Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Big love small

Cum Grano Salis has blogged on a programme about polygamy called 'Big Love' in which it is plain there is very little love to be had at all. I think the programme may come to the UK (not that it will be seen in my house) and I dare say will be very popular in our bizarrely voyeuristic society.
Years ago I watched a programme about somewhere in Africa. I remember a man who was followed by the interviewer. He had three wives and was in the process of obtaining a fourth, a girl of about 16. The three older wives were bitter and angry, but powerless to prevent yet another 'wife' being brought into the equation. They had never met her and were to be expected to welcome her into their home. Fat chance of that!
The man himself, while stubbenly determined to take on this young girl (he was in his forties I think) was obviously hen pecked and miserable already.

I spent a year in a college where most of my fellow students were African and I learned a great deal about how the Christian communities are challenged by the problem of polygamy.
An Anglican bishop told me how difficult it was for him to break the cycle of polygamy and help woman maintain their rights as wives and mothers.
He had only just finished dealing with a difficult case of a woman who had four children and was widowed. She was under huge pressure to become the second wife to her brother-in-law who had an obligation to marry her and take her in with her four children. When she refused on the grounds of her brother-in-law being already married, her family threw her out of her own home and took her children away.
A lot of work went in to ensuring this mother got a home and her children, while maintaining her dignity as a human being.

One of the women on the course was herself a child of a polygamous marriage. There did not seem mcuh happiness to go around.

Now I have far more respect for polygamy in African countries because it is a way of taking care of women and children within families; brother's are obliged to marry the widow of their brother, as in ancient Jewish times. But I have seen no evidence that it works well.
The hedenistic polygamy in Western culture is just sick.


John Kearney said...

Hey, thanks for visiting my blog. I always like to return calls. Polygamy of course sends the message that females are inferior to males and can be herded like cattle, it is almost a form of slavery. Even in China the richer menh can take two wives. I know one Chinese girl who fled from Bejing when her husband decided he wanted another woman. She and her baby are now settled in the UK but almost in hiding. It was Christ who got rid of the Jewish polygamy by raaising marriage to the level of a Sacrament where two people become one flesh and learn what true love means. Although moslems are allowed more than one wife it is interesting that the vast majority of moslem men find one wife quite enough. Perhpas it is a case that one mother-in-law is enough.

White Stone Name Seeker said...

Thank you and I love your blog.
I agree with you about the polygamy.
It is interesting that God chose to give us the Messiah through the line of Judah-Leah's son and not Joseph or Benjimen or the sons of the two concubines of Jacob-Israel.
Even that seems to me a signal of God's view of Marriage.