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Matthew Sanders: Should we tolerate cheating in marriage because we're 'animals'?

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  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 28, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    Thoughout history, many people have looked to God, regardless of their religion, for guidance so that they would be of most worth to their families. They looked for ways to succeed and when they failed, they regretted their mistakes and tried harder to not repeat those mistakes.

    But there have also always been those who tell us that religion is too restraining; that they can't be what they want to be if they follow God, regardless of their religion. So, they mimic animals, even while they use laws to try to protect themselves from the consequences of acting like animals. Some have excluded God from their lives and then mock those of us who look to God for instruction.

    There has always been opposition in all things. There have almost always been prophets who proclaim the way to happiness and there have almost always been those who proclaim their own "gospel" of licentiousness.

    The beauty of life is that we get to choose for ourselves whether we will strive to follow God or whether we will choose to act like animals. We'll become what we try to become, exaulted beings or animals.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    June 28, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    "Laslocky contends marrying for love became vogue in the past 300 years, with earlier generations coupling only for property and labor sharing."

    Where is she talking about? In Medieval Europe? No. Read Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliette. Greek Mythology, I dunno, maybe. In Mongolia, does she know? I have Polynesian poems and stories about love so love is not some fad that they picked up from Europe.

    Back in the 70's someone told me that if one did not give into their sexual urges that being repressed would make them go crazy. Being "repressed" apparently did strange mental things to people. I never saw that happen. Not being "repressed" did cause a lot of childhook poverty though.

  • gee-en Salt Lake City, UT
    June 28, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    Great article! It so commons sense though. It's strange that society has drifted so far away in so many ways that simple common sense ideals have to be defended at such a basic level. Sigh...

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 28, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    The word "cheating" impacts how we feel about it.

    Many people are so against it only because they've been told to be against it.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    June 28, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    Is cheating in marriage, a civil right, or is calling it wrong, be considered discrimination.

    The words civil rights, and discrimination are used for justification, and clouding judgement.

    Our society is losing it's ability to judge moral values, and has put our country into decline.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    June 28, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    A silly person says silly things on CNN. Not really worth these column inches. I don't generally look to squirrels or sparrows for moral guidance.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    June 28, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    Not sure what the writer's point is. That adultery is bad? Yes, indeed -- it hurts people deeply, especially children. But we shouldn't tolerate it? What does the author mean by that? We shouldn't throw stones at adulterers. OK. What then? Throw them in jail? Require them to wear a scarlet letter? Shun them? Sterilize them? Frown deeply? What does "no tolerance" mean?

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    June 28, 2013 12:15 p.m.

    Humans were given 100,000 spiral neurons to give them moral reasoning. Animals do not have these and only have instinct. If people act like animals, they should be locked up like animals.

  • Eliot Santaquin, UT
    June 28, 2013 12:19 p.m.

    I think the author's point was very clear. His point is summarized beautifully in the last sentence of the article, "Instead, we should rise to the highest of what it means to be human, and herald the virtue [of] self-governance to give the best in us to our children." In other words, we should demonstrate through what we do and say that fidelity to marriage vows is the wisest course so that our children will emulate our behavior, giving them the best chance for happiness. No where in the article is there the remotest suggestion of punishing adulterers.

  • Che26 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 28, 2013 12:25 p.m.

    For many many many years the leadership of the LDS Church has stated that the traditional family is under attack. For a long while I did not understand what they meant. I believed them, but I guess I hadn't seen this attack first hand.

    This past years the blinders have come off and now I see when I once was blind.

    Who would have guessed 15+ years ago (When the Proclamation to the Family was released) that homosexuality would be considered natural and monogamy would be considered unnatural. Did anyone see the MSNBC commercial telling parents to not see their children as their own, but as the communities children?

    We need to stand up and defend our families from these direct and frontal attacks. If we don't defend them who will?

  • Jim Cobabe Provo, UT
    June 28, 2013 12:26 p.m.

    Rather begs the question. I think we must survey the lions to determine if they really love the ones they eat. I suspect that if they could fill out a survey form, lions would enthusiastically vote in support of this idea, although that may not exactly convey every nuance of the intended meaning.

  • FatMan86 West Jordan, UT
    June 28, 2013 12:27 p.m.

    Interesting how Laslocky's focus is on the offending party and how they feel about themselves after cheating. And of course we can't get thru a topic like this without pro and anti religion bashing everywhere.

