Posted by Nelson Dafe | 12 March 2015 | 4,653 times
A recent News Express report on a Danish politician’s call for the legalisation of polygamy in Denmark has sparked a lively cultural debate in the Nordic country.
Keld Christensen of the Liberal Alliance party of Denmark granted News Express an interview in which he discussed a speech he gave in Denmark titled ‘Cause The Greatest of All Is Love’. In it, he called the refusal to legalise polygamy in Denmark a “serious restriction of the citizens’ free choice.”
A popular American blogger, Kitty Mevine, who has a large Danish readership, put the News Express story on her blog, Yankee Skeptic. This has elicited a number of reactions from many Dannish people who have been commenting to support or oppose Mr. Christensen’s proposal.
Mevine requested a famous Danish skeptic Claus Larsen to offer his insight on the call to allow polygamy in Denmark and he responded with a scathing dismissal of Mr. Christensen’s call.
Larsen said: “It is doubtful that there is a need for multilateral marriages in Denmark. It is not an issue that registers on any news scale, nor has it been accepted as official policy with the Liberal
Larsen went further to argue that the computerised nature of the Danish system makes official recognition of polygamy very unlikely.
He said: “We are possibly the most computerised country in the world, with a highly integrated public sector. We have computer systems for everything, at all levels of public service. This is made possible because of one factor: Each citizen has a unique personal identification number, which follows him from cradle to beyond the grave (it is never reused). A lot of the systems are coded based on legislation that distinguishes between married and unmarried citizens. If you are married, you have one spouse attached in the systems. Were we to allow multilateral marriages, it would mean a massive overhaul of a considerable number of huge public IT systems, something that would most likely top the Y2K projects (ensuring that IT systems would work after the new millennium).
“This, in turn, would mean a huge cost to the tax payers, which is in direct conflict with the tax
policies of the Liberal Alliance: They, more than anyone else, are the proponents of lower taxes, for everyone. Keld Christensen’s suggestion will not make it above hot air balloon status.”
However, reacting to Larsen’s dismissal of his suggestion for the legalisation of polygamy, Mr. Christensen told News Express that placing technological systems above the human desire to live as free citizens is not right.
According to Christensen, “His (Larsen’s) reason for why this (legalisation of polygamy) wouldn’t work in Denmark (that we are one of the most computerised country in the world and our social security number that follows us from the cradle to the grave) just confirms my assumption of the present state of the Danish society: the system is more important than the liberty of the people.
“Claus Larsen tries to make the Danish system sound like an Utopia, but Denmark is no Utopia. We are from the cradle to the grave controlled and regulated. Apparently, it seems, the state puts itself higher than the people which it should protect and keep order within. To deny a group of persons to be married is not to protect them, it is to deny them their freedom. For sure, the system is never more important than the people it must represent and which legitimises its right to exist.”
The debate over the acceptance of polygamy (which is a popular form of marriage amongst many in Africa and the Muslim world) continues in Denmark!
•Photo shows Denmark’s polygamy advocate, Keld Christensen.
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