Thursday, July 17, 2008

Why Dialogue Is Needed Between Swingers and Christians

Swingers and Christians Can Work Things Out By Talking

So why are swingers, particularly those who claim the name of Christ, unable to work things out with their Christian critics?

Here's the problem, as I see it, in a nutshell:

Many Christian swingers are not Bible experts. Therefore, they oftentimes find themselves intimidated and ill-equipped when defending their alternative lifestyle against the onslaught of the moral majority. Many of those who do know a thing or two about proper biblical exegesis and hermeneutics are cowering in the closet. Most swingers that I know of don't want to risk losing friends, family, or perhaps even a job by letting the details of their frowned-upon lifestyle out of the bag. This is especially true of swingers espousing Christianity.

If a person is a Bible expert, and a swinger, and a prominent member of the Christian community, he may fear the repercussions of unveiling his sediments to his church group. Some Christian swingers that I've talked to over the years don't "really" believe that swinging has the stamp of approval from the Man Upstairs. Nevertheless, they swing anyway because it's pleasurable and exciting. Perhaps they feel that as a Christian, they are saved from all that hellfire and brimstone stuff.

Actually, this used to describe me. But then I started to think... and study. Then, the wheels started turning. After putting two and two together, here is what I now conclude: Yes, cheating on one's spouse is a flagrant violation of trust; that is a no-brainer. Nevertheless, there is a huge difference between having an extramarital affair without your mate's knowledge and permission verses having extramarital sex with the knowledge and permission of your significant other. This should also be a no-brainer. Most swingers do have the knowledge and consent of their significant other. Therefore, most swingers do not regard swinging as cheating.

Oh Baby, What About Unwanted Babies?

Another chief concern among critics of swinging is that unwanted babies might be born outside of wedlock. This is and should be a concern for swingers and non-swingers alike. However, most studies indicate that most swingers take proper precautions. Also, let's not forget that birth control is a relatively recent innovation. The pill and propylactics were not available during the period when the Bible was canonized. Most swingers don't go to a swing party to make babies. It's recreational sex, pure and simple.

But doesn't the Bible say something negative about engaging in orgies? Yes. Don't some swingers engage in orgies? Yes. But we shouldn't rip things out of their historical context. This is the Bible's chief concern: The Bible mainly disapproved of orgies because they were used as a means of worshipping false gods and goddesses.

So what happened when unwanted love children were born as a result? No problem. Sacrifice them to the gods. My point is - and I do have one - is that comparing orgies as recorded in the Bible with orgies that take place at swing clubs is probably not comparing apples with apples. Most swingers do not go to swing parties to worship the Mighty Aphrodite or the Goddess Asherah; they go there to have a fun time.

What About AIDS and STDs?

Of course, Christians and non-Christians alike should be concerned about the threat of AIDS and other STDs. But from what I've read, these things are very rare in the swinging community. The bottom line is this: The Bible says nothing about swinging, one way or the other. And if it is possible to have a good time at a swing party and simultaneously love your neighbor without doing any harm, then why would God object? A God who makes rules without reasons is not a loving God; He is a Cosmic Killjoy. I do not believe God is a Cosmic Killjoy.

My Position on Swinging

My position is that swinging per se is neither moral nor immoral; it is amoral. It can be practiced ethically in the 21st Century. Swinging can be practiced in a way that is responsible, beneficial, and uplifting to significant relationships. Swinging can also be practiced in a manner that is irresponsible, destructive, and damaging to significant relationships; it simply depends on a wide variety of pertinent factors that have bearing on the ethical equation at hand. What I mean is this: I have no doubt that many people go to swing clubs to cheat on their spouse or significant other without their knowledge and consent. Most Christians would agree that this is not a good thing. So would most swingers. I also have no doubt that some swingers engage in risky behavior that could result in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Most Christians would agree that this also is not wise. So would most swingers. Several studies also demonstrate that the average swinger is much happier and is more fulfilled in their marriage than the average non-swinger.

