Polygamy Activist Compares Gun Control to 'Marriage Control'

By Randy Hall | July 7, 2008 | 8:06 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - A campaigner for polygamy said conservatives seeking to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman are using the same arguments liberals use -- and conservatives strongly oppose -- in the gun control debate.

Gun controllers and "marriage controllers" use the very same arguments of "society's rights," "democracy" and re-defining "the people" as "the collective," said Mark Henkel, founder of TruthBearer.org, a group promoting non-Mormon "Christian polygamy." Polygamy is defined as the practice of having more than one spouse (usually a wife) at the same time.

In a message posted on his website, Henkel cites the April 16 tragedy at Virginia Tech, where a student shot dead 32 people before shooting himself.

Many liberals "misapplied" the shooting to call for more big-government gun control, at the same time as "constitutionalists and many conservatives opposed it as infringement of individual rights," he noted.

"Yet, most of those same would-be conservatives had already justified identical big-government control," Henkel argued.

"Gun controllers assert that 'society has a right' to control guns, that 'democracy' justifies infringing individuals' rights for the supposed good of the people," he said. "They frantically purport that society is imperiled without gun control.

"Yet the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment expressly declares that 'the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,'" he stated, so "gun controllers re-define the meaning of 'the people,' asserting that it only means 'the collective' [as] represented by the government."

Along the same lines, Henkel asserted, "marriage controllers assert that 'society has a right' to control marriage, that 'democracy' justifies infringing individuals' rights for the supposed good of the people," he said. "They frantically purport that society is imperiled without marriage control."

Henkel noted that marriage -- "appropriately" -- appears nowhere in the Constitution. "Yet marriage controllers cry, 'Let the people choose' the re-definition of marriage [through a majority vote.] Hence, their re-definition of 'the people'" means that "the government -- not the individual -- has the supposed right to determine marriage."

"The [gun control] issue is not about the guns, hunting or sports. It is about individuals' God-given right to protect themselves," Henkel said.

"Marriage control equally infringes the God-given right of individuals," he continued. "Marriage pre-dates the invention of government. Ironically, marriage controllers cite Adam and Eve from the biblical book of Genesis. Yet that very story never involved government. In fact, no one in the Bible was ever married 'by government.'"

As Cybercast News Service previously reported, Henkel predicted last year that "freely consenting, adult, non-abusive, marriage-committed polygamy is the next civil rights battle" after same-sex "marriage."

He called the one man-one-woman model "marital Marxism," saying it was established by the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages.

"You don't have to be a pro-polygamist to see that 'marriage control' infringes the individual rights of consenting adults," the activist told Cybercast News Service on Wednesday.

"The dichotomy of people supporting marriage control while opposing gun control could not be more obvious," said Henkel. "It suggests that they believe that the individual right to marriage [is] more dangerous, necessitating big-government control, than the individual right to keep and bear arms."

"The only way to truly protect marriage -- and to prevent anyone from ever legally re-defining it -- is by entirely removing government from all marriage control," Henkel said.

J. Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues with the conservative group Concerned Women for America, called Henkel's metaphor "rather clumsy and frankly not very well put together."

"When you break it down, it consists of nothing more than the boilerplate libertarian talking points," Barber told Cybercast News Service on Wednesday. "He cries that we should be able to do whatever we want to do because we want to do it!

"The truth is that the parallel he awkwardly attempts to draw between gun control activists and traditional marriage advocates is more properly drawn between gun control activists and polygamy advocates such as himself," Barber argued.

"Both Henkel and proponents of gun control desire to change pre-existing laws to comport with their own radical agenda," he said.

"Gun control types want to radically redefine the Second Amendment removing our right to bear arms," while "Henkel wants to radically redefine marriage which, by definition, exists solely between one man and one woman," Barber said.

As a result, "Henkel is the one seeking to 'control marriage' by redefining it into oblivion," he added.

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