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Polygamy in the Media

CNS News Reports:   "Polygamy Rights
       is the Next Civil Rights Battle"

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CNS News
Randy Hall
March 16, 2006
(Interview: March 06, 2006)
CNS News Reports:
"Polygamy Rights is the 'Next Civil Rights Battle'"

On March 06, 2006, Randy Hall, Staff writer and Editor for the conservative news service, Cybercast News Service (CNS News), interviewed Mark Henkel, the Founder of the TruthBearer.org organization. Randy Hall's originating story-premise was in regard to a statement made in 2003 by U.S. Senator Rick Sentorum (about how the "right to privacy" argument in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case would make it unconstitutional to still ban polygamy). After finding Mark Henkel's well-known soundbite, "Polygamy Rights is the Next Civil Rights Battle," Mr. Hall sought to report about it and to find out if there was a connection between that soundbite, the polygamy rights movement, and the 2003 statement from Senator Rick Santorum. On March 16, 2006, CNS News published Hall's report, "Polygamy Is 'Next Civil Rights Battle,' Activists Say".

Cybercast News Service (CNS News) is one of the most well-known conservative news services. It was founded by (well-known to conservative activists) L. Brent Bozell of his conservative organization, Media Research Center. CNS News distributes news and information to various forms of media - particularly a vast number of conservative media outlets and sources. For one example, Randy Hall's article from the interview with Mark Henkel about polygamy rights was re-posted at Townhall.com four days later, on March 20, 2006. (Cached version here.)

Randy Hall's interview with Mr. Henkel went very well. The truest of true Christian conservative arguments were able to be presented, thereby eliminating any potential for others to suggest that Christian Polygamy is somehow a lascivious or libertine movement. In fact, the interview went so well and was so comprehensive that numerous quotes from the interview itself were used in another page on this organization's web-site:
Mark Henkel Interview Example - Important Questions & Media Credibility.

Accordingly, before reading the final article published by CNS News (as presented further down on this page here), it is recommended to all readers to first read those quotes from the interview. Those interview quotes may be directly accessed using the corresponding linked-outline, as follows. (Here, the links in this following outline are clickable to segments on the other webpage in a separate window.)

NOTE: - After reading these quotes as linked below, though, do not forget to come back and scroll down further to read the rest of this page here!

QUOTES in the CNS News Interview

  1. PURPOSE OF THE TruthBearer.org ORGANIZATION?

  2. "NEW LIBERALS" (THE SUPPOSED-TO-BE CONSERVATIVES)

  3. WHERE DID "ONE MAN, ONE WOMAN" COME FROM?

  4. THREE REASONS WHY "ADAM AND EVE"
       CANNOT JUSTIFY MARRIAGE AMENDMENT


  5. 1878 REYNOLDS CASE TO BLAME
       FOR "SAME SEX MARRIAGE"


