What’s love got to do with it?

Published 8:36 pm Monday, September 2, 2019

By Kenya Smith

In 1984, singer Tina Turner released a song titled “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” The song expresses the singer’s frustration with how the word “love” can be thrown around without fully understanding that love is an action. Therefore, she recognizes that love goes beyond statement.

This lesson is even shown in the 1992 film with the same name, which depicted the abusive relationship between Tina and her former husband, Ike. As Christians, we hear about love and we talk about love. We sing “Amazing Grace,” “Jesus Loves Me” and “Oh, How I Love Jesus.” We are reminded of Jesus’ words when he was challenged by a Pharisee in Matthew 22:36-40, “Love the Lord with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and with all of your mind,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” However, there is an ever-growing trend of hateful and vindictive rhetoric that is entering the Christian community.


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A few weeks ago, there was a disturbing incident involving comedian Sarah Silverman. A video showed a pastor going on an anti-Semitic rant against the comedian and declaring that he hopes that God would break Silverman’s teeth out and that she dies. Silverman, who is Jewish, responded to the pastor’s rant by saying, “He’s going to get me killed.”

In June, a mayor from Alabama suggested that exterminating the LGBTQ community, pro-choice advocates and socialists was the only way to fix society. A Tennessee pastor and detective called for the execution of the LGBTQ individuals that caused him to have his event canceled at a Cracker Barrel. A politician from West Virginia said that if his kids came out as gay, he would see if they could swim.

In response to the shooting that took place at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in 2016, some pastors celebrated the tragedy. For example, a California pastor celebrated the killing of the victims by saying to a congregation, “Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today? Um no. I think that’s great. I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida, is a little safer tonight. The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. The tragedy is I’m kind of upset he didn’t finish the job — because these people are predators. They are abusers.”

The question is, “What’s love got to do with it?”

It’s frustrating that some of us are nonchalant when we see similar incidents. It’s one thing to say that we love everybody when we are confronted with these nightmarish occurrences, but when we are silent, defensive or apathetic because “not all of us are like that” or because “it’s only just a few extremists,” we’re accomplishing nothing. Like the saying goes, “One bad apple spoils the whole bunch.”

People aren’t impressed by words but by actions. They need to see that the vindictive, hateful and bigoted rhetoric is truly beneath us. Love is not just a word; it’s a standard of living.

Kenya Smith is a Suffolk native. Email her at s.kenya43@yahoo.com.