can do so here.
In another newspaper you can read a column by Dan Savage in which he laments that Americans are in love with fidelity and monogamy but neither of these is particularly suited to reality. Savage has for 20 years been saying monogamy is harder than we admit and articulating a sexual ethic that he thinks honors the reality, rather than the romantic ideal, of marriage. In Savage Love, his weekly column, he inveighs against the American obsession with strict fidelity. In its place he proposes a sensibility that we might call American Gay Male, after that community’s tolerance for pornography, fetishes and a variety of partnered arrangements, from strict monogamy to wide openness.
A more flexible attitude within marriage may be just what the straight community needs (as well as gay and lesbian community). Perhaps we have had it wrong all alone. We should have been listening to the likes of John Shelby Spong (errant and just plain creepy retired Episcopal Bishop) who suggested a while back that man was not made for woman (at least not just one woman and maybe not even for woman only). You may have come to the conclusion reached by millions of healthy, well-intended Americans each year - that traditional monogamy isn't meeting your emotional and spiritual needs. You could adopt the accepted practice of "serial monogamy" - throwing out everything in your current relationship in search of the new "one true love." Of course, you need to understand that second marriages fail even more often than first marriages do - and first marriages don't endure 40-50% of the time.
Newark's [retired] Episcopal Bishop argues with "passion and provocation" that traditional Christian views on sex represent patriarchal prejudice rather than God's will and invites readers to "enter the uncertainty of not knowing" and to free the Bible from "literalistic imprisonment" as they entertain possibilities like services blessing divorce, "betrothal" ceremonies (celebrating exclusive but temporary unions), and rituals sanctifying gay and lesbian partnerships. Spong sees all this as supplementing traditional marriage (which he also celebrates), not supplanting it.
Apparently none of us, or perhaps only a few of us, are the marrying kind... What some of us had thought was an aberration turns out to be normal -- at least the normal that flows from our sinful natures.
I am sure we all get it. . . it is not about the spouse or the children (who mentioned them) or society or culture or religion -- it is about me and my needs (aka wants and desires). If you are dull as a doorpost and choose to live in a straightjacket, then by all means, get married (gay or straight). But the vast majority of us have more elaborate desires and more highly developed needs and we need to be free to explore them without rebuke, shame, consequence, condemnation, or feeling that we have screwed up.
Ahhh.... Couldn't you say that about all of the commandments, all of our desires, all of our wants? We should be free to explore them all -- not constrained by such restrictive things as morality and virtue. The point is clear. The me I should be free to be is the me who gets what I want, does what I want, says what I want, etc... Hmmmmm.... and I thought self-control and restraint were the marks of our higher order and not the old fashioned chains that pulled us down... What was St. Paul thinking....
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.... (Titus 2)
BTW it always strikes me as irony when we read that lesson as Christmas with all of its self-indulgence masquerading as holy day celebration... My, my my... what was God thinking anywho.