Hating on St. Valentine’s Day

As we know, the feastday of this saint has long-been distorted, first by customs and lovers, then by haters who must make everything political:

But this is interesting stuff, too.

The train is never late: every time Valentine’s comes around, the Muslim world reacts with ferocious rage, with its leaders doing everything in their power to quash the festivity that comes with the celebration of private romance. Imams around the world thunder against Valentine’s every year — and the celebration of the day itself is literally outlawed in Islamist states. The Saudis, for instance, ruthlessly punish the slightest hint of celebrating Valentine’s Day. Just a few days ago, the Kingdom and its religious “morality” police officially issued a stern warning that anyone caught even thinking about Valentine’s Day will suffer some of the most painful penalties of Sharia Law.

Hmmm…that’s a new one on me. Feminists and Imams, working together, against a lovely day of hearts and chocolates, and “secret” and individualistic coupling.

Really, if they think they’re more powerful than love, they’re silly. People die for love. They’re martyred for it.

Living out the values of St. Valentine

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://runswithangels.wordpress.com/ Jan

    Well, Hallmark-holiday and chocolate aside, it’s not so bad to have a day set aside when we might freely express our fond feelings for each other!

    I heart Anchoress!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/KnightOwl2006#g/u Tempus_Fugit

    Maybe the hateful imams would be ok with V-Day if they sold exploding boxes of chocolate to celebrate?

  • http://thesilloftheworld.blogspot.com/ HKatz

    At my synagogue this past Shabbat a man with Down Syndrome gave a talk about kindness and the fundamental worth of each person.

    True love can’t exist without a clear recognition of that worth.

    [You are so very right. And it is the inability to see the "fundamental worth" of each person that is the beam in so many of our eyes! -admin]

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    There is this great quote from a biography of St. Valentine

    “Saints are not supposed to rest in peace; they’re expected to keep busy: to perform miracles, to intercede.
    Being in jail or dead is no excuse for non-performance of the supernatural.”

  • dry valleys

    For the vast majority of observers, it has nothing to do with St. Valentine, & is just a good moneymaking exercise. Neoliberals should celebrate it for that alone, never mind the religious context that never meant anything to corporations anyway.

    Ask any of the starcrossed lovers whether they know or care who this saint was. The reaction won’t surprise anyone.

    I don’t have a wife/girlfriend but I have enough trouble with made-up corporate present occasions- I’ve just about thought of a “Mother’s Day” present but that means I have to rack my brains again for my mother’s birthay. Well, I suppose there are 364 unofficial Son’s Days in the calendar! :)

  • http://yank-rbkc.blogspot.com Anthony

    I once broke up with someone in late January to avoid Valentine’s Day.

  • Andrew B

    I detested Valentine’s Day for many years, mostly because it seemed to be a formal, unmistakable way of reminding me of my own wretched, lonely state.

    What a difference love makes! My wife told me that what she REALLY wants for Valentine’s Day is to go out to a hot dog stand for some garlic fries, then come home and snuggle on the couch with our basset hounds, a glass of wine and an old movie.

    I LOVE this day!

  • Mack

    Okay, I’m pretty much “Bah! Humbug!” about the whole thing, but you guys are almost — almost — melting my heart.

  • http://tonylayne.blogspot.com/ Tony Layne

    I can see why the imams and feminists preach against St. Valentine’s Day. I mean, if you let men and women say they love each other, that might very well lead them to believe that marriage is more than a contract an imposition of a man’s will on a woman. Heck, that might even lead people to believe that marriage is good (*gasp!*), and even a revelation of God’s love for us (outrageous!). That in turn might lead into even more dangerous concepts, like grace and sacramentality. We can’t have that!

    Thank you for this post, Anchoress. You always have interesting things to share!

  • Laymonk

    Andrew has the right idea to celebrate! It’s not what we give each other, it’s in the quality of the time together. Memories are all we take with us anyway. _Peace

  • lesley

    I believe Mohammed married a widow and various other women – out of duty, compassion, care – I don’t know about passion – ie lust/sex – maybe this was entered into at a later date as time went on. I don’t know whether his wives were ever soul mates – but he seemed to carry out his responsibilities towards these women. No bad thing.

    In the west we have a ‘love’ quest – again no bad thing. ‘If we have not love – we are empty sounding vessels and there is nothing to us.’

    The quest for ‘only’ romantic love is a myth as men and women need more than that normally.
    The idea of romantic love is nice, but, alas, transient. Duty and belonging and commitment and love that has depth – all that is desireable whether you are a woman or a man -, but especially if you are a woman because you have less power to ‘initiate’ and ‘choose’ and survive if you are left with the product of your man’s sperm.

    So – St. Valentine and the ideal meet somewhere in the middle for most men and women of a certain age.

    Muslims are not anti ‘love’ – The best Muslims are all about a love that most women would love.
    Not all Muslims are a credit to their faith and of course, neither are Christian men/ women. We are all less than perfect.
    Thank our monotheisic God we have in common that we have something wholly good and loving to aim for. Christians, particularly Catholics and Muslims have so much in common – though, no ‘big’ names dare say this.
    Long live love – as our Lord, Jesus is its source in all its forms.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Lesley, there are real, fundamental differences between Jesus and Mohammed. I think these differences are something you should study further. There are also real, fundamental differences between Catholics and Moslems. One believes that Jesus Christ is the son of God, lord and savior; the other does not.Very big difference, right there.

    As for a “love that most women would love”—many Western women would not particularly love being forced to wear a burkha, or a headscarf, or being forbidden to appear in public, without a male guardian on hand.