    What if this issue isn't about religion or morals or standards? Maybe it should be about who is getting hurt, and whether or not a selfish married offender (animal or not) is justified in hurting an innocent spouse or innocent children. Is that really OK on any level? I guarentee if you've ever been the innocent victim of a cheating spouse or parent, you'll see this a whole lot differently than someone who hasn't live through that.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    June 28, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    Where do "rules" come from? Are they just the ideas of the society in which we live, or, are they much more than that? Were they given to mankind by their maker so that mankind would not destroy themselves or the societies in which we live? We accept that animals were "imprinted" with "instincts" that control their lives, but, many claim that they somehow came to life without any "instincts" "imprinted" in them. Isn't that a little strange, that the Creator would help his animal creations, but that He would ignore the highest form of life that he Created?

    Are we free to change those rules to suit the wishes of society, or should we hold on to those rules, knowing that anyone intelligent enough to create us just might be intelligent enough to tell us what we can and cannot do?

    There is no way to divorce religion from basic rules. Either we are the creator or we are the created. We either control the sun, the moon and the stars, the orbit of the earth and its times and seasons, or we don't.

    Fidelity in marriage is an absolute - if we want a stable society.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    June 28, 2013 1:00 p.m.

    I have been married for 11 years now and I am proud to say I have never once cheated on my wife. According to these people, I should be as restless as a kid in a candy store eyeing the candy bars waiting for the store clerk to going into the back room. NONSENSE!

    I'm not saying my wife and I have never had challenges or problems. But for heavens sake, I believe I have much more self-control than this.

  • cjf Salt Lake City, UT
    June 28, 2013 1:08 p.m.

    Saying that "animals do it" has been one of the most ridiculous arguments I have heard. If somebody wants to make a point by comparing themselves to animals, then have at it. But don't expect it to convince me one bit.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 28, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    Guess what Che26; I'm a gay man, I've been with my partner of 15 years and I've never once cheated on him.

    Oh my, the sky is going to fall.

  • Miss Piggie Pheonix, AZ
    June 28, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    @Tekakaromatagi: "Being 'repressed' apparently did strange mental things to people. I never saw that happen."

    Perhaps that's because few if any people conducted themselves so that they never get 'repressed.'

    @ClarkHippo: "I have been married for 11 years now and I am proud to say I have never once cheated on my wife."

    Perhaps your spouse has the good sense to satisfactorily provide for all your needs.

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    June 28, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    That lady on the Oklahoma frontier better watch out. If she remarries, her new spouse might kill off her children so that they won't compete with his new ones with her. Lions do it and a lot of other animals. Oh, and I've been married 23 years. My husband has put up with a lot because of my health problems, but he loves me anyway. Infidelity. No way. I am a blessed woman.

  • FatherOfFour WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    June 28, 2013 2:27 p.m.

    I can't wait to see laws imposing criminal penalties for adultery and divorce. Everyone in Utah seems so eager to use law to impose religion. I've lived in countries where that is the case. No thanks.

    Should we tolerate cheating in marriage? That is between you and your spouse. If the question is whether you should tolerate cheating by someone you are not in a relationship with? Leave other people alone. Live your own life and let them live theirs. Personally if my wife cheated on me I wouldn't divorce her. I can't imagine life without her. It would be like someone telling me I couldn't have food. All I would be concerned about is her happiness, and how I can make her happy.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 28, 2013 2:48 p.m.

    Cheating is cheating, period.

    beit;
    marriage,
    business,
    school tests,
    sports,
    or speeding.

    Animal can't cheat because they are driven survival instincts and have no moral compass or right or wrong.

    Cheating is selfishness,
    plain and simple,
    it doesn't matter what the issue is.

    Cheaters never prosper.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 28, 2013 3:12 p.m.

    @Che26
    " Did anyone see the MSNBC commercial telling parents to not see their children as their own, but as the communities children?"

    Yeah and what's wrong with that view? Think of it this way. You go to a church right? That church is probably a strong close-knit community. That community does have an influence in the raising of the children who go there (presumably a positive one since I imagine they wouldn't go to that church if they didn't feel that way). Same goes for schools with teachers. Melissa Harris-Perry wasn't saying that parents don't have the right to raise their kids, she's saying that we have an interest in the whole community having a positive influence on everyone's kids so that they grow up without getting involved with crime or drugs or stuff like that.

