The New York Times on “Together Forever”

Did you guys catch this Sunday’s The New York Times?

You have to pay five bucks.  But within Sunday’s paper (March 22,2009) is the magazine. 

On page 19, Virginia Heffernan’s article begins, “Together Forever: ‘Big Love,’ HBO’s drama about polygamy, explores the American unease with mandatory unity.”

She writes,

Yet in spite of its seeming celebration of diverse family arrangements, the show bristles with so much submerged pain that nearly every character seems marked for spiritual death, the way characters on “The Sopranos” used to be marked for actual death.  The wives’ endurance is wearing thin.  They have lost their capacity to contort themselves for Bill’s orthodoxy.  They can no longer be one, when they are so decisively three.  and you don’t have to object to polygamy on principle, anymore, to see that it’s strangling the women of “Big Love” — even as, maddeningly, it seems to meet their needs. (20)

This sounds like the description of polygamous wives in the Bible.  But God shows how screwed up families can be . . . all the way back to the first family of Israel.


  1. I can’t recall the Bible ever portraying a family in detail – monogamous OR polygamous – that wasn’t seriously screwed up.

  2. It is certainly not a textbook for family moralism and human heroes. 🙂

    God is the only real Hero of the 66 books in the canon – redemptive grace from the beginning to the end.

    But I would also say this, Seth: human polygamy is never portrayed as part of the gospel in the Bible.

  3. Neither is monogamy per se.

    Unless you simply assume that all references to “marriage” in the bible must mean monogamy by default.

    But you have to imply that.

  4. I would agree Seth. Singles don’t need spouses for total gospel fulfillment in Christ.

  5. Contra to The New York Times, there is one union that is of utmost importance . . . Union with Christ.

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