  6. MARRIAGE TOO IMPORTANT FOR GOVERNMENT,
       SO APPLY LIMITED GOVERNMENT AND PSALMS 1:1


  7. 2006 SUPREME COURT EMPOWERS
       CHRISTIAN POLYGAMY TO OVERTURN POLYGAMY BANS


  8. DE-CRIMINALIZATON, NOT LEGALIZATION

  9. INDIVIDUALS' RIGHT TO MARRIAGE
       PRE-DATES INVENTION OF GOVERNMENT


  10. TruthBearer.org - MISSION:
       CONTINUING THE REFORMATION


  11. MARITAL LAISSEZ FAIRE ECONOMICS
       INSTEAD OF MARITAL SOCIALISM


  12. HOW BIBLE-BASED CHRISTIANS COME TO THIS
       NEW MODERN MOVEMENT, "CHRISTIAN POLYGAMY"


  13. TruthBearer.org - AGENDA:
       REMOVING "FIRST FLOOR" OF
         ANTI-POLYGAMY'S "HOUSE OF CARDS"


  14. BUILDING POLITICAL SUPPORT TO GIVE
       POLITICIANS "COVER" TO DE-CRIMINALIZE POLYGAMY


  15. SANTORUM JUST  REPEATED  SCALIA

  16. IN ROMER V. EVANS (1996), SCALIA NOTED
       POLYGAMISTS' CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS


  17. THE THREE COURT DECISIONS
       "RE-GUARANTEEING" POLYGAMY RIGHTS


  18. 1878 REYNOLDS DECISION IS AN EMBARRASSMENT
       FOR CONSERVATIVES TO RELY UPON
NOTE: - After reading the Interview quotes via the above links (to another page in another window), readers will want to continue scrolling down this page here in order to read both, the actual article published by CNS news and the Final Comments from TruthBearer.org afterward.



 

CNS News Report... (Article)

After reading those interview quotes (as linked above), what now follows is Randy Hall's article, as it also appeared online. The article is archived here, followed by a Final Comments section afterward.



Polygamy Is 'Next Civil Rights Battle,' Activists Say

By Randy Hall
CNSNews.com Staff Writer/Editor
March 16, 2006

© 2006 CNSNews.com (article here)

CNSNews.com – Nearly three years after U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) argued that a U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning a Texas ban on sodomy would be used to legitimize other sexual practices outside traditional marriage, Santorum's prediction may be coming to pass.

Since the high court issued its 6-3 ruling in June 2003 in the Lawrence v. Texas case, national attention has focused on the issue of same-sex marriage. However, a Christian group claims the ruling guarantees that polygamy -- the union of one man with more than one woman -- is "the next civil rights battle."

Six months after the Lawrence decision, three members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sought a marriage license at the clerk's office in Salt Lake County, Utah. G. Lee Cook wrote on his application that he was already married but wanted to legally wed a second wife.

As a result, the clerks refused to issue the license and refunded the fee. The trio then sued, claiming that their constitutional rights to religious expression, privacy and intimate expression had been violated.

Brian Barnard, an attorney representing Cook, his wife and his would-be second wife, told Cybercast News Service that the basis of his legal argument to overturn Utah's anti-polygamy statute was the Lawrence v. Texas decision.

The state law prohibits a man from marrying a second wife, then states that "if a married man chooses to live with a woman to whom he's not married, he's guilty of a crime," the lawyer said.

"That's comparable to Lawrence v. Texas, where the U.S. Supreme Court said you can't outlaw a sexual relationship between consenting homosexual adults," Barnard stated.

The case, Bronson v. Swensen, is slated to be argued before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this year.

While there are presently only a handful of challenges to anti-polygamy laws, that number could increase dramatically. A number of sources estimate that about 50,000 families in the United States practice polygamy, including hundreds of Laotian Hmongs in Minnesota and members of Mormon splinter groups in Arizona and Utah.

Polygamy is also supported in principle by a wide variety of organizations, ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to the TruthBearer.org website, which represents a Christian group that claims "freely consenting, adult, non-abusive, marriage-committed polygamy is the next civil rights battle."

Founder Mark Henkel told Cybercast News Service that polygamy is found in the Bible and throughout history. The present concept of marriage, which Henkel called "marital Marxism," was produced in the Middle Ages by the Catholic Church, he said.

While Henkel opposes same-sex marriage, he readily acknowledges that Lawrence v. Texas and other recent Supreme Court decisions have established that individuals have "the full right to engage in private conduct without government intervention."

In fact, he claims that many social conservatives are actually relying on liberal tactics by using the government to define marriage instead of relying on "the true institution created by God."

Polygamy was also on Santorum's mind during an interview with the Associated Press in April 2003, two months before the Lawrence ruling was issued.

"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual gay sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery," Santorum said. "You have the right to anything," the A.P. quoted Santorum as saying.

"It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist, in my opinion, in the United States Constitution," he added.

The Lawrence v. Texas decision stated that the two men arrested for having sex "are entitled to respect for their private lives."

"The state cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime," a majority of the Supreme Court justices stated.