  • Mr. Bean Pheonix, AZ
    June 28, 2013 3:28 p.m.

    @RanchHand: "... I'm a gay man, I've been with my partner of 15 years and I've never once cheated on him."

    Perhaps that's because you and your companion have essentially identical urges. You'll find that men and women have substantially difference strengthens.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 28, 2013 4:07 p.m.

    Miss Piggie says:

    "Perhaps your spouse has the good sense to satisfactorily provide for all your needs."

    Wow, just wow. Do you know how sexist that comment is?

    @Mr. Bean;

    Huh?

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    June 28, 2013 4:46 p.m.

    Re: "Hey, it's normal to cheat on your spouse!"

    Once upon a time, Say the Middle ages, Romanic Love, as we know it today, was not part of ingrediants for what went into marriage. Marriage at that time, for Nobility, involved more than two people. It often involved adjacent kingdoms. The feelings of the two or their long term compatiblity were not a consideration. In the LDS Family history website, There are examples in plain sight of instituional infidelity. If you went to Royal Court and brought your stunning wife AND said wife caught the eye of the King you were often made an offer you couldn't refuse to laydown your wife for your country. These inducements might be Royal titles, property and wealth. In the British Royal family trees, one can see a place called Cuckold Manor. Yes, for us middle class folks, marital infidelity is a bad thing. I pity the nobility of old who may have been stuck, married to someone they loathed and only could find true Romantic love in the arms of a Mistress.

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    June 28, 2013 4:51 p.m.

    Re: "Hey, it's normal to cheat on your spouse!"

    Once upon a time, Say the Middle ages, Romanic Love, as we know it today, was not part of ingredients for what went into marriage. Marriage at that time, for Nobility, involved more than two people. It often involved adjacent kingdoms. The feelings of the two or their long term computability were not a consideration. In the LDS Family history website, There are examples in plain sight of institutional infidelity. If you went to Royal Court and brought your stunning wife AND said wife caught the eye of the King you were often made an offer you couldn't refuse to lay down your wife for your country. These inducements might be Royal titles, property and wealth. In the British Royal family trees, one can see a place called Cuckold Manor. Yes, for us middle class folks, marital infidelity is a bad thing. I pity the nobility of old who may have been stuck, married to someone they loathed and only could find true Romantic love in the arms of a Mistress.

  • River Dog Salt Lake City, UT
    June 28, 2013 4:55 p.m.

    It would not be cheating if both husband and wife agreed to it! Not a particularly good idea, but no matter what we say or do, it's going to happen whether we like it or not.

  • Bob Pomeroy Bisbee, AZ
    June 28, 2013 5:26 p.m.

    There are lots of ways not to 'tolerate' without requiring governmental legislation. Morality does not require legislation.

  • Miss Piggie Pheonix, AZ
    June 28, 2013 5:30 p.m.

    @Ranch:
    "Wow, just wow. Do you know how sexist that comment is?"

    How could it be... since it applies equally to both sexes?

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    June 28, 2013 5:38 p.m.

    @Ranch:
    "@Mr. Bean; Huh?"

    I used more explicit verbiage to explain the point but the monitor wouldn't let it pass.

    So, let's try it this way... the sexual drive of the male is constant and ever present as science of the human reproductive system explains. The same drive in the female is now and then depending on certain cycles. You do the rest of the analysis.

  • Logit ,
    June 28, 2013 6:17 p.m.

    Much better arguments than Meghan Laslocky's can be made that it's un-natural to expect monogamy in humans. Other authors (Ryan's "Sex at Dawn" is one such recent book) do a much better job. It's a shame Laslocky is the chosen counterpoint to this DesNews piece.

    That said, the weakness in all arguments like Laslocky's is that while humans are indeed mammals and our reproductive biology is no different from many other animals, the fact is... no other species that we know of is quite this complex. Humans have evolved into the most emotionally and socially complex creatures the earth has ever known. We're a marvel of social organization and interspecies domination. Laslocky's mistake is forgetting that while we might share the same biological evolution as other mammals, it's our social and cultural evolution--including monogamy (with scattered polygyny) and our learning to place cultural norms on our sexuality--that gave us our true success as a species. We simply couldn't have evolved beyond hunter-gatherers or primitive city-states without a (mostly) monogamous social organization. Read Betzig's "Despotism and Differential Reproduction," and articles by Richard Alexander or Kevin MacDonald.

