The Gates of Hell

*Sigh* I guess we have to talk about Bill and Melinda Gates, though I’m tempted just to reprint what I wrote about Prince Harry and Whatserface.

A guy who’s worth something like $160 BILLION, is one of the largest farmland owners in the country (gee, I wonder why he’s so adamant about Green deals?), and was responsible for such inventions as Windows Vista and “Clippy” the Paperclip, is getting divorced from his wife of some years because of reasons.

Naturally, because the country sees two-and-a-half million divorces per year, the media is obsessed with this rarity. What?! Two condescending rich people are unhappy? Forsooth!

Actually, I think there are two reasons why this matrimonial Blue Screen of Death is getting the attention it is.

First: money. It’s not just that we’re obsessed with money in this country, but people generally do think that it can buy who happiness and contentment. Especially with an amount of money that doesn’t even register as a real number. Add to that the fact that Bill and Melinda didn’t have a prenuptial agreement (why would you if you actually believed in marriage?), and there’s a breeze from the collective GASP. I can’t tell you the number of people I have met and know who confess with their lips that the Beatles were right, but believe in their hearts that if they could just get one more dollar they would be content. So it isn’t that Bill and Melinda are famous and wealthy—it’s that they’re so unbelievably wealthy that they shouldn’t have any problems. Ever.

Second: marriage still means something. Again, this is subconscious, but since marriage is imprinted in our DNA from God’s design in Eden, no human being can escape the feeling that something has gone terribly wrong when divorce happens. When people who are supposed to be role models for success and generosity get divorced, the soreness is that much rawer. “It is not good for man to be alone.” Man was created for marriage. Adam and Eve are perfect complements. They are literally made for each other, and this profound mystery is the basis for all human society. Without marriage, there is no stability. Without marriage, there is no completion. Without marriage, there is no order. And a society that flippantly destroys this institution is a smoldering wick on a keg of dynamite.

So, as much as I don’t care about Bill and Melinda Gates, and whatever dalliances and untoward behavior is causing their divorce, the media obsession with it is strangely encouraging. It reminds me that Americans are still human beings, and that for all our foibles we still deep down believe that God created us for order, delight, and service towards others. And if we believe that, then maybe—subconscious or not—we can be more susceptible to the truest love story for which marriage is a metaphor: the Bridegroom Jesus and His Bride the Church.