The way thing are going, the Church might as well okay polygamy

Polygamy wives: Musa Mseleku and his wives (left to right) Mbali MaNgwabe, Thobile MaKhumalo, Nokukhanya MaYeni and first wife Busisiwe MaCele. Picture: Supplied.

Polygamy wives: Musa Mseleku and his wives (left to right) Mbali MaNgwabe, Thobile MaKhumalo, Nokukhanya MaYeni and first wife Busisiwe MaCele. Picture: Supplied.

Published Mar 16, 2023


So, the Anglican Church in Southern Africa has developed certain ethics aimed at accommodating more and more homosexual partners.

I also hear that the Pope of the Catholic Church has begun to warm up to homosexuality as opposed to previous stances from the papacy. Then Steven Hofmeyr apologised to the gay and lesbian community for past comments. I suppose all these things deserve applause in a democratic context.

After all, we signed up for this in our haste to create a utopian society in 1994. However, there must be a balance. If the Christian churches are ready to embrace homosexuality and culture and promote these practices as part of the pastoral response to context, then all the churches must begin with polygamy.

Or are they waiting for approval from the Vatican and prestigious Western institutions and social scientists?

Even though polygamy is not a norm in the West, and to the superior authors in the USA and Europe on what it means to be genuinely democratic, polygamy is very much part of African societies.

In addition to that, polygamy is part of European history, if not all of humanity.

And unlike homosexuality, polygamy is clearly mentioned in the Bible, in both the New and Old Testaments, as even the Lord of Christians also identified Himself with a polygamist called King David. Abraham, too, was a polygamist. Not only that, but the Lord Jesus also somewhat hinted about future polygamy when He expressed that a man who leaves his wife for the Kingdom of God will have many more in times to come.

Few would disagree with the insinuation that the theological concept of a bride and groom in reference to the Church and the Lord is polygamous in nature. Sadly, many women are deeply hurt by polygamy, and it is difficult for me to ignore the reflection of this state in women.

But if the Church and State can promote and idolise same-sex relations through systematic theologies, despite the hermeneutical schisms in this justification, I see no valid reason why it should not do the same for polygamy.

My reasons are not because the concerns and experiences of women in polygamous situations are invalid, but my reasons are solely based on the existence of polygamy in the Bible and human history, including the fact that there are more men than women as well as a theological response to our democratic contexts.

If God made a mistake by creating more women than men, then we do not need a rebukable deity who can be corrected by human desires. I do think that polygamy can benefit modern and independent women, whether they are black, white, Chinese or Indian, since a single husband, shared between powerful and strong women, would mean more time for independence and growth as well as no more GBV.

Besides, monogamy has not produced faithful societies, and many men are cheating. It is inevitable that if each man marries a woman, then many women will be unmarried and lonely for the rest of their lives which can encourage promiscuity in both men and women and children raised without their fathers. Since the churches are warming up to queer-dom relations, they may as well also warm up to polygamy as a matter of principle.

Khotso K.D Moleko

Mangaung, Bloemfontein