Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

September 3, 2010

We're worse than Warren Jeffs! And we steal children!

The American Spectator, Touchstone, Catholic Insight

In The American Spectator, a magazine of the far right, a columnist discovers the upcoming Canadian polygamy test case and the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association — and decides that polys are worse for society than breakaway-Mormon cults of alleged child abusers. Because at least cults are orderly, while allowing freedom for secular modernists leads to confusion unthinkable. Or something.

The More the Merrier?

By William C. Duncan

While the United States is occupied with the federal challenge to California's Proposition 8, Canada has its own pending marriage case, which is likely headed for the Canadian Supreme Court....

Recently, the case has been uniquely complicated by an intervening interest group called the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association. The Association is seeking an adjudication of sorts that the Canadian laws regarding polygamy (one man with more than one wife) do not apply to polyamory ("multiple conjugal relationships"). "Polyamory," by contrast, is strictly egalitarian and consensual, according to CPAA, and thus does not involve or promote one gender over the other.

Affidavits filed in court detail (1) a woman and her male partner who live and have relationships with two other adults in the household (they also have a child living in the home) and who have agreed that each can pursue relationships with others, (2) a woman who lives with two other men (two of her teenage sons also live in the home), (3) a husband and wife who live with another adult (and the married couples' two young children and the third person's teenage children), and (4) a man who lives with a woman and another man (with whom he is raising a two-year-old child). Polyamory advocates also tout a lack of social science evidence showing any harm from its practice. In other words, the CPAA is arguing that since you can't prove that polyamory is bad for society, it must be good. By this rationale, we can all rest assured that Jimmy Hoffa is alive and well.

He seems scared of what scientific studies may find and warns readers to ignore them in advance:

Any study of polyamorous "families" is likely to be plagued by methodological difficulties — large holes in data, voluntary samples, reliance on self-reporting, small sample sizes, poor comparisons, and misplaced focus.

...The proposed distinction between multiple-wife polygamy and polyamory in terms of social harms is spurious. In fact, it may be the case that acceptance of polyamory would, if possible, be more harmful.... Both traditional polygamy and polyamory promote types of infidelity (though the former is of a more orderly variety), of course, but the chaos of polyamory blurs distinctions of parenthood more significantly than does a setting where a child has an established set of parents and lots of half-siblings....

Read the whole article (Sept. 2, 2010).

Meanwhile, the CPAA gets a more-or-less favorable mention at the end of a column about the polygamy case, written by the lady who's been crusading against the British Columbia polygamist group for years (Vancouver Sun, Sept. 2, 2010).


You think that first item was nuts? Check out the one below. It first cropped up a year ago from a conference of the religious right. Sometimes the progression of an extremist is to grow more and more extreme until he goes pop, or gets laughed off the scene with not-the-Onion tags.... Or invades Poland.

Patrick F. Fagan directs the Center for Research on Marriage and Religion at the Family Research Council. He was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Family and Community Policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for President George H. W. Bush. Vote Republican, and this is who you're voting to be reappointed into government.

There's some word confusion here. By "culture of polyamory" he's not actually referring to us. He means anyone who has more than one relationship in a lifetime, including remarriage after divorce — meaning most Americans.

Domestic disturbances: The rising polyamorous culture is out to get your children

By Patrick F. Fagan

The culture of the traditional family is now in intense competition with a very different culture. The defining difference between the two is the sexual ideal each embraces. The traditional family of Western civilization is based on lifelong monogamy. The competing culture is “polyamorous,” normally a serial polygamy, but also increasingly polymorphous in its different sexual expressions.

...The culture of monogamy and the culture of polyamory differ profoundly in their assumptions of the way society functions. Here are some of the differences:

• First and foremost, religion has a very different place in each culture. The culture of monogamy is infused from top to bottom with the sacred, in personal, family, community, and national life. Worship of God is frequent and assumed. The culture of polyamory tends much more to hide religion, even to suppress it in all things public. It worships God less and demands that religion be private....

• The laws of the culture of monogamy protect by forbidding—outlawing certain actions. The culture of polyamory protects by prescribing programs and ensuring outcomes....

• The constitutional state was the product of a monogamous culture. It could never have emerged from a culture of polyamory because it assumes responsible citizens....

• In the culture of monogamy, all human lives are sacred and protected, including those of the unborn, the handicapped, and the elderly. In the culture of polyamory, about one-third of unborn babies are aborted, and the handicapped and elderly are unwelcome and increasingly vulnerable to early “termination.”

• In the culture of monogamy, gender roles are more differentiated, with women more likely to devote their time to the tasks of motherhood and the men more likely to be the sole or main source of family income. The culture of polyamory is much more androgynous, its main focus being equality of outcomes for both men and women in the workplace and in the home....

The “Janissary” tactic

...The culture of polyamory has figured out its way to survive and even thrive: by controlling three critical areas of public policy, which yield big gains in “converts” from the culture of monogamy to theirs. These three areas are childhood education, sex education, and the control of adolescent health programs.

Controlling these three areas enables the polyamory culture to reach into the traditional monogamy culture and gradually dismantle it....

Through its domination of the education of children, sex education, and adolescent health, the culture of polyamory diminishes the influence and dismantles the authority of parents and so impedes parents’ efforts to form their children as members of their own culture. In a polemical vein, one could say the polyamorists “snatch” children away from their parents and from the culture of monogamy just as the Ottoman Turks of the fourteenth century raided boys from Christian nations to train them as their own elite warriors, the Janissaries.

