Of the Christian Taliban


I live not far from the North Carolina border. Most of the outdoor nudes I’ve shot over the years have been shot in that beautiful state. In the west of NC are some of the largest national forest and highest mountains in the eastern United States, and on the east side of North Carolina is Cape Hatteras National Seashore with its 70 miles of undeveloped white sand beaches.  Both areas offer amazing opportunities for nude photography. Additionally, Asheville is one of the most progressive cities in the US were I have also shot urban nudes.

In the past few years there have been small rallies for top-free freedom for women in Asheville,  where a handful of women have gone topless to protest the fact that men can go topless but not women. This brought to light that there is no law requiring women to wear tops in that city. This has prompted those who believe that the United States once was, and should be again a limited-theocracy with individual freedoms granted within the overarching frame work of their vision of “God’s Law”, to react in furor.   In this case the bill proposed and passed by the House Judiciary Committee of the NC Legislature would make a woman exposing her nipples (well one would do) a felony punishable by 6 months in prison!  Yes, make showing a nipple a felony that would the offender unable to obtain many kinds of responsible jobs for the rest of her life and limit other civil rights for life. All for bearing her nipple.  This is an amendment to an “anti-hippy” law dating to 1972 at a time when North Carolina had just lost the “Christian” right to keep those of African descent out of public life, so they decided to turn their ire on those evil forces against Christianity, the naked hippies.

Why?  The simple fact is there is a large part of the conservative Christian community that have been taught that the US was not founded in the wake of the religious wars of the 14-16th century as an experiment in pluralism to prevent such religious conflict in the future. A large group of Christian conservatives believe nearly the exact opposite. They have been taught that the US was founded as the last outpost of “true” Christianity and that the wealth and power the US enjoys is a supernatural reward for their piety.   Don’t laugh. I know it’s easy to compare that to what the North Korean government tells their citizens about the paradise they live in due to their gracious government.  However, because, it is more similar to what the Taliban taught when they took over Afghanistan it is frightening.  Make no mistake about it there are many who do not believe in liberal secular democracy as envisioned up by people like Jefferson & Franklin. They believe, deep down, in a limited theocracy, with all laws being subject to “God’s Law” as they define it…..exactly what the Taliban or the Ayatollah in Iran believes. Further, anyone who votes for this law is doing exactly like the Islamist do, use force to make people act according to their religious beliefs.

How do I know how these people think? I obtained my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from a college and university that taught this very thing.  I began my career working for these very people.  I spent four years principaling schools that were founded to teach this distorted view of American democracy.  I can truthfully say I never believed or taught such things and it was due to this kind of being out of step with the leadership that cost me my promising career as principal of a large and influential evangelical Christian high school back in the 90’s.

So, we have a generation of adults who were taught in Christian schools and via Christian media who have been taught this view of limited democracy is historically accurate, and worse anyone who violates “God’s Law” is helping to undermine American prosperity and liberty by removing God’s hand of blessing.  Thus, to them, it makes sense to equate those women who bear their nipples in public with drug dealers and armed robbers because, in that system of belief, those women are a danger to everyone.

Yesterday morning, as I drove in to work, I happened to turn the radio to the local talk radio station WORD 106.3 in Greenville SC.  I stopped because the Chairman of a local school board, with whom I have had a good and productive relationship, was debating the host.   It seems the school board had voted to stop ending the school board sessions with a student prayer after another district had been sued by the feds for doing the same thing.  Well, this radio host, a self-proclaimed libertarian was enraged that the school board was kicking God out of the school. He pressed the Chairman as to why he did so, the Chairman said it was based on case law and Supreme Court decisions over the past few decades.  The host yelled that he had, and I quote, “had chosen to obey man rather than God” on this issue.  The host could not see that he was openly calling for a theocracy by saying “God’s law” (well his interpretation of his god’s law) should trump civil law.

