~*~ Rose-Colored Glosses ~*~

hovering between the quest for absolute truth and the pursuit of utter nonsense
gloss, n.
  1. A brief explanatory note usually inserted in the margin or between lines of a text.
  2. An extensive commentary, often accompanying a text or publication.
  3. A purposefully misleading interpretation or explanation.
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-Ludwig Wittgenstein
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A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.
"Well, art is art, isn't it? Still, on the other hand, water is water! And East is East and West is West and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste more like prunes than a rhubarb does. Now, uh... Now you tell me what you know."
-Groucho Marx

~ Friday, January 04, 2008 ~

The Latest Stoker of My Wrath
It is probably not healthy for me to be getting so angry over this, but nothing infuriates me like a bad law.

61 And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse aanother, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.
62 And if he have aten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified.
63 But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to amultiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be bglorified.
64 And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law.
65 Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law when I commanded Abraham to take aHagar to wife.

So first of all, he can have multiple wives as long as he hasn't vowed otherwise, but she may not have multiple husbands under any circumstances. And worse, once having heard about the "law of my priesthood as pertaining to these things" the first wife, the one who "holds the keys of this power" (i.e. who has final say over who else, if anyone, her husband marries), has the delectable choice of either willingly receiving this law, in which case she must be the designer of her own misery, or refusing it, in which case she is labeled a trangressor, and her husband is freed to design her misery himself.

It's been said that some women in polygynous marriages were quite content with their situation, but I'd feign contentment too if I thought the only alternative were to lose all negotiating power, period. First of all, if your partner's told you he or she wants someone else, and your primary goal is to hold onto that partner's love, the last thing you'll do is stand in the way. And secondly, if something bad is bound to happen to you, it's slightly less bad if you can decide to do it to yourself, thereby protecting your own sense of being in control. That's preferable to fighting it all the way and finding out, when you are utterly defeated, how truly powerless you are. It's not too different from quitting your job because you heard they're going to fire you, or from killing yourself because you know you're going to die anyway. It's a very human response, and justified, I think, but what a pity these women had no other options than to either accept it willingly or have it done to them unwillingly.

Well, they had children, maybe, and probably no source of independent income, but I hope that had I been in that situation, I'd have had the fortitude to get up and leave.

The Saint is diligently seeking an alternative interpretation of this passage. I don't see how there can be one, but I hope he finds it anyway.

~ prattled by Miriam at 1:19 p.m. [+]

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