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True love is a battlefield

Self-proclaimed Bishop Karl Rodig of Detroit considers himself a 'rebel' priest. “I believe in love,” he says. “I think that love is for everyone, not just a few.” How quaint of a rebel to think that.

Of course, he is right. Love, understood properly, is for everyone. The flaw in his belief, however, is really the same flaw which is found with the folks who preach peace, tolerance, respect, education, liberty, and a great many more overused buzzwords. It is summed up in an amazingly simple question: what do you mean by love?

If our dear little revolt leader means that to love is not to judge (as so many liberals and non-traditionalists say it means), well, he violates his creed from the very start. As he is for women priests, married priests and same sex marriage, then espousing those views amounts to judging those who disagree (accepting another liberal axiom that to judge an action is to judge the person). If he doesn't mean that then he must qualify his statements. Otherwise we must ask: can a self contradictory message really help the world? Will it lead followers to humility and introspection, or would it actually give its practitioners a sense of self aggrandizement that will only keep them from a healthy and necessary questioning of themselves and their motives (something which real love calls us to do)?

You see, the problem with calls to love, to tolerate, to respect, to be peaceful is that they only work among those willing to be loving, tolerant, respectful, and peaceful. Not everyone will choose to be that way. Part of that reason is the abuse of free will. Left to its lonesome, it is quite liable to devolve into selfishness, and selfishness doesn't serve anyone well, even and perhaps especially the individual. Then there's the fact that some people simply won't give quarter to those who really believe in love and all the rest. That's why we have war and poverty: enough people in enough places dispense with love and its siblings so that no appeal to real and decent sentiment will sway them.

And we will not have real and decent sentiments until we realize that some things are not tolerable, not deserving of respect, and not in themselves lovable. Sometimes we must act in ways which are not peaceful because of the people who will not be peaceful, loving, or tolerant. This is the way of the world. To think anything else is simply irrational and naive.

Karl Rodig thinks himself loving. That thought might well lead to a far greater despotism than he sees held against those he supports. The despotism of the individual may well be the harshest tyranny there is.

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