Ep 82 – CC Polygamy Pt5 Lindsay Park & MLM
On this episode, we invite returning guest, Lindsay Hansen Park of Sunstone and Year of Polygamy, to discuss some contemporary issues with modern-day polygamy and some of the prominent sects of Fundamentalist Mormonism. What some see as practicing religious freedom, others may consider sexual coercion and grooming from young ages, but the sexual dynamic of polygamy is only one small aspect of the day-to-day lives of these Mormons. After that we have another installment of Mormon Leaks Minute with Ryan McKnight to discuss the Trump posthumous work and the recent Homosexuality Pamphlet leaks.
Mormon Leaks discussed
Music by Jason Comeau http://aloststateofmind.com/
Show Artwork http://weirdmormonshit.com/
Legal Counsel http://patorrez.com/
Lindsay Interview questions/topics:
We’ve spent a bit of time breaking down Mormon polygamy. We’ve discussed various cultures and religions throughout history which have practiced some form of polygamy or polyamory in part 1. Part 2 we went through Joseph Smith’s polygamy and discussed a bit about what the women were experiencing through their own writings, thanks to Todd Compton of course. Then in Part 3 we hit on Mormon polygamy post 1844 all the way up to the Brighamite 1890 manifesto and all the politics surrounding Utah and the federal government with relation to polygamy. Today we’re going to attempt a discussion about 20th-century Mormon polygamy and try to discuss modern iterations. When it comes to the topic of polygamy, I’m still a fledgling child when it comes to knowledge on the subject, so we’re bringing on a returning guest expert who has been studying polygamy for years now to get her take on the subject. Please join me in welcoming Lindsay Park back to the show, thanks for joining us, Lindsay, it’s a pleasure to have you!
I have a few prepared questions to use as jump-off points for our discussion today. But, before we get started, I was wondering if there was anything in particular you’d like to preface the conversation with, maybe something to put us in the right state of mind or help set the stage for our discussion today?
I’ll just briefly add to what you said. I’ve spent the whole time covering polygamy discussing what is, instead of what ought to be. We’ll try to stick with that sentiment for today’s discussion.
Mormonism is a religion which aggrandizes those who hold the priesthood, and it’s subsequently moved and led by men who’ve largely been incredibly misogynistic in their ideology. Most of Mormon history is written by men about men, and women seem to be an addendum to the cause, rather than an integral piece to the Mormon puzzle. Lindsay, you’ve made great efforts in feminizing the field of Mormon studies, or at least highlighting women’s role in Mormon history. Are there any women specifically you’d like to discuss who played a major role in Mormon history?
You’ve done a lot of work with people who practice fundamentalism. You’ve spent a bit of time in Short Creek and other areas known to be fundamentalist strongholds, what’s been your overall impression in associating with these groups of people?
You recently had an incredibly rare opportunity in interviewing members of the FLDS on episodes 120 & 121 of Year of Polygamy. What did you personally take away from those interactions?
I want to dive into a really tough subject when it comes to polygamy and the power dynamic created in polygynist communities, and that’s consent and education. This is where I personally take issue with these groups because Mormonism has created a culture where the accepted societal norm is a male centric power dynamic and women are beholden to their husbands for their own salvation. When a man tells his wife that he needs to take another wife in order to get to the celestial kingdom, it’s her decision that decides whether or not they’re getting into heaven, but there’s this inherent coercive force underlining these interactions. How do we parse out educated and consensual relationship dynamics with the religious aspect so deeply intertwined in their decision-making process?
You’ve been bridging the gap between sects of Mormonism for years now, and I thank you for your ability and drive to do so. A person like myself, and likely the majority of the listeners, would be seen as a heretic, apostate, infidel, etc. What can people like us can do to help these people, especially the disenfranchised women, who find themselves in these situations?
Now for a large and probably unanswerable question: Do you see any logical end to the misogynistic practices of Mormon polygamy anytime in the near future? If so, what does that look like? If not, why and should we even work towards trying to educate people out of fundamentalism?
A bit of an easier question, beyond the Year of Polygamy podcast and all the work being done about the history of polygamy in Mormonism, are there any historians/scholars or people who work with modern-day fundamentalists we could point the listeners towards should they find themselves wanting more information on the subject?
Any final thoughts you’d like to leave us with today?
Great, I’ll leave links to everything you listed in the show notes for easy access. Lindsay, it’s always a pleasure speaking with you, thank you for all the work you do with Year of Polygamy, Color of Heaven, and more importantly, for all your work with Sunstone and bringing Mormons of all stripes together. Thank you for joining us today.
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