What is Polyamory?

crazyheart

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I sort of know what Polyamory is. But on Face Book someone said it will

be the next big issue in the church.

Why? Why all of a sudden would we go from one Issue to another?

Why do we need to know?

What is the difference between Polyamory and Polygamy?
 

Mendalla

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Polygamy is specifically multiple wives. Multiple husbands would be polyandry.

Polyamory is any combination of multiple lovers, from open relationships to spouse sharing to swingers clubs and whatever else. It has largely come into being because of the negative connotations that have sprung up around "polygamy" and also to have a single word that applies regardless of the gender of participants.
 

Jae

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I sort of know what Polyamory is. But on Face Book someone said it will be the next big issue in the church.
Would help to know who the person who posted that was. At least, what kind of background they're coming out of. If they're an evangelical like myself, I'd say that it's because we've largely lost the war against homosexuality and are now looking for another issue to rail against.

crazyheart said:
What is the difference between Polyamory and Polygamy?
From Dictionary.com - The world’s favorite online dictionary! ...

Polyamory - the practice or condition of participating simultaneously in more than one serious romantic or sexual relationship with the knowledge and consent of all partners.

Polygamy - the practice or condition of having more than one spouse, especially wife, at one time.
 

Mendalla

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Presumably, it is going to be an issue in the church because someone thinks people will want to have multiple spouses. I have known poly folks on other boards and that is really not what most of them seem to be after.

One is a bi woman who lives and sleeps with two younger guys while also having relations with women. Actually, there are two of these on my other board, neither interested in any kind of marriage from what they have said.

Then there are couples who have relations with others on the side, sometimes together, sometimes separately. No intention of marrying those partners as they still keep their marriage as their "core" relationship.

So I think it is probably less of an issue than some alarmists suggest.
 

Jae

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Presumably, it is going to be an issue in the church because someone thinks people will want to have multiple spouses.
Well... no... the person said polyamory would be the next big issue in the church. What you're talking about here is polygamy.
 

crazyheart

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Now, I remember that on old WC ,I got ina discussion. Blood was nearly shed.

I was told if I hadn't tried it, don't knock it. I remember, at the time, being very naive

Took on the group but nearly got ears burned. haha.I think I still have the scars.
 

Mendalla

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Well... no... the person said polyamory would be the next big issue in the church. What you're talking about here is polygamy.
Fair enough, but how much impact does it really have on the church if a couple brings their "nanny" to church with them or hangs out in a swingers club on Friday night. It is only when they are out and seeking recognition in the church that it becomes an issue. And that usually means (a) acceptance of their open presence, and (b) marriage, blessing, or other ritual recognition.
 

crazyheart

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Would it also be an issue if they wanted to be ordained or appointed or commissioned in the UC?
 

Mendalla

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Now, I remember that on old WC ,I got ina discussion. Blood was nearly shed.

I was told if I hadn't tried it, don't knock it. I remember, at the time, being very naive

Took on the group but nearly got ears burned. haha.I think I still have the scars.
I live and let live. The lifestyle is likely not for me, but those who do engage in it successfully (and that's a key word) often put more work into their relationships than us monogamous folks. Those who go into it on a lark or because they think it will "save their marriage" usually fail. Badly.

As for whether the church should accept and recognize them? I imagine UUs will or maybe already do. I can't see any reason why we wouldn't given the first principle. As long as it is all consensual and above board, respect for the participants is paramount. Other churches have different considerations, though, and it is up to them to decide.
 

Mendalla

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What Polyamory Is Not
September 11, 2017 by Chuck McKnight


Read more at What Polyamory Is Not

This is on Face Book.
I would disagree with him on the idea that it is not about sex. He is giving an idealized version of polyamory. IME, sex is a big part of it and swinging most certainly is part of that to the extent that many polyamorous couples I have encountered swing or have swung at some point. The question is, why is that a bad thing? A lot of one-on-one relationships have sex as a huge component, too. It sounds to me like someone who is trying to make it palatable to vanilla folks rather than addressing the reality head on.
 

Mendalla

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Would it also be an issue if they wanted to be ordained or appointed or commissioned in the UC?
Perhaps. I doubt most churches are ready for a minister and spouse who share their life with another couple or whatever. Whether that should make them ineligible to be ordained assuming all other requirements are met is, again, a problem each faith/denomination will need to deal with on their own terms.
 

