So what was I thinking, posting about bombs on Valentine’s Day? Regular readers know my fascination with holidays. Valentine’s Day is another one of those that simply gets plowed under by the sharp shares of capitalism. We work on Valentine’s Day, of course, after waking to news of yet another multiple shooting at a university. Is it any wonder that we think about bombs on Valentine’s Day? As Tina asks, what’s love got to do with it? In 2016 we were taught that the politics of hate is how elections are won. Surveys consistently show Americans favor stricter gun laws but congressmen love money more. Maybe love does have something to do with it after all, Ms. Turner.
Love, it seems to me, was the best thing Christianity had going for it. While the Gospels aren’t entirely consistent on this point, the figure we call John (not the Baptist) focuses on it. Jesus spoke of, indeed, insisted on love. “God is love” some radical went so far as to write. But love gets in the way of selfish agendas. We can wave Bibles around, and hold them up for photo ops, but they do no good that way. Besides, love might, in some instances lead to sex. And we know that Augustine won that argument centuries ago. We don’t have a widely recognized holiday celebrating that dour saint, however. Perhaps we should take a cue from the fact that nobody knows which Valentine yesterday really commemorates. Isn’t love best when it can even be anonymous?
I often ponder why it seems so difficult for people to love universally. Yes, we do annoy each other. Yes, we have conflicting agendas. If, however, we pause for a moment and consider we’ll see that other people have feelings just like us. They too want to be loved and appreciated, and held by those closest to them. This is not a bad thing. What’s so wrong with love, after all? We pour money into the military industrial complex and try to regulate who can love whom. And we say we’re living the religion touted by the New Testament. I always try to keep Valentine’s Day special. It can be tricky on a Tuesday when work will bear its inevitable load of problems to solve. Still, if we all paused when we faced a people-related frustration on Valentine’s Day, and said to ourselves (saying it aloud would only cause problems) “I love you” to the person causing our frustration, I wouldn’t have been thinking of bombs on Valentine’s Day.