Polygamy has been legal for all since America was founded


It’s called “remarriage” after divorce. Granted, annulments have been abused and people have jumped into marriage without enough time to know each other enough, but the theology of annulments is sound, in that, like full awareness and consent being part of a mortal sin, it’s not a marital union without those two elements, should one lie about wanting kids or one is a wife killer, who was never caught, or something. It’s not a divorce, if it’s not a marriage.


Polygamy by definition is a marriage involving more than two partners. Remarriage after divorce does not fit this definition and therefore you cannot say “polygamy has been legal…” Closer to the facts would be characterizing multiple marriages and divorces as a kind of “serial polygamy” but that term has no force in law and is more of a moral judgment than an actual legal state.


No force in law… Of course not. Law has been cast aside in favor of legislative acts. But that doesn’t change the law. It merely creates another jurisdiction.


Polygamy is defined as a marriage that includes more than two people. According to the law a person can only be legally married to one other person at a time. Therefore, those divorced and remarried are not polygamists.

Remember, in the U.S. we have long recognized that marriage is a legal contract. It may not be only a legal contract to certain religious philosophies, but the legal side is what the government is concerned with. And, according to the law, the marital contract can be dissolved by divorce. So, those who have obtained a divorce are free to enter into a different marital contract once their original marital contract has been voided by a court of law.

If we’re going to go with the definitions of marriage according to the Catholic Church, divorced and remarried people aren’t polygamists. The first marriage is seen as valid until proven otherwise and the second marriage is seen as invalid until the first marriage is invalidated and the subsequent marriage is convalidated or radically sanated. The Church itself doesn’t call people who have been divorced and remarried polygamists, they are called adulterers.

I wouldn’t even call it serial polygamy. Divorced and remarried people would have to have a domestic relationship including the former spouse and the current spouse to really be polygamist. They’d have to be living in the same home, sharing marital duties and responsibilities including everything from sex to housework to the rearing of the children. Most of those divorced can barely manage to be civil to their former spouses much less share a home and a life with them.


I think technically this might be true since once you are validly married to someone you are married until the death of one of the spouses. However, its not true because you cannot be legally married to more than one spouse.


I was saying that the first marriage, provided one was still married in God’s eyes, was valid, but the state recognizes, though in error of supernatural proportions, a marriage of one, who God still sees as married, to another. Therefore, though unwittingly so, it recognizes what we know, and Bible loving Protestants should know, to be polygamy.


Again, incorrect. Divorced people who have remarried aren’t sharing a marriage with more than one other person, so it is NOT polygamy.

Now, say person A married person B. Person A and B divorce. Then person A married person C and had some kind of spiritual ceremony to “marry” person B, they were all living in the same house and sharing marital responsibilities and pleasures then that would be polygamy.

As I said before, even the Church doesn’t consider marriage, divorce, and marriage to someone new a form of polygamy. If there was anything remotely polygamous about marriage, divorce, and remarriage I am pretty sure the Church would have called it such by now.


Maybe the Church never thought of it. One is married to the first under God and to another by the state, it’s polygamy, whether he/she wants to live with the separated spouse or not. It doesn’t need to be designated as such to be such.


What ultimately matters is what the Church thinks, not that state. The Church only recognizes only one marriage, therefore it is not polygamy.

You’re trying to put two disparate things together and draw conclusions. It’s like saying the Eucharist is both valid and invalid at the same time, because Catholics believe in it and atheists don’t.


Polygamy is being married to more than one person at the same time. Marriage, then divorce, then marriage to someone else is not polygamy. In that case, you are only married to one person at a time. With polygamy, you have two wives at the same time, or three, or four, or twenty. Remarriage is not polygamy.


No but its known as ‘serial polygamy’. --Look it up!
Otherwise known as ‘serial monogamy’ in more genteel secular parlance

The scourge of our times! Responsible for the breakup of the family for the elevation of self!

…I go away now!


This is not the way polygamy is defined by law. Divorced persons who remarry are not charged with polygamy. Divorced persons do not commit polygamy by remarrying. Polygamy, legally speaking, requires that at least one party in a marriage be simultaneously married to someone else, with or without their spouse’s knowledge. One marriage must be terminated before one marries another. If it is terminated by way of divorce, dissolution, or annulment, the law considers that no polygamy has taken place. And they’re right.


This is a Catholic forum, so in Catholic philosophical and cultural literature the terms ‘serial monogamy’ and ‘serial polygamy’ are used as descriptive terms as to the immorality that is practiced and promoted in our culture through the ‘thinking of the age’, the dominant philosophy.

However, you wont find ‘serial monogamy’ or ‘serial polygamy’ in a dictionary because its a conjunction. Nor is it likely to be in a legal reference, since it is not illegal, but sinful and immoral. Although one or more of the terms can be referenced in a encyclopedia.



The title of this thread is “Polygamy has been LEGAL for all since America was founded” and so the OP did NOT introduce the topic in philosphical, cultural, or even Catholic terms, but LEGAL terms.

Polygamy as defined by law is QUITE illegal in this country, and has been for quite some time. What kind of sick, twisted argument are you trying to force here? Shall we discuss the legal merits of polyandry? Now that, I could really get into.


This is what is called a semantic fallacy–you are confusing marriage in the eyes of the church with marriage in the eyes of the state. If spouse A gets an illegitimate divorce/annulment from spouse B and then marries spouse C, then A & C are the only couple recognized by the state, while A & B are the only couple recognized by the church. In neither setting is A married to two people at once. However, as far as God is concerned, spouse A is still married to spouse B while being “married” to spouse C–in other words, spouse A is committing adultery, which is another story. And the legal status shouldn’t even be relevant at all here–we should be concerned with the standing of the marriage under God.

I definitely don’t mean to condone divorce and remarriage, which I agree is in most cases unjustified and leads to adultery and sin, but that and polygamy are different.


I agree. I don’t think that serial monogamy is really monogamy at all.

Speaking of monogamy, polygamy, etc, there’s a survey here: surveymonkey.com/s/RXF5V2Z


That’s exactly it. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaay stretching one thing so that it fits another thing that he’s trying to force it around.

In polygamy and polyandry, you have multiple spouses at the same time. Divorce prevents that. If you only have one husband or wife at a time, you have NOT under any circumstances committed polygamy. This whole thread seems to be strictly for trolling purposes.

It’s quite simple. If someone asks you to tell them your wife’s name, and you give them MORE THAN ONE, you might be a polygamist. (Thank you, Jeff Foxworthy.)

Otherwise, NO.

“My wife? Oh that’s Kathy, Amy, Cindy, Cheryl, Agnes, Mary, Tiffany, and Beth.”

THAT is polygamy. This question was answered how many pages and posts ago? The OP is trying to force a twisted definition of polygamy.


Someone seems confused as to where they are at:

Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics > Moral Theology

This is not a legal forum, but a place to discuss Moral Theology within the realm of Catholicism.


“But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.” (Matt. 5:32)

The bible and more specifically God uses the word marriage in cases of non-sacramental, non-Godly, non-licit marriage and states that those in those kind of marriages are living in sin.


Then if these people are going to get accused of polygamy anyway, they should stop going through the pain, effort, and expense of divorce. Just keep collecting wives. Might as well, with this ‘all or nothing’ logic.

A polygamist has two or more wives AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. Period.

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