Wednesday, May 17, 2017

More from the Post-Christian Age

Everything old is new again:
Just this week, People magazine informed readers that the popular bridal show, Say Yes to the Dress, would be featuring its first-ever polyamorous fitting. “Say Yes to the Dress Sneak Peek: Inside Kleinfeld’s First Polygamous Bridal Fitting,” read the headline. The article casually discusses the first “throuple” to be featured on the show and what it means to dress two women for a “polygamous wedding.”
The whole thing is framed as edgy and fresh, but in fact it’s just the latest bit of pop culture news I’ve read treating polyamory like it isn’t something backwards, straight out of the eighteenth century. We should have seen this all coming with the smash-hit “Big Love,” but at least that show tried to show the moral complexities of the issue. Today we have cultural polyamory in abundance. Showtime has a series called Polyamory, a show called You Me Her is billed as the first-ever “polyromantic comedy,” and TLC is still running episodes of Sister Wives.
Apart from television, I read almost weekly some sort of article about the rise of polyamory in the modern era. The Atlantic informs me that dating website “OkCupid Adds a Feature for the Polyamrous.” nonchalantly runs a story entitled, “My Boyfriend & I Got a Girlfriend – & This is What Happened.” The opening paragraph says, “In the polyamorous world, there is a special term for the third person in a relationship. She (and it is usually a she) is called a ‘unicorn.’ She is rare, beautiful, and hard to track down. And if you can catch her, she will bring magic into your relationship.” The BBC tells me, “Polyamorous relationships may be the future of love.” “Love doesn’t just come in pairs. Is it time that marriage laws come to recognise the fact?” the article asks.
You might be reading this and asking yourself, “What the what?”
In the not-too-distant future, pockets of Protestantism will embrace polygamy, write tortuous liturgies for it, vainly expect its acceptance to fill their pews, and characterize those who pause for a moment to ask if it's consistent with scripture as bigots.