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-What the heck is Polyamory?

by Dr. D ~ August 10th, 2009

image Newsweek mag. kicked it off with an article by Jessica Bennett: "Only You. And You. And You." About new types of ‘family’ relationships with multiple, mutually consenting partners—called polyamory. They even provide a video interview of one such group and an interview of others. Here’s how the article begins:

Terisa Greenan and her boyfriend, Matt, are enjoying a rare day of Seattle sun, sharing a beet carpaccio on the patio of a local restaurant. Matt holds Terisa’s hand, as his 6-year-old son squeezes in between the couple to give Terisa a kiss. His mother, Vera, looks over and smiles; she’s there with her boyfriend, Larry. Suddenly it starts to rain, and the group must move inside. In the process, they rearrange themselves: Matt’s hand touches Vera’s leg. Terisa gives Larry a kiss. The child, seemingly unconcerned, puts his arms around his mother and digs into his meal.

Terisa and Matt and Vera and Larry—along with Scott, who’s also at this dinner—are not swingers, per se; they aren’t pursuing casual sex. …they aren’t religious, and they don’t have multiple wives. But they do believe in "ethical nonmonogamy," or engaging in loving, intimate relationships with more than one person—based upon the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. They are polyamorous, to use the term of art applied to multiple-partner families like theirs, and they wouldn’t want to live any other way.

Response: Wow, I had no idea! Though I do remember the hippie communes of the 60′ and 70’s that mixed ‘free love’ and children all together in one big pot and drug fest. The real problem that I have with these type of arrangements is the kind of environment, confusion, and security/insecurity that it provides for children living in these fluid relationships. Are these type of ‘families’ good for raising children and for society in the long run–I think not!  What do you think?

Here’s the conclusion to Dr. Albert Mohler’s great response to 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 next? The destruction of the family unit that brought strength and order to America for over 200 years and passed on American morality, religion, stability, identity, and the American way of life to the next generation. A disconnect with the past that made America great. What next–In 10 years or so a ‘polyamorous’ Episcopal Bishop?            *Top 

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4 Responses to -What the heck is Polyamory?

  1. Poly Friend

    Here is a Google Knol of a Polyamory intro.

    Your assumptions about poly relationships are that people are coming and going through the relationship like a carny turnstile. This possibility is equally true for monogamous person. Monogamous marriages have the same chances of being hosed up just like poly ones do. Have you forgotten the levels of divorce, infidelity, spouse rape, and emotional, psychological, physical, and sexual abuse found in monogamous marriages? There is nothing magical about monogamy.

    A very strong case can be made for poly families providing a more stable home than monogamous families due to an increase in adults to meet their attention needs, an increase in role models, plus, assuming a healthy relationship between the spouses, good role models in complex relationships.

    Ultimately, what will matter is the example that their parents set. Good parents monogamous or not and the children will be well.

    It constantly baffles me how conservatives are against open and honest relationships.

    Your mythical “family unit” is just that… mythical: There are plethora of links on this topic here: http://www.arionshome.com/social-activism/gay-marriage/#TraditionalMarriage to show that.


  2. Anita Wagner

    Please don’t make the mistake of assuming that the polyamorists of today are no different than those who embraced free love in the 1960s and 70s. Polyamory is Free Love 2.0, if you will. Polyamorists today know much more about creatng sustainable, committed, long-term relationships and loving families that function well. And though they tend to reject the shame that attends human sexuality in western culture and view sexuality as a wholesome aspect of all our humanity, polyamory is no more about sex than is for anyone else.

    Anecdotally we know that children do exceedingly well in such families so long as their needs for love, stability, attention, and the basics like food, shelter and education are met. In fact, children in such families thrive on the extra resources available to them. There is usually more income when more adults with jobs are part of the family. In many instances two or more adults bring in income while one adult stays at home with the children and provides child care and homemaking services. There are more adults for help with homework, give rides to soccer practice, encouragement and emotional support. Longitudinal studies are in progress that will likely demonstrate the truth of this.

    I’d urge you to be cautious about making sweeping assumptions on this subject. There is much that runs counter to conventional wisdom. And though there is almost non-existent interest in attaining legal marriage rights for multi-partner groups, we zealously defend ourselves against discrimination, particularly at work and as custodial parents.

  3. -Three ‘Parents’ on One Birth Certificate? | ANSWERS For The Faith

    […] states what is there to stop other types of relationships from seeking to gain legal status? Are ‘group marriages’ (polyamory) and families the next big progressive thing on the horizon? After all, when you re-define marriage and refuse to […]

  4. John

    And on cue, the polys show up in defense.

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