I was listening to a live performance on the radio the other day. It was some folkish guitarist whom I had never heard of. His music was OK, good enough to not change the station anyway. As with most radio interviews/performances, he was giving description and reason and inspiration behind each song he played. He had one of those “yeah, man… totally” kind of voices: very mellow with some smoker gravel. He began talking about a song called “Love is the solution,” which had been inspired by an acquaintance of his who stated, “You know, you people (referring to music artists and other artsy war protestors, I presume) are always ranting about everything that’s wrong and are never offering any solutions!” I thought that was a valid question. Although I am not happy about being in a war and I have a lot of questions as to whether or not we should even be in war and what not, I certainly have no solution to end it, and it probably has to do with my unfortunate lack of knowledge in the area.
Anyhow, the song that he played was…. Eh… you know, like most anti-war songs, which is to say, not very good. And when I say “not very good,” I mean that many seem like they were written quickly and furiously, lacking a good bit of musical and lyrical commitment. I couldn’t manage to find the lyrics to this particular tune. I don’t think the guy is well known at all, but mostly the song was a list he had compiled of all the things and people we are supposed to love that will consequently end all hate and war: drunkards, criminals, foreigners, etc. During the first half of the song I just sort of rolled my eyes and thought, “Yeah, that’s the kind of response a person would expect when they ask a solution from the artsy anti-war person.” So, I just kind of listened, waiting for it to be over when one particular lyric hit me. It was added in such a fashion as to REALLY drive the point. The tempo slowed some and the lyrics were drawn out, as if to say, “this is the kicker, folks. Pay attention.”
“…love the sinner, LLLLUUUUUVVV the sin… love is the solution”
Well I was just plain bothered. Even outside of what we know about sin in the Christian realm of thought, that idea is just plain ridiculous. I can imagine watching a news report of a bank robber and searching my heart for some form of empathy. I could maybe visualize some kind of sad, abused and dirt poor existence that would drive a man to resort to stealing, and in that way come to find a love for a redeemable soul, “A sinner such as I,” if you will. I CANNOT imagine watching the same news reel and thinking, “I love robbery.”
At this point I am trying to figure out a way to expound on how a person could love a sin, and I am stumped. Maybe it’s because sin as an idea isn’t very tangible. It is only brought to life through action, at which point I can only think of specific sins. If we are truly “loving” sin, like gossip, theft, envy, etc; how on earth is that part of any solution? The people who are loving sin, are the ones doing the sinning and causing all that grief and strife and what have you. Loving them is what we ought to do. But loving their sin is no good end of war solution.
Maybe what this guy was really about was anarchy, because that’s the only sense I can make of that dim-witted phrase.