Thursday, October 7, 2010

Restricting Access to Modern Pharisee

For a short period, maybe for a while, I'm going to restrict access to my primary blog, the Modern Pharisee. Some posts may be archived but there are some pests out there that are giving me a hard time and for now, until I can sort out what will and won't cause immediate short term problems, you can look, but you'll have to ask.

Be back soon.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Prayer Request...The cost of Christian Polygyny

I keep saying, you don't have a defense if you're not legally wed. I understand it shouldn't be that way, really, I do. Nevertheless it's a reality.

It just hit home. A person I "know of" is facing removal of their children. To my knowledge they have given no cause to anyone, save the cause of their polygyny.

They are NOT FLDS.

They are NOT in Texas.

They are Christian. They need prayer.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Name Change (suggestions welcome)

The fate of Vermont Polygamy is at least partially decided. It's not "Vermont Polygamy" anymore though the "URL" will stay the same. There is no need to change where find this blog (and me) if you already know where to go. Perhaps someday when I muster the courage (and finances) to migrate to my own server/hosting/whatchacallit, the URL will match the blog title better.

I've moved, and I won't say where, partly because I'm not really there yet. I could be working in a straight line of places (circle?) that's a thousand miles long covering several states. Right now I'm in Missoula Montana, but that's only because my RV was parked there, and I'm now in that RV.

My wife and I are discussing what color my/our parachute is and that will determine largely where we go and what we do.

I am the following things:

Lobbyist (amateur).

Journalist (see above).

Theologian (eccentric).

Radio talent (professional past).

Salesman/Sales Manager (considerable successful track record).

Preacher (been in the pulpit, no lie).

Activist. (Pain in the hindquarters).

Combining all those various talents I figure I could be:

Another Finance/Sales Manager in the car industry.

A salesman in the car industry (or several others).

An announcer/newsman or broadcast talk show host.

A real estate agent/representative.

The head of a new denomination (I keep suggesting this to a resounding silence).

A preacher.

A lobbyist.

The last three are what I'd really rather do but as I have said, the interest level is low. I figure to be an effective lobbyist, I'm going to have to get married again, and that is something I would have to rewrite a "deal" with the wife to do.

A preacher puts me at odds with the vast majority of polygynists (the form of polygamy practiced by most Christian plural marriage participants), since most of them have some form of "Calvinist lite" soteriology at best, and the rest have a strong "free will" leaning or an outright version of Arminianism that is so innate on their part that I don't even think they know they are Arminian. In short they seem to know they're not Cavlinist, and often violently react to a "Predestinarian" sort of outlook but I'm not sure they know who Jacob Arminius is.

There does seem to be a dawning awareness of a need for a "polygynist church," the the opposition to perceived "Churchianity" is also a barrier. Being a preacher, combining that with starting a new denomination would be, truly, a work of God in all ways.

Being a lobbyist runs up on the rocks of the same sort of independence that rebells against "Churchianity." Most Christian Polygynists don't want legal polygyny, they just don't want to be bothered. I fear that after a few more "raids" they'll change their tune. Some of these new singers will be trained (sadly) in the jailhouse. Being a lobbyist would be a close second in terms of preference, but in that case the easiest way to be heard is through taking another wife (which alters my agreement with my wife and requires her assent) and working a combination of court action and legislative presence. In that case I'd be traveling back to Vermont and New Hampshire and Washington DC to whine in the ears of an unreceptive legislature.

Failing to alter my agreement with my wife would require hooking up with a polygynist family who was willing to push a court case with them being the example.

So that's the rough outlook I have for a future. Chances are good I'll end up as some sort of salesman. I'd like to try the preacher/denomination/lobbyist path.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

That Polygamy Show

My friends Scott and Steve have a podcast they record every week.  It's called, "That Polygamy Show."  I just got through recording what will probably be "Episode 4."  When they are finished editing it for time, I imagine it will be up on the site.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

End of the Line/Fish or Cut Bait.

Everything must change, and I suppose even this COULD, but this is probably one of the last posts to be made on Vermont Polygamy.

The reason? I probably will NOT stay in Vermont, since today I learned I won't be working where I do work anymore.

I have tried to make this a full time occupation, but the support for the effort, is less than tepid.

The last post was geared at a fund drive of some sort, if you WANT me to do this, pretty much you'll have to PAY me to do this. It's as simple as that. I have the time now, to do anything I want, and I am answerable to no one except the LORD and the Landlord (who wants his rent in 2 weeks, and frankly, I don't have it.)

I can stay here and do this. FULL TIME if you wish for me to do so, but that now has a price tag.

Plain and simple, SEND MONEY, or DON'T. If the LORD wills it, it will happen. Otherwise my future goes down a different path.


Hugh McBryde
PO Box 433
Montpelier VT 05601

The first dime I get (figurative speech, it would have to be a collectors dime) I will go down to the legislature and start doing what I need to do. Without it, I won't.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

If you think I am a positive voice for Polygyny

I need something now. Not soon, now. You may contact me at my EMAIL address, which is hughmcbryde (at) gmail (dot) (youknowwhat). There is a rather sizable investment that could be made on behalf of polygamy in general. You'd own something in return, and you would get your money back, in all likelihood. I say that because there is no way to guarantee any investment, but the normal prospects are good.

