Woot woot! There is a big old shindig going down at the Vatican right now, and no, I wasn’t invited either.
The party people are going by the fancy title of Humanum Colloquium. For us unpopular kids it can be digested more easily as a consortium on the value of marriage and complementarity of the sexes and includes ALL the heavy hitters. It is an interfaith hoedown of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Jews and because they like a big party they included representatives from smaller groups like Jainism, Sikhs, and even a Baptist! My people. Again with the WOOT!
While being late to pick up children and burning soup, I’ve been availing myself to as much coverage of the event that I can and I am here to tell you that the star speaker by far, in my humble opinion, has been Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. He says everything I want to say but with more eloquence, theological depth, and poetry. Here are some highlights, but I do recommend donning your pointy party hat and watching the video summary. If I could find a spare six minutes, you can too. I believe in you.
Just go turn off the stove first.
Hit it Rabbi:
“Some cultures teach that we are nothing. Others teach that we are everything. But the Jewish view is we are half and we must open ourselves to another if we are to become whole… In Judaism, faith is a marriage.”
“What made the traditional family remarkable is what it brought together. And what it brought together was sexual drive, physical desire, friendship, companionship, emotional kinship and love, the begetting of children, their protection and care, their early education, their induction into an identity and a history. Seldom has any institution woven together so many different drives and desires, so many different roles and responsibilities. It made sense of the world and gave it a human face. The face of love.”
“Almost everything which marriage once brought together has been split apart. Sex has been divorced from love, love has been divorced from commitment, marriage has been separated from having children, and having children has been separated from responsibility for their care.”
“The injustice of it all. The children who are deprived of these things, cry out to heaven.”
“It will go down in history, the western abandonment of marriage, as one of the tragic instances of what Fredrick Hayek called the “fatal conceit.” That somehow we know better than the wisdom of the ages and can defy the lessons of history. No one surely wants to go back to the narrow prejudices of the past, but our compassion for those who choose to live differently should not inhibit us for being advocates for the single most humanizing institution in history.”
“And so it has been ever since, that when a man and woman turn to one another in a bond of faithfulness God robes them in garments of light. And we come as close as we will ever get to God himself, bringing new life into being. Turning the prose of biology into the poetry of the human spirit.”