  • Bob Pomeroy Bisbee, AZ
    June 28, 2013 7:44 p.m.

    "We simply couldn't have evolved beyond hunter-gatherers or primitive city-states without learning to place cultural norms on our..." A technically horrible misquote, but I think it sums it up well generally. we each create our own values because of our spiritual origins and free agency. Those peculiarly individualized creations, that inherent separateness, are reconciled by the horrible misquotation. as it is largely in the realm of same that moral value can be observed or discovered as existing inter-subjectively. And it is the only realm into which civil or criminal law may peer into.
    ugh

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    June 28, 2013 10:00 p.m.

    @jthomas

    I think if someone is incapable of understanding "basic rules" that govern how we should behave towards our fellow human beings they lack compassion and reason not religion, the fact that some people believe they need religion to get themselves to follow what really should be so "basic" is concerning.

    Those that would cheat on their spouses lack the "basic" rrasoning to umdrstand the consequences of their actions and "basic"compassion for those around them not a belief in a "creator."

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    June 28, 2013 10:43 p.m.

    Cheating is breaking your word.

    Breaking, or keeping your word is a measurement of your character.

    Without character, cheating, or your word, has no meaning.

    With character, your word becomes your sword.

  • statman Lehi, UT
    June 28, 2013 11:30 p.m.

    By the same logic, murder should be ok because, after all, we're only animals...

  • 1hemlock Tooele, Utah
    June 29, 2013 6:25 a.m.

    Good article. As for her logic to cheat because we live longer (?!). The cheating tends to occur at the younger ages and not because we all live to be 90. That's just dumb justification. So often it seems that people try to justify their "pecadillos" by pontificating with generalities with broad statements like "everyone is doing it" (even animals). Sounds more like a teenager that an astute social commentator.
    One observation however on the author's comment not to throw stones at those that cheat . . . I disagree. They ruin their family, they ruin trust, they should be ashamed.

  • Mugabe ACWORTH, GA
    June 29, 2013 6:51 a.m.

    Did anyone see the MSNBC commercial telling parents to not see their children as their own, but as the communities children?

    They aren't ours, unless we reclaim them. When you handed over the "Birth Cerfificate" of your new born baby to the hospital staff, they forwerded it on to the State. The state ran an article for 90 days, in your local News Paper, announcing the birth of your baby and, no one claimed the child, therefore the state claimed it. It is theirs. If this was not so, there would be no way that law enforcement officers could take children from birth parents. You are only acting as guardian for the state. And, if you have a state Marriage License, everything you own belongs to the state. Your spouse is only for you to have and to hold, until you die, then the state will decide what happens after that. The Lord is trying to help us, but we spend our time arguing useless points.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    June 29, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    This doesn't make complete sense because, apparently, some animals mate for life. Even a dog, which is a promiscuous animal, has more love and loyalty then some people.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    July 1, 2013 6:06 a.m.

    It's kinda sad we live in a time when something like this article even needs to be written.

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    July 1, 2013 10:03 a.m.

    re: Mike R (1st post)

    "He who makes a beast out of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man" - Dr. Samuel Johnson 1709 – 1784

  • Ralph Salt Lake City, UT
    July 1, 2013 4:29 p.m.

    OK, so you have rebutted the extreme opinion of another person. I believe it's called a straw man.
    What a profound article.

    TL;DR
    Cheating on someone is not good!

  • Serenity Manti, UT
    July 2, 2013 12:28 a.m.

    Hmmm I've been married for forty years and I would never dream of cheating on my love, my sweetheart for life and eternity. But I've seen it done and the consequences, the disease, the guilt feelings, the hurt has always followed. Cheating proliferates venereal diseases from AIDS down to herpes. Unfortunately, these diseases don't only hurt the cheater, but also the spouse. The spouse of a cheater is also damaged with loss of self-esteem, and hurt deeply by being betrayed by the one they love. The cheater is damaged by becoming calloused and hardened. The love that they have is seriously damaged because of betrayal of trust, betrayal of love. The children - oh the poor children are left in the middle of this tragedy and the harm this done to them can last a lifetime. Animals have no such consequences. I don't believe that anyone who can say that cheating is acceptable has ever been in a loving marriage.