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WSJ Helps End Polygamy Controversy of 'Turley's Arguments'

Date: Oct 18, 2004
Word Count: 900 words
Cross-Reference: Kay Hymowitz, Wall Street Journal, Jonathan Turley

Referring to both Jonathan Turley's (USA TODAY) op-ed and the activism of, Kay Hymowitz's (Wall Street Journal) op-ed helps pro-polygamy organization end the "Turley's Arguments" controversy.

Old   Orchard   Beach,   MAINE,   Oct.   18     --   --     Days   after   the   pro-polygamy   organization,,   publicly   revealed   that   its   own   arguments   had   been   repeated   in   an   October   3,   2004,   op-ed   in   USA   TODAY,   founder   Mark   Henkel   sought   to   end   the   controversy.     And   he   had   some   unwitting   help   from   the   Wall   Street   Journal. 
Said   Henkel,   "We   are   honestly   not   making   anything   up,   nor   are   we   out   to   undermine   Mr.   Turley   or   USA   TODAY.     We're   grateful,   actually." 
While   not   listing   out   the   different   arguments   which   they   believe   had   been   repeated   in   Turley's   October   3   op-ed,   the   original   October   14   press   release   from   had   only   zeroed   in   on   the   most   apparent   example. 
Noted   Constitutional   law   professor,   Jonathan   Turley,   had   written,   "banning   polygamy   is   no   more   a   solution   to   child   abuse   than   banning   marriage   would   be   a   solution   to   spousal   abuse."'s   October   14   press   release   explained   that   that   argument   is   a   distinct   "sound-bite"   argument   which   Henkel   created   and   has   used   for   years. 
Web-searches   at   Google   and   Yahoo   back   up   the   assertion,   when   searching: 
polygamy   AND   "vicious   wife   beaters". 
Immediately-conducted   search   results   prove   that   the   listed   web-pages   have   been   "in"   those   search   engines   for   quite   awhile. 
One   search   result   is   that   of   a   media   interview   which   Mark   Henkel   conducted   with   Metro   Source   Radio   News   Wire,   three   years   ago,   on   August   24,   2001. 
In   that   interview,   he   said,   "Just   as   you   could   find   abusive   men   in   'monogamous   marriage,'   you   can   find   'abusive   men'   in   'polygamous   marriage,'   but   just   as   you   wouldn't   ban   'monogamy'   because   of   vicious   wife   beaters,   it   makes   no   sense   to   ban   'polygamy'   on   the   basis   of   individuals   with   other   criminal   'baggage.'" 
Another   search   result   is   that   of   an   online   copy   of   a   published   op-ed   which   Henkel   had   been   asked   to   write   for   a   daily   newspaper   in   Wheeling,   West   Virginia.     The   piece   was   published   in   The   Intelligencer,   Page   Five,   July   12,   2001.     (The   op-ed   was   later   also   donated   as   the   very   first   article   published   in   the   archives   of   the   web-site.) 
In   that   published   op-ed,   titled,   "Polygamy,   When   You   Think   About   It...,"   Henkel   wrote,     "One   primary,   common   method   of   anti-polygamy   propaganda   is   that   of   'tying   together'   unrelated   side-issues,   such   as   abuse   examples.     This   misleads   listeners   with   the   implication   that   such   side-issues   are   supposedly   the   'definition'   of   polygamy   itself.    
"God   forbid.     Abuse   is   abuse.     Even   most   pro-polygamists   vehemently   oppose   abuse.    
"The   implication   of   pro-polygamists   being   'tied   together'   with   abusers   is   as   unjust   as   it   would   be   if   a   loving   'monogamist'   was   'tied   together'   by   implication   with   cruel   wife-beaters." 
Later   in   that   same   piece,   Henkel   re-iterated   that   same   point,   saying,   "banning   polygamy   because   of   a   few   'bad'   anecdotal   examples   is   as   absurd   as   wanting   to   ban   monogamy   because   of   vicious   wife-beaters." 
Those   are   not   the   only   examples   of   Henkel's   presentation   of   that   argument   either.     He   has   also   declared   it   in   many   taped   media   interviews,   for   example.     Those   audiocassette   tapes   are   available   through   the   organization's   e-commerce   site,     And   they   have   always   been   available   for   anyone   to   order   at   any   time. 
"This   all   proves   our   point,   and   it   only   involves   one   argument,"   said   Henkel.     "So   we   can   stop   here   --   there's   no   need   to   address   any   of   our   other   repeated   arguments.     Everyone   now   can   see   it.   The   arguments   are   not   'Turley's   arguments.'     They   are   clearly   ours   and   they   have   been   so   for   some   time. 
"Of   course,   we   very   much   want   well-respected   individuals   to   learn   --   and   even   repeat   --   our   essential   arguments.     That's   a   key   purpose   of   --   to   teach   our   arguments   (and   about   ourselves)   for   people   to   repeat   to   yet   others." 
And   that   continues   to   happen   --   even   just   four   days   after   that   October   14   press   release   from     On   October   18,   the   Wall   Street   Journal   published   an   op-ed   from   Kay   S.   Hymowitz,   titled,   "I   Wed   Thee   ...   and   Thee   ...   and   Thee." 
Therein,   Hymowitz   noted   the   arguments   which   Turley   had   used.     She   then   informed   readers   about   the   activism   of     "Polygamy   is   the   next   civil   rights   battle,"   she   quoted   --   with   full   attribution   --   as   the   "motto"   of 
Before   additionally   mentioning   Mormon   polygamists,   "Principle   Voices   of   Polygamy,"   Hymowitz   wrote   an   important   clarification   as   learned   from   ChristianPolygamy.INFO,   a   website   linked   on 
She   accurately   explained,   "Christian   polygamists   are   conservative   evangelicals   who   base   their   beliefs   on   the   Old   and   New   Testaments;   by   contrast,   Mormons   cite   extra-biblical   revelations   of   their   founding   prophet   Joseph   Smith." 
By   pointing   out,   Kay   Hymowitz's   op-ed   gave   genuine   insight   into   the   pending   debate   and   of   the   sources   from   whom   that   debate   is   coming. 
Jonathan   Turley   had   used   important   arguments,   but   protagonists   of   "polygamy   rights"   will   not   be   "using   his   arguments."     It's   the   other   way   around. 
"That   is   why   the   larger   issue   of   our   October   14   press   release   is   not   about   Jonathan   Turley   or   USA   TODAY,"   said   Henkel.     "It   was   about   preventing   subsequent   inaccurate   attributions   by   anyone   else,   which   then   could   thwart   a   true   debate." 
Other   subsequent   responses   to   Turley's   op-ed   in   USA   TODAY   --   such   as   from   the   Traditional   Values   Coalition   and   the   Baptist   Press   --   had   inaccurately   attributed   and   identified   the   arguments   as   "Turley's   arguments." 
But   Kay   Hymowitz's   openly-attributing   op-ed   in   the   Wall   Street   Journal   helped   to   correct   that   mistaken   identification. 
"For   these   reasons,"   said   Henkel,   "we   re-iterate   that   we   have   no   desire   for   this   minor   controversy   to   undermine   Professor   Turley   whatsoever.     As   we   thank   Ms.   Hymowitz   for   bringing   greater   accuracy   to   the   debate,   we   also   want   it   fully   known   that   we   also   thank   Mr.   Turley   for   vindicating   our   arguments   and   our   fight   for   'polygamy   rights'   in   the   first   place." 


Bibliographic URLs:,,SB109805785552147645,00.html?mod=todays_us_opinion 

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