January 06, 2007

Feeling (Up) God's Love

Part the First:

I've wandered around this interthing quite a ways, and being very relaxed about sexually in general has led me to some fascinating, confusing, and occasionally alarming places. One site, for instance, was devoted to polyamory. Now this in itself isn't particularly odd, but one aspect of the profiles of the devotees was: most of them listed their religion as "Christian".

Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding was that the whole "no sex outside of marriage" thing was a big aspect of Christian belief. In fact, that very idea is a huge part of opposition to homosexuality and teaching abstinence-only sex education.

But, lo and behold, someone has now started a Christian-only swinger site! And they attempt to justify it, too, blaming most of the sexual repression on the Grand Master of such things, St. Augustine. While noting Augustine's influence on Christian morality is correct, I'm not convinced their own perspective of it is terribly accurate. There be a little bit of justifyin' goin' on!

Speaking of which...

You'd think this would be a clear-cut case of "not guilty by reason of insanity", but you'd be wrong:

"On October 18, 2004, Arthur Shelton, a self described Christian and Eagle Scout, murdered his friend and roommate, Larry Hooper, because Hooper didn't believe in God."

Why wrong? Because Mr. Shelton knew exactly what the difference between right and wrong was, and shot Mr. Hooper in the head anyways. He repeatedly states that he knew it was murder:

"In the eyes of the law I was wrong and will probably spend the rest of my life in prison [...]"

but thinks it was the right thing to do:

"[...] in the eyes of God I have killed an evil person -- the devil himself."

He didn't actually believe that he'd spend time in prison, though. He was, in the words of one witness, shocked at being sentenced to 25-45 years in prison for the murder. The behaviour of his family during the trial was hideous, but unsurprising: anyone who's familiar with the psychotic rantings of Fred Phelps and his gaggle of merry pranksters knows these folks are cut of the same cloth (he was even an Eagle scout - go figure), with a monomania that cuts through any of societies' rules of conduct.

I don't know where else these people would channel their enegries if they weren't into God. Couldn't someone just buy them a copy of the Left Behind video game and let them play with pixles instead of people?

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posted by Thursday at 7:26 pm


Blogger imapolygirl said...

We Christian polyamorists tend to follow the teachings of Christ, you know, love, tolerance, forgiveness, acceptance, qualities that are sadly missing from much of organized religion. We're the alienated hoard that either has no official religious affiliation or are doing our worshiping of Christ via Unitarian Universalism, earth-based spiritualities such as paganism, etc. You are right that Christ's self-appointed representatives do not approve of us, even though we are open and honest with our partners about what we do with others - as opposed to the time-honored western tradition of cheating. We aren't just getting it on for the fun of it - we love our partners, cherish the intimacy we share, are committed to our relationships, and we provide love and support to those in our network in abundance. I feel much more loved in my polyamory community than I ever did in the Southern Baptist Church I grew up in. And BTW, swingers are usually couples who enjoy sex as recreation but who also form long-term non-romance based familial bonds with their swing partners - which is a perfectly valid choice and which works for many people. Polyamorists focus on bonding intimately/emotionally/romantically long-term.

2:40 pm  
Blogger Thursday said...

I think I hear a couple of my longer-term readers chuckling... The Significant Other and I have been exploring this part of the world for a little while now, and while everyone's experience will be unique, there are themes that hold. And poly folks claiming to be Christian is flat-out weird.

The whole exercise still strikes me as spiritual bisexuality, so to speak: you want to be considered Christian and have the social acceptance of that label without having to follow the doctrine. I've seen the meme of "Christian, but not religious" popping up a bunch lately, and it's frankly a pretty weak one. You do know that it's possible to believe in (and practice) "love, tolerance, forgiveness, acceptance" without being Christian, right? You can't be a New-Testament-Exclusively Christian while ignoring the Old one. And if you're not following the bible at all, where do you get word of Christ's teachings?

I am glad for you that you found polyamory works for you: it does for many, but for many more it doesn't. Claiming only the good involved is disingenuous: there have certainly been a pile of jealousies, breakups, and recrimination in poly groups and between couples, religious or otherwise. C'est la vie.

"[...] I feel much more loved in my polyamory community than I ever did in the Southern Baptist Church I grew up in.[...]"

Not a difficult thing, I understand! Again, good for you to have discovered a relationship that does make you feel loved as well as desired. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Thanks for the comment.

4:58 pm  

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