We interrupt your regularly-scheduled “Ask a Vet” for a special blog. AAV will air in its entirety on Saturday Morning – don’t forget to tune in!
So last Friday, America changed for the better. I was actually stunned by the news, and spent quite a few minutes bumbling giddily around my desk until I was able to settle down again.
Predictably, haters flooded the interwebs with vile spew and speculation, hatred for love and lovers, and complete disrespect, IMHO, for that veritable institution they claim to cherish so much. In an effort to be helpful, I’ve had the crack AAV research team skim several major religious works. Let’s tally up their findings, shall we?
Of course we’ll start with the one we all know best. Two of the three Abrahamic religions refer to this book as their primary text – conveniently broken down into “Old” and “New” sections.
Overall, the term “love” appears in print a whopping 686 times. Of course, some of these are banal references to person X “loves” person Y, and so on. “Hate” only makes 127 appearances, or only about 18% of the “love” total. Interesting.
So let’s move on…next we’ll check in on Mohammed’s writings. “Love” makes just 112 appearances there. But for all the histrionics about Islam being a religion of hate…the word only appears 43 times out of the 114 Surahs, and many of those references are warnings not to do things that are “hateful” towards Allah.
But how about a non-Abrahamic religion? The next largest in the world is probably Hindu; their text is called the “Bhagavad Gita”. I suspect there may be a problem in translating this work, as “love” makes a mere 8 appearances in this text. Surprisingly enough, “hate” makes 15 appearances throughout the work.
I’d take a look over everyone’s friend the Dalai Lama, but if he has even said the word “hate” in his entire lifetime, I’d be surprised. There cannot be even a mote of disagreement in his body. Would that we could all follow this example.
But back to the familiar love and hate we should all know. Remarkably, Jesus did not actually proscribe us to “love the sinner, but hate the sin”. Like most things associated with Jesus, that came much later, and it’s attributed to Saint Augustine:
It’s from St. Augustine. His Letter 211 (c. 424) contains the phrase Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum, which translates roughly to "With love for mankind and hatred of sins." The phrase has become more famous as "love the sinner but hate the sin" or "hate the sin and not the sinner" (the latter form appearing in Mohandas Gandhi’s 1929 autobiography).
But love is probably the most powerful of all. Not wanting to join that festival of hate espoused by the hypocritical so-called “followers of Jesus”, I’ll leave you with something one of his followers actually did say…being Paul in a letter to the Corinthians. Point of fact, this was one of the passages that Mrs. TriSec and I chose to have read at our own wedding.
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
The decision of the courts cannot have weakened or disparaged the “institution” of marriage in any way. By following the words of Paul, “The greatest of these is love”, we have only moved ourselves forward…and perhaps closer to the creator.