Sometime last year, my wife and I were intrigued by the title and content of an upcoming reality show on TLC called “Sister Wives.” We set our DVR to record the series, so as not to miss a single episode and we faithfully watched each week. They must have experienced some level of rating success because the first half of season two aired earlier this year, as my wife and I dutifully tuned in to every episode once again. The second half of season two is slated to air in September.
The premise of the unscripted show is to allow viewers a peek into the day to day lifestyle of a real and practicing polygamist family living in Lehi, Utah. Kody Brown is the lucky or unlucky, depending on your point of view, husband of four wives and the father of 16 children… which causes me to be entrenched deeply within the “he is unlucky” crowd.
Despite the obvious legal risk, the Brown Family moved forward with the show in an effort to bring more awareness to polygamist families as well as to combat societal prejudices. The first half of season two ended with the families abruptly moving to the Las Vegas area in an attempt to distance themselves from the local authorities making good on a promise to fully investigate the legality of their arrangement.
This week, we learn that Kody Brown and family are going on the offensive in their fight with the Utah authorities. The family has retained constitutional lawyer, Jonathan Turley to represent them in this legal squabble.
Quoting from a July 12, 2011 story in the New York Post: “This lawsuit . . . seeks the reaffirmation of their privacy,” Turley told The Post yesterday. “The Browns are asking for nothing more than for rights that are extended to other families in living their private lives according to their own values and faith.”
Unlike the gay rights movement which seeks legalization of same sex marriages, the Browns seek simply to be left alone in the practice of their lifestyle choice.
Their fight sounds simple… almost noble. But hidden in the likable cast members and the favorable show edits, lies yet another attack on the traditional family unit that has been the cornerstone of the civilized world since the beginning of time. Watching the show, you almost get sucked into a position of sympathy for their struggle and I was forced to remind myself to respond based on what I know versus on what I feel.
My concern doesn’t lie in the fear that a large sector of society will be clamoring to become polygamists. My concern is that we now have yet another, publicly accepted “family unit” that is outside the bounds of tradition as well as a violation of scriptural principle. Since the dawn of mankind, the sacred bond of marriage has been correctly defined as a union between one woman and one man. Whether we realize it or not, we who believe in this tradition, find ourselves in an all out war for the sanctity of traditional and biblical marriage.
There is no neutrality in this war, no Switzerland here, no conscientious objectors; you are either for traditional marriage, or you stand with those who want to change the moral guidelines and spiritual markers that have guided civilized behavior since the time of Moses. It’s that simple.