My wife and I have been watching "Big Love" on HBO since it started maybe 5 or 6 weeks ago. No, I don't TYPICALLY get my education from television soap operas (fiction) but I'm assuming that they're trying to keep things somewhat "real." Which got me to thinking yesterday. Polygamy is against the law. Easy enough to understand. Yet they say that there are polygamists in Utah (and I suppose in other states-- anyone marrying more than one person regardless of religion would be considered a polygamist but that's a different path)-- while these men have multiple wives the show depicted them as only having one "first wife." This is the wife that they are legally married to according to the state. This is the one that they have the marriage certificate for. The other wives, presumably, are married to the husband in the eyes of the church and no where else. There is no legal process or document that links the husband and wife. Yet, in the show, other Mormons and government want to crack down on the practice of polygamy. So much so that it's important, again according to the show, for them to keep their mulitple wives a secret. So I got to thinking. I could have babies with five different women on my block. I could be actively engaged with each of them (relationshipwise) in an ongoing fashion. I would have to support my children with them. I'm ALLOWED to do this. It would not be illegal for me to call them all "wife." If the practiced polygamy in this faction of the mormon church (I realize that these folks are by large the minority at this point) isn't even a state sanctioned process how can it be illegal?