The slippery slope for Bob McCoskrie, Andrei and Lucia already happened

Bob McCoskrie and other who oppose marriage equality always run out the “but, but, but….gay marriage will lead to polygamy” line. My smart arsed line is always the same…so what…if you support families then surely you support really BIG families…and any bloke who wants more than one mother in law is doing us all a favour.

However, jokes aside…let’s look at history…Craig Young has, at GayNZ:

Family First is once more ruminating hypocritically about the alleged “relationship” between same-sex monogamous marriage and polygamy. It’s time someone told Mr McCoskrie that some of us are aware of Christianity’s own polygamist past.

It goes all the way back to the sixteenth century and Martin Luther, the very founder of Protestant Christianity himself- and an advocate of polygamy. What?!! Yes, that is correct. Luther believed that polygamous marriages were preferable to extramarital sex (or ‘fornication’) or adultery. Indeed, Luther and Phillip Melancthon, another early Lutheran theologian and pivotal figure, advocated that Phillip, Landgrave of Hesse (a German principality within the Holy Roman Empire) covertly and bigamously marry two women- Christine of Saxony, an invalid and alcoholic, and one of her ladies-in-waiting, Margarethe van der Saale. However, it doesn’t end there. Instead of divorcing Catherine of Aragon, his first wife, Melanchthon also advised future serial monogamist Henry VIII to bigamously marry Anne Boleyn. Henry didn’t take his advice, divorced Catherine instead and monogamously remarried Anne, future mother of Elizabeth I of England. 

(Meanwhile, Henry VIII also theoretically criminalised gay male sex within the Buggery Act 1540 at the same time, although there were few criminal prosecutions for it until the advent of the first “Christian Right,” the eighteenth century Societies for the Reformation of Manners).

However, Phillip of Hesse did take Melanchthon’s advice and covertly married Margarethe in 1539. Amusingly, Phillip’s sister Elizabeth couldn’t keep quiet about her brother’s multiple marriages, embarrassing Luther and Melanchthon seriously when she blabbed about it a year later. Altogether, both Margarethe and Christine provided Phillip of Hesse with nineteen children, so infertility wasn’t a problem in that dynastic context.

Nor were German Lutheran princes the only ones to undertake polygamy. Take Michael Kramer, a hapless Saxony Lutheran minister, and his multiple marriages. In 1525, the Lukas Town Council noted that the man had three living wives, although two of them had abandoned the poor fellow. He contacted Luther who counselled him to consider his two undivorced prior wives, Dorothea and Margaretha, ‘spiritually dead” to him and contract a third marriage. Shortly afterward, in 1533-34, the Lutheran hierarchy would officially condemn the polygamist commune of Munster, occupied by theocratic revolutionary Anabaptists (a radical Protestant sect). Lutheran marital theology was still in flux at the time and working out whether or not it condoned divorce, and under what circumstances.

This provided wives of Lutheran clerics with escape clauses if the marriages earlier contracted turned out to be unsuitable or distasteful to them, which unfortunately happened quite frequently.

Craig goes on with a fascinating history of polygamy in the church.


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • botti

    Regardless of what Luther advocated polygamy is associated with a number of costs to society.

    “In cultures that permit men to take multiple wives, the intra-sexual competition that occurs causes greater levels of crime, violence, poverty and gender inequality than in societies that institutionalize and practice monogamous marriage.”

    • Ronnie Chow

      “pools of unmarried men” You’ve cracked it ! Polygamy caused Male Homosexuality . And then Female Homosexuality with all those idle wives .
      Without Polygamy , there would be no gays and therefore no Catholic Church .

  • That’s the problem with deciding how to interpret the Bible yourself. You can get it badly wrong. You know all these people you mention are Protestants, don’t you?

    • Pete George

      So they stuff up on polygamy without it being legitimised? Sounds like it, according to this:

      While the Catholic Church officially condemns the practice of polygamy it has a long tradition of its leaders being engaged in what could be called polygamist relationships. These relationships were not often between married couples as the church leaders involved were not allowed to marry but many church leaders did in fact have multiple women they lived and had sexual relationships with.

      During the time of the reformation papal legates found that sexual behavior among the clergy was more prevalent then not. In fact many Popes had multiple relationships with woman and had bastard children and even admitted it publicly.

