The Controversy of the Sister Wives

●Polygamy: translated literally in Late Greek as “often married”
●Polygamy is a marriage which includes more than two partners.
Polygamy was taught by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for more than half of the 19th century, and practiced publicly from 1852 to 1890. According to the church, “The standard doctrine of the church is monogamy, as it always has been, as indicated in The Book of Mormon (Jacob Chapter 2) The reason given in the The Book of Mormon for the practice of polygamy is by revelation from God in order to “raise up seed unto [God].” In 1862, the United States Congress passed the Morrill Act , which prohibited plural marriages in the territories and dis-incorporated the church. Today, over 14 million members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are strictly monogamist, and members who are known to practice polygamy are excommunicated. Even though polygamy is generally illegal in all 50 states, practitioners are almost never prosecuted unless there is evidence of abuse, statutory rape, welfare fraud, or tax evasion.
1. Plural marriages produce unhappiness in some wives.
2. Critics of polygamy in the early LDS church claim that church leaders established the practice of polygamy to further their immoral desires for sexual gratification with multiple sexual partners.
3. Critics of polygamy in the early LDS church claim that church leaders sometimes used polygamy to take advantage of young girls for immoral purposes.
4. Critics of polygamy in the early LDS church claim that polygamy was used to justify marriage of close relatives that would otherwise be considered immoral.
Sister Wives is a television show documenting a polygamous family. The Brown family includes husband Kody and his 4 wives: Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn. They have a combined 17 children. The show captures the intense dynamics surrounding a man juggling four wives while attempting to keep it a secret from the outside world. Brown has claimed his polygamist arrangement is legal because he is legally married only to one woman, and the other marriages are spiritual unions. The Browns belong to the Apostolic United Brethren Church. The Apostolic United Brethren Church is a polygamous Mormon fundamentalist church within the Latter Day Saint movement. The sect is not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As of 1998 there were approximately 10,000 members, most in Utah and Mexico.
Criticisms of Sister Wives:
1. People criticize Kody Brown for opening himself and his family up to potential criminal prosecution by appearing in the series.
2. Critics say that the show could give viewers who are unfamiliar with the LDS church the incorrect assumption that polygyny is accepted by the mainstream church.
Why I could not be a sister wife:
1. Jealousy: I would feel like it would be a competition to win over my husband. I would always be comparing myself to the other wives.
2. I would not be able to share my husband with other women. The Sister Wives only get to sleep with their husband every 4th night.
3. I would have self-esteem issues.
Why I don’t have a problem with The Browns:
1. They are not following the stereotypes of a polygamous family. There are no child brides. There are no incestual relationships. The husband does not have power and control over his wives.
2. The wives are able to do what they want. One is going back to school, one has a full-time job, one is a stay-at-home mom, and one is figuring out what she wants to do. They can also wear what they want.
3. It seems like there is a lot of love in the family and if it works for them then that is great! It wouldn’t be something I would do, but I am not opposed to it.

Why I do have a problem with The Browns:

1. They say they can support themselves and their kids financially and I hope that it true. I don’t understand how they can support all of the kids if 3 of the wives do not work.
2. Each of the wives lives in their own house. I do not think all of the kids are getting enough attention from their father if he is only spending the night every 4th night.
3. I don’t understand why a man needs four wives.
4. Their lifestyle may make it difficult for the kids. They may get made fun of at school.
5. When Kody is taking on another wife he limits his love to the other women. Each wife does not get enough time with Kody.
6. When Meri asks Kodi to acknowledge her feelings of jealousy, by considering how it might feel if she took on another lover, Kodi says, “it is something I am not comfortable imagining. The vulgarity of you with another man sickens me. It is against man and nature.” I don’t understand why it can’t go both ways. This double standard is sickening to me.

What are your thoughts?

One comment

  1. nomadicnerd

    Well, if the wives know about each other and they don't mind, I don't see a problem with them sharing a husband. There's nothing inherently wrong or immoral about polyamorous relationships as long as there is honesty between everybody involved and nobody is being hurt or lied to. The Browns are challenging our society's ideas about what marriage should be, but that's a whole other issue in and of itself. As for the family being broken up, I don't think that aspect of it is great, but the same thing happens in families where the parents get divorced (and maybe even re-marry other people).

    Anyway, in a nutshell, my belief is that you should be able to have multiple lovers if that's your cup of tea–and regardless of whether you are a man or a woman. The idea that it's only okay for a man to be polygamous is ridiculous and outdated–chalk it up to fundamental inequalities in how men and women have been treated throughout history.