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Positive Press? - 2/14/2007 9:57:41 AM   

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Watched the Primetime piece on Centennial Park last night. It describes an idyllic Mormon community in Arizona. Religion based, it presents a positive look at polygamy. A quite different view, compared to nearby Colorado City, only 2 miles away. The husband of the family interviewed comes from a large family himself. His father had 16 wives and 75 children. At present he has 2 wives, 9 children, and 1 on the way.
The church and community work closely together. Lavish homes, constructed free in some cases, with volunteer workers from the community. Women who are content and happy to share their husbands with their sister wives. Men who support and raise huge families, happily and lovingly.
I do have my questions, but of course these are things that reflect the religious aspects of their lives. The church controls all relationships. No dating, and marriages are prearranged. A woman can express, to her father, her desire to join with a man, but the parents and church determine suitability and arrange the match. The man may not even know of her interest, yet is expected to happily accept her as his wife. The same situation can occur for the woman involved, as well. Women in pants are considered defiant of authority. They believe blacks are descendants of Canaan and are cursed. There are other questionable beliefs, but not discussed. Their religion is firm in its beliefs and no one in the community questions those beliefs in any way.
As Mormons, they do not recognize polyandry. So multiple wives only. It is a faith based marriage, not sexually based, though it is definitely part of their marriage. The family interviewed was very open about the difficulties, lack of desire to jealousy. But seem to deal with it in a positive way. The women have become more vocal and have entered the political arena. Working to reverse laws against polygamy.
I think that in some ways, this was a positive look at poly. But again, with the religion based community, it shows the narrowness that can occur as well. I do hope that they are successful in their pursuits in changing the laws against multiple married partners. I also hope that America can look past the religious aspects and see the joy that is in a poly family. The support and love between all partners.

< Message edited by MistressYlwa -- 2/14/2007 10:08:25 AM >


Mistress Ylwa

You see what power is - holding someone elses fear in your hand and showing it to them! - Amy Tan
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RE: Positive Press? - 2/14/2007 1:28:52 PM   

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I believe that like any relationship that there will be happy and unhappy ones. 
I have a few Mormon friends and their religion and practices are very interesting to me, as all religions are.  Even if a woman did disagree she had dare not speak of it for fear of retribution from their tightly knit community.  Being a community that is removed from the outside world it almost seems the behavior of an abuser.  The woman is not given a choice about being the only wife either.  So she is raised to accept this as her fate.  Many women have escaped the community and would never return to it.   
The Muslim also believe in multiple wives so that they may be fruitful and multiply.  If the husband is killed in war (as many likely are) the wives go to the brothers and are cared for there. 
In some ways there is some amazing beauty in this religion.  But like all religions each falls short.
I guess it all depends on one's perspective.

The Guiding Goddess

(in reply to MistressYlwa)
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RE: Positive Press? - 2/14/2007 2:28:32 PM   

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FIRST ...these families while they call themselves Mormon are NOT recognized by the Mormon Church. The Church of Latter Day Saints is NOT Poly!

Second the LDS church does not believe that blacks are inferior in any way.

Third the LDS women are VERY outspoken. They wear pants and they do not have arranged marriages. Most of them are the power behind the thrown. While the final say is often said by the man...most of the real decisions are made by the woman and they tell the man what to say.  

Calling these people Mormon is a joke…to the LDS Church they are as Mormon as the local Catholic nun.  

My husband's family is Mormon and we even attended church with them for the better part of two years before we decided it's not for us...

Ms Taboo

< Message edited by MistressTaboo -- 2/14/2007 2:29:46 PM >


"I'm a bitch, I'm a lover, I'm a child, I'm a mother, I'm a sinner, I'm a saint, I do not feel ashamed" Meredith Brooks

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RE: Positive Press? - 2/14/2007 7:44:05 PM   

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In point of fact, while the Mormon church has edited the book of mormon so it is no longer discriminatory towards blacks, I have read an original copy of the book and it did indeed declare, not only that they were cursed, but that this was reason for their skin color.  One could decide that it was poetic or metaphoric or whatnot, but it is still what the text said.  Modern books of Mormon do not include this passage.  I wish I had a copy of the book so I could point out chapter and verse, but alas it was a library copy at a mormon church I was visiting on a choir tour many years ago.  I was amazed and rather horrified when I read it.

And the church may not recognize this group, but that doesn't mean that they are not essentially a denomination of the same faith base.  (like the split between the Lutherans and the Catholics did not make either one non-Christian, just different branches)  I am sort of amused that they could follow the book of Mormon and not be Mormon.  I get that the church doesn't recognize them, but what should they call themselves?

In your experience the women of the mormon church are outspoken, wear pants and don't engage in arranged marriages, but in some parts of the country that isn't the case.  My cousins are Mormon and while the women do wear pants and entered a marriage of their choice, they are incredibly meek, soft-spoken women who do what they husbands say.  However, I am less likely to attribute either outspokenness or shyness to the religion and more to personality.  It is part of the religion in my understanding, however that a woman cannot get into the highest level of heaven without being called by a man.  If she is unmarried, her father can do this.  I could be wrong, although it was a Mormon who told me that.

I just wanted to add a few things from my experience.  Yours may be entirely different.

(in reply to MistressTaboo)
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RE: Positive Press? - 2/19/2007 7:38:46 AM   

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I've attended the Mormon church in both California and Texas. The California women are more out spoken as a rule. But then most Californian's are more liberal than the Texans.

Just because they call themselves Mormon doesn't make them Mormons. I can call myself a Catholic but if I go against the rules of the Catholic Church and the Catholic church doesn't recognize my little sect doesn't make me Catholic. If it doesn't have feathers, doesn't quack and doesn't aint a duck no matter what you call it! When the Lutherans’ split off from the Catholics they called themselves something else to differentiate themselves from the Catholics.

The  Mormon church did originally say that blacks were inferior. But so did most of the nation. Remember segregation and Jim Crow laws?   The rest of the nation evolved and so did they.

  Actually neither a man nor a woman can evolve into the highest kingdom without being married and sealed in the church. Kind of one completes the other.  If you die before being married your family can marry you in the afterlife and seal you and help you to the greater kingdoms.  You can even baptize your ancestors, which is why most people in the Mormon church are so into genealogy.


"I'm a bitch, I'm a lover, I'm a child, I'm a mother, I'm a sinner, I'm a saint, I do not feel ashamed" Meredith Brooks

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RE: Positive Press? - 2/19/2007 5:47:32 PM   

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I never view religious angles on poly as being positive.  Maybe it's my somewhat agnostic/atheistic view, but the fact that you can read the bible and see it put forward polygamy and monogamy as the preferred methods means that it's a reference that very... unstable.

I'd prefer they stop putting forward heavily religious people who use religion as their justification of their lifestyle, at least as it pertains to poly.  I feel like it lumps me in with religious wackos (nothing personal if you're a religious wacko... ;) ) and I'd rather not be grouped in with them.

(in reply to MistressTaboo)
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