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TLC's 'Sister Wives' Talk Polygamy, Their Growing Family & 'Big Love' (VIDEO)

by Maggie Furlong, posted Sep 14th 2010 5:25PM

Most people only know polygamy from what they see on TV, but there's so much more to that way of life, according to the real-life polygamist family from 'Sister Wives.'

TLC's new seven-part series (one-hour premiere Sun., Sept. 26, 10PM ET), 'Sister Wives' explores the lives of Kody Brown and his three -- soon to be four -- wives and their combined 13 -- soon to be 16 -- kids. They are fundamentalist Mormons from Utah who are fighting to legalize polygamy and stop discrimination against families like theirs and the estimated 40,000 other polygamists living in Utah.

I sat down with Kody and 'Sister Wives' Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn (in chronological order of marriage, naturally) to hear all about the show and the challenges of accepting a new wife and her children into the fold. They also opened up about the fine line between teaching their kids to be proud of their way of life and still protecting them from the prejudices of society.

And for any man who's thinking more wives equals more fun in the bedroom, Kody admits that's one thing TV does get right: sounds like having (and pleasing) multiple wives is just as hard as it looks on 'Big Love.'

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Interestingly enough, most statements have responded regarding the bible, particularly the Old Testament. Not all polygamists are the same, meaning that not all of them marry underage children or are incestuous. That's like stereotyping anybody out there. Yes, some polygamy "ranches" have been found to have incest and rapes...but there are the same, if not more, amount of instances in a monogamous marriage.

Regarding the Old Testament; re-read it if you are going to comment about it. The ancestors in the Christian or Catholic bible as well as the Jewish Torah or the Muslim Koran are all the same...and they were all polygamists. Abram had two wives, 3 including Hagar and he did not have his first son with Sarai...she was barren until almost 100 years old. Esau had many wives as did Jacob. This is a common theme in both the old and new testament.

Whether or not I personally agree with polygamy is not the case. I have never been involved with the lifestyle, but I have studied world religions, so this is one area that I dove into as it is intriguing to see everyone's beliefs. All I am saying: do your research. Man is not to judge, God is. If you are a true Christian, stop judging. You don't need to condone these acts nor do you need to accept them, but judgement is not your calling either.

March 27 2011 at 10:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

People keep commenting that polygamy is illegal. I wanted to clarify that while it is illegal to legally marry (meaning, obtain a marriage license from a state government) more than one person at a time, our government has no say over what consenting adults may do in their private lives. This man is only married to one woman, in the government's eyes. The other women in their family have no legal standing. The marriages they have committed to are purely spiritual and personal, with no government recognition of any kind. That is why what they are doing is not illegal. I have a lot of respect for the amount of courage and trust those women must have in order to live their marriages outside of the law. And to do it in front of a camera must have been terrifying and freeing at the same time. I know what it's like to have the government not recognize your union as valid, what it's like to pay the same taxes as your neighbors but have fewer rights than them. As a woman in a same-sex marriage, I have to jump through legal hoops and pay lots of money to protect my family while still not receiving the same level of legal protection as my neighbors. It's about time we started recognizing that happy, loving relationships are good for this country, no matter what flavor they happen to come in. It's not our government's job to discriminate against people just because their love looks different. (And please spare me the predictable and totally ridiculous comparisons to bestiality and incest here, okay? We're talking about completely rational, happy, loving, adult human beings here.) I think we have a lot more important things to do with our time than make our fellow citizens' lives difficult.

December 13 2010 at 12:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

my great-great grandmother was one of 32 children born to a Mormon patriarch named Covington, his statue stands in Saint George Utah. He had three wives. The personal pain these wives endured, sharing their husband, paled to the demands placed on the early Utah pioneers. Saints, as the where called, these people suffered the worse sort of buyers remorse!! They where sold a bill of goods by one of the greatest sales men in our modern history!! Joseph Smith...a true wizard with words. He wove a magical tell of celestial kingdoms, power, and spiritual gifts. My own family left all their earthly belongings to follow him....which he promptly picked up and claimed for his own. The Mormon church is the second richest church in the world..it is a pagan fertility cult in the guise of Christianity!! goddess bless those sister wives!!sisterhood is powerful. maybe together they will over come the patriarchal oppression women have suffered under for the last 2000 years...blessed be

October 07 2010 at 3:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Surely Mr Wonderful and his flashy sportscar, fake grin and trying too hard to be cool demeanor (so practical for a man with 13 kid's don't you think) is too wonderful for a mere 4 women? I can't wait for the one night stands to crawl out of the woodwork.

October 04 2010 at 11:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Surely Mr Wonderful and his flashy sportscar, fake grin and trying too hard to be cool demeanor (so practical for a man with 13 kid's don't you think) is too wonderful for a mere 4 women? I can't wait for the one night stands to crawl out of the woodwork.

October 04 2010 at 11:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What happened to all the fine folk that lived before the Joseph Smith enlightenment. LDS is no different than scientology and the muslim trips. It is people following the words of a man. There is, has only been, and will only be ONE WAY, Jesus! Get mad, get over it, and then get really saved by calling on the name of Jesus to be delivered from the dilusions of false religions.

