The joke about Unitarians is that they’re where you go when you don’t know where to go. Theirs is the religion of last resort for the intermarried, the ambivalent, the folks who want a faith community without too many rules. It is perhaps no surprise that the Unitarian Universalist Association is one of the fastest-growing denominations in the country, ballooning 15 percent over the past decade, when other established churches were shrinking. Politically progressive to its core, it draws from the pool of people who might otherwise be “nones” – unaffiliated with any church at all.Not to worry, though. There are still a few courageous souls who can be counted on to hold the line.
But within the ranks of the UUA over the past few years, there has been some quiet unrest concerning a small but activist group that vociferously supports polyamory. That is to say “the practice of loving and relating intimately to more than one other person at a time,” according to a mission statement by Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness (UUPA). The UUPA “encourages spiritual wholeness regarding polyamory,” including the right of polyamorous people to have their unions blessed by a minister.
Over coffee last week, a friend of mine who is studying to become a Unitarian minister wondered aloud how she would feel if folks in a future congregation asked her to perform a polyamorous commitment ceremony. She is a traditionalist; she’s glad, she says, that the issue hasn’t come up.It really makes you long for the good ol' days of Edmund Sears, doesn't it?