A common language

“I spit out like a sewer hole yet still receive your kiss. How can I measure up to anyone now after such a love as this?” — Pete Townsend

One of my favorite stories behind the scenes came from the song above. For those unfamiliar with The Who, apparently the vast majority of the songs were written by Townsend who was also the lead guitarist for the band. However, he rarely ever sang lead vocals as that honor usually went to Roger Daltrey.

Sure enough, Daltrey sang lead vocals for the song above as well. When you read the full lyrics you probably get a different vibe than when you hear the song play on the radio or your stereo. The reason you get a different vibe is because the song was supposed to have a different vibe. Townsend intended for the song to have a more serious and introspective feel to it. He was actually asking about God himself. Who knows if the song would have been as popular if it had mirrored Townsend’s intention. Daltrey certainly deserves credit for having his own instincts.

My thoughts on this week’s events have made their way to other sites where others comment more often. The number one comment has been a rebuke of sorts. It seems I still hold onto my faith in spite of all of the evidence to the contrary. Oddly enough it seems in these moments when people are the least kind that is when faith is the strongest and most necessary.

The conundrum comes when it is those people of faith that are the most cruel. I harken back to a religious counseling class I took when I was getting my masters degree. The whole idea of the course was to be able to speak a common language no matter who your client was and what religious background they came from. A large part of talking through issues like abortion is speaking a common language.

I’ve heard a number of defenses of the pro-choice point of view and one main defense of the pro-birth position. Until you can interpret and mimic that language it will be next to impossible to convince anyone of a position. Even then you are fighting an uphill battle. It is much like the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelites. There is only one that can control their holy land and it is both of their holy lands.

In order for a moral law to exist, it has to exist universally. The preservation of life is a moral law and yet is not universally followed in all circumstances. Freedom of choice is a universal law in the social structure of our society. Yet it is not followed in all circumstances. Here you get the ultimate collision of moral laws. Which one wins out in the end?

Is life universal when someone goes to bed without a warm meal? Is life universal when they have to lay their head down on the cold concrete of the street? Is life universal when they have committed the most egregious acts our mind can imagine? Is life universal when cancer ravages their body and they have no insurance? Whatever the source of our morality, that morality demands some consistency.

Similarly, is choice universal when someone makes a choice we disapprove of? Is choice universal when one or more of those choices could become dangerous to those around us? Can the pursuit of one’s happiness infringe on the rights on someone else? In the spaces between our intellect, our most animal urges, and conscience, we find the logical limitations of life and choice. It is in these places where our collective cultural language and traditions seemingly take over. It is in these places where agreement and understanding are the most necessary. It is in these places where our sacred honor has left us.

Author: sbarzilla

I have written three books about baseball including The Hall of Fame Index. I also write for thefantatasyfix.com. You can follow me on twitter @sbarzilla.

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