I’m collecting perspectives. That’s all any of us can do in coming to an understanding of what love is, which is fundamentally what the issue of Gay marriage come down to; Love and the hierarchy of love. That is, which love is valid, and which is not.
So, if in a truly Christian society, particularly one in which the Bible is not only contradictory, what does it mean when even the most pious of men are ultimately judicious in what they will adhere to, and what they will not. If we are told to use this holy book as the moral compass in our lives, and adhere to the interpretations of men who disagree fundamentally from one another, what is left for us? So it becomes a mandate for each person to collect perspectives on the world, and to weigh things not just in the balance, but upon a broader, deeper understanding of love.
I suppose that’s the way I come to some better comprehension of the word, as it is as elusive as defining a day without explaining the rotation of the earth, the waxing and waning of shadows, of morning dew, the urgency of fulfilling each final moment before sunset, or donning a sweater against an evening chill.
How does one comprehend the wind from a single pale word? In it there is limited comprehension for the gentlest of breezes against a humid morning, the rage of a tornado, a howling blizzard wind or the gust that stands out a flag to its fullest glory. There is only a hint of consideration in the word “wind” for the clap of a full sail unfurling, of the thundering surf rushed towards a pristine shoreline, the rattles of trash through an alley, the frosty whistle through a gap in the window. A simple, single definition of love fails us just as surely.
Words fail us, and the heart fails us more. Not in the wish for love, but in the arrogance of ego that we truly comprehend its scope. Young lovers exalt in its electric rush, sweeping them headlong towards the uncertainty of love; to be swept over into the abyss where they are lost, or to settle into something that lasts a lifetime. There is the love in a child’s needing eyes, love in the betrayal and sorrow of a broken heart and an argument, and love in the adoring gaze of a pet.
There is love among friends, between lovers and among enemies. The desperate, dying and downtrodden find love in the rescuing eyes of those who would comfort and save them. Some find love in a glass of wine, or in a wonderful meal, others in the whisper of a sunrise or the majesty of a moment. We love our work and the passion of a cherished painter, or the brilliance of a favorite writer, or in diversity of all things. Many find it in the grace and goodness of god, but who’s god? What form god takes is entirely one’s own definition.
Defining love might be the fool’s way out. No, better to come to it as a science of sorts, in which there will never be a proper or simple definition, but rather a deeper knowledge and understanding.
Love, for me, is changing every day. It is not at all what it was when I first asked my wife to marry me. Indeed, then I would never have imagined it might also serve to highlight my deepest flaws or greatest possibilities, or demand my greatest sacrifices. And love as I understand it now will not be the same as the love my parents know as they celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. But I am hoping, and I am hoping I will understand it a bit better each new day.
It is easy to define marriage in the narrowly focused prism of Right Wing talk radio and television as some sort of Hallmark card defense of that supposed monolithic religious sacrament. The problem with any argument on the Right is that you must either be ignorant of history and the meaning of words- a zealot- or complacently buy their acutely framed definitions.
They will constantly press the definition of marriage as religious, as long as no one asks what religion is exactly on the table, or they attempt to define the tenants of that religion, its associated culture, gender politics, and interpersonal and social power dynamics. As long as one assumes that “religion” refers to a “Father Knows Best” episode, circa 1955 white, upper-middle class, American, suburbia, then everything is fine.
Locked into that Hollywood crafted ideal is the illusion that religion, marriage and sex have been static and unchanged from the dawn of Humanity until women burned their bras and Coloreds took a seat at formerly whites-only lunch counters. After that, all hell broke loose, with everyone thinking that they could just be free, and free to marry whom they chose. Who do they think they are, Americans?
But the history of religion is hardly about which one is best. We’ve seen that the pushiest and most violent often claim that mantle. Rather, the history of religion is really about questioning, about the assertions of the human heart and the ascension of human rights. The Constitution and Declaration of Independence invoked the religious beliefs of the day to assert Secular Humanism. A contradiction, but then so are people. Right?
Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com
The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting. Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.