Christian and Sexual Love: The Common Ground

The greatest obstacle to Christian love in America today is the Christian church. The greatest obstacle to love itself is the oppressive and exploitative capitalist society we live in. Lastly, the greatest obstacle to Christianity is capitalism and racism. Love, at the end of the day, is a form of consciousness tht recognizes the oneness of humanity. At the same time it is a web of complex and intimate human bonds. Romantic, sexual and individual love, rather than the antithesis of social being manifests it. The problem of romantic and sexual love (which are two sides of the same coin) is not those forms of love themselves , but the society within which they exist. In an anti-love, exploitative, thing oriented, war directed society and culture, Christian Love, romantic and sexual love are corrupted and cheapened. And this is not because people are necessarily insincere about love, but because the culture they live in bears down upon them making love difficult and many cases impossible. Because it is human and social it is part of society. Without struggle against a society that cheapens love romantic and sexual love is more often than not a sham and fraud. The promise of flying your lover to the moon, turns out being a one way trip into a living hell, a prison of never to be fulfilled expectations.Many people incorrectly believe that love is transcendent and above society. For most love is viewed as an escape. In the existential sense an escape from the responsibility to free society from the chains of racism and exploitation. Love is this never never land, a paradise, where the proverbial Alice discovers her Wonderland. I call this love as escapism .
The essence of Christianity morality and for that matter the Christian life, and its magnificent spiritual and philosophical contribution to the world (the Good News, if you will), is Love. God is Love, the Bible teaches. However, the Christian Church rather than struggle to help people realize love, by upholding the current system and usually being quiet about injustice, turns out being an obstacle to love in general and Christian Love in particular. to Love in the Christian sense is to serve, to struggle to overturn all forms of injustice. to be a Christian is therefore to be a freedom fighter, a revolutionary. Anything else is a distortion of the meaning of Jesus’ life and the Christian call to love your neighbors as you would yourself. In the end most Christians are not Christians at all, they are American nationalists seeking justification for living in an unjust world while doing nothing to change it.
For me love is first and foremost a revolutionary impulse, a commitment to struggle for freedom and to change society; it is an investment in humanity as such and Black humanity in the first place. My lover is my comrade, my associate in the long journey towards a better world and better humanity. Sexual love is not the end, but a means by which we deepen bonds of ideology, morality and commitment. I love you because we love freedom; I love you because we love humanity; I love you because we hate capitalist exploitation, racism and imperialist wars. Without struggle romantic love is an empty vessel. Without struggle romantic love turns into a prison of disappointments, a house that is not a home, a series of proclamations and high sounding claims that cannot be fulfilled. Lastly, the crisi of love , both Christian and sexual in our society, and especially among black people, is in the end the cris of capitalism and its cheap morality. Capitalist propaganda insists that either in the transcendent Christian love or the escapist romantic love we can find fulfillment in a decadent society. This is one of the Big Lies of out time. To paraphrase Frederick Douglass, Without struggle there cannot be Love. She/He who wants Love without struggle wants the crops without the rain, or the sea without its mighty roar.

About Anthony Monteiro

I am a activist and scholar who is a professor in the Department of African American Studies at Temple University.
This entry was posted in Black Intellectual, Political and Ideological Issues, Political and Ideological Issues. Bookmark the permalink.

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