Since then, advocates of same-sex marriage have dismissed Santorum's "slippery slope" argument regarding polygamy as a "red herring" from right-wing opponents.

Barnard added that he has a different view of that argument.

"If you start at one end of the spectrum, with one man and one woman creating children, the furthest away from that is two people of the same gender who cannot procreate," he said. "A polygamist situation is closer to the 'traditional family' because it's two parties of the opposite gender for the purpose of, with the capability of, procreation of children."

However, Rena Lindevaldsen, senior litigation counsel for the conservative Liberty Counsel told Cybercast News Service that the current battles in court and in Congress could lead to what she called "marital anarchy."

"I've been involved in marriage litigation around the country," Lindevaldsen said, and it's common for people to declare, "'OK, we're drawing the line here,' but it's a fair assessment to say that at this point, we're arbitrarily drawing lines.

"If the right of privacy is expanded so broadly that it's two people or three people who make that private decision and consent to live together, there is no rational way to draw the line at two people. It could be three or four," she said.

Lindevaldsen also noted many people fear that long-standing social traditions could be overturned by one client, one lawyer and one judge.

"One judge out in San Francisco has declared California's marriage laws unconstitutional," she said. "It was one judge who threw into question all of New York's marriage laws, even though four others were saying, 'No, no, they're constitutional.'

"Hopefully, you have appellate courts who are willing to stay the true course, but it's difficult to buck what seems like equal rights, fair rights, and to apply the law strictly as it should be applied," Lindevaldsen added.

Calls to Santorum's office seeking comment for this article were not returned by press time. However, his re-election campaign website refers to Santorum as "a leader on the issue of traditional marriage," adding that the senator "supports a constitutional amendment protecting marriage as that of a union between a man and woman."

[ END OF ARTICLE ]

<><

Advance orders for the audiocassette recording of this interview are not yet available, but will eventually be available only for TruthBearer.org MEMBERS. This Interview is Available on TAPE for MEMBERS

 

Final Comments:

1. The report identifies the TruthBearer.org organization only as a "group" or a "web-site." Consequently, it does not completely inform its readers that this is a full-blown cross-denominational organization. However, the report does make an actual link to the web-site, which is the more honest way of presenting such an online story. Notwithstanding the minimalization of not referring to the "organization," CNS News is to be commended for such forthrightness of the actual link.

2. The report accurately identifies TruthBearer.org as Christian. However, when seguing to the part of Brian Barnard's case in Utah, the report does not explain that Barnard's case involves Mormon Polygamy hopefuls. It also did not explain that Mormon Polygamy is not Christian Polygamy. The unrealized implication may confuse CNS News' readers into thinking either that the two are the same or that Barnard's case involves Christian Polygamists. For readers here, though, who have not yet been so informed, the difference is explained well in an article at ChristianPolygamy.INFO, called, Christian Polygamy is NOT Mormon Polygamy. Also, for more details about Barnard and his case, please see this January 13, 2004 Press Release and this March 31, 2006 Special Report at
Pro-Polygamy.com.

3. Mr. Hall's report repeats the often-attempted suggestion by conservative media that Senator Sentorum had somehow "prophetically" predicted "polygamy rights" with his April 7, 2003 statement. However, Mr. Hall's interview with Mr. Henkel othewise revealed how Santorum had only REPEATED what Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was already long saying. For more specific information about Santorum, Scalia, and the relevant court decisions, please see the following articles at
Pro-Polygamy.com:
* Santorum's Point: "Polygamy Rights" (May 06, 2003)
* Court Decisions Secure "Polygamy Rights" (July 01, 2003)

4. The report unintentionally points out that all rational and yes, conservatve, thought actually accepts the inevitability of polygamy rights from these decistions, from Scalia to Sentorum to Liberty Counsel's Rena Lindevaldsen to (yes, even) Mark Henkel. Indeed, as Mr.Henkel points out the same arguments in favor of polygamy rights, all those others are actually acknowledging that he is correct - even if they don't like that he is right. It shows that Mr. Henkel is not "being liberal" but rather, it shows that they are unwittingly agreeing with his rational conservatism when pointing out those realities. This point is further illustrated by the following quote made in a
March 31, 2006 Special Report at Pro-Polygamy.com:

"Polygamy rights is the next civil rights battle," not because polygamists are supposedly "learning from" or "copying" the homosexuals' liberal arguments, but because of just the opposite. Indeed, conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's official Dissents in both Romer v. Evans (1996) and Lawrence v. Texas (2003) directly instructed polygamists how to proceed with those precedents. Therefore, conservative polygamists heeding Scalia's written instruction is merely their act of using such a conservative Justice's own stated directions on the issue.

5. The report mentions the supposed "slippery slope" of "same sex marriage." However, Mr. Hall's interview with Mr. Henkel othewise revealed how anti-polygamist 'conservatives" are to blame. Mr. Henkel had directly stated, "New Liberals" are supposed-to-be conservatives, are directly to blame for why the "biological impossibility of same sex marriage" is going to come to pass. It's, it's - anti-polygamy is the real "slippery slope" that led to the "biological impossibility of same sex marriage." Later on in that same quote, he concluded, if you allow government to liberally re-define marriage to exclude polygamy, you have just as said, just as equally said, government has the liberal authority to re-define it to include "the biological impossibility of same sex marriage." So, that's why anti-polygamy is the real "slippery slope" that led to government marriage and "the biological impossibliity of same sex marriage" being legalized.. For even more clarity, please see the following article at
Pro-Polygamy.com.
Anti-Polygamy is the Real 'Slippery Slope'.

6. The report stated: "In fact, he claims that many social conservatives are actually relying on liberal tactics by using the government to define marriage instead of relying on 'the true institution created by God.'" Mr. Henkel spoke of the false god of big socialist government versus the one true God, not versus "true institution created by God." Of course, Mr. Henkel does call marriage the true institution created by God, but the placement of that phrase alongside the previous part of that statement otherwise implies a meaning he did not say. That is, his call was for Christians to rely on the one true God, not the false god of big socialist govermment to define's God's doctrine, including marriage which is created and defined by God alone.

7. The report makes a few minor mis-quotes. Mr. Henkel only makes references to the "Catholic institution;" not "church." He does not refer to the so-called "present concept of marriage;" he either addresses "government marriage" or "one man, one woman" specifically, but Mr. Henkel never re-defines marriage by those unbiblical definitions. He never mentioned "the Middle Ages;" he said "one man, one woman" was invented by the Catholic institution when Christianity changed from being a persecuted faith of Jesus Christ and became the political powerhouse of the Catholic institution - long before the Middle Ages. With these little mis-quotes corrected here, though, they are still relatively minor, nevertheless.

Overall, the report does a rather good job. Of course, as to be expected, it still stayed tied to the Senator Santorum connection. But even so, Mr. Hall did accurately allow Mr. Henkel to present his real Christian conservatism to such a conservative audience. It gave such other conservatives the opportunity to be reminded that true conservatism is about limited government and that true Christianity is based on the Bible, not the Catholic institution. With such displayed rhetoric used by Mr. Henkel, such as "marital Marxism" and mentioning how fellow conservatives are "using liberal tactics" for big government marriage, CNS News' readers were able to have that essential wake-up call.

In the end of the matter, the TruthBearer.org organization is genuinely grateful to Randy Hall and Cybercast News Service for this report.

Advance orders for the audiocassette recording of this interview are not yet available, but will eventually be available only for TruthBearer.org MEMBERS. This Interview is Available on TAPE for MEMBERS

TruthBearer.org
Media [Directory]
CNS News
March 16, 2006, Report - Polygamy rights is the next civil rights battle
August 31, 2006, Pro-polygamists respond to Warren Jeffs capture
May 10, 2007, Polygamy Leader Compares Gun Control to Marriage Control






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