This is urgent. If you're serious about the promotion of polygamy (specifically polygyny) as an acceptable "lifestyle," contact me right away.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

200 plus years of Marriage Controversy, in Vermont

I don't think this present state of "marriage" was what US Senator George F. Edmunds of Vermont had in mind, when he authored a bill that banned "cohabitation" for the purposes of "strengthening" a prior piece of Legislation "the 1862 Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act that also revoked polygamists' right to vote and made them ineligible for jury service, and prohibited them from holding political office."

Thanks to an obscure blog called the "Blog of Dave" (not exactly a fellow traveler in the campaign for the most ancient of traditional marriage forms) I became aware that about the time Senator Edmunds (who was also a State Senator in Vermont) was pushing his bill nationally to put teeth into the Morrill Act, 127 years later, his home of Vermont was pushing to let men "marry" men, and women "marry" women. Vermont was successful I might add. I'm going to have to visit Senator Edmunds grave here in Vermont, and see if I can hear him turning in it.

You have to realize that from my perspective, Vermont has now been interfering with marriage for nearly 150 years, and not in a good way. As a firm believer in a "no accidents" God, it can't be said to be a coincidence that Vermont Polygamy is here at the scene of the crime, several crimes as a matter of fact, trying to turn back the clock, at least partly, to where it should be.

It is also interesting to note that leaning on the "cohabitation" angle was what the Edmunds Anti-Polygamy Act of 1882 was primarily about. Some supposed attorney types on the other side of the FLDS controversy in Texas claim that "Lawrence v. Texas" has nothing to do with bigamy and polygamy cases and laws, but it does. It was the very lack of teeth in the prior "Morrill" that inspired Edmunds to go for the cohabitation angle, and that is why court cases like "Lawrence" DO apply to bigamy/polygamy cases all over the country.

You say 2010-1882 does not equal 150 years (or 200) and it doesn't. But the "Morrill" in the 1862 "Morrill Anti-Bigamy" act was none other than US House Representative (later Senator) Justin Smith Morrill. From Strafford, Vermont.

Vermont is both a symbolic and real place in the battle swirling around marriage. Even Joseph Smith Jr. was born in Sharon, Vermont. 205 years ago in 1805. Maybe Morrill and Edmunds felt responsible.

It was this date in history, 1882 that the "Edmunds Anti-Polygamy Act" was passed.

A subsequent piece of legislation by Senator Edmunds, the Edmunds Tucker act of 1887, also directed at polygamy and Mormons was repealed in 1978.

For one of the smallest states in the Union, we cause a lot of marital discord.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Same Sex Marriage Actually VERY Popular in Vermont

Initially in September of 2009, it did not seem as if Vermont Same Sex "Marriage" was going to be very popular. In fact it was popular, at least for the short run. Time will of course tell, if the rate of Same Sex "Marriage" will continue at these high levels. From September through December of 2009, people of the same gender married at a rate of 5 a day in Vermont, nearly half of them being from out of state. "Normal" heterosexual marriages numbered 1610 during the same period of time. So far the State of Vermont has recorded 16 Same Sex "Marriages" for 2010, but Vermont is very manual about it's records and it takes time for them to get to the state for compilation. I'd suspect that the 16 represents only a portion of a month for 2010.

I would figure that people are not rushing to Vermont to marry here any more than other states in the Union if their intent is to marry in the "normal heterosexually monogamous" mode. I'm sure some couples see Vermont as a wedding destination. Others see Polebridge Montana as a wedding destination. I'm sure the statistics roughly even out with some Vermonters leaving the state to marry, and some Georgians coming here to marry.

28% of the civil marriages in Vermont were of the "Same Sex" variety. Half of those were from out of state. New Hampshire is now on board for "SSM," and so is Washington DC. Convenience will doubtless dictate where people go for their "marriages" this year. New Hampshire is closer to Boston's airport, than any in Vermont and probably cheaper to fly into than Burlington. I don't expect that the numbers this year, will be along the same lines as last year. Time will tell of course.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Confronting the Church on Marriage, Part V

When we last left off, I promised to take up this discussion, interacting with Hebrew Language professor Stewart "Woody" Lauer on the topic of "Elder Monogamy," and a surprise admission. That was last year, then several stories I had been following blew up, and dominated my time.

Sorry about that, it is hard for me at least, to maintain burning intensity of interest on several fronts at once, I don't know about you, but that's me.

