Stand for Love

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Let us always stand for love.

Standing for love is a long game. We may not get what we want in the moment, but in persevering, love always prevails.

Why? Continuously putting ourselves back into the flow of love changes us for the better. It helps us become stronger, more resilient, kinder, and more inclined toward equity and justice. Continuously putting ourselves back into the flow of love reminds us that we are connected to one another, to things outside ourselves. Love helps us to pay attention to the world.

This morning, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down both the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. To me, this time, the legal system stood for love and justice. I’ve said before that we ought not to give one set of citizens rights that another set does not have. If we are to have laws, they must be equitable. That said, I think government should get out of the marriage business. I also recognize that my own relationships are much larger and more fluid than this sort of marriage can encompass. Yes, I came out about this last time we were discussing DOMA.

Today the Supreme Court decided in favor of equity and love. Yesterday, the Supreme Court did the opposite. Yesterday, the Supreme Court gutted the Voters Rights Act, an action which threatens to disenfranchise many people who still need the support of things like district elections in order to give themselves a proper voice in a political system stacked toward the privileged. That does not sound like justice. Nor does it sound like love. It sounds like a further separation of us from one another.

Last night in Texas, there was debate around Senate Bill 5 and whether women have sovereignty over their own bodies. Those who are used to holding the seats the people have imbued with power tried everything to get their way. They stopped a filibuster on technicalities and then pushed through an illegal vote, even going so far as to change the time stamps to read that the voting had been done before the midnight cut off, when hundreds of thousands of watching livestreams and real time reporting on Twitter saw that this was not true. Meanwhile, citizens gathered at the Capitol shouted down the proceedings in what I would say was an attempt to even out the flow of power.

Why do I bring up SB5 and the VRA alongside DOMA and Prop 8? Those of us who are Pagan often speak of being one of the “minority religions” in the U.S. It is minorities who need a voice in the larger whole. It is too easy for “minorities” to be drowned out, discounted, and ignored. Once someone is counted as a “minority” be they black, or gay, Hispanic, female, or Bahai, they simply become the “other” rather than the “one of us.”

Minority has become synonymous with people who lack power. It is incumbent upon us to take that power back. It is incumbent upon us to support one another as we work toward a world based on love, equity, justice, and beauty.

Author Teju Cole wrote this morning: “The arc of the moral universe retreats and advances like a samba.” He meant the moral arc, of course, a thing that Dr. King said bent toward justice.

The arc of justice is long. We can keep bending it toward love.  Let’s be a lever. 

 

(With your help, I may even get my Anarcho-Socialist Utopia some day.)

14 Responses to “Stand for Love”

  1. Moira

    ‘Standing for love is a long game’

    Yes. Many years ago we made a Loreley and nymphs action at a big demonstration against water-privatization. Yesterday I heard from fellow activists that the privatization of water in the European Union has been cancelled because of massive protestes…

    ‘We may not get what we want in the moment’

    Yes. We have to develop an approach that a French philosopher called ‘longue duree’ – thinking and acting in long dimensions. For example: Many years ago I was the speaker of an initiative against a factory that wanted to use European waste for producing energy in a small village in Northern Germany. Many people protested, nevertheless the firm was built. This year another earth- and environment-destroying-project was on its way — but cancelled because the local government asked the inhabitants for their opinion. Our protest did not have a short-term but a long-term effect – this time the factory was not built.

    ‘But in persevering love will always prevail.’

    Yes, no more comment, apart from this one: It acts like a compass that helps us to find our way (or find it again, if it seems lost…)

    With love and perseverance, * Moira

    Reply
    • Thorn

      Moira,
      thank you for providing examples of how are actions can seed the ground for future openings. It is important to read stories such as these. Sometimes people feel discouraged and these stories are reminders that our actions toward love and justice matter.

      Reply
  2. Syrbal/Labrys

    The saying is “Not for love, nor money”….but entirely too often, it IS for money because that is where people see security. It is an uphill climb/battle to prove to the downhearted that only love and all attendant dedications can provide the security and goods they think money will buy.

    Reply
    • Thorn

      Syrbal, yes, it can feel like an uphill climb, and if we keep reaching out to one another, the climb can feel easier. Money isn’t security, it is true. Let’s keep trying to shift cultural consciousness around that!

