Oh no! Existence of apostate Mormons insults and bothers Utah congressman
As far as we know, “It’s Not About the Sex” My Ass is the only polygamist memoir that satirizes religious polygamy. Which, when you think about it, is a little surprising. The insanity of religious polygamy cries out to be mocked.
But then, so does some Mormons’ opposition to religious polygamy.
Take, for instance, Utah Representative Mike Noel, a Republican (what else?) from Kanab (pop. 4312), who is pushing a this-time-we-really-mean-it bill aiming to make polygamy a felony. Why? ’Cause themthar plygs is callin theyselfs Mormons and Latter-day Saints, and that ohhh-fends him, that’s why.
Above: Utah State Representative Mike Noel, R, Kanab, Utah. To be clear, Noel is the one in the hat, not the part of the horse behind the saddle.
“They've hijacked my religion and I actually resent that. The fact that individuals come up there and testify they are FLDS Mormons insults me and bothers me. They are an apostate group and they are no part of my religion.”
Earth to Noel: The Bill of Rights protects neither your religion from hijacking nor you from insult and bother. It does, however, protect a right to speak up, even for apostates who are no part of your religion.
Noel is beating a hypocritical horse. A little over 100 years ago, the church on whose behalf he takes offense actively defended polygamy as God-mandated and a guaranteed First Amendment right. Moreover, the horse is quite dead. Polygamy is already illegal in Utah and throughout the United States. Yet it is effectively decriminalized, which one more law is unlikely to change. Law enforcement, as it should, tends to go after plygs when they break other laws, such as domestic abuse, extortion, and welfare fraud.
Make no mistake: We think religious polygamy is a bad thing. We stop short, however, of calling for its criminalization. Loath as we are to admit it, we kind of think the Mormons had a leg to stand on when they invoked the First Amendment back in the late 19th century.
Click here to read more about Noel and his bill in The Salt Lake Tribune.