Poly is the new Black.
CNN appears to have a new agenda this fall: Broadening the definition of “marriage” from the not yet universal “two people” to “whatever.” The specific terms are polygamy and polyamory. What is polyamory you ask? You should ask. You are going to hear more and more of it. You will hear of it because CNN appears to be engaged in a systematic attempt to make sure you do by normalizing polyamory and polygamy in American culture. CNN not only can’t wait for the ink to dry on Same Sex Marriage, they can’t even wait for the ink to be put to paper in most states.
Consider this incomplete sample of the diet CNN has fed us this fall:
December 18: CNN runs a belief blog by an Episcopal priest, Danielle Tumminio entitled, “How I learned to love polygamy.” (Her post is so chock full of theological problems that it warrants response from the blogosphere, but our seminaries’ apparent weakness in explaining basic trinitarian theology, and why supporting the release of “spirit babies” to work their way to heaven by people holding an Adoptionist view of Christ are a separate issue.)
December 16: CNN runs an opinion piece by Mark Goldfeder, from the Center for Law and Religion entitled, “It’s time to reconsider polygamy.”
December 14: CNN runs a news piece on the Utah polygamy law being struck down as unenforceable.
These could be considered “responding to the news,” except that on October 26th, CNN ran this seven page puff-piece in support of polyamory: Polyamory: When three isn’t a crowd.
It appears that for CNN, “poly” is the new “Black.” My not so subtle mixing of the wardrobe metaphor with the genetic-causality metaphor is most intentional. Many African Americans have long been incensed by the LGBT communities equating race with orientation. Now the LGBT community gets to experience having their argument co-opted by another’s agenda (“It’s my Civil Right…a right to privacy”).
Many will say it is a good thing to move from narrowness and judgments to freedom…that telling people how to live is invasive and repressive, best left on the dung-heap of our once Christian culture. Has anyone bothered to ask, as we rush pell-mell into a wholesale rewriting of cultural norms, if this brave new pansexuality has ever worked in any other culture in any time in the known history of our species?
By the way, the church is not immune. Polyamory is in the church already- and not just in the pews. The week before the “Three isn’t a crowd” post came out I was at an ecumenical Christian formation conference. Although the information at the conference was very helpful, the level of cultural accommodation among some of the conference’s SF Bay area attendees was stunning. Over lunch a very nice Children’s minister asked a clergy person from Idaho (a heavily LDS area) if she had access to LDS children’s materials. Since the LDS are non-trinitarian, I curiously asked, “Why would you use LDS stuff?” The answer: “O, their materials are helpful in our polyamorous context.” Taken aback I asked, “You have polyamorous families in church?” She seemed to think I was pulling her leg with the question. “Seriously?” she asked. “The definition of families is changing, you know.” Surprised I responded, “Wow, that sure sounds like the ‘slippery slope’ conservatives are mocked for fearing.” A clergy person at the table jumped in: “And what’s wrong with slippery slopes?”
Apparently slippery slopes aren’t a problem for some in the church nor for CNN either. And apparently we are to be fed a steady diet of CNN’s new “whatever” agenda.
I have one question: Do you like how it tastes?