Ethics Online Articles Sex and sexuality

Polyamory and polygamy – the next big social change?

After spending a great deal of time discussing and debating the pros and cons of same sex marriage, first of all being assured it wouldn’t happen (after all, we already had civil partnerships) then being assured it wouldn’t affect anyone, I received a letter from Her Majesty’s Government. To be precise, from the office of the then prime minister, David Cameron.

In response to my question on what the government meant by same sex marriage, I was told the government supported redefining marriage because they did not see why two people who loved one another should not get married. It was a trite and superficial soundbite, but as a definition of marriage it was truly dreadful. Immediately I could see that there was no chance of this redefinition (and the subsequent social change) stopping at same sex marriage. However, when I suggested the inevitable consequence would be an increasing acceptance of polyamory and then by default, polygamy I was told not to be ridiculous.

BBCPolyamory is increasingly regarded as an acceptable lifestyle choice.

A couple of years later that prediction is being fulfilled. A number of articles in influential newspapers and magazines are now being followed by TV documentaries such as this one broadcast on the BBC this week.

 It is one of the most depressing programmes I have seen, not least because it was focused on my country (Scotland) and my city (Dundee). Who knew that there was a Dundee polyamory group? There was a great deal to sadden one’s heart in watching this and a great deal to learn about our society.

The English language is being constantly expanded. As with the transgender issue it appears there is a whole new vocabulary to learn. The programme spoke of triads, thruples and V relationships amongst others.

Logic and reason are being butchered so that the language becomes even more meaningless. What else can you can of otherwise intelligent people declaring, ‘Although they were fully committed they continued to date other people’? The disconnect from reality is surreal.

It’s all about ‘me’. One participant declared, ‘There are times when monogamy is right for me and other times when poly is right for me.’

A cheap, degrading and selfish view of sex inevitably leads to shallow and ultimately meaningless relationships. One man spoke of sex as just being a ‘cardio workout – like going to the gym’.

Mainstream and social media are always likely to be used to promote and advocate increasing aberrations in human behaviour. Having accepted that any form of ‘sexuality’ and sex is fine they have no real basis for challenging it. The BBC documentary had lovely soft romantic music in the background as we were told that this was just another expression of ‘love’. There was no challenge, no cultural analysis and no interviews with those who have been harmed by this practice. It was all positive.

The political parties will follow where the cultural elites lead. In the 2015 election Green Party leader Natalie Bennett stated that they were ‘open’ to the idea of three-person marriages. In my own church at a political hustings, the man who is now our local MP stated that he also saw polygamy as a possibility. It is after all about ‘marriage equality’.

It won’t stop with polyamory. Polygamy will follow on. And then what? There is no reason, given the logic of the position that has led us this far, that incest will not be legalized. When I challenged one group on this I was told: ‘I don’t have a moral objection to incest between two consenting adults either. I would have an objection if there was a chance that a child with a higher risk of genetic abnormalities might be produced. Otherwise I see no reason to intervene.’

What can/should the church do?

We should weep as we watch our society regress into the pre-Christian Greco-Roman/pagan view of the world. I certainly wept – because I recognised the people I saw in that programme. Not that I know these particular individuals in person, but I do know plenty like them – young, hip, confused, entertained, materially well-off – lost and lonely.

There is not much point in waving placards or just protesting, because we would be doing so in terms that our cultural elites largely do not accept. Instead I think the clue is found in the statement that was made more often than any other by the messed up participants in the programme – it’s all about love.

The trouble is that they seemed unable to define what love is. But we know. It’s not lust. It’s not greed. It’s not just companionship. It’s not selfish. It is 1 Corinthians 13. It is Christ. It is the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. God is love. ‘Love’ is not God.

Our answer to the confused sexual dysfunctionality of our society is to proclaim the love of Christ, to live lives that challenge the cultural narrative and to exemplify God’s new kingdom. If our culture is to see a genuine repentance and a renewal of faith in Christ, maybe it should begin with us?

This article was first published on Christian Today – Here 

No sooner had I published this than this Guardian article appeared to prove my point!   Watch out for plenty more like this in the coming months, plus some positive portrayals of polyamory in soaps, a few more documentaries, Stonewall sending out surveys of how polyamorous people are discriminated against, children being indoctrinated in schools (under the name of ‘diversity and equality’) and politicians eventually joining in…and soon we will be there!    Soon we will be on to incest…..and so our regress into perversion and darkness continues….