I had written the following for public consumption about 6 years ago, and had sent it to the session of my church in April of last year, who then sent it along to Dr. Lauer. It is the argument based on the supposed argument that Elders are to be monogamous. It's a sort of "AHA!!" contention that is offered to polygyny proponents by monogamy only proponents. I lay aside the contention of some that the Greek word "mia" is mistranslated for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that calls our translations into so much disrepute that we would have to all go learn Greek and Hebrew to continue the discussion. I'll accept, at least for the sake of discussion with the OPC, Dr. Lauer, and the COPC session that it means "Husband of One Wife."
"Elders are to be husbands of one wife" Again, "dicto simpliciter." This is a condition of office, not a rant against polygyny. Again, take a deep breath. The argument using this verse employs the notion that it is an ideal to be striven for. Credible, until you realize you've just said women are sub creatures. Besides it's virtual proof that there were polygynous couples in the early church. Otherwise why say anything about it?
Remember this is a talking point, designed to get the conversation going. There is a great deal more to talk about on the polygyny side of the argument, and perhaps we will get to those other points. The most significant contention I make here, is conceded outright:
Dr. Lauer - "I agree with the last two sentences, above."
I've highlighted what he agrees with. First some housekeeping. I hadn't noticed in 6 years that I said something incredibly silly that NO ONE has ever picked up on. "Polygynous couples?" That should be families, not couples but the concept of the adult component of family being a "couple" is so deeply embedded in our culture, that I said it, repeated it, didn't pick up on it, and no one did for all that period of time where I have used that form of the argument as a "foot in the door" when discussing polygyny.

Dr. Lauer concedes without a fight that one of the major contentions of many "monogamy only proponents," that "polygyny is not mentioned in the New Testament and not present in the early church" is completely false. They were there, that's it, and from my point of view at least, the practice was so unremarkable that it's only mentioned in passing. Indeed, if you were to ask of a Disciple why they never mention polygyny as part of a claim they didn't, because they were downgrading the practice, you'd get a really weird look, like "we didn't mentioned beards either, dummy."

All of what I am doing here, has now come to light in my church over the issue of membership. After months of stonewalling me on membership, I went to the congregation and said "they won't let me join" and the church responded with an email in which they said the following:
"(Our refusal to allow Hugh to join) involves (him) both believing and publicly advocating, especially via the internet, a position that that is so seriously sinful that no church throughout all of Christendom accepts it."
Which makes you wonder if they even read the response they contracted with Dr. Lauer, to write.

The position was "so seriously sinful" that Paul, the apostle, whose writings are the ones on which we base doctrine and church governance, didn't think it was even important enough, to mention. He doesn't mention it in the face of SPEAKING to congregations in which he looks out over the church, identifies and sees (and knows) men who are in church, with several of their wives in tow.

In the past a friend (now deceased), of mine and I had remarked to one another, if we ever got past the first rung of church elders, and reached the "intelligentsia" round, very quickly many of the arguments routinely raised and fervently held to, would be dropped. That drop was audible. Dr. Don Dean and I have had discussions with prominent theologians who admit in one way or another, privately, that our arguments are not unsound, they just won't sell in the church. In Dr. Lauer's response through the session of COPC a number of such concessions occur. This is one of them.

It is in fact powerfully convincing that polygyny is an acceptable practice when it's going on right in front of Jesus, his disciples and the growing church in the New Faith. It's going on, and the disciples and apostles say NOTHING whatsoever about it except that Paul seems to be saying "If you have a polygynous man in church, don't make him an elder."

Woody goes on to say that it indicates disfavor, but that is frankly impossible. Again now the first part of my contention comes back into play.
Dr. Lauer - "(I)t is clear that the apostles (representing Jesus officially; 1 Cor 14:36) viewed it with disfavor, disqualifying the man from office. This official, negative attitude toward the practice on the part of the Lord’s apostles cannot be dismissed so lightly."
There are some, who employ the phrase "it is clear" because it is precisely the opposite, it's not clear.

Dr. Lauer is easily refuted. If those disqualified from the office of Elder are viewed with "disfavor," then he is saying women are viewed with disfavor. (Elders as husbands unpacked, means among other things, elders are to be men.) Any other man that qualifies for office on marital status can be disqualified also because they are not "apt to teach." Paul himself says "teaching is a gift:
"Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?" - 1st Corinthians 12:29 (ESV)
This is extremely simple logic. Some of the qualfiers for office of Elder in the church have to do with morals, and indeed, on the face of it, it could very well be that being polygynous is being morally compromised, or at least "morally not quite the best thing." Elders are not to be drunks for instance, but Paul mixes up his list naming things that are merely things Elders should and should not be, but otherwise acceptable, and things that no one should be, particularly elders. A man not gifted by God to teach is not to be an Elder. A woman, no matter how she is gifted, is not to be an elder. Neither are viewed with disfavor, it does not logically follow that a polygynous man is viewed with disfavor. We know from other passages of scripture that drunkenness is a bad thing, there is no such corresponding scripture for a much married man.

Though the this post is short, and Woody's answer is short, it is what you do when you're trying to avoid an uncomfortable truth. Unless you change your position on the subject, you give it a short shrift and blow past it. This is what Woody does, but not before showing us a very important fact.

Polygyny is mentioned in the New Testament. It is NOT commented on, in that context, as a negative. The most important theologians in the church, Christ, and his immediate Apostles say nothing whatsoever about polygyny being wrong or substandard, even though polygyny is right in front of all them, among the believers. The most that seems to be said is; "Don't make them, and women, and people who can't teach, Elders."