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Opening Arguments


Sometimes I like a nice glass of red wine after a hard day's work; many prefer a beer or a martini or a hit of something illegal, but I'll take the red wine. I also enjoy a really great meal -- crisp salad, a main course with a couple of side dishes, some crusty bread, a light dessert. I don't need the meal with the wine or the wine with the meal. Each is enjoyable on its own. But one can complement the other, and there's nothing quite like a great meal with a glass of great red wine.

I refer -- metaphorically, of course -- to Pope Benedict XVI's first encyclical. Given the pope's former role as the church's doctrinal watchdog, many, including even some inside the Vatican, had expected the document to be on something "problematical," such as bioethics. But he chose instead to explore the "relatively uncontroversial meditation on love." He warns that "eros" alone risks turning men and women into mere merchandise. Only when it is coupled with "agape," the self-giving love of others, can we begin to approach God's unconditional love for mankind. You can't just have the red wine, in other words. You have to have the meal with it.

How can I complete the metaphor? With the waitress, naturally. Whether I'm having the wine or the meal or both, I appreciate the one who brings it to me. Love the waitresses.

Posted in: Religion