Worse yet came the callers who all mirrored the same line of how America has gone downhill since “we kicked God and prayer out of the public schools” until I could not take anymore and found my usual NPR station for the rest of the trip.

Now I’ve written before, these people are in the minority in most places of the US, but they make up a significant minority in much of the South-East and Mid-West, and smaller but significant minories everywhere else.  You ask why can they, not only believe such things, but believe they reflect the vast majority of US citizens?  They do so because we ….yes you and I…..just like them, have retreated to our own silos and no longer interact with people who don’t believe just like we do. If we made more effort to interact outside of our little self-reinforcing bubble, we would be part of the solution of mutual understanding in a pluralistic society. Just sitting back and criticizing their group among people of our group only further polarizes the nation.

So be part of the solution … find a conservative Christian, befriend them and help them see the larger vision of pluralism and personal freedom. You will find you both will benefit.

Here is the link to a news article on the law proposing prison for toplessness:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/14/nc-bill-could-mean-prison-time-for-topless-women/

And here is an interesting, but scary, article by the Executive Director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc in support of the bill.

http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/creech/130209

A Better Camelot by including Polyamory


king-arthur-tapestry

The story of King Arthur is essentially a Shakespearian type tragedy.  King Arthur , a good and virtuous monarch who sought only to do good and to make a just and peaceful society.  He is married to Guinevere and they love each other deeply and together rules the Kingdom well. The land prospers in a time of peace and plenty.   The great Launcelot Du Lac comes to Camelot with the sole purpose of serving the King and Queen in their great an noble mission.  The tale is told by Mallory of the many feats he accomplishes in the direct service of the Queen. In the process, he falls in love with her, and she with him….and they express their love for one another sexually.  All the while both Guinevere & Lancelot love and respect the King.    For years, this love triangle goes on with Arthur pretending he does not know about his wife and closest friend romantic and sexual relationship.    He uses self-delusion to reconcile the fact he is expected to react negatively to his wife’s amorous relationship with Lancelot but does not.

However, when it becomes public Author feels compelled to put both Guinevere & Lancelot to death. In the process of trying to do so, Camelot comes crashing down. The round table is broken, war rages, people great and small have their lives destroyed, including Arthur, Guinevere & Lancelot.   It is a tragedy because all three believed in the dream of a better kingdom and none acted in out of a wicked heart, yet fate used their goodness to destroy the great good they sought to build.

What, if we changed to story to say King Arthur defies the conventional morality and publicly acknowledges that to two people he loves best also love each other.   What if he gives Lancelot an adjoining chamber to the Royal bedroom so that his wife can share her life with both the men she loves?   Camelot  survives, the people, great and small, continue to prosper in peace. And everyone lives happily ever after.

Perhaps in the musical movie adaptation of this version of Camelot the grand finale will be a scene of the three of them in the big royal bed singing a rousing song of their love’s triumph over the forces that sought to destroy it.  All three hit a high note as they all climax together. The End.

You see, the absolute demand for both emotional and sexual monogamy destroys lives. An acceptance of the core principle of polyamory (i.e. loving a second person does not reduce one the lover for the first person) would eliminate the destruction of so many marriages and families.   I will say firmly that polyamory is a family value.

I am thinking on this because my wife has told me she is falling in love with her new boyfriend.  She and Steve an I have had this conversation over the weekend.   She has that excited “always thinking about him” kind of love that simply can’t survive in a marriage of 26 years.  Saturday night we all had a great romp in our bed together and all day Sunday she glowed with that special glow or both sexual satisfaction and new love.  She asked me in the early evening if I was sure I was OK with the intensity of her feelings for Steve.  Although we’ve been through this many times before, this time is seems even more intense than her relationships have for a number of years so she just wanted to make sure. 

I assured her that I was happy for her.  I have no concern that Steve will displace me in her life. My only concern is that Steve’s wife is on board.  For although he tells us they have had one poly relationship with a man, both my wife and I are adamant we will not undermine her security.

