The avocado is truly an amazing fruit -- yes fruit! In fact it is classified as a berry, a single-seed berry, and like all fruits it must be eaten to propagate properly. If it is not eaten by just the right kind of creature, it will die out as a species. You see, an animal just the right size eats the fruit because of its pleasant tasting pulp. The seed however, is hard, indigestible, bitter and even toxic. The pulp nourishes the animal that eats it and the animal returns the favor by planting the seed in a place far from its origin. It does this by making use of that end of the animal not capable of facial expression.
Thus the animal, capable of motion because of the energy gained from the fruit pulp is necessary for the life cycle of the inedible fruit seed. The tree nourishes the animal. The animal plants the indigestible seed in a distant place with a wonderful nitrogen enriched fertilizer to get the little sapling started. The tree and the beast complete each other. This is called complimentarity. No beast no fruit, no fruit no beast.
The avocado was, dare I say it, designed to be eaten by the now extinct megafauna, or giant animals that roamed the Americas 10,000 years ago animals like the glyptodon, a cross between and armadillo and a delivery truck. The avocado seed is useless to, say, a chipmunk. It is in fact a living fossil. It exists today only because of the Aztec taste for Guacamole. If the principle of complimentarity did not apply to avocados and football games, it would have gone extinct a long time ago. Do you get my point? I didn’t think so.
Here it is. If we didn’t know about Aztecs and glyptodons, the avocado would make no sense at all. We scratch our heads and say, golly, there is a fruit with nothing to eat, spread and fertilize it. How can it be that this strange anachronism is available at Super Bowl time? Look at the equipment. It can’t be eaten by anyone or anything. They would choke on the seed. Look at the equipment. I will not go farther than that. As far as the avocado is concerned the pit is the important thing. As far as the glyptodon was concerned the pulp is the important thing. As far as the Super Bowl fan is concerned, the beer is the important thing.
Complimentarity. It seems to be woven through the universe from protons and electrons all the way down to Grandma and Grandpa. There seems to be a principle of complimentarity. I give to you that you might exist, you give to me that I might exist. An infinite number of monkeys writing on an infinite number of typewriters might come up with the text of Hamlet, but I dare them to come up with an avocado and a glyptodon. We Christians see design in these thing. You might not, but if you are among the pagans who think it’s all just a coincidence and that there is no such as design or nature, stop nagging us about recycling and saving the whales. Who cares about the whales anyway? (That is if you think it’s all just a giant crap shoot.) You can’t have nature and un-nature.
Well, you may say, in nature lots of animals have variable sexualities. They also eat their young and other such things. In order to live, to continue life, complimentarity is the great principle. To love life is to love the other. As I have mentioned before, there have been human societies that have esteemed same-sex relationships. These societies have also killed their young, especially girl babies and treated women like property. I think the case can be made that if same-sex relationships win out over complimentary relationships, it seems that women are the losers.
We Christians are accused of discrimination against a sexual minority by opposing same-sex marriage. Nonsense! We oppose lots of sexual minorities by defining marriage as the indissoluble union between male and female that is open to new human life even if new human life is not possible in the relationship. We believe that marriage is about human life, not about pleasure, not that we are opposed to pleasure. The pulp of the fruit may be tasty, but the seed and its transport are the thing.
Just today I heard a wonderful analogy. Take a piece of tape. Stick it to a sweater. Rip it off and stick it on a new sweater. Repeat the process. Again. And again. Soon, the tape will not stick. The bond of sexual intimacy is the glue that holds the tape. When that bond is lost by frequent ripping, the joy, the sacredness of the bond are also lost. So it is, that our society has been made dangerously, disastrously unstable by casual, recreational sex.
Human children are desperate for stability. We humans aren’t viable life forms till we are at least 18. Some men never grow up. Some women are starting to imitate them. I remember hearing a four-year-old say, “but we ALWAYS go to Grandma’s for Christmas!!!” Always? Four years? Yes that’s his always.
Well mommy and daddy are having issues and this year is daddy’s turn for visitation and Christmas will be at the Ramada Inn. Next year it will be at their new daddy’s parents house. Aren’t you lucky, junior? You get new grandparents and now three sets of grandparents will give you Christmas presents. Isn’t that nice? Pretty soon junior just doesn’t care. There is no glue. There is no relationship worth giving or getting. Junior will probably have to work on Christmas anyway when he’s older, but maybe he’ll call. He certainly won’t be going to church with any of his six grandparents.
The glue is important. The design is important. Even if it isn’t my preference, it’s still important. Sex for its own sake may be enjoyable, but like the avocado without the glyptodon, what’s the point? The avocado has lost its freedom, its integrity as a life force, its importance in the life cycle. It exists only as an amusement, an accompaniment to beer and tortilla chips.
Next week : the wooly mammoth theory of the differentiation of the sexes.