Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Three's Company: Polygamy Pushes the Envelope

(An excerpt from an actual Christian web site devoted to "building the family").

Been watching TLC's 'Sister Wives'?

Have you been surprised how loving, and normal, they seem? Would you be surprised to learn there are many non-Mormon Christians who have felt God prompting them to live this way? Maybe you are curious and trying to figure out if this lifestyle truly can work. Or maybe you are a believer in Christ and you are witnessing all of the practical benefits but still trying to figure out how to make sense of this in light of the Bible. But you are asking yourself “Does the Bible, and it's Author, accept this?" Read on.

In the show Kody Brown makes this statement: “Love is to be multiplied not divided.” The idea of marriage, or a union with a male and female, transcends all religious, cultural, and ethnic boundaries. People from every nation or sphere of the world join together and partner with one another in order to build a family. More than 80% of cultures throughout history have also practiced some level of polygamy.

What does God say?

But the real question is: does Jesus Christ, the Lord of the universe, approve of this type of family where one man joins with more than one woman? We at Biblical Families, an evangelical organization dedicated to historical Christianity, see that the Bible teaches and approves of this type of idea of love multiplying. Both the OT and NT teach that God is honored by this type of lifestyle.

Throughout the OT many of God’s holy men lived a lifestyle where they multiplied God’s love. Men like Moses the writer of the first five books of the Bible had two women at the same time in a union, Abraham, who had at least two and maybe three at the same time, Jacob who had four in a union, and numerous others like Gideon, King David, and King Solomon. Likewise, in one place in the OT God even presents himself as in a union with two wives (Ezekiel 23:1-5,7,11).

The NT never alters this idea of love. The theme of love is carried forth by Jesus Christ whose teachings along with the apostles verified this lifestyle as holy, normal, and to be accepted. The God-Man, Jesus Christ, even represents the three types of lifestyles in the Bible. He lived for awhile in a celibate condition, he then died, arose again, and then joined himself to the first church ever birthed in history, the Jerusalem church, which represents a monogamous relationship, and then as other church bodies were birthed he joined or united with them thus displaying a love relationship or union with those multiple members that make up his one body, or family (see 1 Cor. 12:-20,27; Eph. 5:25; 1 Cor. 11:2).

How can this work?

So how can one family have multiple wives in it and there be peace, harmony, joy,
satisfaction, and the blessings of the Lord in that family?

Here at Biblical Families we are teaching and sharing with people how this is possible. In the Christian faith this is not only possible but a very real testimony of the power of grace and the Holy Spirit working in the lives of those that believe. As the Bible says, where the Spirit of the Lord is there will be the fruit of the Spirit which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such things there is no law (Gal. 5:22).

. . . And so on, and so on, blah blah blah blah blah. I've included the juiciest part of what appears to be a bona fide Christian "family" web site, not only endorsing but encouraging the creepy practice of taking more than one wife with whom you're expected to have multiple children. This article goes on for hundreds of words, quoting the Bible ever more feverishly with each paragraph.

First I've heard of it, myself.

It seems the alarming traditions of fundamentalist Mormons are starting to overflow the container into "Christian" practice. TV shows like Sister Wives (and even Big Love, a satiric comedy/drama) seem to be giving lots of people ideas.

It was a long time ago that the "jiggle show" Three's Company was wildly popular. Not sure if it spawned a host of real-life imitaters or not, but it was, after all, only a sitcom (and those were more conservative times).

I know there is a movement called polyamory. This means any number of consenting adults can live together, with sexual sparks flying in every direction. Let's hope their offspring don't get together, or we'll have a genetic catastrophe. Polyamory is illegal, but every time the polygamy issue comes up, so do they, creeping out most of us to the point of disgust. 

I haven't looked at any polyamory sites, can't bring myself to do it. Once in a fit of madness I googled "marry your pet", and found an actual web site which was, I suppose, tongue-in-cheek (or maybe that's the wrong way to put it).

Some years ago, we had the spectre of a woman marrying herself. Not a bad idea: think what the sex would be like! Contraception guaranteed. It has a lot to say for it, but what happens when it's time for a divorce?

I do wonder sometimes just what's going on here. To be perfectly frank, this strikes me as license for a man to screw a whole bunch of women and still maintain his "faith". I cannot imagine that this practice would allow polyandry, i. e. a woman marrying more than one man, a subject which occasionally crops up on Sister Wives (and which Kody once pronounced "vulgar": a pretty good word to sum up the whole show).

I know I harp on this, it's an obsession and a fascination. In the recent season ender, Robyn had her much-anticipated baby (named Solomon!) at home, moaning in a way that seemed creepily sexual, then popping out ten pounds of Brown baby. One wonders how many more will follow, especially since Robyn has promised Meri to be her surrogate (ANOTHER Brown baby? When will it stop, particularly since the Browns have no discernable source of income?)

Other things crept out. Christine, who seems wholesome and matter-of-fact, isn't. She has probably suffered more than any of the others. A few episodes ago she admitted to marital problems with Kody that she couldn't resolve. In her presence, Meri more or less told her to shape up, that she'd had marital problems too and worked them out on her own, and that's what she was expected to do. Christine had no response to this.

Last week she said she'd been having anxiety attacks and was taking antidepressants. On the Robyn-giving-birth episode she made the baby a cute little sampler which she called a "peace offering" to Robyn: she felt guilty about treating her so badly. Treating her so badly? It made me wonder just what they edit out in these things. At any rate, it helped explain the marital friction and the antidepressants. Sister wives, when faced with towering problems like this, must put up or shut up.

Meanwhile, back at the polygamist Vegas ranch (which brings to mind Spinal Tap's Sex Farm),  Meri and Robyn have peeled off by themselves into the kind of tee-hee-whispering-nasty-rumours giggle-fest you see in Grade Five. Quite a bond they have there. Dynamics like this completely fly in the face of so-called true polygamy, lopsiding the energy and affection between the women, which already seems shockingly unevenly distributed. At one point Meri even mistily says she has the kind of bond with Robyn that she never had with any of the other sisters. Oh, that's going to go down real well with them, I can tell.

But this was the kicker. I've heard it before, so it may even be true (though I admit this comes from Perez Hilton):

OMG! One Of The Sister Wives Was Married To One Of The Other Wives' Brother!

sister wives janelle was married to meri brohter before kody

Just when you thought Sister Wives couldn't get any more disturbing, here comes the INCEST!

Star Magazine reports that polygamist and reality show stars, The Brown Family, are more about keeping things within the family than we all thought. In a shocking twist, it was revealed that Kody Brown's second wife, Janelle, was brought in as his wife shortly after she divorced her first husband - Kody's first wife's brother!

What the what?

In one BOMBSHELL of a secret, it was uncovered that Janelle was married to Adam Barber in 1988. Adam is Meri, Kody's first (and only legal) wife's brother. The two divorced only after two years of marriage and three years after that, Janelle joined Kody's polygamist fam.

A family insider reveals:

"I know she was originally very upset over Janelle dumping her brother. I think there has been a lot of unspoken tension between her, Janelle and Kody all these years."
I'd say.