There is a brand of polyamory that simply doesn’t give a damn about existing relationships and the feelings and needs of anyone but those who are in the throes of love.  We don’t buy into that narcissistic approach.  Loving more doesn’t mean loving more at the expense of others. Polyamory as a family value is one in which existing relationships are highly respected and the good of all concerned is the higher value.  This is especially true when there are dependent children involved.  No amount of passion or love between adults justifies the undermining of a dependent child’s stability and security; however, polyamory,  by providing an outlet for new and exciting emotional and sexual relationships for the husband and wife can enhance domestic stability.  

The kind of relationship that builds a life together is different than the kind that provides for mind blowing emotional and sexual encounters.  Not that at times the former can’t be the later, but they are different. Mortgages, bills, children, illness, parental care and the list of hard things in long term relationships goes on and on. The kind of love that sees people though these events all the way to old age is built on commitment, commitment and more commitment.  These kinds of things can squeeze out passion that is built on a single focus of emotional and physical pleasure.  Hence people have affaires with work mates where those “real life” problems can be forgotten for a little while.  We all need a break sometimes, and some people need them more often.  The monogamous model says such breaks from the pressures of life is “cheating” or being “unfaithful”; however, the polyamorous model calls such low stress relationships as positive and healthy to both the individual and the couple.

With our daughter’s upcoming marriage, my search for a college teaching job for the fall and the attendant move, the recent death of my wife’s 86 year old father and a nagging health issue, my wonderful wife needs a break. Steve might well be the break she needs.  How it that anything less than pro family?

So back to Camelot. 

Arthur was King, it was a very stressful job. Guinevere, as queen was under a lot a stress and Arthur was too consumed with the work of being King to meet her emotional needs. Lancelot steps up and meets Guinevere’s needs out of love for her and love for the overworked Arthur.  The King is better off because his wife is happy. The Queen is happy her needs were being met and Lancelot was happy to serve the two people he loved most in the world.  There were no losers. This is the promise of polyamory.

Of The Future of Polyamory: Will it be Couple/Group Centric or will it be Individual Centric?


music-manOK, I’m going to date myself here, in the 1962 musical “The Music Man”, a young Shirley Jones sang a song of her desire to find the kind of man she could love, and one line has stuck with me for all these years, “And I would like him to be more interested in me than he’s in himself and more interested in us than in me”   OK, it’s better with her beautiful voice. But the point is well made and very much needed in this discussion about polynormitivity and relationship hierarchies.

There is a debate in the evolving polyamory about whether polyamory is to be publicly identified as couples who have other emotionally committed relationships with other couples and singles; or is it to be publicly seen as a free flowing network of individuals. In a recent blog discussion on this, the different writers seems to implicitly assume, but not spell out, what they personally want out of their relationships should be the norm. The word coined was polynormitivity. The debate is framed as hierarchical v. non-hierarchal polyamory.  Hierarchical polyamory places a higher “primary” value on some relationships (i.e. people with whom you live or to whom you are married); and lesser “secondary” value on those with whom you do not share domestic unions.  As part of this debate is how primary relationship often establish rules so as to favor and preserve that primary relationship.

As a matter of disclosure I am not neutral in this debate. My wife and I are very much of the hierarchal school of thought and we explicitly state to all people we date that the good of our marriage comes first and foremost. When we counsel couples trying out open marriage for the first time, we emphasize that point as critical.

As with all subjects, the ends must dictate the means. So when the poly community gets all wrapped up in a debate over rules and primary and secondary relationships, but don’t agree upon why we have intimate relationships, it’s like debating the best roads to take without agreeing on what city we are trying to drive to.

In the song I referenced, she is expressing a life of commitment to mutual welfare is of paramount importance, trumping the partner’s individual needs and wants. That may strike some as belonging to an oppressive world of the past and that such a priority is antithetical to polyamory. I beg to differ. I would suggest that not only is it not dead, it is the only form of polyamory that will make it to the mainstream.

Oh, I hear the screams now!

