Thursday, May 13, 2010

Leaving, Then Cleaving

Originally posted on Feministing Community

A disclaimer up front. What follows is heteronormative, not especially Feminist, not particularly Progressive, and objectionable on all sorts of levels. Rest assured, I know this, too, and large sections of this I disagree with as fervently as I know you do.

Having said that...

Look beyond the literal. Please also forgive the God talk. I never ask anyone to believe as I do, but my own faith is very important to me, and it advances my larger point.

Some Pharisees came and tested [Jesus] by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"

Jesus answered them with a question: "What did Moses say in the law about divorce?"

"Well, he permitted it," they replied. "He said a man can give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away."

"It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law," Jesus replied.

"A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two are united into one.' Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together."

At its face, this is a decree against divorce. But taken in a completely different context, it is a condemnation of the ways that humans have, for their own selfish motives, complicated
what ought to be a simple, but powerful human experience. We have taken our gift of thought and analysis and used it to divide each other. Jewish law at the time stated that if a man could prove adultery, no matter how flimsy the charges, he could dissolve the bands of marriage. This was a man-made addition that contradicted God's design for humanity and wasn't especially respectful of women's rights, either.

How easy it is for us to use our brainpower to get in the way of the most basic of human experiences! Some of the most profound experiences I have ever felt lend themselves to no words, no weighty concepts, no five syllable terms learned in a college classroom. Some times I think that our intellect, our rational selves, our cognitive abilities get in the way of the simple joys that life has to offer.

For example, those of you who have been in love before know the supreme satisfaction and incredible euphoria that it offers. Perhaps only then can we be truly completed. Perhaps then and only then do we set aside our searching and seeking, not just for someone, but for something. And there is also great joy in connecting with others who are our friends, and this same sense of connectivity is in evidence here, also.

My desire and my prayer, for Feminism, romance, and friendship alike is this. Let no one split apart what God has joined together.

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