Tying up some Loose Ends

As an addendum to what I have previously written here are two more things to consider when rendering judgement on the scenario around Matt Chandler and his leave of absence. 

First for those who are holding their breath for fresh revelations and new recriminations a word in season from my teacher to consider. Presented without further comment:

“Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, ‘Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies are as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally we shall insist on seeing everything — God and our friends and ourselves included — as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.” – C.S. L. Mere Christianity

Secondly a little more exposition for those who are declaring this to be an, “I told you so” moment on the subject of men and women being friends. I would suggest that you have failed to understand what friendship is. Again going back to my teacher:

“Those who cannot conceive Friendship as a substantive love but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros betray the fact that they have never had a Friend. The rest of us know that though we can have erotic love and friendship for the same person yet in some ways nothing is less like a Friendship that a love-affair. Lovers are always talking to one another about their love; Friends hardly ever about their Friendship. Lovers are normally face to face, absorbed in each other; Friends, side by side, absorbed in some common interest.” C. S. L. The Four Loves

Lewis goes on to show how friendship revolves around a shared truth the moment of, “You too? I thought I was the only one!” and this is the heart of friendship. The detractors of cross gender friendships point to all of the relationships that were a cover for unrequited eroticism. And indeed there are many, but the only reason we know about them is their frequent spectacular ends. Friendships are undervalued in general and the successful male/female friendships never attract any attention because they are simply functioning as a friendship. Abusus Non Tollit Usum. I will point out again that the only reason for the implosion of Matt Chandlers Friendship was because of an outside influence that imposed a legalistic standard in a public fashion. Chandler has been benched because of his course language (that we used to applaud him for) not because he had a friend who happened to be a woman. And the person who torpedoed all of this is clearly of the sort who never actually had a friend.

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