I did not say such a model is monogamous, what I said was the mutual welfare is of paramount importance, trumping partner’s individual needs and wants. There could be two partners, or there or more, but the members all agree the welfare of the group superseded that of the individual.  Thus in the language of this discussion, all members of the group are primary relationships and all relationships outside the committed group are secondary.

One writer on this subject spelled out clearly that in all his relationships, his needs came first. OK, he has spelled out his priority; he sees relationships with himself in the center of all. But he will not be able to maintain a long term, mutually respectful interdependent relationship and keep that priority.  Yes, I said that as an imperative. The self-first approach will not succeed in such a relationship; either the relationship will be exploitive of the partner(s) or it will dissolve. All egalitarian interdependent relationships demand the giving up of some one’s needs and wants.

Now, do all people who are poly have to want such an interdependent relationship? Certainly not. There are people who are fine going through their entire life with an ever changing landscape of relationships.  For them there is no need to prioritize primary and secondary relationships.  But, such people who continue to live this way into middle adulthood are unusual. Humans are by nature social and have a nesting instinct. Nearly all people come to value such relationships in time, as they move through life, even if they do not do so in as young adults.

Another writer made an excellent point about the abuse of “secondary’s”.  She wrote “If anyone, the primaries are happy getting different pussy on the side and are the ones writing Pollyannaish articles about how if you’re not happy You’re Doing It Wrong and are probably being selfish and jealous or not letting the love flow and other such bullshit.”   Her feelings of being used for sex reveal the dark potential for abuse guised as openness in the poly community in the exact same way as it is in the larger “serial-monogamy” community.

It is not however, as she suggests, her problem that she feels misused. Rather the couple with whom she is sleeping holds that responsibility. They are either just claiming poly to use her for sex (which is immoral) or failing to understand and meet her relationship needs. To pretend it is easy to be ethically poly is not to understand either poly or ethics. In our 16 years of open marriage, only once has my wife had a “secondary” who either did not have a primary, or was a male who did not want an interdependent relationship. And, that one did not turn out well. My one relationship where I had a “secondary” was (is) with a woman I’ve known for 30 years, and we have been very close for decades. When her monogamous marriage ended, we had some sexually involvement (she is not local) until she entered a new monogamous relationship. We no longer are sexual, but are still close and I couldn’t be happier for her. She wishes her new love were open to poly, but he is not, such is the trade-offs in life; however, she has repeatedly thanked me for being there for her when she needed me and thanked my wife for letting me be there.  To me, that is how to ethically work out polyamory within a hierarchal system; our existing relationship was founded on the understandings of our mutual commitments to our marriages, when her marriage ended, sex with her was a supportive addition to our existing relationship. The whole while, though, we both knew she was looking for a new primary relationship, and if her current boyfriend were open, she and I would have continued to be sexual on occasion as her “secondary” and she as my “secondary”.

Thus, to defend my belief that the future of polyamory as a social movement depends on those people who form stable mutually supportive relationships; dare I use the words family and marriage?

I propose that if polyamory is to be accepted as a legitimate, socially constructive alternative to monogamy, there will have to be some polynormitivity. The question is who will articulate a vision of polynormitivity that does not look like what was presented by ShowTime? Such a vision can’t be just a hippy dippy narcissistic, “I’m in it just for me” statement. Society, by definition, is made up of nesters, and such as view is a threat to stability with no benefit to the whole, so we need to show how polyamory can be part of an interdependent society. We must convince Mr. Mainstream and Mrs. Hometown, that if their spouse is working beside a poly, that their marriages are not in danger. We can’t do that if we claim that their marriage is no more valuable than the relationship my wife has with the new man she has just began dating last week.  I would suggest support of hierarchical l relationships (and marriage) would go a long way to doing this.

This is is why I believe, the venue for the public face of poly should be a public fight for legally binding marriage of more than two people. Sure there are lots of polys with no interest in marriage for themselves, as there are many in the gay and lesbian community who have no interest in marriage, but support the legal recognition of such marriages to signals they are part of the mainstream.

