Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Reflections on Impact of July 2009 Newsweek Polyamory Article on Opposition

The July 29, 2009 Newsweek article on polyamory got a lot of attention, including that of many defenders of traditional marriage. As one might imagine, they were none too pleased. It went quite viral and was blogged about and reported on far and wide both by those who are neutral on the subject and by those who are anything but. The article includes this anemic quote from Glenn Stanton, the director of family studies for Focus on the Family:

"This group is really rising up from the underground, emboldened by the success of the gay-marriage movement."

In some instances it has been rather entertaining to witness reactions from staunch defenders of traditional marriage. The Reverend Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said about the article:

"Perhaps the best way to understand this new movement is to understand it as a natural consequence of subverting marriage. We have largely normalized adultery, serialized marriage, separated marriage from reproduction and childbearing, and accepted divorce as a mechanism for liberation. Once this happens, boundary after boundary falls as sexual regulation virtually disappears among those defined as 'consenting adults.'

The ultimate sign of our moral confusion becomes evident when virtually no one appears ready to condemn polyamory as immoral. The only arguments mustered against this new movement focus on matters of practicality. Polyamory is certainly not new, but this new movement is yet another reminder that virtually all the fences are now down when it comes to sex and sexual relationships. What comes next?"

What comes next?  Hopefully freedom from societal condemnation and being fairly treated on the job and by family courts and child services agencies!

The best other spokespeople from the opposition could do to discredit poly families was to refer to studies commissioned by and conducted by advocates for traditional families and marriage (about same sex marriage, not polyamory, the 2004 Heritage Foundation Study) as flimsy proof that what we do is harmful for children.  It's as though their only hope for taking the wind out of our sails is to hope that poly relationships aren't stable enough to offer a stable home environment for children, a sardonic approach if there ever was one. 

The article did manage to strike a nerve in commenter Baring-G, when the entire article appeared on the conservative Christian website Virtue Online:

"Please pardon me as I run to the bathroom to throw up! If Polyamory is where our Western Society is heading (and logic dictates that it is),then our society is collapsing. LORD HAVE MERCY! Lord, bring us a spiritual restoration before it is too late. 'Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." Let us pray that the people of the West repent and turn back to God.'"

What we who have embraced our polyness see as entirely reasonable and healthy can indeed look like the sky is falling to others. The truth can hurt when these folks realize that their perspective on the issue doesn't match reality. In this case the truth is that the opposition is pretty much impotent when it comes to denying us our right to live a life of romantic sexual relationship freedom. May it ever be so.  As the oft-seen bumper sticker says:

1 comment:

Alejo said...

I should be used to it by now, but for some reason it still amazes me how much some people want to mind other people's business.