In her article posted today on the Anglican Mainstream web site Lisa Nolland quotes my blog from 9th March – ‘Changing Attitude wants to develop a Christian marital ethic which responds to the needs of heterosexuals and LGBT people alike in the 21st century who seek lifelong fidelity in love’. She wonders how this might be fleshed out in the marriages of people reading the Anglican Mainstream site http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/?p=11733#more-11733.
Incautiously revealing her own fantasises, she suggests they begin by sexualizing their close friendships (with husband or wife following suit) in order that both could enjoy ‘the enriching potential of variety’, but with the caveat that there is no ‘serious physical hurt or harm’ which can result from certain kinds (sadomasochism/bondage and domination) of sexual activity’. She quotes from the Clergy Consultation Sexual Ethics booklet, not from Changing Attitude material.
Lisa has bisexuality in her sights. She is fascinated by it. Lisa asks again what Changing Attitude’s attitude is to bisexuality. You see, Lisa has read the ‘narratives of active bisexuals for whom the binary is obsolete’. She speculates about the type of bisexual who wants and needs a lover of both sexes at the same time. She reads Jenny Block, an American writer who advocates open marriage and polyamory. She wonders whether I have heard of Jenny Block. No Lisa, I hadn’t. Changing Attitude isn’t researching alternative secular sexual lifestyles.
Lisa is among Anglican Mainstream leaders who seem to be obsessed with what people do sexually in the secular world. They seem unable to recognise that in the secular realm, people exert adult freedoms untroubled by Mainstream’s Christian ethics. Nevertheless, such people often have an ethical framework of their own.
Anglican Mainstream also finds it difficult to understand that Christian organisations such as Changing Attitude which advocate the full inclusion of LGBT people also observe Christian patterns of life and moral and ethical codes.
Changing Attitude’s ethical framework is of love, fidelity and monogamy in relationships, lesbian, gay and bisexual. The bisexual people I meet are faithful to their partner (if they have one). There is no difference in the choices Christian heterosexuals, bisexuals and lesbian and gay people make. If you are tempted to be unfaithful to your partner, it makes no difference whether you are heterosexual and tempted by another man or woman, gay and tempted by another man, lesbian and tempted by another woman, or bisexual and tempted by another man or woman. Just as heterosexual, lesbian and gay people do not need a sexual relationship with both sexes at the same time, neither do bisexuals. They commit to one or the other.
The answer to Lisa is a categorical yes – Changing Attitude advocates fidelity to one person in marriage or Civil Partnership where this is legally possible and in a faithful, lifelong committed relationship when it is not possible to register a marriage or partnership.