Thus, I end where I began, what do you believe is the end game of your polyamourous relationships? If love (and sex) are an ends in themselves of all of your relationships, that’s well and good; but, are you projecting that narrow view onto others in this discussion when you condemn relationship hierarchy? And if we claim to be seeking social acceptance our embrace of “many loves”,   we cannot be seen as anarchist seeking to destroy bedrock social systems.

Of Scouts and Sex


The husband of my wife’s first lover was an Eagle Scout. At some point, once the trust level reached a certain point, he told us that while a scout in the mid-70’s to the mid-80’s it was just understood that in the pup-tents at  night you would be sucking and fucking with your tent mate. This went on for years and made up most of his adolescent sexual experience.  Now, that does not make him gay, even though the political gay community would desperately want every 15 year-old who sucks off his buddy to join their community.  Most researchers in to adult sexual behavior discount any sexual activity prior to age 18 because sexual experimentation is part of growing up.

Now to be fair, this guy when I knew him could fuck longer and cum more than I thought was even humanly possible. I filmed him having sex and he had 5 orgasms in about 90 minutes. And although at the time I was only aware that he was having sex with his wife and my wife, I have no doubt he would (and does) stick his dick any warm hole that would stay still long enough for him to ejaculate. For he, like nearly all people can get sexual enjoyment with either sex.

But all that brings us to today’s issue of the Boy Scouts allowing openly homosexual people in the scouts.  Now, I listened to a story on NPR about his this morning and in the story they had a clip of Gov. Perry of Texas saying that “Scouting is about teaching substantial life lessons and sexuality is not one of them, it never has been and doesn’t’ need to be.”  Wow!  That is so wrong for so many reasons. I might write an essay on just that. They also heard from  one leader of a conservative organization that predicted that lifting the ban on open homosexuals would destroy Scouting since it is built upon being “morally straight”.

Now in this debate we must remember that under 4% of the population identify as being LBGT, while over 50% are religious, and the majority of Scout troops are house by and sponsored by religious organizations.  So this is clearly a classic case of minority rights as well as sexual rights…..and religious rights.  How to balance the needs of all three? One person interviewed, a mom who was removed from being her son’s Cub Scout den mother last year because she was openly homosexual used exactly the right word “this policy is archaic”. And archaic it is; an artifact from a world that is gone with the wind. But, if the gay activist have their way and the Scouts forbids the discrimination of gay scout leaders the scout likely would fold up as they would lose nearly all their chapters when churches who can’t accept mandate pulled their sponsorships. Of course the gay activist don’t care if that happens.

So how to balance the rights of religious organizations to freely practice with the rights of sexual freedom?  The neo-Marxian leftist don’t believe such a balance is necessary, to them the public good (or their good) certainly outweighs the rights of those they see as religious bigots. Ah, the ugly head of utilitarianism rears its head: the ends justifies the means.

In fact, freedom to practice religion is a fundamental human right, just is the right to practice one’s sexuality. The measure of a liberal democracy is not in how it allows diversity of philosophical thoughts that are popular, but in its ability to allow unpopular thoughts. Ask yourself, if the numbers were reversed, and if the political LBGT community represented the majority of the population and only 4% were traditional Catholics; would they allow the Catholic Church to keep preaching that homosexuality will send a person to hell?  Given what I hear in the rhetoric, the answer is absolutely not. I have no doubt, If they had their way traditional Christian religion would be aggressively suppressed.

So, we must continually ask ourselves what is best for a free democracy and what will best preserve everyone’s rights.  In this case, I think the Boy Scouts answer had planned to to announce two weeks ago was a good one, they  had planned to allow each sponsoring organization make its own choice on this issue.  This would have both preserved the human rights of homosexuals and the rights of the religious sponsors (with whom I happen to disagree).  So if a mom can’t be a den leader at her son’s pack sponsored by 1st Baptist Church, her son can join (or she can start) a Cub Scout Pack at some other location, and she can lead there.  Sadly the leadership seemed to have collapsed under pressure from religious conservatives.   Conservatives that have been energized by the attempts to portray them as hate groups. Nothing mobilizes people like tipping your hand that you wish to eradicate their belief system.

