Jan 062013 10 Responses

Why Is Anderson Cooper Against Polygamy?

I’m a fan of Anderson Cooper. I believe he is one of the most fair-minded journalist on television. While we disagree politically, he appears to have a deep compassion for people and a good understanding of the complexity of issues our nation faces. From New Orleans to Port-au-Prince and from Joplin to Newtown, Cooper reports with passion and empathy. 

As a semi-regular viewer of his show, AC 360, I have noticed Cooper routinely includes reports about Polygamy. http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/category/polygamy/

Through these reports, it seems Cooper and I share a deep concern over the practice of polygamy and its effects on women and children.

What I don’t understand is why do we share this belief? Why is Anderson Cooper against polygamy? 

If we should not draw any lines in American society and a person should be free to marry whomever they wish, why can’t a man choose to marry two or three or four women?

Cooper and I seem to agree that marriage should not be between a group of people. Lines should be drawn of what constitutes a marriage and what does not. While the general premise that a person should be able to marry whomever they want is a compelling goal, it is not the ultimate boundary.

What’s most important to note is that evangelical Christians are not the only people drawing lines of who should be able to marry and who shouldn’t. Everyone draws lines. Disagreeing over where to draw the lines is understandable. I appreciate Cooper’s views on same-sex marriage, but I disagree with them. My disagreement does not make me a bigot in the same way that his reporting against polygamy doesn’t make him a bigot. We are both drawing lines; we simply disagree over where they should be drawn.

10 Responses to Why Is Anderson Cooper Against Polygamy?
  1. Emma Reply

    I would think that Anderson’s main issue with polygamy, like many of us, is that in so many polygamous marriages there is abuse, molestation, etc. There are more Warren Jeffs situations than there are “Sister Wives” idyllic scenarios. While we may not agree on the same sex marriage issue, a consensual relationship between adults is much different than multiple 14, 15 and 16 year olds being forced to marry men old enough to be their fathers.

    • Kevin Reply

      Emma, I think you make a great point. I would like to hear Cooper speak to his beliefs on this issue. No doubt we are all against molestation. Of course, states continue to lower the age of consent which is a frighting concept. In some places, 16 is now that age.

    • Seth Reply

      I think Kevin is getting to the root of the issue in all moral disagreements: “What worldview are you using and what authority are you appealing to for your beliefs?” How does Anderson Cooper say, (assuming the same conditions, adults, consensual, non abusive etc.) same sex marriage is ok, but not polygamy. It shows the arbitrariness and hypocrisy of many worldviews. Christians appeal to the revealed will of God through the scriptures. Only using the Christian worldview can you stay consistent and be in the truth.

  2. Mike Reply

    I think he is more concerned about, like someone mentioned before, abuse and also women being pressurised into those kind of marriages by the society and religious surroundings they grow up in. Not to mention that he has plenty of experience reporting on women’s rights issues around the world, also in countries that allow polygamy.

    And while this is a valid concern I can’t think of any concern I could have against gay marriage that I wouldn’t have against straight marriage.

    • Kevin Reply

      Mike, you might be right. It leads to the question: Should polygamy be allowed in America? From a Biblical perspective, I quickly say “no.” Outside a Biblical perspective I would think one would have to say “yes.”

  3. Jennifer Reply

    The Old Testament permitted polygamy (David, Abraham, Solomon, etc.). Does the New Testament explicitly prohibit polygamy? (Honest question — just curious about the Scriptural basis for this.)

    • Kevin Reply

      It appears that polygamy was never the original design. From Genesis 2, Matthew 19, and Paul’s description of overseers/deacons, marriage between two people seems to be clear.

  4. Ben Brockway Reply

    Ok, I realize I’m off topic, but what’s with all the polygamy in the Old Testament? I think pretty much all the patriarchs had thier own little harem going on and sometimes they still felt the need to throw in a couple concubines on the side. I have never heard anyone speak on this. I guess those fellas had some needs.

    • Kevin Reply

      Ben, it seems as though the polygamy in the OT is God allowing man to experience the consequences of bad decision making. I can’t think of a time where it is seen as a good thing. The Biblical record seems pretty clear that God’s intention for marriage is between one man and one woman. God did bless some who chose polygamy, but he blesses me and you despite the presence of sin in our lives.

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