The TLC show Sister Wives

I will admit, I am probably a couple years late asking this. I don’t have cable, and Sister Wives showed up on Netflix today. I watched the first show with fascination.

I am thankful Catholic teaching prohibits polygamy for us, but the fundamentalist Mormon family in the show went out of their way to demonstrate their appreciation for the polygamist lifestyle.

They seem happy and well-adjusted. Their faith seemed strong. Their love seemed real and generous. Although I would never want this for myself, or for any non-Mormon, I don’t see how it could be a moral problem for fundamentalist Mormons. There is biblical precedent with the OT patriarchs. Is their polygamous lifestyle immoral?

One amusing thing I noted was that the husband of all these wives is always running around, doing his best to keep his wives happy and provide for his family. When does the poor man get to sleep? :stuck_out_tongue:

Its enough for me to handle one woman…:cool:


Lets see what the Church teaches:

**Other offenses against the dignity of marriage 2387 The predicament of a man who, desiring to convert to the Gospel, is obliged to repudiate one or more wives with whom he has shared years of conjugal life, is understandable. However *polygamy ***is not in accord with the moral law." [Conjugal] communion is radically contradicted by polygamy; this, in fact, directly negates the plan of God which was revealed from the beginning, because it is contrary to the equal personal dignity of men and women who in matrimony give themselves with a love that is total and therefore unique and exclusive."180 The Christian who has previously lived in polygamy has a grave duty in justice to honor the obligations contracted in regard to his former wives and his children.

**The unity and indissolubility of marriage **
**1644 The love of the spouses requires, of its very nature, the unity and indissolubility of the spouses’ community of persons, which embraces their entire life: "so they are no longer two, but one flesh."153 They "are called to grow continually in their communion through day-to-day fidelity to their marriage promise of total mutual self-giving."154 This human communion is confirmed, purified, and completed by communion in Jesus Christ, given through the sacrament of Matrimony. It is deepened by lives of the common faith and by the Eucharist received together. 1645 "The unity of marriage, distinctly recognized by our Lord, is made clear in the equal personal dignity which must be accorded to man and wife in mutual and unreserved affection."155 *Polygamy ***is contrary to conjugal love which is undivided and exclusive.156


1609 In his mercy God has not forsaken sinful man. The punishments consequent upon sin, “pain in childbearing” and toil "in the sweat of your brow,"100 also embody remedies that limit the damaging effects of sin. After the fall, marriage helps to overcome self-absorption, egoism, pursuit of one’s own pleasure, and to open oneself to the other, to mutual aid and to self-giving.


**1610 Moral conscience concerning the unity and indissolubility of marriage developed under the pedagogy of the old law. In the Old Testament the polygamy of patriarchs and kings is not yet explicitly rejected. Nevertheless, the law given to Moses aims at protecting the wife from arbitrary domination by the husband, even though according to the Lord’s words it still carries traces of man’s “hardness of heart” which was the reason Moses permitted men to divorce their wives.101 1611 Seeing God’s covenant with Israel in the image of exclusive and faithful married love, the prophets prepared the Chosen People’s conscience for a deepened understanding of the unity and indissolubility of marriage.102 The books of *Ruth ***and *Tobit *bear moving witness to an elevated sense of marriage and to the fidelity and tenderness of spouses. Tradition has always seen in the Song of Solomon a unique expression of human love, insofar as it is a reflection of God’s love - a love “strong as death” that "many waters cannot quench."103

Does the Catholic church teach that fornication is forbidden “for us” but okay of others? How about the prohibition on adultery, or abortion are those prohibitions just “for us”? Of course their polygamous lifestyle is immoral.

Bigamy is also illegal in Utah. The show was headed for juicy tabloid fare when the Utah AG began proceedings to prosecute Kody for bigamy. They moved to Las Vegas to avoid prosecution and counter-sued that not being allowed to marry as many times as you like is unconstitutional. Violating their rights to freedom and equality, ala, the same arguments given for gay marriage. Just more of the U.S. viewing marriage as being between one man and one woman, as just one choice among many.

