Yesterday was Love Day! Valentine's Day! It's a time of love in relationships, and giving one another hearts and candy. So I would say that anything or any tradition that elicits a little more love on the planet is a very good thing, and helps all of us grow in our love-consciousness, wouldn't you?
A number of years ago (younger generations may not even know what I'm talking about) but as my dimming memory divines the past), I think of a song titled What's Love Got To Do With It? , performed by Ike and Tina Turner, was listened to almost by anyone you met (I may not even have the correct artist (another sign of dementia?)
The name of the tune is very appropriate indeed, because it was a well-known, or emerged in a time a very popular and acute perpetrator of domestic violence--in his relationship with Tina Turner. Is love or need for control and power the cause of male-on-female, or female-on-female, or male-on-male (or any combination of the above) domestic violence?
Yes, it's true that many, particularly males, are still mastered by these twisted, craven ideas: that is, if a man loves a woman (this, too, may be a song title), for example, he has the right to use verbal abuse, non-verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and physical abuse on her, or him as the case may be, because domestic violence doesn't discriminate according to gender although men appear to still be doing the most battering. He/she erroneously believes his abusing his partner flows out of love, thus justifying all his/her actions.
"That bruise on your face, that black eye, and your crazy actions and punishments only show how much I love you!" Furthermore, if the perpetrator is a believer in fundamentalism, the dominant partner thinks (more determinedly if he is male, because he is "right before God, He says so in the Bible, doesn't He ." If the male does lean to the religious right, because of his own delusionary thinking that domestic violence is the right thing to do, and it's a part of his religious duty, it's a part of his being the leader in his home.
My ex-wife worked for awhile in a Domestic Violence Program; services such as education, process groups, life skills education, social skills education and provision of shelter were provided by this Social Service agency. She would often mention to me that some of the worst perpetrators were pastors in Christian churches. I'm not saying this to bash Christianity, because the same thing could be found in many faith traditions. Her clients primarily came from a Christian traditions. This notion that the male is the head of his wife has been used by men from the Christian tradition as a way to shoot arrows with the Bible at other Christians, and their own partners. Sadly, the Bible has been used as a flaming sword to harm, mistreat and dominate women.
A lot of people will take issue with my statement here: generally speaking, violence can never be love, if the intent and motivation is to harm another person, abuse them in any way, or perpetrate any kind of emotional, non-verbal, verbal or physical battering and call it love; their is no rational, sane, spiritual and compassionate logical rhetoric that can rationalize any kind of Domestic Violence.
Another way to say this is that if someone says they committed violence on a loved one, it simply is putting forth another delusion and a way of blame-shifting. I'm sure that there all kinds of gray areas in this issue, but this author would like to at least throw out some tried-and-true-precedents and definitions.
I've observed and experienced that most of the faith traditions or spiritualities would see love as a crystal prism that has many sides, and not an isolated, single attribute or practice, that is a stand-alone one; in other words love is usually an integrated whole consisting of peace, mercies of good fruits, humility, gratefulness, equanimity, grace-filled compassion-active-acts-and-empathy, care for the poor, lovingkindnesses--so much to say you can't really practice one without all the rest.
These are all titanic attributes and properties. And I think that we'll be processing and transforming for the rest of our lives--if we have awareness of our problem--and perhaps in other future ones as well. The start of any goal is to recognize it as a goal, and begin to see it through. Expect an up-and-down road of trial and error experiences, All of us have to pick ourselves up and try a new approach. And another thing: maybe there's a reason we all have two ears and one mouth. Listen to learn! And have fun doing it. Go make some love happen!
© Christopher Bear-Beam February 14, 2013