‘Sister Wives’: The Brown Family Battles Anti-Polygamists

Uh oh! Things get heated when the Browns participate in an intense debate with former polygamists who have denounced their old lives. The hardest part about the panel is that one of the wives has to face off against an estranged family member. Find out who! In the latest episode of TLC’s Sister Wives, Kody Brown and his wives Meri, 42, Janelle, 44, Christine, 41, and Robyn join a panel discussion in hopes of enlightening others about polygamy. The bad news is, they have to plead their case against a group of passionate anti-polygamists -- including Christine's estranged aunt! Read on for more details!

Sister Wives Debate
Image Credit: Courtesy of TLC

‘Sister Wives’ Debate Anti-Polygamists

Poor Christine doesn’t want to do the panel at all because she is terrified to see her aunt, Kristyn Decker, again after eight years. Her aunt is totally against polygamy and believes there is no such thing as “good polygamy.”

Christine isn’t alone in her concerns — in fact, the Browns are so afraid of walking into an ambush at the panel that they go to meet the University of Nevada, Las Vegas professor who is running it beforehand. He assures them that he is merely curious about what they have to say and points out that while the Browns might not be able to change the minds of their opponents, they can still have an impact on how the general public sees plural marriage by participating in the panel.

In the end, the Browns’ desire to combat the stigmas and stereotypes associated with polygamy wins out and they show up to the panel eager to speak openly about their lives. How brave!

‘Sister Wives’: Christine’s Aunt Speaks Out Against Polygamy

Each of the four people opposing the Browns in the panel discussion are former polygamists who have been harmed by the lifestyle. They are determined to show the world the ugly side of polygamy and reveal that it is not just a “wonderful rosebush in the middle of a meadow,” as the Browns would have America believe.

Even though Kristyn was in a plural marriage for 33 years, she is now so against her former way of life that she believes no one should live as a polygamist — she even went so far as to say that she wants to “kidnap” Christine to save her from the evils of polygamy. That seems a little extreme, but at the same time, we can see that she is just worried about Christine because she loves her. Still, it’s sad that she just can’t seem to accept that Christine has chosen to be with Kody and her sister wives.

When the day of the big debate finally arrives, it seems no one is prepared for the tension and drama between the two groups. The former polygamists get very emotional when they open up about the abuse and heartache they have endured, and they are adamant that all forms of polygamy are very harmful.

But when Christine and her aunt Kristyn face off, they treat each other with surprising empathy and compassion. Kristyn even says she’s happy for Christine, admitting that the Brown family is an “anomaly” among the dysfunctional, abusive polygamist families she has encountered. Christine was really worried about how her aunt would treat her, so this must have been a huge relief for her. It’s great that these two were able to relate to each other despite all of their differences and all of the time that has passed.

Their interaction wasn’t the norm, however, and the Browns were on the defensive throughout the panel — maybe even a little bit too much — but they chalked that up to the lifetime of criticism and judgement they have faced as polygamists.

Kody understands that some people have had terrible experiences with polygamy and he acknowledges that that is a tragedy. Still, he argues, “It’s patently unfair, and unjust, in fact, to say that polygamy is evil because evil’s happened to you in polygamy.”

Kody makes a good point!

The Debate Heats Up

The debate got really heated when the Browns and the anti-polygamists started attacking each other about their beliefs. One of the former polygamists pointed out that while the wives may feel they are “free,” they don’t “have the freedom to sleep with Kody every night because you have to share him.”

This was a rather personal attack, but Meri shot back, “Do you know how liberating it is to not have to sleep with him every night?” — getting a huge laugh from the crowd. Good for her!

Ultimately, these two groups had to agree to disagree. Kody reflects that it’s sad that they couldn’t see eye to eye or at least come to an agreement about how they could make a difference in the polygamist community. Despite the negativity they encountered at the debate, we still think it’s great that the Browns stood up for what they believe in and encouraged people to open their minds to different ways of life.

What do you think of how the Browns handled the debate, HollywoodLifers? How would you have reacted differently? Of course, you’re probably not a polygamist, but would YOU get defensive if someone attacked your way of life?

WATCH: ‘Sister Wives’: Kody Brown Turns 45

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More ‘Sister Wives’ On HollywoodLife.com:

  1. TLC Renews ‘Sister Wives’ For Fourth Season
  2. ‘Sister Wives’ Recap: Kody & Meri Fight About Having Another Baby
  3. ‘Sister Wives’: Kody Brown’s Family Refused Entry At Mormon Museum

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