You do realize there was a reason for certain OT Patriarchs to have multiple wives, right?
e.g Jacob worked (I believe it was) 7 years before he earned the right to marry Rachel…which his father in law switched with Leah…forcing him to work another 7 years to marry Rachel.

This show promotes something that is against the law, and against GOD’s LAW. I can’t even recall the last time TLC actually stood for “The LEARNING channel”…its now basically “the Reality show Channel”

While all these shows focus on the fudie mormons, there is also a similar movement among christians.
I’m curious how pervasive and if they ascribe to a particular denomination.
A few links from the top of google search

Dating site Looking For Partners.Real Christian Polygamy****Polygamists

This type of lifestyle would never work for me. I’m not sharing my husband with anyone else. My ex-husband can attest to this. :smiley:

I’ve never watched the show. Do they just show the wives getting along and all loving or do they show the jealousy that has to manifest on occasion?

I think this show and others like it (e.g., Big Love) is part of a well thought-out plan to get Americans accustomed to and comfortable with polygamy, with the deliberate goal of making it legal and socially-acceptable and eventually celebrated by society.

This is how gay marriage has gotten where it is today. Quite a few years ago, the television show Will and Grace presented a homosexual man who was handsome, successful, and nice, not strange or “effeminate” at all. At first, there were protests, especially from Christians, but as time went by, Will became even more loveable and the show’s ratings soared. Everyone loved this show (except me, and I felt like a fundamentalist fanatic denouncing sweet Will and Grace).

The shows kept coming, and each show went just a little further in presenting homosexuals as perfectly normal.

Now we see shows in primetime on network television that present gay couples who are just like straight couples, and it is accepted that this is a perfectly normal lifestyle, not shocking or “wrong” in the least, and the only people who object to it are often presented as the fanatical, nutcase antagonists in the show.

And not only have we learned to accept homosexuality on television and movies, but in real life as well. Look at our society in the U.S.–at my workplace, we can actually be fired with no warning for perceived bigotry against homosexuals. We are expected to “celebrate” their lifestyle. The hospital was actually the key sponsor of the local Pridefest. With all the worthwhile causes and charities that need money in our city, they decided to go with Pridefest–disgusting. But I could get fired for objecting to the expenditure, because it could be perceived as bigotry against homosexuals.

So just watch–we’ll see more and more shows with polygamous marriages, and these marriages will no longer look shocking, but will look more and more normal and in fact, kind of sweet and appealing.

Eventually, the activitists in the polygamous communities will take steps to make polygamy legal, and by then, everyone in the U.S. will be so comfortable with polygamy (as presented on television, which we KNOW always tells the truth! :D), that the citizens will rally behind the polygamy activitists and support all the legislation to legalize polygamous marriages, and condemn all those who object as right-wing religious extremists and bigots.


And after the plan works and polygamy is legal, what will be the next sinful thing to have a “plan” for normalization? Man-boy marriage? Bestiality and marriage between humans and animals? Marriage between siblings? Marriage to self?

Ay yi yi.

Just so it is clear, I am in no way promoting this. I really wanted to know if it is immoral. The catechism quotes really helped a lot. Thanks for that. I also appreciate that most posters didn’t get rude about my inquiring. I genuinely wanted to know. I am a newer convert, so I can’t always think up the reasons why something is right or not very quickly. But I am learning…:blush:

Mormons do not care what the Catholic Church teaches. Obviously, Catholics do, hence “for us”. Because we respect the authority of the Church to teach us on faith and morals.

We are all learning. There’s no reason to be rude to you for asking a question.

I’m of the opinion that the minute he became interested in the woman who became wife #2 he committed adultery. The same is true of the others that came along. They can try to normalize it all they want, but it’s still adultery.

Totally agree. Forsaking all others, right?