      Pope Alexander the VI was one such Pope, he is often referred to as a secular pope of the Renaissance. As Pope means father it is appropriate that a Pope like Alexander VI should be a literal father. Pope Alexander VI’s daughter Lucrezia Borgia even had her wedding in the papal palace. Pope Alexander was far from the only Pope who had many extramarital affairs just one of the best examples and one most open about his sexual escapades.

      While the practice of polygamy and sodomy was discouraged officially it was the common practice for hundreds of years at all levels of the Catholic Church’s clergy.

    • Mitch82

      But you’re interpreting the Bible correctly though, right? It’s just the other 41 thousand odd denominations that have it wrong?

      • I’m not interpreting the Bible in the way that suits me, I follow the interpretation of the Catholic Church.

        • Mitch82

          Okay then, I’ll restate:

          But THE CATHOLIC CHURCH is interpreting the Bible correctly though, right? It’s just the other 41 thousand odd denominations that have it wrong?

          • Andrei

            Let me explain Mitch, within Christendom the biggest group of Christians are the Catholics. Lucia is a Catholic

            The second biggest grouping are the Orthodox. Andrei is an Orthodox

            Then come the plethora of Protestant denomination, your 41 thousand odd, who combined in total numbers perhaps match the Orthodox, perhaps a little less.

            Anyway in terms of belief Catholics and Orthodox are pretty much on the same page, different outlook, different ways of being in Church, different in the way the Church is run but in belief the same to all intents and purposes.

            Whereas the reason for the plethora of protestant denominations is that they cannot agree amongst themselves and are always coming up with new things and new denominations.

            So when Lucia says “THE CATHOLIC CHURCH is interpreting the Bible I’d actually say ” THE CHURCH” but the interpretation would be the same to all intents and purposes. The vast majority of Christians in the world would go along with this.

            It is the protestants who get tangled in multitudinous novel interpretations of the Bible, and who have even ommitted some books from the Bibles we use

          • Mitch82

            Can’t believe to wrote an entire TL;DR page over one of my flippant comments, but there ya’ go.

            So let me get this straight – omitting some of the books is cause to look down your nose at the Protestants, but ignoring the entire Old Testament because society doesn’t really condone slavery and death by stoning anymore is.. sweet?

            Except when it supports your point, of course.

          • Andrei

            Mitch mate you asked a question didn’t get the answer you wanted and asked it again and got an answer – don’t come that “can’t believe … over a flippant comment” shit.

            There are three denominations that go back to the beginning, to the time of the apostles – Catholics, Orthodox and Copts.

            Protestants are a creation of the 16th century and later and came out of the Catholic church which they rebeled against. The trouble is they couldn’t then and still cannot agree amongst themselves so they keep on splitting and creating new churches with new doctrines on an almost daily basis

            ignoring the entire Old Testament because society doesn’t really condone slavery and death by stoning anymore is.. sweet?

            This is just talking points, the OT is not ignored, it is a group of books written a long time ago with different purposes and to be interpreted in light of the NT which came later.

            And if you think society doesn’t condone slavery huh, it still with us just disguised in a more benevolent form. You gotta do what the man tells you to do when he tells you to do it

          • Mitch82

            Jesus Harold Christ, Andrei – if you can’t spot a bit of sarcasm and humor, there’s no hope for you.

            And yeah, that’s right – I took the Lord’s name in vain. But you swore in your last post, so we’re even. Neener neener and all that jazz.

          • Kimbo

            “Anyway in terms of belief Catholics and Orthodox are pretty much on the
            same page, different outlook, different ways of being in Church,
            different in the way the Church is run but in belief the same to all intents and purposes.”.

            OK. So care to share with the class what the year 1054, and the filioque clause have in common in their mutual contribution to Roman Catholic/Orthodox ecumenism?!

            How’s that “primacy of the Bishop of Rome in matters of doctrine and practice” going down in the Orthodox faith these days, Andrei?!

          • Andrei

            Kimbo those are the reasons why I’m not Catholic, I guess

            But nobody is going to go to hell because they say the creed with the filioque and nobody is going to go to hell for leaving it out.

            Gee most people never even think about it, its not a fundamental thing except to pointy heads now is it?

