The argument underpinning Winston Blackmore’s defence against charges of polygamy is summed up in one sentance, a sentance that highlights my problem with the public role that religion plays in our nominally secular society:
“This is not about polygamy. To us, this is about religious persecution, for persecution has always been about politics”
The fact that polygamy is actually illegal doesn’t matter, the fact that Blackmore and his ilk believe that fucking teens celestial marriages are God’s Will ™ frees them from mere mortal constructs such as the law of the land. It’s the same argument that frees churches across the land to institutionalize homophobia and provide it corporate sponsorship and political clout.
Religion is not an opt-out clause on legality and it cannot be allowed to be used as a Get Out of Jail Free card for its followers. If it can, then we must be prepared to allow slavery, the death penalty, homophobia, lynching, child abuse, and a host of other currently illegal activities for the same reasons.
Personally, I’m looking forward to stoning someone for something, anything. Just once, because I know it wouldn’t be long before it was my fate, too.
This would be quite a can of worms to open.