The polygamy media event of May 2001 was the conviction of American fundamentalist Mormon polygamist Tom Green for bigamy on the basis of cohabitation and not de jure 'bigamy'. For all polygamists in the United States it was bad news. This was the first case of a polygamist being taken to court since the Second World War, 56 years ago, and is widely believed to have taken place in response to the now anti-polygamous Mormon Church's desire to present a so-called 'clean image' when it hosts the next winter olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002.
There are, however, many issues surrounding the Tom Green case which make a proper evaluation of the court decision difficult. For one, it has been clearly demonstrated that Green cohabited with an under-age girl of 13 who, though now happily his wife, was not, it seems, at first. He has therefore been charged with statutory rape. Though we at this ministry do not condone marriage at such an early age, our floor being 16, it is nevertheless ironic that in countries like Spain and the Netherlands, where sex with 13 year old's is not a crime, Green would not have been facing a 25 year prison sentence, nor five wives and 29 children facing the prospect of a quarter of a century without husband and father. And never mind the fact that it is the American tax-payer who, if Green's appeal is overturned, must foot the bill of state welfare.
It is unfortunate for the polygamous community - whether Christian, Moslem or Mormon - that this particular case should be the one targeted for public exposure. Had it simply been about polygamy and not statutory rape, the result may have been somewhat different. One cannot help but feel - in view of the 100,000 other polygamists in the United States who have not been prosecuted for bigamy - that one of the reasons this particularly case has been propelled into the American media, is to stimulate a negative public response at a time when many are campaigning for polygamy to be made legal. To be consistent, the US government should now be prosecuting all polygamists.
But they know that can't do this. They once tried in 1953 when the entire fundamentalist Mormon town of Short Creek in Arizona (now Colorado City) was arrested which backfired and turned into a legal and public relations nightmare. The best the liberal-atheistic/occultic media moguls can do - and this is doubtless their plan - is to (a) discourage polygamists, and (b) influence public opinion in their favour by highlighting the abberrations of some polygamists.
Many polygamous groups, including Christian, had placed their 'money' on this case being won and so advancing the cause of Christian/Messianic polygamy. Many ministries have been working long and hard for a change in the American legal system, and will doubtless continue to do so. I know one of the major Christian polygamist churches who lent financial support to the Tom Green campaign.
I doubt, somehow, that the ruling against Green will be overturned primarily because the polygamy here is entangled with statutory rape. The sentence may, perhaps, be reduced, but I am sceptical. Whatever happens, there is no doubt that the cause of polygamy has been retarted but by no means stopped.
In the meantime, the ministry will continue to maintain its position of discouraging its polygamous families from going public. We have no reason to believe that polygamy will ever be accepted in the same way as homosexuality or promiscuity. And in many ways I am glad, for I frankly do not want the imprimatur of a godless governmental system on something pure and holy. Neither do I think it is right for those ill-equipped to live such a lifestyle to exploit a government green-light. Let the government endorse and legislate in support of abortion, sodomy, sexual deviancy, and (ultimately) pedophilia - their days are, in any case, numbered:
Let Babylon make her own laws and let those who commit fornication with her applaud. As for us, who love the Law of Yahweh, we shall live according to His ways and without Babylon's permission or blessing.
"Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!" (Revelation 18:2, NKJV)
Tom Green should have kept his head low like the other 100,000 or so polygamists of his fraternity - Babylon has a tendency to behead those who expose themselves needlessly (Revelation 20:4). For his recklessness/bravery (take your pick - it is not necessarily for us to judge, as he and his family must abide by their own consciences), his family of 34 souls must now be broken up and come under the control of the welfare state.