            The Pope doesn’t have any authority over my priest but that doesn’t mean I don’t agree with what the Pope says or think he doesn’t speak with authority and wisdom

          • Kimbo

            “But nobody is going to go to hell because they say the creed with the
            filioque and nobody is going to go to hell for leaving it out”

            Uh, huh. Care to share with the class what the consequences of “heresy”, and “anathematized” are, Andrei?!

            “At the 879–880 Council of Constantinople the Eastern Orthodox Church
            anathematized the “Filioque” phrase, “as a novelty and augmentation of
            the Creed”, and in their 1848 encyclical the Eastern Patriarchs spoke of
            it as a heresy. It was qualified as such by some of the Eastern Orthodox Church’s saints, including Photios I of Constantinople, Mark of Ephesus, Gregory Palamas, who have been called the Three Pillars of Orthodoxy”.


            Run distractions like “most people never even think about it…except pointy heads”, but kindly don’t write untruths in the interests of your sales campaign.

          • Andrei

            See how much the Filioque matters to the Pope Kimbo, he omits it here

          • Kimbo

            …which is the truth, but not the whole truth, Andrei.

            Yes, Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant all acknowledge it was never in the ORIGINAL version of the Nicene Creed, and if the Pope is quoting the original version (as it the clip you posted), then of course he isn’t going to include filioque. Neither Catholics or Protestants have a problem omitting it as such, because they can easily understand it as implied (which is why the clause was added by the Western Church later). It would be like an ecumenical congregation quoting the Shema in a synagogue (Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one”), which a Christian understands, in contrast to Jews, refers to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

            But you know very well that the Orthodox Church cannot tolerate its inclusion in a worship setting.

            I don’t have a problem with genuine ecumenism working together for common social interests. However, you are over-egging the pudding when you claim, “in terms of belief Catholics and Orthodox are pretty much on the same page”. On many crucial issues, no, and because of the assumptions both make, ultimately they can never be. The same also with Protestants. So kindly stop bearing false witness in order to further your social-political ends.

          • Well when the two of you have worked out which one of you is 100% right then you can tell the rest of us how to live.

          • Andrei

            Nobody is telling anybody how to live

            It’s your body and your soul and what you do with it are up to you – you wll wear the consequences.

            Seeking to preserve a universal human institution from arbitary changes that will cause it irreprable damage is not telling anybody what to do and the consequences of doing this will be born by all particularly those who come after us

        • Gayguy

          That reminds me, you ignored my question. Do you agree with slavery?

        • Rodger T

          Of course ,if it really were the word of god,it would not be up for “interpretation” now,would it?
          Not what I would expect from an all knowing,omnipotent ,infallible and omnipresent being, a bit slack and smacks of incompetence to me.

      • Rodger T

        I`m afraid this thread calls for a quote from Thomas Paine,

    • Gayguy

      Yes, you get it wrong all the time.

    • Ronnie Chow

      “but they never managed to get wrong stuff legitimized” Surely there is something wrong with celibate men taking on the role of counselling women ?

    • Jimmie

      Oh really Lucia?

      Never is a fairly strong claim.

      What about the practice of issuing indulgences aka the dark ages?

      What about the inquisiton practices of using torture to induce confessions leading to land confiscation and burnings at the stake?

      What about the forced conversions/theft/whole sale slaughter of native South Americans all in the name of the catholic church?

      Plenty of other wrong ‘stuff’ the vatican has legitimized over the years including apparently the abuse of little children.

      All issued in the name of the catholic church who according to you never legitimized wrong stuff.

    • Ronnie Chow

      Look no further than the Philippines to see how your Catholic Church has created a sorry basket case of a country . All the result of legitimizing ‘wrong stuff’ , like banning condoms causing millions of children to be born into extreme , abject poverty .

  • Andrei

    LOL – Whale how many misrepresentations can you get into one post.

    (1) Any educated person knows that there have been polygamous marriages conducted by Protestant sects in the past – indeed on this very blog I am sure I have mentioned this myself in context of the period immediately after the thirty years war when the population of central Europe had been decimated, particularly the adult male portion and polygamy was introduced to replenish it as quicky as possible by Protestants. This of course has to everything do with the reproductive properties of hetrosexual marriage.

