Back in January I wrote about polygamist Cody Brown and his family pulling up stakes in Lehi,Utah and moving to the less hostile environs ofNevada(some are now saying that the family ended up inArizona). I happened to catch an episode last night (okay I confess, its a guilty pleasure) and I was struck by the magnitude and impact that the whole move has taken on the family and on my own thoughts and emotions surrounding their persecution.
For the record, I’m not an advocate for polygamy nor do I agree with the whole concept of taking multiple wives, especially in cases where young girls are essentially being forced into marriage as in the ongoing case of Warren Jeffs. And even though I’m not a big fan of Cody Brown, I tend to think that he’s different from your ‘run-of-the-mill’ Fundamentalist LDS member.
Yes there is definitely a double-standard here folks but Brown has been completely open to sharing his beliefs and his family with the world, whereas Jeffs hides behind the walls of a massive Texas compound and his lawyers, openly admitting to the world that the law does not apply to him and child-brides are okay as far as he’s concerned. It’s a case of one guy trying to do the right thing versus another guy doing whatever he wants.
What has really got my head all twisted is the fact that, aside from the fact that he has multiple wives, he seems like a decent guy who is trying to provide for his family. There does not appear to be any abuse (mental or physical) and the entire family seems to be in good health. As an outsider looking in, they seem generally happy, but then again, who knows what goes on behind closed doors? Maybe we don’t want to know.
In any event, I know that plural marriage is against the law, but I have to say that if someone was threatening my family, I would do everything within my power, and within the law to protect them from persecution, incarceration and physical harm.
I can’t believe that I’m advocating for it but I really think that Cody Brown deserves a pass on this one. Yes it’s strange and yes it’s against the law but if he and his family are not a burden to the State they live in, he is able to provide for his family financially, none of his dependents are being subjected to any type of abuse and he is not hurting anyone, why bother the guy?
Yet I’m completely against the practices of other polygamists, particularly the ones whose sects practice forced, arranged marriages, incest and other charges that are often levied against the religions top leaders.
It’s hard to say where this is all going to end up. Brown and his wives took a risk launching the family into the public spotlight. They will never be far from the media’s glare now that everyone knows their faces. I do however, feel a sense of compassion towards the family. I wish them the best. They’re going to need it in the months, possibly the years ahead.