Should King David and Solomon be in Jail?
The polygamist FLDS is again in the news, although the current assault is a good deal less outrageous than the activities of the Texas child protective authorities a few years back, which I covered extensively here.
But it does occur to me that it raises a serious issue for both American Christians and Jews, at least ones who take their religion fairly literally. It is clear from the Old Testament that God's chosen people practiced extensive polygamy. It is clear from what we know of Jewish law that marriage and sex were legal at ages well below those at which they are currently illegal in most of the U.S.; a woman was a legal adult at twelve and a half, provided she had shown some sign of menarch. By those standards, nothing that Warren Jeffs is charged with, at least so far as I know—I haven't actually followed the case—should be illegal.
Yet I would be surprised if any large fraction of modern American Christians and Jews actually defended Jeffs. What is their basis for not doing so? Should King David and Solomon be in jail?