Love Is Not Love

Love Is Not Love December 26, 2014

Another item from the past year I’d like to post again.

By which, “love is not love,” the writer, William Luse, means “love” is not love. Writing in Christendom Review, which he edits, he tells of responding to a student who asked him to define love and then having gotten his definition, said “love is love.” No, it’s not, said Bill.

The assertion that ‘love is love,’ I went on, is the thing that is “just a perception.” In fact, it’s probably less than that. It’s a deliberate attempt to redefine reality, and is more accurately called a lie. I know that people say it all the time, but they usually have some ulterior motive for doing so, since it plainly is not the case.

I do not love my parents in the same way I love my children. I do not, and cannot, love my best male buddy or my sister in the same way that I love my wife. And my love for my grandparents is different from these other loves, conditioned by a solicitude for the weakness that comes with age, a reverence for the wisdom that accompanies it, and gratitude that they have a place in my ancestry, for I would not be here without them. These are not merely perceptions; they are “facts on the ground,” as people say; they constitute reality. I would have to lie to myself to say otherwise.

. . . To say that ‘love is love’ (I told my student) is like saying that ‘God is God.’ It seems to me that the second half of the definition ought to add something to the first, to say something about it, rather than eat its own tail. Only in God (I went on, pressing my luck) can we imagine a Being in whom love is a single, indivisible, and eternally unwavering phenomenon; of such power unrelenting that we can also imagine it giving birth to the universe, to all life, to us; of such intensity unceasing that we cannot admit of any fluctuation, corruption, or tendency toward dissolution in this Being’s exercise of it, as we see among human beings; such that we are compelled to confess that it must, in this Being, constitute His very essence. Hence the reasonableness of the common expression “God is love.” Or, put another way: Love is a Being.

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