You might not care not care one wit about exercising your religious freedoms as you seek to exercise sexual freedom; however, the 80 year old Catholic woman might not care one wit about exercising her sexual freedoms as she devotes herself to her exercising her religious freedoms.  Both are fundamental rights. It shouldn’t matter if you are fingering your rosary or your hot lover’s ass, the right to do either (or both) is what matters.

A free society must be free for everyone. We must resist those seek to enhance one set of rights at the expense of liberal democracy itself.  

Of Being Automatons or Being Autonomous


Recent studies have suggested that the growth of mobility and the e-culture have not served to make us more eclectic in our belief systems but rather more narrow.   Increasingly Americans are insolating themselves against all views outside those in a narrow group and the result of that is a populace that is more dismissive of other viewpoints and more committed to their own, which just happens to be shared by nearly everyone in their little circle.

In the past two nights I’ve had dinner with two different groups of people. On Friday night I was with a group of my fellow Ph.D. students and their significant others.   I know these people well and I hear a commonality in viewpoints that could have been written by a single author writing talking points memo.  With the election coming the refrain is “Obama would be not be attacked so if he were not black”,  i.e. all non-leftist are racist.  No amount of reasoning, like the Republicans impeached Clinton, can sway them from this belief.

At other times I spend time with both fiscal and religious conservatives. Though both support the Republicans their prime values are very different; however, what I hear laced in the conversation are snippets of rhetoric taken word for word from the incredibly influential guru of the right Rush Limbaugh. Like the leftist, the rightist largely live in a world that reinforces their own prior beliefs and leads them to condemn not only other beliefs but to judge evil motives for those “others”.  

What stands out is the growing tendency to judge those who have political beliefs outside their group to be morally deficient… e.g. evil.

As the nearly universally detested moderate, I see value and reason in both positions.  In 1979 I began listening to NPR news whenever I was in my car.  I began listening to “All Things Considered” and later “Morning Edition”.     About a decade later I was one of the early listeners to Rush Limbaugh. Like NPR, Rush was on my car radio when I drove during broadcast times.  Very conveniently, though combined they run 7 hours a day, the three programs never overlap in broadcast times. What is important to know is that those three radio broadcasts are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd most listened to programs on US radio; and in many ways they represent (and shape) the agendas of the mainstream of the Republican Party (Limbaugh) and the Democrat Party (NPR).  

Radio is a great forum for exhaustive intellectual discussion, far better than the image driven world of Television and more accessible to the masses than print.   Though both radio networks are dismissive and condescending of the other, from long listening I have fond they both have important things to add to the debate.  Yes, NPR is a full-fledged non-profit news organization that covers many topics and Limbaugh is unapologetically commercial and is political entertainment; but both use their chosen medium to relay a specific world view extremely effectively. What is different is that NPR pretends to be politically neutral while they advocate the Democrat agenda, contrasting with Limbaugh who is explicit is his support of Republicans (specifically conservative Republicans).

By listening to both points of view I am able to see the
strengths and weakness of each set of arguments to come to an independent decision. How can one come to a reasoned judgment when one does not hear the best arguments for both sides from the most articulate spokesmen?

Socially I move between a series of different social and political world views and am able to both understand what the different groups are saying and why they are saying it.  I can see nearly all people are trying to find what is best, while at the same time advocating their own interests. I can see the charlatans on the right and the left as well as the deluded “non-thinkers” who parrot their favorite “thinkers” lines. 