Jae

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Perhaps. I doubt most churches are ready for a minister and spouse who share their life with another couple or whatever. Whether that should make them ineligible to be ordained assuming all other requirements are met is, again, a problem each faith/denomination will need to deal with on their own terms.
You do realize that not too long ago someone else would have posted, 'I doubt most churches are ready for a minister and spouse who are the same sex.'
 

Mendalla

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You do realize that not too long ago someone else would have posted, 'I doubt most churches are ready for a minister and spouse who are the same sex.'
Oh, true. I do think poly is a different kettle of fish, though. Expanding the options for one-on-one relationships is one thing. Poly introduces a whole ocean of variations and possibilities and that will take a lot more effort for people to grok. People are also far more likely to encounter and get to know gay people than poly people. To be clear, I am in favour of them being accepted in the church community myself, but I am not expecting it to be an easy road, perhaps even harder than LGBTQ.
 

ChemGal

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Polygamy is specifically multiple wives. Multiple husbands would be polyandry.

Polyamory is any combination of multiple lovers, from open relationships to spouse sharing to swingers clubs and whatever else. It has largely come into being because of the negative connotations that have sprung up around "polygamy" and also to have a single word that applies regardless of the gender of participants.
Technically, polygamy is multiple spouses. Polygyny is the specific case of multiple wives. I think that because polyandry is less known, polygamy is thought of as 1 husband, multiple wives.
 

ChemGal

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I don't really see an expansion of polyamorous relationships. The acceptance of polygamy has decreased over time - with Mormons one doesn't need to go that far back in time where it was more accepted, not it's just fringe groups. For the more open type of relationships - I think there's a reason why swingers are still associated with the 70s.

Society in general has become more tolerant of diversity - I expect that may lead to more being public about relationships. I think people will stick with their groups though - the polygamy groups with the religions who support or encourage that. Those with open relationships often seem to fall in with the spiritual but not religious groups. Maybe it's just my biases and stereotypes I'm used to though?

Still, I think the church's role will be less about members who are interested in these relationships, and more about how to interact with those who don't belong to the church, providing guidance regarding how member might deal with these relationships (ie. is the goverment ever going to accept multiple spouses as dependents) etc.
 

Luce NDs

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Would help to know who the person who posted that was. At least, what kind of background they're coming out of. If they're an evangelical like myself, I'd say that it's because we've largely lost the war against homosexuality and are now looking for another issue to rail against.



From Dictionary.com - The world’s favorite online dictionary! ...

Polyamory - the practice or condition of participating simultaneously in more than one serious romantic or sexual relationship with the knowledge and consent of all partners.

Polygamy - the practice or condition of having more than one spouse, especially wife, at one time.
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revjohn

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crazyheart said:
I sort of know what Polyamory is. But on Face Book someone said it will be the next big issue in the church.
With all due respect to Brother Bott I see it coming as "a" big issue. I do not know that it will be "the" next big issue. That said, I think that he speaks more for his context (local) than a broader denominational context. As much as he reports having had conversations about the issue I can honestly report not having any of the same kinds of conversations.

While Brother Bott and I have shared time ministering in Ontario (difference Conferences) most of our ministry has been on opposite ends of the country from one another and there is a noted tendency across the country to go from Conservative (East) to Liberal (West) with some exceptions.

crazyheart said:
Why? Why all of a sudden would we go from one Issue to another?
Suddenness is a function of appearance. At present The United Church of Canada has its collective head stuffed so deep inside its own navel in a collossal attempt to reconfigure lint patterns and production it has very little time to notice what else is going on around and within it. By the time we are done (GC 42 Commissioners are reconvening electronically on September 30, 2017 to shape the results of remits--Not an end point) we will be so exhausted that we are bound to be caught off guard by whatever actually manages to become the next issue.

Combine that with our denominational identify as Social Justice crusader and there will be a boatload of activist minded members who deem that now is the time for all of us to join them on their crusade.

The calls are rather constant

crazyheart said:
Why do we need to know?
So we do not act out of ignorance.

crazyheart said:
What is the difference between Polyamory and Polygamy?
Multiple partners versus multiple wives. One is, uhhh, less mysogenous than the other so more desireable when choosing between the two. Lesser of two evils kind of thing.

Forgive me, that lesser of two evils comment is such a traditionalist thing to say.

And the script pretty well rights itself. Especially if you pay attention to working United Church dialogue.
 
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