Ten ‘Prophecies’ for Society/Culture in 2017

The Re-Imaging of Humanity – Part 5 – Where Are We Heading?

The Incest Petition – Another Brick Removed from the Wall


  1. I’m kind of conflicted on this idea. I’m personally not interested at all, but I’ve seen four groups of friends get involved in polyamory or soft polyamory. 2 experiments failed miserably, hurting at least one of those involved, but the others are somewhat successful. However, the 2 polyamorous relations that have worked have a certain hierarchy to them: i.e. theres a core partnership and the other additions are temporary or secondary. The quadruplet relationship is composed of two sets of couples who intermingle with eachother – seems to work for them.

  2. I think the issue here is damaged people. No question is ever asked of people involved in the latest “cultural” changes…transgender etc “have you experienced childhood trauma?” If someone was brave enough to do this research, and risk certain hostility, the results would reveal the scars of sexual abuse. A much wider issue than even dreamed of.

  3. I think Rhoda is right.

    The organisation, led by my wife, works with children and young people (County based) who have been the victims of crime (a service funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner – just as well because the County Council is broke and is slashing all but the most essential services).

    She has a team of four youth workers and three children’s therapists and they are drowning in work with referrals from schools, social services etc.

    Probably the largest group are kids who have experienced or witnessed domestic violence. The contract specifically excludes sexual abuse because there are supposed to be statutory services to deal with this, but these have been decimated by the financial cuts, so the team are increasingly picking up these kids also.

    The therapists use trauma focused CBT delivered in an age-appropriate way and it is quite effective in helping these youngsters overcome their trauma. But they are only scratching the surface – there is generation of deeply damaged youngsters who will grow into deeply troubled adults who have never been taught or shown any boundaries, especially when it comes to sexual behaviour.

    How sad. We need to pray for revival (which always starts with the church).

  4. Watched the programme , pseudo intellectuals playing with matches ,who fail to realise that the stakes are much higher !

  5. Always instructive to see how this subject excites such passion in the author. And interesting to see a heartfelt plea against the ‘butchery’ of logic and reason from a Conservative Christian minisster…but genuinely refreshing to see the author concede that repentance – if there needs to be amy – starts and ends insid the church.

  6. This is just another symptom of the abandonment of monogamous marriage. Every alternative stems from rejection of the marriage of a man and woman.
    Once objective moral values and duties are cast aside, and moral relativism embraced, then David the ensuing chaos we see being played out is inevitable.

    Ironically, advocates of these other relationships, use words like commitment, but always in the past or present tense. Marriage is based upon future commitment. Not past. Not even present. “I will……till death.’
    This alone brings about security, fulfilment, faithfulness and longevity in a relationship.
    Ironically, virtually all the alternative relationship forms presuppose the benefits of a marriage, I..e for better or worse, forsaking all others’ but without making the future commitment that produce such fruit. It is impossible to ‘cheat’ on another with whom your in a relationship, unless there are rules to abide by. Outside of marriage, there are no rules. None have been defined. And there is no confirmation that you or partner have agreed to them. Only the married make such ‘vows’, therefore only the married can ‘cheat’, and the term for such is adultery.

    The church needs to be brutally honest, and call out the falsehood that people live by. That’s what Jesus did. It’s not attacking them, it’s not being personal, abusive, or discriminating. It’s being honest. The unmarried cannot expect fidelity. Just because a couple start ‘going out’, or are sexually intimate, they have no right to expect fidelity in their relationship. Fidelity can only be expected for the future, if a promise has been made. And only those who marry make such an objective promise, witnessed by others publicly, so any breach can be challenged.
    This is just plain logic.

    These documentaries always base their evidence on the present. These couples are living this way now. Next we who knows what they think. It is a flaw to think that anyone on that program thinks the same today, as they did when they made the program. It was all about then! But the liberals love that! Because it gives a green light to do what you think and feel at the time. There is no longevity behind it, and any presupposition should be challenged. These to not promote a way of living, with any prospect of a future. It’s simply, ‘eat, drink, be merry, for tomorrow we die.’
    No hope for tomorrow.

