Later today a BC court will decide whether to convict fundamentalist Mormons Winston Blackmore and James Oler with polygamy. They are alleged to have married over 30 women between them.
This trial brings into conflict some of the values at the core of Humanism.
On the one hand, the principles of liberty ask us to support the free association of individuals, including in non-traditional relationships (for example, same sex couples or polyamorous relationships). In fact, we had UBC Philosophy Professor Carrie Jenkins talk to our Vancouver group last month about the evolution of the societal concepts of love. Similarly, our allies at the BC Civil Liberties Association have argued vociferously that the polygamy law is unconstitutional.
On the other hand, Humanists have a deep concern over how religious dogma leads to exploitation and violence against women and girls in this community. We have a duty to fight for the oppressed and to seek to reduce injustice in the world.
Whatever today's verdict, it is not likely to be the final word on this case.
If you are interested in hearing more about the details of this case, follow Vancouver Sun columnist Daphne Bramham, who has been covering this story for years and will be speaking at our Vancouver meeting in August.
On our website
Podcast: Helio Da Costa - Freemasonry & Humanism
Sunday, July 30, 2017 at 10:00 AM
- Sunday Meeting: Mika McKinnon - Master in Disaster at Oakridge Seniors Centre, Vancouver
Sunday, August 06, 2017 at 10:00 AM
- Sunday Meeting: Towards a Humanist politics - Owen Jones Holyoake Lecture at Oakridge Seniors Centre, Vancouver
Sunday, August 6, 2017 at 11:00 AM
- Humanists at the Vancouver Pride Parade and Sunset Beach Festival in Vancouver
Sunday, August 13, 2017 at 10:00 AM
- Sunday Meeting: Daphne Bramham - The Bountiful polygamy trial at Oakridge Seniors Centre, Vancouver