Yes, on the show they show the wives being loving and friends. But they also show them and the husband crying and working through the natural issues of jealousy and rivalry. I have only seen a few episodes, though. Who knows what happens later?:o

Why do you think polygamy may be moral for fundamentalist LDS people? Is morality dependent on what individuals or groups believe? Is Catholic “morality” only for Catholics and everyone else can have their own understanding of what is and isn’t moral?

Polygamy is just a way for a wayward male to have sex with as many women as he wishes.

Some of his wives work outside the home I believe in order to help support the group.

In other parts of the country, polygamous families are on welfare. So we pay for their lifestyle and children from their multiple marriages. Which aren’t legal anyway.

The fundamental type polygamists in Ut and AZ know how to play the system. They insist they’re marriages are valid in the eyes of their God but then will feign being single mothers in order to get welfare benefits.

When they build a new home, they don’t finish the outside. You’ll see this as homes where the wood structure hasn’t been covered with brick or siding. They do this so they don’t have to pay taxes on the structure, as taxes are only charged on completed structures.

The list of tax evasion and fraud among the UT/AZ fundamentalist groups is long, but UT and AZ are both finally doing something about it.

On the flip side, when a relationship doesn’t work out, there was not a legal marriage and so the rights to shared property has no effect. There was one woman in this situation living behind us many years ago. She had 9 children, and when the polyg father abandoned them, she had nothing and could claim nothing. I’ve read news articles where women in Islam plural marriages, in the U.S., are faced with the same issues.

Their lifestyle is gravely immoral whether they are or appear to be happy or not. Any one of those women deserves the full love and attention of one man. God commands it.

I appreciate your perspective–and perhaps I can give you mine as a Mormon. I do believe it is immoral for a couple of reasons. The primary reason is what defines the difference between marriage, fornication and adultery–and that’s one of the primary reasons the LDS Church (and I believe the Catholic Church) have expended such efforts in stopping gay marriage from being sanctioned by the government. “Husband” and “wife” are legal, gender specific terms. Anciently, God allowed for men to have more than one wife. Abraham did not commit adultery with Hagar because she was his wife. On the other hand, David did commit adultery with Bathsheba because she was not his wife.

Christians are obligated to obey the law of the land as well as the law of God. (Romans 13:4-6). In the 1800’s, when Mormons sought to establish polygamy, they met with strong opposition from the government. Mormons challenged the laws, the challenges went to the Supreme Court and when the Court ruled against the practice Mormons acquiesced and dropped polygamy as a practice. Thirty years later, people calling themselves “fundamentalists” rejected that concept and tried to continue to practice polygamy. They were and are ejected from the Church on the basis that they are not practicing polygamy, but rather adultery.

In societies where polygamy is legal, (Egypt, Iran, Iraq) Mormons wouldn’t consider a polygamist Moslem an adulterer; because his polygamy is authorized both by his religion and his government, but they would consider a confessing polygamist Catholic or Mormon an adulterer; because canon law throughout Christianity forbids polygamy. In areas where Mormons proselytize, polygamists aren’t allowed to be baptized as Mormons.

So, while fundamentalist polygamists often claim to be “real” Mormons, their unwillingness to obey secular law, and their religious anarchy against canon law makes their actions immoral–because their plural marriages aren’t recognized by society as anything more than shacking up.

Does that help?


Polygamy is immoral and wrong. don’t be fooled by the fact that they seem happy. that’s when the cameras are rolling. if you read the biblical accounts in Genesis, there is always
multitude of problems between the wives and their children. This show was done to get the public to think is it just another choice after same sex marriage. That will be the next push. Reality show are not reality.

The Church is the Bride, Jesus is the Bridegroom. He never married a woman, contrary to lds theology - utterly impossible. That would turn him into a sinning adulterer, untenable, unthinkable, absurd to the nth degree. He would not, could NEVER get off track from His Divine Mission; Sects dropped Jesus down from God status & implied He had passions like us :blush:

Besides what is next? Marriage between multiple women, men; humans & dogs, whaaaattttt???

They have no “right”.

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