Thursday, February 20, 2014

Polygamy: but aren't we created monogamous?

I need to say, I am in love with the Kody Brown family - four wives and all.
If I saw them in public, I would run up and beg to be their friend. For real. #crazyfan
I commend them for having the courage to step out and talk about what they believe and practice.
It's lighting a fire under my own butt for sure. I think we all can be encouraged by this bonfire.

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Let me clue you in: Kody Brown and his four wives + 17 children are the TLC stars of the reality
series: SISTER WIVES. The show came up as a recommendation for me on Netflix. It's scary how
well Netflix knows us, huh!? I devoured season 1, 2, 3 & 4 - and now I'm seriously contemplating
buying the next few seasons off Amazon because Netflix may be good, but they are slow.

I told my husband one night that it was seriously scaring me how "tolerant" I felt towards
the idea of polygamy. Not for me, OH NO, but for others - if they wanted that "lifestyle".

FUN FACT: polygamy is mainly practiced by the FUNDAMENTALIST CHURCH OF JESUS
These are NOT the mainstream Mormons that come
knocking on your door. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints gave up
the practice more than 120 years ago.

I'll be almost asleep at night and then blurt out something like,
"I couldn't handle sister wives - I think we are innately monogamous!"

To which my husband will sleepily respond, "That's good. But if you decide to
'take another HUSBAND' can you make sure he's a doctor or something so he can help pay
some of our bills?!"
And I'll bite the bait and start explaining polygamy vs. polyandry...
to my husband's great amusement. It's all arm punches and wedgies from there.

From a very female, human perspective - the idea of being one of many wives is repulsive.
It all sounds so suppressive. Put away your natural feelings of jealousy and desire for your husband
and "get better" - "get holier" by practicing sharing, letting go, and loving your husband AND
your sister wives. The whole idea of "celestial marriage" really seems to be a great plan to
earn favor with God and some beachfront property in heaven. Twiiiiiisted.

But I'm sure some of you see me the same way as a Catholic - fasting, confessing to a "priest",
holy days of obligation, laps around the rosary... I'll give room for perspective.

Just saying, you all can visit me in my heavenly villa by the sea. That's a joke.

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In general, they say that 50% of marriages end in divorce, and from there...

"The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, polled 350 divorce attorneys in 2003 where
two thirds of them reported that the Internet played a significant role in the divorces,
with excessive interest in online porn contributing to more than half such cases.
It is believed that 68 percent of divorce cases involved one party meeting a new paramour
over the Internet, 56 percent involved 'one party having an obsessive interest in pornographic websites,' 47 percent involved 'spending excessive time on the computer,' and 33 percent
involved spending excessive time in chat rooms (a commonly sexualized forum). (1)

I guess my point: people get DIVORCED over feeling betrayed...
over the idea of sharing their spouse with someone else - emotionally or physically.

Created monogamous are we?

"But for Adam, no suitable helper (NOT plural) was found. So the Lord God caused the man to
fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up
the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man,
and he brought her to the man.

The man said,

'This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.'

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife
(NOT wives),
and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame."
- Genesis 2:20-25

I've heard the Browns argue their "lifestyle" from Scripture saying that because some of the
great patriarchs and prophets, Abraham, Moses, and King David - to name a few, took multiple
wives and were OBVIOUSLY used to establish the lineage of Jesus and usher in the Kingdom of God
then POLYGAMY MUST BE OK. I mean King David, a man after God's own heart, was doing it...
with her and her and her...

It just seems that the whole thing contradicts Genesis - the whole creation story.
One man for one woman - an ORIGINAL GOODNESS, an ORIGINAL PLAN. After the fall,
many things became tainted and men turned from God committing all kinds of sins.

"Jesus replied, 'Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard.
But it was not this way from the beginning.'"
- Matthew 19:8

Just because things were done in the Bible does not mean they were
intended, holy, or part of God's plan for His people.

