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Is Polyamory More Suitable When It Finds Religious Backing?

In the past, our Irregular Times writer Jim has offered consideration of polyamory, a kind of relationship in which members are may seek to form more than one loving and sexual relationship at a time.

This morning, I happened upon a religiously-themed resource for people interested in pursuing polyamory: The Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness. The UUPA’s mission is ” to serve the Unitarian Universalist Association and the community of polyamorous people within and outside the UUA by providing support, promoting education, and encouraging spiritual wholeness regarding polyamory.”

Unitarian Universalism does not require adherence to any creed, and that includes creeds that support polyamory. Unitarian Universalists are free to support polyamory, or to not support it, though they would be encouraged to adopt either position only after critical examination.

Still, there is as a subset within Unitarian Universalism a group of people who are engaged in polyamorous relationships, or at least support the right of other people to be in such relationships.

Does the existence of a religious group supporting polyamory change your impression of the practice, or is the involvement of religion in the issue irrelevant to you?

5 comments to Is Polyamory More Suitable When It Finds Religious Backing?

  • NmanRockwell

    Religion is irrelevant. The more I learn about religion the less I know. My take on it is this… just follow your heart.

  • Jim

    It doesn’t change my impression of the practice, but I think it changes a lot of people’s impressions. A lot of people express the need to have people agree with them.

  • The existence of a religious group supporting polyamory radically changed my impression of religion. My impression of religion used to be, “There’s no church anywhere in which I, a polyamorous person, will ever feel safe.” Then I found a church where I can speak my truths out loud, ask my difficult questions, come out as polyamorous, and still feel safe walking in the door, serving on committees, teaching classes, and participating in worship. It mattered enough that I joined the church, and I joined the leadership of UUs for Polyamory Awareness.

    I looked back at some of the earlier “Irregular Times” posts on polyamory. You noted that Cunning Minx takes on serious topics in PolyWeekly. Look at the religion question from that point of view. It’s NOT about “religious backing” for polyamory. It’s about polyamorous people grappling with the difficult questions around relationships and spirituality. I’ve experienced people making assumptions that polyamorous people simply have no religious beliefs at all. This is a frustrating assumption to be faced with, for those of us who have quite strong religious beliefs, questions, and struggles.

    One other thing — it’s about religion continuing to ask the question, “Who is my neighbor?” As in, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” How do churches and church members welcome, include, and love people who are different?

    No, it’s not about “religious backing” for polyamory. It’s about people doing the religious work of deep soul-searching questions and learning to love our neighbors.

  • Personally, I’m what you might call a social liberal. And atheist.

    So no, a religious body suggesting polyamory is a great and groovy thing means nothing to me. (Less than nothing when it’s the UUs, who provide a “miscellaneous religion experience” for those who think that there is no Truth, and that their gods should suit THEM, not vice versa.)

    I do agree with Jim that it may help others to think about polyamory differently.

    What worked for me was getting to know a couple of triads and understanding that they’re not just “fuck buddies” or sexually open, but committed partners who have found an unconventional relationship structure which works for them . . . and that’s who it has to work for, not for me, not for their neighbors, and not for anybody’s imaginary friend.

  • Nman Rockwell

    I’m not atheist nor polyamorous but I agree with JennyD and Jim. The more I read and learn about the relationship structure, the more intrigued I become. jhbbjb,jn

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