It is tough to deal with being a member of a church which had polygamous founders. It’s not easy to look back through your religious history to the key figures, some of the ones on which the entire system rests, and note their ugly warts. Why did they choose to take more than one wife? Why did they even embrace polyandry, the taking of other men’s wives? Were these men sex addicts, deviants, or worse? How can a modern member deal with such a blatantly misogynistic practice? Not to mention the lying about wives. Is there any place in today’s society for a church based on such a barbaric law? It’s a tough question.
Yes, I just don’t know how the members of the Jewish faith — and its little offshoot, Christianity — can go to sleep at night, knowing what they do about Abraham’s polygamy.
The facts are ugly. First, there is Abraham’s polygamy — no doubt about that one, is there? Then, there is his (probably related) cruel treatment of at least one wife. And there are related questions that immediately spring to mind. How old was Hagar when he married her, anyway? Was Abraham’s polygamy related to his openly granting permission for his own wife to flirt with another man? The ugly specter of polyandry raises its head. And lying about his own marital status, as well! (Perhaps to better flirt with the cute Egyptian servant girls?) This is just so much to have to deal with.
I guess there are many ways that we can try to deal with Abraham’s polygamy.
Perhaps we can blame it on the culture of the time. Things were different then, we can say. (But if things were so different then, is it really right to believe on this fellow as a prophet? Good question).
Second, we can question the validity of the history. Did anyone actually _see_ Abraham marry more than one woman? Where’s the marriage certificate, anyway? I’m not believing a thing until you show me a piece of paper, buddy.
Similarly, maybe we can say “This is all probably just a misunderstanding. It’s been sensationalized by anti-Abrahamites. You know, I’ll bet if you actually asked Abraham how it went down, he would have a lot of corrections to make to the historical record.”
Third, perhaps we can say “Well, Abraham was surely inspired, even if his practice of polygamy wasn’t.” (Of course, that approach does raise its own questions — just how much can we really believe in a prophet who adopts such an uninspired practice?)
Fourth, we can quibble about details. What does “marry” mean, anyway? Did Abraham actually have sex with anyone except Sarah? Can you prove it? Maybe these were all _symbolic_ marriages.
Fifth, we can “put it on the shelf.” “I don’t know why Abraham was polygamous, but I’m at peace with it.”
Last, and most fun, we can give in to the criticism. Why deny the reality of the historical record? It’s clear as day — Abraham was a sex addict who used his wealth and position of religious influence to sleep with as many cute 14-year-old Egyptian and Chaldean girls as he could, all the while so disrespecting his own wife that he didn’t bat an eyelash when Pharaoh was making a pass at her.
And since Abraham was clearly a sex addict and deviant, there is only one logical conclusion. Abraham _cannot_ have been a valid prophet, and the religion he founded _cannot_ be true. His “scriptures”? Fabrications, likely. Take a look at those self-aggrandizing “sands of the sea” statements in them, anyway. The guy’s a fraud, and the solution is to drop his little “church” like a bad habit. (And of course take note as well that Abraham’s religion also cannot be a religion of which any woman should ever want to be a member, since it was founded on an anti-feminist polygamous base).
I mean, come on. Yes, it’s a little drastic, but so is polygamy, buddy. And be honest — is there any other way to deal with this?
So here’s your assignment for today. Talk to someone from either a Jewish or Christian background. Tell them about the shocking, hidden details of their founder’s polygamy. Demand an explanation. Don’t take no for an answer. Ask how they can _possibly_ believe their church to be inspired when its early prophet was clearly nothing more than a sex addict. And with any luck (and persistence), you just may be able to convince someone. The facts are clear: Abraham’s failings are so great that the only option is to renounce any reliance on such an obvious con man, his “scriptures,” the church he founded, or any of its offshoots (including the “Christianity” variant).