"However polygamy is not in accord with the moral law. Conjugal communion is radically
contradicted by polygamy; this, in fact, directly negates the plan of God which was
revealed in the beginning, because it is contrary to equal person dignity of men
and women who in matrimony give themselves with a love that total and therefore
unique and exclusive."
- Catechism of the Catholic Church 2387

So what would Jesus do with polygamists? You tell me.

Obviously this post is a tad on the "Jesus-y" side, but the Brown family claims to be
Christian - so I'm meeting them where they at. I don't wish to impose my religious beliefs on
individuals as I believe that is contradictory to the Gospel any way, but I do wish to talk about it.

Do you think in the name of "RELIGIOUS FREEDOM" bigamy should be made
legal in the U.S.? Why or why not? Brave souls, talk to me.

(1) Jill Manning, Senate Testimony, November 10, 2005, referencing: J. Dedmon,
“Is the Internet bad for your marriage? Online affairs, pornographic sites playing
greater role in divorces,” 2002, press release from American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

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  1. I enjoy the show too, although I think what draws me in is the idea of having 16 brothers and sisters, some of whom could be the same age but not twins! I'd love that. That being said, I could not share...and I wouldn't want my husband to divide his time with our family. It's hard enough when he's at work!!
    For some reason, however, it works for them, and I can only conclude that it is their strong foundation in their faith that keeps it that way. You see so very few marriages in the public eye that are strong, and the ones who are ( lets take the Duggars or Phil and Miss Kay for example) are open about the strength of their Christian beliefs, whatever version of Christianity they are a part of. This can't be a coincidence...(these are the REAL houswives people!! ) Why wouldnt you hitch your wagon to a man like that? He for sure ain't going nowhere :)
    It seems obvious to me in terms of a faith thing...but with regards to the polygamy thing...I know I couldn't do it!

    1. Yea - big families always look fun!!! I totally agree. And I also agree about the strong faith foundation being the fuel for their marriages. They make it look like a holy, loving commitment.

      I definitely could not do it either. It's really crazy though - that there are men and women out there who embrace and live out this lifestyle, huh?!

  2. ooh, well this would be a really long conversation, but i believe that polygamy is not God approved. one God, one plan, one man, one woman. that's my belief.

    1. I DO agree with you, Leah! That polygamy is NOT God-approved... but I'm getting held up with the whole "religious freedom" thing. I want MY freedom to practice what I believe... and since bigamy is technically ILLEGAL in the U.S. (although not prosecuted in most "of age and full consent" cases) I'm a little confused I guess? Someone posted some good "legal" points on my FB wall... I may have to write a PART 2 to follow up with this!

  3. Totally resonate with how easily that show made me "tolerant." It's a fascinating show!! Can't imagine falling asleep alone knowing my husband was with another woman...

    1. For sure. And honestly - they're way of life and all seems a lot less threatening/scary than some other "lifestyles" that have been floating around lately. At least they honor the union between a man and woman - and believe whole-heartedly in faithfulness and all - to God too! It gets trippy. I've definitely gone round and round with this.

      TOOOOOTALLY in the same boat. I told my husband, as bad and as harsh as this is, I'd rather be divorced, single, alone than SHARE him with a "sister wife." My whole ethos screams: "MONOGAMOUS." And I think that's what a lot of other people are sharing too. Interesting for sure.

  4. Fantastic post, as always! Also, and I'll probably get some hate from Mormons if they read this buuuuuuut just because they don't practice polygamy anymore doesn't mean they don't still believe in it. Their teachings still say that in order to reach godhood, which is every LDS man's ultimate goal, he must take more than one wife. Many actually. How else would they be able to populate an entire planet? So what they do is get 'sealed' for eternity to other women, they call them wives, in the temple but don't legally marry them. I guarantee, Mitt Romney, as perfect a Mormon as he is, has been sealed to countless women in the temple. So just had throw that out there ;) So as far as the FLDS goes, I at least respect that they walk the talk.

