Sister Wives, the TLC program that exhibits one of humanity's age-old practices as a taboo anomaly in which the boldest watch. Uh huh.
Polygamy, what everyone's afraid of being legalized once homosexuality is legalized, huh? Yet polygamy is more naturally and culturally accepted than homosexuality, and put down more so as well.
There's many reasons for polygamy's place in human civilization:
- Family Support: if a man's brother were to die, he was to take his sister-in-law as his wife along with his own, so that she would not reduce to poverty in a rigid patriarchy. While sleeping with your sibling's spouse/spouse's sibling is legal incest today, it was absolutely normal back then. I don't agree with this, but it worked.
- Hope of Repopulation: During the Mormon exodus to Utah, many of the men died out. This left the Latter-Day Saints no other choice than to take two, or even three, wives in order to thwart the possibility of the Prophecy's Inheritors from demolishing.
- Love: simple as that. You don't always have to love someone in a sexual sense. Love can be between a man and two women; the love between the sister-wives in Sister Wives mirrors a woman's love for both her husband and her sister-wife that allows them to express their love, while the other wife simultaneously loves her sister-wife enough for her to do the same with their husband. When a group loves each other, true love wouldn't forfeit anyone.
So what's everyone's scare over polygamy? There does stand the proposition of a man having so many wives that his grandchildren will begin to inbreed. Although that's what we get in the Old Testament, with King David's 17 wives and dozens of mistresses, this case was rare and usually only reserved for royalty, who could afford to maintain harems. And yes, an incestuous rape resulted from one of King David's sons from one woman coming onto his daughter from another woman (2 Sam. 13). Needless to say, not good.
It was the Islamic tradition that ruled out these crazy harems, moderating polygamy to no more than 4 wives, reducing the likelihood of inbreeding and confusion of heirs. Before that, Jesus had attested that marriage is between "one man and one woman." Polygamy strangely still holds here. Notice how in a bigamy, Wife #1 will claim to be married to Husband, but she will not claim to be married to Wife #2. It's not a cluster, but more so a system, as to where the man is central to the system, like the Sun in the Milky Way system. Anyway, at any rate, sister-wives are not married. They are simply called sister-wives because they are co-wives, just like the Bitanic was the sister ship to the Titanic, how K-Mart is a sister business to Sears, etc.
Hopefully this clears a bit up regarding the "strange phenomenon" of polygamy. Although virtually gone in Western culture, it is still practiced all over the world, amongst indigenous groups of such places as Samoa, Africa, and a few Native American tribes. Religions of Islam, indigenous religions, and even some sects of Christianity still hold polygamy as a practice.
So many insist that homosexual marriage rights will not lead to polygamy rights. Honestly, I hope they do. If gays have a right to love, should not families such as TLC's Sister Wives?