John Andrist: Love Shouldn't Need Laws

There is a bill in the senate, SB2279, that has a special interest for me. It’s a gay rights bill.

I like it, and I don’t. In my mind it is time to accept this new diversity, which will happen whether we like it or not. And yet a part of me does not like the idea of trying to beat people into loving others.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#000000″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]I long for the day not when we have laws in place to protect us, but when we become a society mature enough to love and respect others for what they are, not what they aren’t.[/mks_pullquote]

Science long ago came to recognize that some of us are simply wired different when it comes to sexuality.

And yet there lingers the old teaching that there is something evil about gay proclivities. If that is so, who are the victims?

What changed my traditional thinking was not the science so much as the realization that the gay people I knew were as bright, as kind, as loving, as productive, and as lawful as I am.

Alas, laws are little more than a trigger in the process of changing people. Until people accept those laws, little societal change takes place.

If and when we come to a basic understanding that love is the mother of change, we are on our way.

When I was young my small body was my curse. Girls didn’t like me as much as I liked them.

I was the subject of derision and taunts. In those days fitting the norm was most important. It was my curse to overcome, I decided.

My mother was short and fat. Wonderful as she was, she thought her red hair and overweight body were curses.

After all, how we feel about ourselves affects us far more than the way others see us.

But when you are driven by genuine love, skin color, size and shape, family origin, national origin and sexuality lose their luster.

Do you know anybody you love who is ugly? Of course not. Real love spawns acceptance. That’s why most marriages still work. It’s certainly not because we are perfect.

I long for the day not when we have laws in place to protect us, but when we become a society mature enough to love and respect others for what they are, not what they aren’t.

Love is the most powerful, positive force in our lives. Consider the 26-year old woman, Kayla Jean Mueller, who left her comfortable home in this country to do humanitarian work in the troubled regions of our world.

She was abducted by ISIS, held in captivity for 18-months, suffered deprivation, and now has been reported by her captors to be dead.

The human struggle in our world is temporarily between radical Islam and the rest of the world.

But the eternal struggle continues to be that of love versus hate.

Each of us is a mixture of those forces. Jesus was our poster child. Kayla Jean Mueller personified it.

Most of us are someplace in the middle. But we can still be players, and we are players whenever we demonstrate acts of caring and love. We stumble when we insert ourselves as judges of others.

That’s what I like about Valentine’s Day. It’s a focus on our finest behavioral attribute.

For all our faults we are getting better at this in every generation, at least in our part of the world — and no doubt in the world inhabited by most Muslims.

And that is worth celebrating. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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