Tuesday, July 2, 2013

You Want To Be A Polygamist...You Just Have To Think About Longer.

So the other day we were at the splash park, you know the one, just off Center, and there were these two...well, let's just say it, Polygamists.  Okay, so I can't know for sure, they didn't both marry a man right in front of me and I didn't speak a word to them, but I just sorta knew. You know, the way you just look at a woman with her natural hair colored hair in a waist length braid wearing an ankle length black skirt and plaid flanel shirt with 13 kids at a splash park in 90 degree weather with a similarly conspicuous woman. I guess they could have been elderly goth lesbians and I immediately jumped to Polygamist. Whichever they were, it still works with my thought of, 'Man, it would be hard to be a Polygamist (or elderly goth lesbians) in this day and age.'  I mean, wouldn't it just be so much easier to just go a head and NOT be a Polygamist? That's what this age of the universe is all about, right, making things easier?  You think back to when TV had three stations and there was no such thing as a remote control.  I could probably have been a Goth Lesbian back then when everyones life was hard, but now?  Today?!  Really?  You are still choosing such a hard life?  It's like you just are getting up to change the channel on your TV just because you believe it's better.

Polygamists.  I just don't understand.

However, there is one thing I do understand; and that's that I don't understand.

I have a friend who was once married to a man and now she is not.  When I asked her what went wrong she had a pretty good list, as most people in her situation do, but one thing I will always remember she said was, "He truly believed, if I just sat down and thought about it long enough I would come to the same conclusion he had...always."  And it was for big stuff and little stuff.  Just think about it longer and you will know that we should watch Hoosiers again, over Failure to Launch (which he was right about that one!)  Anyway, it really stuck with me, mostly because it just wasn't true, he told her to go think about all the reasons the bedroom should be painted Navy Blue and she went and thought about all the reasons she shouldn't be married to him any more. So that's how that ended.

I think it helps a marriage to know that the other person in it is going to come to different conclusions then you.  But also, I think it helps to point and click on the edge of that thought and drag it to make it bigger.

I don't really get into politics or social studies or math, mostly because I haven't thought about them enough to really back up my opinion. But I do start to prickel when I hear one person talk about a whole group of people of which they are not a part, as if they have thought it more then said group.  For example:  "I saw this Polygamist at a splash park and those people nut jobs."

How do I know if they are nut jobs?!

I've actually thought about Polygamists a lot.  I live in Utah.  I am a Mormon and the subject comes up.  My Great Great Great Grandfather was one and I am his descendant and I still don't understand why a man would enter into a legal...okay, not legal, but a morally binding contract to be the husband of more than one woman. To be the husband and father of more than one house.  I've been a husband for 10 years and a father for 3 and it's been wonderful but it's plenty enough for me, thanks. But for all of my thinking on the thing, I have never thought about it as much as a Polygamist has thought about it! They have thought about it everyday all day and they still make the choices they make. While there are definite exceptions where people aren't given the choice and people do get hurt because bad people are doing bad thing, this is not about that.  I'm thinking about the run of the the mill Polygamist who knows there is another world out there and has made the choice to live different life.

As it turns out, people do think about the things we sometimes think they haven't given enough thought to. Lots of people think the same way you do. But lots of people do not.  And both sides have given it thought and landed on their position because of those thoughts not because they didn't think.

When the Mormons (and more aptly a "Christian Coalition") took on Prop 8 in California and won, I found myself telling my gay friend, who was very upset at the church's involvement, that he shouldn't be upset, the Mormons were better organized, better funded and got more people out to vote than their opposition, it's called politics and they played better and won.  Then, when gay rights supporters started banning Mormon owned business I found myself defending their right to organize and retaliate, it's called politics and they have the right to a rebuttal, did we think that our involvement would be the last word on the matter?  I remember my mother saying, "This one man, all he did was give a hundred dollars and now there is a picket line outside his shop."  But that's just the thing, you throw your hundy into the fray and you become involved.  Our actions impact other real people.  That shop owner thought about it,  he took a stand and it meant something to him and good for him, he should stand up for what he believes, but it also meant something to his gay neighbor and so he thought about it and then he took a stand and good for him, he should stand up for what he believes. Both men thought about the same issue for a long time and still somehow managed to come to a different conclusion.

And that is why we are lucky.

I love this country. Even for the fact that I get to write this blog post.  It's amazing that I get to get to sit down and think about where I stand and what I believe and then act out on those thinkings.  However, it's even more amazing that everyone else is given that same privilege.
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