Nevertheless, most Christians would probably not even bother to take this evidence into consideration. And if they did, they would probably say something like, "So what? Swinging is still a sin!" They would probably quote passages of Scripture such as "Don't commit adultery" or "Flee fornication" to support their position. As a Christian, I also believe one should not commit adultery. I also believe that one should flee fornication. But I also believe there is massive widespread confusion regarding what these terms mean and why they are wrong. I believe that a Christian can engage in the Swinging Lifestyle without violating the will of God, simultaneously deriving many positive benefits as well.

This blog is designed to be interactive. Your opinions count. Feel free to leave your comments in the comment box below. Simply click comments. Also, be sure to take our poll in the sidebar. Thanks. I'll be writing more, so STAY TUNED!

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SWINGING & THE BIBLE: Should Good Christians Swing?

How Does the Bible View Swinging?

If there were A Manual for Dummies on Christian Ethics, "swinging" (a.k.a. wife-swapping) would probably be defined as "a deviant lifestyle for hell-bound perverts."

Though the new TV show Swingtown (see video clip in sidebar) portrays swinging as something that died out after the 70s, the truth is that it has simply been swept under the rug and into the closet. Swinging is now an underground movement that is very much alive and well right now today at the dawn of the 21st Century. According to NASCA (The North American Swing Club Association), right now there are well over 200 swing clubs in the US alone.

For most Christians (though certainly not all), swinging is simply a codeword for "adultery" or "fornication." Therefore, it should come as no surprise that when people like me suggest that swinging and biblical Christian ethics just might be reconcilable, we are ostracised as either a heretic, a lunatic, or both. In fact, swinging is regarded in some circles as tantamount to giving Christians a licence to go out and rob banks or murder innocent women and children. To them, the term "Christian Swinger" is an oxymoron, akin to "Christian Thief" or "Christian Hit Man." My response? To quote that Wild and Crazy Swinging Guy from the 70s, Steve Martin:

"Well, excu-u-u-se me!!!!!"

But seriously, folks, the task of persuading conservative Christians that the Holy Bible allows for swinging is a daunting undertaking indeed. Where does one begin?

For starters, we don't want to be so open-minded that our brains fall out. Translated into Christianese, the theological term for being too open-minded is "antinomian," which means "against the law" or "anything goes." Anything does not go. That's why swingers adhere to the rule "No means no." Anyone who knows anything about the Bible knows that there are sexual misdemeanors that neither the Bible, nor common sense, allow for. Of course, rape is wrong. Of course, child molestation is wrong. Duh! And no sane person wants an itchy case of crabs. Hey, I'm simply saying that swinging does not necessarily fall into that category.

None of us should have minds that are like cement - all mixed up and permanently set. Liberals call such people "right-wing conservatives" or "legalists." Meanwhile, many swingers suffer from what I call "a Dr. Pepper complex": Swinging is so misunderstood; if only those close-minded non-swingers tried it, they'd discover that it FEELS GOOD!

Or as Austin Powers said before his born-again makeover to monogamy: "Yeah, baby!"

Of course, it's not just fundamentalist Christians who don't want to engage in shagadelic smorgasbord love fests. For some, it's simply not their cup of tea. It has nothing to do with right or wrong. As one person told me, "I don't believe in God. Therefore, I certainly don't believe [as some Christians do] that swingers are all going to rot in hell. I've really got nothing against swinging, if that's what gives you the giggles. Swinging is simply not my cup of tea." For these people, to swing or not to swing is not a matter of right or wrong; it's simply a matter of preference, like choosing between black tea, oolong tea, green tea, or white tea. The point being, it's one thing to say "Swinging is not my cup of tea." It's quite another to say, "Swingers will spend their eternal existence writhing in a cauldron of boiling sulfur."

Regardless of what your current position is on this complex and highly-controversial topic, if you are a Christian (or even if you are not), you owe it to yourself and others to objectively examine all the pros and cons of both sides.This blog is designed to be interactive. Your opinions count. Feel free to leave your comments in either the chatroom or the comment box below. Simply click comments. Also, be sure to take our poll in sidebar. Thanks.

I'll be writing more, so

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