Marcia’s Law – The Power of Love
“The power of love is a curious thing
make a one man weep, make another man sing
Change a hawk to a little white dove
more than a feeling, that’s the power of love”
-Huey Lewis & The News
By Marcia Prichason
In a recent Facebook post, Mississippi GOP state Representative Andy Gipson informs his Facebook friends that homosexuality is “unnatural” and causes “disease.” He further cites a passage from the Bible to assert that homosexuals should be put to death. Just in case he doesn’t reach enough of the faithful through Facebook, Representative Gipson also states that “It is this message that I preach every Sunday. I sincerely pray God will reach someone through this message.”
Gipson, by his fanatical declarations, puts Biblical law over Constitutional law: A dangerous position for a Congressman. It is a view that destroys freedom, liberty, and every other American value protected by the Constitution.
Frighteningly, his message of hate is so powerful that many follow him blindly.
But it’s not powerful enough. It’s certainly not powerful enough to convince 86 year old Mae Smith! Mrs. Smith recently walked the AIDS Walk in Chicago in tribute to her son Ron, who died of AIDS twenty years ago (Chicago Tribune September 23, 2012). Mrs. Smith, who raised eight children, worked a full time job, and went to Church faithfully, has walked that Walk every year for the past twenty. Her daughter-in-law says, “You see her standing taller and prouder” as she walks. Even though someone her age could choose to say she’s done enough, may well decide that others can carry on, might relinquish her hold on her son after all these years…she doesn’t.
She doesn’t because Mae Smith knows that her son, who suffered through shingles, pneumonia, and lymphoma before he succumbed to a disease that has no cure, deserved all the love she could give him. She gave him that in life, and she gives him that in death…year after year. Step after step. Mile after mile; it is the power of love.
Maybe Mississippi State Rep. Gipson doesn’t understand just how powerful love is. Maybe, he is so angry, bitter, and consumed with hate that he cannot fathom that the measure of a man is not in how much hate he can engender, but in how much he loves and is loved by others.
When Mae Smith learned that her son was gay, she thought, “If that’s the way it is, that’s the way it is” (Chicago Tribune). She accepted him because when you love someone unconditionally, you accept everything. There is no, “except for.” There are no “buts.”
When Ron Smith was diagnosed with AIDS in the 1990’s he faced shame, ignorance and the disease’s medical complications. Ron was fortunate to have the support of a family that understood, and continues to understand, just how important love is. They helped him as he grew into manhood, and they helped him through his last days. While nothing could halt the ravages of this terrible disease, Ron had a family that stood by him every step of the way.
This is what it means to be human: to love rather than hate each other. Rep. Gipson’s vitriol makes it easy to hate him. But, I don’t want to be as hateful to Rep. Gipson as he is to others; there is too much danger in becoming just like him. He does not hold that power over me.
His hatred is hard to tolerate, though. Rep. Gipson and others of his ilk cause a lot of damage. The teenager crying alone at night because he thinks he’s a freak, the woman denied housing or employment, the young girl turned out by her family…yet I believe that the power of love will overcome; maybe not today, maybe not even tomorrow. But, the Mae Smith’s of the world hold more power than Rep. Gipson can ever understand. They hold the power of love.
“…You don’t need money, don’t take fame
Don’t need no credit card to ride this train…
That’s the power of love…”
…And I’m just a mom who loves her son…