Every time the polyamorists succeed in drawing a teenager into sexual activity through one of their anti-monogamy education programs, they have captured another “Janissary” and won a number of victories simultaneously: (1) They have initiated the adolescent into the polyamory culture (albeit without his knowing what is at stake); (2) with the out-of-wedlock births or abortions likely to follow, they have broken a family before it has started, solidifying the polyamorous status of the adolescent or young adult; and (3) they have pulled the young person away from participating in the sacred, since formerly religious teenagers who begin to engage regularly in sex outside of marriage tend to stop worshiping God.

All this the polyamorists achieve without any overt, direct attack. Their programs are conducted “under the radar” and are all the more effective for it. They know this, and are fierce in protecting their control of the Big Three programs (childhood education, adolescent health, and sex education), with a fierceness nothing in the culture of monogamy rivals in intensity or success.

Time to act

By its very make-up, the culture of monogamy organizes itself from the bottom up, not top down, in social (and thus political) matters. It solves its social problems by forming its own private “platoons.” A significant aspect of the family is that men have the special role of being the primary protectors. Thus, it is husbands and fathers especially who need to engage the increasingly hostile state and the polygamy culture whenever they attempt to “raid” the territory of the family’s domain.

Every man in the monogamy culture needs to find his way to be actively engaged in the protection of his children, and, given what is at stake, other men and women of the culture of monogamy will increasingly expect this of every man, and will do what they can to help him.

...In all of human history, the culture of monogamy has never encountered the type of competition it faces now. We must engage. We can wait no longer; we need men of courage and energy. We are looking for the first few.

Read the whole article in Touchstone magazine (Jan.-Feb. 2010) or Catholic Insight (April 23, 2010).

Sound familiar? At least we're not drinking the blood of Christian babies (yet) or controlling the world banking system... but remember the "first few" who put on the armbands.

Once again: vote Republican, and this guy is who you're voting to be reappointed to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Update March 12, 2013. New from Fagan: FRC: No Right to Have Sex Outside of Marriage, Society Should 'Punish It'.




Blogger Rev. Allyson said...

Guy's a laughable idiot. I almost spit tomato soup on my laptop monitor. :) However... the political jab may not be the correct way to deal. For me, it turned me right off. If I were a wee bit less educated, I might even walk away going, "gee that was all just an anti Republican rant with no substance." I don't want to see that here. :(

I live in a poly household that is about half Democrat and half Republican... and we vote on issues, not by party. Amazingly enough, we agree on almost every key point, and quite a lot of the "little things," too.

September 03, 2010 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They do have a point about the sampling of polyamorous unions. I would like to see a truly random survey of polys to see what impact they have.

September 03, 2010 3:34 PM  
Blogger Farmer Jen said...

Fagan's argument lacks logic, among other things.

September 03, 2010 5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, the republican-bashing reduces the effectiveness of your other commentary about this article. It may be relevant that the author of the article is former President G. W. Bush's appointed Deputy Asst. Sec. for H&HS but all Republicans are not Bush or Bush-like. As there is no currently identified Republican Presidential candidate who can be quoted or questioned on the matter, it's spurious to claim that a Republican vote is a vote to re-appoint this loon.

Republicans shouldn't be defined by their extremist fringes any more than any other group should be.

September 03, 2010 6:07 PM  
Blogger A Poly Wife said...

What on earth is this nonsense about monogamy being all about assumed spirituality? Really? Not what the stats tell us. Idiot.

September 03, 2010 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Angi said...

Poly Wife, I had the same thought. "The culture of monogamy is infused from top to bottom with the sacred, in personal, family, community, and national life. Worship of God is frequent and assumed." Hmmm, last I checked my husband and I were atheists back when we were still monogamous...

I almost laughed out loud when he said that the culture of monogamy is organized from the bottom up instead of top down. Riiiiiight. There's definitely *no* top-down regulation/enforcement/encouragement of monogamy... He makes it sound like those who are monogamous are the rebels who are bucking the trend of society.

September 03, 2010 7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*blinks* Where is Fagan getting all this from, seriously? At least the first article made an effort at using actual facts, rather than a bunch of made up crap, designed to elicit a knee-jerk emotional response from the right set of readers. (Who will likely suck it up the same way a hungry baby would formula, btw.)

September 04, 2010 4:01 AM  
Blogger Alan said...

> Republicans shouldn't be defined by their
> extremist fringes any more than any other
> group should be.

Except when their president puts their extremists into positions of power running the US Department of Health and Human Services. If it's not this guy next time, it will be someone else with a mandate to remake the place in line with the Republican Party platform.

September 04, 2010 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Lucius Scribbens said...

I agree Angi. I can't say for sure with polys, however in the Electronic Journal of Health study of swingers they found:

"As shown in Table 4 swingers are slightly more likely than the general population to say that they are members of a religious organization."

So for Fagan to say that mongamists have corner on spirituality and religion doesn't hold water.

September 06, 2010 12:55 AM  
Blogger Desmond Ravenstone said...

When theocratic right-wingers complain that polyamory is worse than patriarchal polygyny (one man, multiple wives) because it's not "ordered", they have made their bias more obvious. It's not about happy marriages and emotionally healthy kids. It's about men being in charge. So it's not that polyamory means multiple partners, it's that it means equal partners -- and we can't have that, now, can we?

I suspect this also stems from their particular theological views -- more of a stress on the "Fatherhood" and "Kingdom" of God, versus the affirmation that we are all children of the Divine.

September 06, 2010 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Inferno said...

Most of my friends are in some sort of non monogomous type relationship or another and I would guess that about half of them consider themselves to be christian of some denomination or another.
As for the politics.. I'd say they are again pretty evenly split if they go with a party rather than a per issue type mentality.

September 07, 2010 6:48 PM  

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