I used to watch TLC’s “Sister Wives” — a reality show about a Mormon household with one husband, four wives, and a combined 17 children =- with a mix of shame, incredulity, and, dare I say it, jealousy. While I couldn’t imagine sharing my husband like that, there was something appealing about the way the Brown family came together to support each other, living out the concept of “it takes a village,” and redefining what family means. Push aside the inherently sexist concept of religious male-centric polygamy for a second, and there is something really beautiful about a group of adults coming together to help raise a family. Keep reading »
Pray Tell is The Frisky’s new biweekly column about the intersection of religion and women’s lives.
The third season of the TLC series “Sister Wives” premiered this week. The show is about the Brown family — Kody, and his wives Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn. They have 17 kids, including three from Robyn’s previous marriage. The Browns are members of the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB), an offshoot of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS, aka the Mormons). Since the mainstream LDS church agreed to outlaw polygamy in exchange for Utah being granted U.S. statehood, the members who wanted to keep on practicing plural marriage joined groups like AUB. While plural marriage has been around for thousands of years (Jacob marrying both Rachel and Leah, anybody?), the appeal of “Sister Wives” is seeing how the practice works in modern times. Think of it as a real-life version of “Big Love.” Keep reading »
I pulled the curtain back from the living room window in my small adobe home and stared at the dirt road winding down the little hill into Los Molinos. In the three years I’d been married to Verlan, this was the longest he’d ever been away. How many times in the past four months had I stood here, pretending his silver pickup was on that road headed back to me? Dust would billow high as he drew closer and entered the colony. He would stop at Lucy’s place first, like he always did. He would unload mountains of supplies into the shed and tell the family there hello. Then he’d stop at three more wives’ homes. Just before coming to see me, he would go to Lillie’s house. Read more … Keep reading »
“I just hope they don’t put me in jail for loving four women.”
—Kody Brown of “Sister Wives” on the fact that the Utah County Attorney is currently deciding whether to press felony bigamy charges against him. A conviction could mean five years in jail, and this would be the first polygamy case in Utah in almost a decade. [People]
Yet, his wives are oddly calm about the situation. Keep reading »
Last night, I had dinner over at my mom’s apartment with my brother and his girlfriend and we got to talking about reconsidering the legality (or illegality) of plural marriage, i.e. polygamy. Putting aside personal feelings on the idea of polygamy, what we ended up concluding was that the government shouldn’t consider marriage a religious institution at all, as it violates the notion of separation between church and state, and that marriage, if anything, needs to remain a legal union between two individuals — no more — so that the monetary benefits don’t reward those who marry multiple people for so-called religious reasons or otherwise.
So why am I blathering on about plural marriage anyway? Because last night was the series premiere of “Sister Wives,” the reality show about a man and his three (soon to be four!) wives and their flock of children living in Utah. And, for the most part, it was boring. Keep reading »