September 30 2010 at 5:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How disgusting. Just because he married these women does not make it right.

So what now?

Are they going to encourage incest marriages too, or how about half bro-sister/cousin marriages & have a one eyed child while you're at it.
And shame on the sisters. Are they that hard up to have to share one man??? Really!.
I think the victims are the children. They did not asked to be put on this earth, but now have to deal with being judged, and called a freak the rest of their lives, because of their sick parents. What a twisted world they live in.
My choice, me & my family refuse to watch, promote, or agree with this sick show & the network that produced it. Seriously, you would think the network would have better taste, morals & values.

September 29 2010 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Okay when these women get fat or saggy will this guy go out and pick another sweet young thing? Can the women bring home a new guy? Or is this just a man thing. Stupid c----. And they think they are todays woman. Forget about it.

September 27 2010 at 5:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Cleanslate's comment

Deb, no I am not watching the show...I became aware of the upcoming 'Sister Wives', because TLC was advertising on every station/program that I was tuned into, for weeks. I did watch the first program... to verify that I had heard right, I frankly, did not think they would be allowed to air. being a seventy-six year old, I thought my eyes & ears had failed me. I wanted to make sure before I commented, beleive you me I will not be watching any further. I do not judge anyone usually, but this Kody is a jerk.
thats all I am saying, I could think of a few other choice words, Instead, I just ask our Lord to have mercy on all of us.

September 30 2010 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've never been so insulted & disappointed in TLC. I have been watching the lead-in to this 'SISTER WIVES' deal/escapade coming to my favorite channel
TLC. What else will dizzy blonds & Air heads do to make money in this fashion??? I am sure TLC will pay these people very well to put themselves in front of American scurtiny just for the almighty dollar. At least Kate & kids & the Duggar family are setting a good and decent example of the trials & tribulations of raising familes with values. Also I love all of the other shows about multiples. The sister wives obviously do not read their bible. They apparently donot know that our lord came on earth to teach ua right from wrong. All they have to do is read their bible. Also, what are these children being taught?? That it is okay to mary their sister or brother?? This is called inner- breeding. which is against the law in some states. I am going to keep praying to our Lord & Savoir as do daily for these poor Heathens & embiciles who will do anything for a buck and for the sensationalism that this mess is sure to create. God help us all, the world is getting more evil & wicked each day./ Read Revelations, its all there. Jesus is coming soon!!!

Postscript: I did watch the 'SISTER WIVES' debut on Sunday TLC. My first thought regarding the choas of the children running in all directions, the 'Wives', each, trying to convince, the audience how wonderful their 'MARRIAGE' is. Then, isn't it just like a man, who, after a bunch of kids & you've lost your looks & gained fifty pounds, He breaks the news that he has been dating another for three months & he is going to add another wife, & from what i saw, who is younger, prettier smarter, etc...Isnt that just like a man???? Who, to me acts like a imature school boy, prancing around.

September 27 2010 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jenruscolns's comment
Debra Disney-Dior

You watched the show?
I imagine you are now a pillar of salt.
I "refuse" to watch sinful acts on TV, or anywhere else. Maybe, just maybe, you could look beyond the 10 commandments and find a commandment that would apply to this "situation." I'm just amazed that you gave into temptation. You admitted you were watching the "lead ins." This is HOW shows stay on the air -- people tune in. It seems to me, after reading posts, it's the people who "complain" that give them high ratings. You should be ashamed of yourself. You're putting down a lifestyle, but you condone it by becoming part of it. So sad.

September 27 2010 at 3:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Origins of Anti-Polygamy LawsThe ban on polygamy originated in English Common Law. In England polygamy was repudiated because it deviated from Christian norms; marriage, it was believed, properly existed only between one man and one woman. In 1866, for example, in the seminal case of Hyde v. Hyde, 1 L.R.-P. & D., an English court remarked that "the law of [England was] ... adapted to the Christian marriage, and it is wholly inapplicable to polygamy." During the nineteenth century, English and U.S. law did not recognize polygamous marriage in any form. Only in the late twentieth century has either nation given limited legal recognition to polygamous partners from other countries.

Anti-polygamy laws in the United States also sprang from religious conflict. In the mid-1800s, widespread public hostility arose toward the practice of polygamy by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, known as Mormons. A small religious sect in the territory of Utah, the Mormons believed that their founder and prophet, Joseph Smith, had a divine revelation in 1843 that called for men to marry more than one woman; in 1852 the church announced that the practice was religiously superior to monogamy. This position angered critics throughout the country, ranging from religious leaders to novelists, editorialists, and particularly politicians. In 1856 the Republican party's first national platform denounced polygamy and Slavery as "those twin relics of barbarism."

Legal controversies over the propriety of prohibiting polygamous marriages persisted in the United States for 150 years and were expected to continue as long as sects within the Mormon religion continued to openly support the practice of plural marriage. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints disavowed polygamy in 1890 and excommunicates those members who practice plural marriage.


September 27 2010 at 10:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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