of interactions with the church.