      Reply
  3. Tom R. OFS

    On the wrong side…feeling off. I guess it’s that first phrase I just wrote that gets me, “on the wrong side”. DOMA was overturned by the Supreme Court today. My immediate reaction is “HOORAY!” For my cousin, her future wife, and their unborn child. For our neighbors that recently got married that my son was privileged to witness. For Father A, a gay activist and priest in an independent Catholic church. For every person who has been denied the right by the state access to legal and financial benefits/apparatus because their life partner is the same sex. I’m happy, truly happy, for all of them. This is a great day for equality in our country.

    And then the opinion of the USCCB is released:

    “Tragic day for marriage and our nation…profound injustice…the well-being of our society hangs in the balance.”

    And my heart sinks. I knew it was coming as soon as the Supreme Court decision was announced. Yet it sinks anyway.

    My heart sinks because I lack the courage to stand up publicly and disagree. My heart sinks because I feel I must censor what I say about this matter depending who I’m with and where I am. I censor what I post on networking sites and my blog, for fear I will lose standing and respect in my faith community; that my profession to the Secular Franciscan Order will be declared invalid (thereby breaking my heart).

    Thank you for standing up for those who lack courage to do so (at least right now. You have my admiration.

    Pax et Bonum

    Reply
    • Thorn

      I pray you will find your way through this thicket. It can’t be easy. WWFD? (What Would Francis Do?)

      Reply
  4. Fourge

    “That said, I think government should get out of the marriage business. I also recognize that my own relationships are much larger and more fluid than this sort of marriage can encompass.”

    Yes, additionally for this reason do I say that the government really needs to take a step back from it all. As someone who seeks a polyamorous lifestyle, I never saw validity when the traditional DOMA words of “*one* man and *one* woman” were ever spoken. I remember being in American Government class back in high school and hearing about polygamy being outlawed here in the US. I was appalled. Of course, I didn’t know how badly many polygamous families had it.
    However, as a Millennial who grew up with and around revolutionary ideas, and today seeing many relationships involving multiple partners being quite successful, children involved and all, I say that perhaps one day, maybe when there are enough voices to be heard (or when enough voices want to be heard), we can revolutionize this country one more time and bring to the eyes of the country and its highest court the anarchistic views of the beauty and successful function of families of multiple, loving, committed partners. Maybe one day, enough voices will bend the arc in that direction.

    With that, I’ll say that for now, after almost nine hours from having heard the news, I am still filled with elation and excitement and (ultimately) Love.

    Reply
  5. Emma Bryden

    Tom,
    My Aunt is a member of the SFO and will soon be celebratingthe 10th anniversary of her profession. She is without a doubt one of the most wonderfull people i have ever met and we have tremendous discussions on.the similarities between our beliefs and support each others differences. Enjoy your time with the people you CAN talk to and trust that there are more people out there, like you, who focus on Christ like Love and integrity. You will find them and they will find you. Just keep listening to that still small voice of calm. x

    Reply
    • Tom R. OFS

      Emma –
      Thanks you for your kind words and support. Gaining a modicum of strength from what I’ve read here and elsewhere; I found the courage to post an article from a progressive Catholic organization critical of the USCCB’s statemate on my FB. It’s a start, a small gesture to be sure…but I find I cannot stay silent about such an important issue. Grateful for this site and the folks on it!
      Pax, T
      T

      Reply
  6. Crystal Blanton

    I am so glad that you wrote about the complications of justice across the different spectrums and divides. We cannot lose sight of the rewards of justice but we also have to keep our eyes open to the deceptions that are hidden as well. I am deeply hurt by the VRA dismantling and hope we are able to demand support for those who cannot do it themselves.

    I don’t see a lot of people writing about this and I am so happy to see you did. Thank you.

    Reply
  7. P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

    [Sorry I’m late commenting here…the RSS reader I have on LJ seems to be wonky for the last week or so…!?!]

    Your thoughts on this are very similar to mine, particularly in light of the rollback of the Voting Rights Act. I am eerily reminded of Bayard Rustin’s statement in regards to the Civil Rights movement and then the subsequent gay liberation movement, that “gay is the new black,” and now it almost seems that “black is the new gay, which is to say, the old black is back” or something along those lines…It’s disheartening in the extreme, and all the more so because the availability of same-sex marriage in some places now actually doesn’t do anything to help vast swathes of queer people. I hear people saying this is a great moment for the LGBT movement, and not only do I question the existence in actuality of such a movement, but I also wonder how this helps Bs and Ts in particular.

    I’m going to be writing on this for Patheos soon, and so I’m glad you’ve anticipated many of these issues in your excellent commentary here…but, likewise, I now have to find new things to say and new ways to say them! ;)

    Reply

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