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.