Monday, June 06, 2011

Polygamists and The Duggars

I am a sucker for "reality" TV that features lifestyles and cultures different than my own. Perhaps I was meant to be an anthropologist or a sociologist or something. I love to watch "Hoarders" and "Intervention" because I'm fascinated by what makes people tick. Why do they do things that seem so obvious to the rest of us? Just clean up the house. Just quit drinking. Not so simple.

Lately, I have been wrapped up in "Sister Wives". Yeah, we all joke about the desire for another "wife" to share the cooking and the cleaning and all that but these folks actually do it. Kody Brown and his four wives open up their lives and are pretty dang honest about it. I find myself admiring them and that puts me in a pickle. As a good "conservative evangelical" I am supposed to be championing the "traditional" marriage as ONE MAN + ONE WOMAN. It should be a solid plank in the platform.

Cue the squealing brakes sound effect. I'm not so sure. Isn't the very cornerstone of conservatism the idea that government should keep it's nose out of the private lives of its citizens? Isn't religious freedom something this country was built on? Whether *I* agree with someone's choices is immaterial.

The Brown family practices what has been called extreme version of the Mormon religion. Here's where things get dicey for me. Let's bring in another family that practices an "extreme" form of their religion. The Duggar family. While I don't personally embrace some of the choices that that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar make for their family, it is easier to gloss over that because we agree on the basics. It gets trickier with the Brown family. I won't get into a dissection of the Fundamentalist Mormon faith but suffice it to say that it is quite different from main stream Christianity. But I do believe that the constitution protects our freedom to worship as we see fit. I have heard the whole slippery slope argument and I just don't agree. I think it's a pretty far jump from the government staying out of people's marriage choices to people marrying farm animals. Now I'm also landing myself in another territory I was not prepared to be located. Gay marriage. Hmmm. Yep, guess I'm coming outta the closet so to speak. I am not against gay marriage. I do believe that there is a difference between personal moral and religious beliefs and what should be the law of the land.

So you think I'll get kicked out of the party now?


Mommy Brain said...

Maybe you are becoming a libertarian in your old age...good bye elephant...

I find myself struggling with the same things you brought up. I'm fascinated by these people, all of them. I think it's because I grew up and still live in such a "sheltered" community. Even if my neighbors don't attend my church, they are still mostly two parent, heterosexual couples with common mid-western values.

It's much easier for Doug to move away from our conservative reformed values, I think, because he is confronted daily with people who have different values in his practice all day long. It doesn't phase him to meet someone with a different life style anymore.

Politically, I can agree with gay marriage or polygamy, religiously, it's more difficult and not as cut and dry. But that's my issue, right?

My bind comes with "tell the world about Jesus" and "you have practice your Christianity my way." Can we tell the world that Jesus lives and still be inclusive with people different than us? I know the answer is yes but the practice is much more difficult.

Kim said...

I think it is always interesting to see how others live...might be part of why we all love Facebook so much. I am a big believer in Live and Let Live...although I wonder if my thoughts will change as my kids get older and they are exposed to more - I hope not. I think this is why I like your politics Jen - you are somewhat of a liberal conservative and I am somewhat of a conservative liberal!