To understand WHY these folks, the "Sister Wives" crew, would be into polygamy, suffer constant jealousies and oppression to women, I have been trying to read and understand the AUB, Mormon, and all that follows. I am completely and utterly disturbed by WHAT I have learned so far. Throughout these pages are documentation of what they believe and why they must be polygamists to reach heaven. Feel free to browse through the past months posts if you haven't.
I was lucky enough to meet so many great people on this journey. Through a new friend of a friend I have "met" Troy Bowles. He was raised in the AUB-and left, and has a vast amount of knowledge and understanding of the religious sect. I think he reminds me of my brothers style of speaking and teaching. He is easy to comprehend and very interesting. Extremely fair-he is simply looking for the truth. You can almost tell he is weighing his words-so diplomatic in his style. We first printed his piece for the Salt Lake Tribune here. http://sisterwivesblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/polygamy-and-religious-liberty.html
Troy was recently on the show, Polygamy, What Love Is This?This is an excellent place to learn about Polygamy. I really encourage you to watch the entire clip; however, if you are only interested in their thoughts on the "Sister Wives" show- start watching about 30 minutes into it. However, if you'd like to learn about this unsettling religion, watch this entire segment, and we will be posting more to discuss together.
Episode 4.35 Doris interviews Troy Bowles, formerly of the AUB fundamentalist group, about his story and the characteristics of modern polygamist groups.
He has graciously allowed us to reprint his recent post to learn from. Let's take a look.
The Basic Problem with Polygamy By: Troy Bowles
If a whole culture is operating under a belief system that mandates polygamy, it's safe to say a few things in general without making irrelevent stereotypes. By itself, marriage doesn't set up a situation for human rights abuses to proliferate. Religiously-mandated polygamy does. First of all, it is always patriarchal. Polyandry exists, but it is extremely rare. In the vast majority of cases, polygamy is polygyny. Also, in almost every case of religiously-mandated polygamy, the people who practice it isolate themselves into societies that are effectively closed to members moving in and out freely. In these societies, polygamy inevitably sets up a situation that throws human rights out of balance.
Women in polygamous societies are under no ordinary pressure to marry. Each of the men are trying to marry at least three wives in order to set up his "future kingdom," which is exaltation to godhood. The men compete intensely and the women are under implicit, but severe orders to provide themselves as means to the exaltation the men are striving to reach. As more men become polygamists, the available women become scarce and the pressures intensify. All Mormon fundamentalist societies show evidence of this imbalance with the problem of excess unmarried men too. Most of them are driven off while they're young, since they are competing with senior priesthood holders for the few available women left. Of course the polygamous men start marrying the women ever younger, since they are the only ones who are "available." Underage girls are under severe pressure and indeed, underage polygamous marriage is rampant in these societies. Excess men are cast off, even though all are commanded to practice polygamy, and women are held hostage since they are a means for the men to reach exaltation. The women are not ends unto themselves as they should be under a human rights conception. In these societies, women are the means by which the men succeed. If their goals don't align with this, it spells trouble for them. They're not allowed to conceive their own goals.
It is the polygamists who are following a religious mandate who are trying to get polygamy legalized. We can't do it for their sake; not with the way it throws things out of balance as soon as men start taking extra wives. But for non-religious polygamy, many would argue that they are not putting anyone's human rights at risk. But we have to consider what we're trying to prohibit and weigh the odds with due concern to the pressure to legalize polygamy in the interest of maximizing people's liberties. But is this "liberty" to practice polygamy such a desirable thing? Since when is polygamy necessary for anyone? One may argue that "marriage" isn't perfectly necessary either, but if everyone just takes one spouse at a time, isn't that a reasonable thing to ask? It's quite reasonable and fair to limit everyone to just one spouse. Gender need not be any kind of deciding factor either. But monogamy is what human rights theory best supports and the risk of legalizing polygamy is too great to outweigh the potential added "liberties" we may receive by doing so. I don't care who sleeps with whom, but if it causes human rights abuses in some way, we can't allow it. That is a public matter.
So put your philosophical hats on and tell us what YOU think~!