Want happiness? Mind your own business

Contributing WriterJanuary 11, 2014 

Let me begin this sermon with my assurance that I would not practice polygamy even if the law allowed it.

I do not have the impaired level of sanity to think that I could survive so much physical exhaustion as serving a polygamous union of wives.

Nor would I be a party to a marriage in which I and at least one other guy would become part of a marriage in which one woman has two or more husbands simultaneously. When it comes to sharing my wife with another husband, I do not have a generous nature.

It’s none of my business if you imagine that you and your multiple partners can survive that kind of crazy. And I respect different strokes for different folks. However, a stroke is also what a person might risk from living a stressful life of multiple spouses. There are natural limits on how much love a person can stand.

I stumbled into this conversation today after reading news reports on where same-sex marriage is heading. I was astonished to learn that it was heading to Utah of all places. A federal judge in Utah ruled, in effect, that restricting marriage solely to a man and a woman violates equal treatment under the law. What’s good for the goose is not only good for the gander, but that judge believes we should also respect what’s good for the gander and the gander as well as for the goose and the goose.

The U.S. Supreme Court quickly — and unanimously — directed that Utah back off, at least for the time being. The high court will now have to deal with the decision it avoided last year — deciding whether gay couples have the same right to marry as those of us who prefer to snuggle across the gender line.

I have long since reached my verdict in the matter:

Everybody mind your own business.

It’s not my job to disapprove of somebody else’s favorite flavor of marriage. I don’t even understand half the heterosexual marriages I see around me.

You don’t have to understand same-sex marriage. And I don’t entirely. All I know is that gay marriage makes gay people happy. I want everybody to be happy. And it makes me happy to mind my own business.

From time to time, well-intentioned opponents of same-sex marriage try to straighten me out on this question. They try to pry my rusty old mind open with what they think is a scary analogy:

“If you would allow people of the same sex to marry,” they ask me, “then what next? Polygamy? Would you let people have more than one wife or one husband at a time?’

Yes. Yes, I would.

People who practice polygamy (consenting adults only, please) — should not have to depend on me, you or anybody else to give approval, and least of all the government.

Mind you, I shrink in horror from the possible aggravations in the life of a man with multiple wives. I also worry about those wives who have taken the concept of sharing to a daunting level that makes a woman wonder how many other lovers the greedy guy has hidden here and there.

I also fear for the happiness of the brave woman who dares marry several men at a time. That poor lady must endure the probability that her three or four husbands will all spend a lot more time fishing than taking out the garbage.

(Excuse me, but I have to go now. I took out the garbage and so it’s time to go snuggle my one wife in our own little hetero house. )

Bill Hall can be contacted at wilberth@cableone.net or at 1012 Prospect Ave., Lewiston, ID 83501

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