  7. “Stonewall sending out surveys of how polyamorous people are discriminated against.”
    More likely, Stonewall will produce lots of bogus statistics showing how many people are suffering violent attacks because they are in these kinds of relationships.
    What is absolutely certain is that there is always going to something new which has to be normalised. The only question is, what next?
    At the time that marriage was being redefined I asked my Lib Dem MP about her attitude to polygamy. She said that she would be worried that polygamy might be used in a way which treated women in undesirable ways. Wonder who she was thinking about? Couldn’t possibly be people belonging to a certain ethnic/religious group surely. Anyway, I fully expect to see her and her party lining up with total support for polyamory, polygamy and incest once the cultural
    elites have gone about their business of softening up the general public to the acceptance of these relationships.

  8. Actually there is a good old fashioned biblical word for all this. It is good old fashioned “promiscuity” – definition “characterized by or involving indiscriminate mingling or association, especially having sexual relations with a number of partners on a casual basis”.

    So nothing new under the sun………

  9. They will also seek to lower the age of consent to 12 or 13 – the start of puberty. A judge was already calling for that a few years ago. The only thing that stops it is our current commitment to child protection and the association of the idea with paedophiles. But this will change as social mores ‘progress’.

  10. It seems the liberal elite via the BBC is upping the ante. Within days of this documentary, the BBC’s popular series, “Call the Midwife” runs a judgement free episode on a Muslim polygamous triangle and the baby involved. As is usual with liberal logic, it’s all about love and a caring environment for the baby born. I wonder what’s next on their indoctrination agenda?

  11. I saw this coming too. Got laughed at for suggesting this could happen by the very people who I foresee in a couple years campaigning for such a social change.

    We’ve been here enough times over the years to not be alarmed anymore by these “progressive” social changes. The “anything goes” gospel was around long before the gospel of Jesus Christ. It failed and will fail again. In fact our Church thrived when the cultural norm in greco-roman societies was for “anything goes!”. So I say bring it on and let the spirit do its work.

  12. Does this not make the need for sound education firmly based on biblical foundations for our precious children who will be born into this chaos all the more critical and urgent? Surely we need to be preparing ourselves for the future that none of us believed possible just a few years ago. The days of comfortable easy lives for complacent Christians is surely over unless the Spirit moves. Is the early church of North Africa a warning to us all?

  13. 1. I am committed to many people. I have commitments to my family, my friends and my colleagues. I love my family, friends and colleagues. Having commitment and love towards one person does not diminish my commitment or love for another.

    2. I’m not convinced polyamory harms anyone above and beyond that hurt which all relationships have the ability to cause. Society should allow it until harm can be proven.

    3. Growing up nobody could tell me how ‘one man and one woman’ made sense given the multitude of different relationship types in the Old Testament. Would we refer to the ‘heroes of the Bible’ as promiscuous for having multiple wives (or several hundred)? Polyamory almost makes more sense as a Biblical relationship than does monogamy.

    4. This seems to be another ‘mountain out of a molehill’ issue to try and divide society or pretend there is a ‘cultural war’. Sure it’s fascinating, interesting and provoking, but in my entire life in leftist and activist circles, I’ve not actually met anyone in a polyamorous relationship.

  14. Anyone: Would you at least make the effort to understand that there is a Hell. Do you acknowledge the consequence of a life that is doomed by unbelief? What DO you believe, anyway? Are you trying to save the world?

  15. 15 years ago this was the way I wanted to live my life. Thankfully in 2003 I was saved for eternity and from God alone knows what kind of life.

    There’s already a plethora of dramas involving incest – Delicious, Dexter, to name only two, not to mention the 90s film Close My Eyes – that’ll be the next campaign (I know you’ve mentioned this before, David). I told my 35 year old agnostic daughter, who’s as horrified about it as me, that I reckon it’ll be acceptable before she pops her clogs. At nearly 62 I hope I don’t live to see it.

  16. I always thought it a little odd when people would say “Homosexuality will lead to polygamy” since homosexuality is in fact lower on the slope than polygamy is. But yes, when you remove the “one man, one woman” nature of marriage, there is no reason left to limit it to two–one of each. If bi-sexuality is just another way to be, why should a bi-sexual have to choose a man or a woman, why can’t he (or she) have one of each?

  17. I fully think that polygamy, polyamory or anything else that happens behind closed doors should be up for debate. It’s a personal choice, a choice that affects only the people involved. Any consensual sex between adults should be legal. But hey, that’s just my opinion.

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