    As far as legalizing, jeez that's a complicated topic. In our home we believe that the government shouldn't be in the business of marriage. That's for the church. But unfortunately the church gave up it's authority in this country loooooong ago. If gays can marry then certainly polygamists should be allowed to practice their beliefs. No discrimination right? But then where do we draw the line? No marriage to inanimate objects? There are people who want that. No marriage between a man and an underage boy? There are people who want that (NAMBLA). Why should the government decide who you can and can't love, right? Well, obviously I don't think that's a safe way to run things. We have to consider the future of society, of which the foundation is (or used to be) the family unit. So what is the family? What do we define as the family unit? These days it's anything anyone wants! But traditionally, not just Christian history, but allllll history, family has been one man, married to one women, who bear and raise children within that unit. THAT is what the government should be protecting for the sake of the country's own future. My opinion? We're so far passed that I'm inclined to think it's not even worth it anymore. But that's the cynic in me.

    For the record, my husband jokes at least weekly that we should get another wife just to do housework. That way I can just focus on being awesome all the time ;)

    1. Whoa, my comment was really long. Sorry about that!

    2. That is SO interesting, Jessi! I need to grab my Mormon relatives and have a little heart-to-heart about this all now. Get an inside scoop on their true beliefs and all. Thanks for your long comment!!! I loved reading your thoughts!!!

      Yes - I am with you. If we legalize gay "marriage", it would only make sense to legalize plural "marriage"... but like you said, where then do we stop? It gets wacky from there. People wanting to marry inanimate objects, etc. I think the govt's hold up with polygamy is the fact that there are SO many negative cases, child rape, underage marriage, tax aversion, etc., that make it so opposing to the American standard and way of life. Ultimately they are to protect the most innocent in this country, and it DOES seem that there are many cases where innocent people GET HURT with polygamy. The Browns make it look good. I don't doubt that they have their troubles, problems, and all... but they are putting their money where their mouth is at, speaking to a nation that I would say is mostly hostile to this idea... and I commend them for that! I want to be so brave too.

  5. I'm Amber, and I am a fellow Brown family fan... Mostly because I watch the show and can't help but wonder how they do it. The wives that is. How do they do it? Because it takes a lot to make me jealous but once I'm there at that green-eyed monster stage there's hardly anything to bring me back.

    I know this is going to be a tangent, a total off-shoot, but it's something that's mulled over in my mind time and time again. Aren't we, the nation of divorce, sort of polygamists in a more "beautified" way? That's extreme (I know) but these third and fourth marriages create this sort of marriage in the plural sense environment that makes me wonder are we, families with divorce, the same as the Browns? They are living in harmony, where many divorced families are not, but there's the same dealing with and politics of the many layers of family.

    I know there's so much richness in the polygamy culture and debate... Things I cannot speak to and that don't align with my maybe they aren't THAT far off from our divorce culture, but, as a child of a second marriage, I know that there's those same sort of lines and relationships and complicatedness that is portrayed on the show.

    Also, more lamely, the wives seem to be more transparent and real about the issues in their marriages and families this season, yes?

    1. That is a great point, Amber! I've seriously thought, on similar lines, about our culture's tolerance for sleeping around with multiple partners before marriage. Dysfunctional to say the least. The whole idea of polygamy at least respects "marriage" for what it is - and gives them safety, security, etc, I mean - as much as possible in HEALTHY "plural marriage" cases. Because there is definitely some wacky stuff out there, but that goes for ANY relationship or family design in my opinion.

      It's so hard. I really don't know what I would say as my "final word" on this matter. So I guess I keep going back to "what does God say?" Which is off course seen as subjective and biased... but that's all I've got?! I trust Him... and I definitely don't trust our nation... soooooooo?!?!

      Wish we could hang out and watch episodes together!


Thanks for leaving some comment love! I enjoy hearing what you have to say... and others do too! XO