Am I conceited enough to think I’m always right?  No.  I am conceited enough to think I can sound right almost all the time, but I’m realistic enough to know that sounding right and being right are two very different things. What I can say is I have preserved my autonomy. I cannot be fed anyone’s BS and swallow it whole. So I guess I value not being wrong more than I value being right. I hedge my own stated beliefs with my own skepticism.

And perhaps that’s the only way to be an independent in this world that prefers being automatons over being autonomous.  

 

originally posted by me on 11/4/2012

Of Polyamory and Political Identity


There was polyamory before the word was coined in 1992. That must be understood first and foremost.  But words are important; words shape both the discussion and label the players. On the other hand words are also used to obscure the truth and to distract from the truth.

Name calling, is the perfect example of how words are used to hide the truth under the power of the word itself. In the McCarthy era the name “Communist” was used to both silence critics and to hide the caller’s true agenda.

So we consider the word polyamory and its expressed and implicit meaning. Its expressed meaning is very inclusive. It is not a hostile word. It does not exclude any but includes all.  It is almost breathtaking in its expansiveness.  Love is not limited. We can love many people at once.  And by the very word “amore” the term means not just familial love but we mean romantic and sexual love.  

So, the conception is polyamory is that love need not be only bi-lateral. It can be tri-lateral or multi-lateral. All this is simple to understand; however, there is an undercurrent that polyamory does or should or is intended to mean something much more expansive.

There is an element who is aggressively attempting to shape the word polyamory to fit within the neo-Marxist framework of Critical Theory.  I have seen it in any number of writings laced with the trite and overused accusations of; hegemony, oppression and normativity. Inevitably the writer is accusing someone of not doing polyamory the “right” way by not embracing their comprehensive doctrine. In the case of these writers, they fault others for not toeing the line of the comprehensive doctrine of Critical Theory.

For those of you who are not up on political philosophy, Critical Theory was devised after WW2 by the Germany Marxists who returned to Germany after the war only to find the proletariat would not ever rise the way Marx envisioned. So their Frankfort School developed a new brand of Marxism combining it with Freudian philosophy with a goal of uncovering latent oppressions of capitalism in the same way Freud used psychotherapy to  uncover latent neurosis.   And just like psychotherapy is really good at getting people to feel something’s wrong with them but doesn’t make people better, critical theory is really good at convincing people they are oppressed but doesn’t help society get better.  Like in psychotherapy, the practitioner is the only one who benefits from the process.

So we come back to polyamory. The notion of freedom to pursue love as it comes to you is a liberal, not Marxian idea.   Liberalism is founded in the primacy of ones right to pursue personal happiness over (and despite) the desires of the church, king or other powerful groups.  Critical theorists, despite their rhetoric of espousing individual liberty, are fundamentally wedded to group identity. In critical theory, you are not an individual, but a member of a group and as such your rights come due to your group  membership, not to you as the individual.  That is why it is imperative to these people to control the discussion, to squelch descent by code words like hereto-normativity or any other new word they can coin to be a pejorative.  An inclusive polyamory conception with few boundaries beyond the belief in the expansiveness of “amore” is of little use to them in the effort to create a new polyamory minority political block for which they can be the leaders and voice.  

I am an unapologetic, un-reformed liberal.  The ideals of the enlightenment are still a worthy goal in which to aspire.

I left the confines of the Christian community because of their need to tell me what love is and how I should express it; and their belief that I must believe in supernatural non-sense. I’ll be damned if I’m going to walk a back into another quazi-religious community who seeks to do the same thing.  The critical theorist want to tell me the very same nonsense about reality not being real and that I must submit to their narrow view of the world and of love or be ostracized.  I won’t do it. Nor will I link my view of polyamory to their world view.

If you are a critical polyamorist or a religious polyamorist,  I’m not hostile but nor will I accept yours is the only way.   In a pluralistic poly community we must embrace the core values of freedom to love and express love to whomever we want, without trying to put others into a religious or political box.  We can all work together to give the larger population the opportunity to shed the shackles of mono-amory but we will never do so if we put a religious/political litmus test to being poly.