    (2) The polygamous Christians in Africa also are well known and may be found in Catholic and Orthodox Churches occaisionally as well as protestant ones – these are people who have converted to Christianity after these marriages were conducted and a principle called oeconomy, Greek οἰκονομία, is invoked. This is where the spirit of canon law is applied rather than the letter of the law because of mercy and the welfare, spiritual and temporal, of all involved. Polygamous marriages are not as far as I know ever conducted by the Church though you can never tell with odd bod protestant sects.

    (3) I have never used the “slippery slope” polygamous argument myself because polygamous marriages actually make sense whereas gay ones don’t. Polygamy is not optimal for family formation but it is reproductive.

    However the argument when it is used actually says if you allow gay “marriage” then you have no case to deny polygamous marriages – which is true, you do not.

    (4) Bringing up the things Lutherans got up to in the 15th century to bash Lucia and myself is laughably funny given our respective Christian heritages predate Martin Luther by more than 1500 years and owe nothing to him at all

    • Gayguy

      Given so many so called Christians on here misrepresent what Christ said and the meaning of the Bible every single time there is a thread on marriage equality, I would not draw attention to yourself by attacking others for their interpretations.

      • Andrei

        This is what Christ said about marriage

        4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

        5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

        6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

        Not much room for ambiguity there I’d say

        • Gayguy

          Did he ever say homosexuality or gay marriage was wrong?

          • Jimmie

            Marriage was defined by Christ as man and woman as stated above and in the original quote from Genesis.

            As to whether God states the right/wrongness of homosexual sex read the following quotes: (If you can be bothered)

            Leviticus 20 vs 13 (Specific to gay sex)
            Romans 1 vs 26-32 (Specific to gays and lesbians)

            However the message from the Bible is to not to hit gays with burning fire while all the straight child beaters and burglars go to heaven.

            Scripture is fairly specific that all people have sinned – that is why Christ came to cover the penalty of that sin for those who believe in Him.

            Now if you chose to ignore the Bible and the overall message of salvation (as most folk do) is your choice but to think that current popular liberal social ideals can find justification in the Bible is laughable.

          • Gayguy

            Do you own slaves?

          • Gayguy

            Christ described a form of marriage, I know of no comment of his where he said marriage equality was a no no.

            And Lev is temple law, not Gods.

          • Jimmie

            Read the quote from Romans – it is fairly clear.

            Again if the current secular NZ state decides to follow a liberal progressive line then that is one thing.

            Trying to morally justify the same liberal lines via the Bible is another.

            To be honest GG you’d be better off taking the line of others on here that the Bible is just a fairytale than trying to find justification for your lifestyle in it.

          • Gayguy

            I suggest you do that. I am OK with the fact Paul was not a fan of Greek behavior in temple worship.

  • tarkwin

    I suppose it depends on how you look at things. If same sex marriage is O.K how can polygamy be wrong? And what if they’re Catholics?

    • Ronnie Chow

      Same sax polygamous Catholic de-facto marriage partners ? The Vatican ?

  • Gazzaw

    When I read the arguments spouted by both sides in this ‘debate’ I wonder whether Christianity has actually progressed since the 17th Century. Time to bring back the Inquisition yet Andrei & Lucia? Protestants, have you got the kindling chopped yet to burn a few Catholics (or maybe it’s witches this week)? The whole argument’s fucken pathetic.

  • Hazards001

    Seriously?..why?…why does this lame arse (no pun intended) subject keep coming up? The most comments on this blog relate to the subject of gay marriage and the same people are posting the same rhetoric day after day? Aren’t you all tired of it? I haven’t even scrolled the comments on this subject in the last few days as nothing changes. I have an opinion and it’s biased because that’s my nature. The thing that interests me the most and the reason I did follow the comments was that with almost no exceptions the same commentators in any other thread tend to have a variety of views and are flexible.

    On this one though….? All set in stone…boring me witless now…you would all have more impact if you found worthier causes to rail against on both sides of this debate..WO included, it’s getting tiresome.

    • Andrei

      Thats why he does it, its the way the left works they go on and on and on til everybody is sick of it and gives the cunts what they want just to shut them up.

      Its the way spoiled two year olds work.

      Sensible adults don’t give in to two year old whining, society alas does to the detriment of us all

      • Gayguy

        Sensible adults do not deny others the same rights they themselves have.