My friends, I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about romance. All right, here is how I feel about romance:
If when you say romance you mean the devil’s lie, the blinkered delusion, the soul-devouring succubus, that abrogates sense, dethrones reason, destroys the kindly nooks of the soul, creates miserable, unrequited yearning, yea, literally soaks delirious eyes in rose-tinted hyssop-water; if you mean the evil infatuation that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, prudent affections into the bottomless pit of degeneracy, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.
But, if when you say romance you mean the gladdening of the heart, the joy of humanity, the buoyancy of a young spirit yearning for affection, that puts a song in the heart and a smile on the lips, and the warm glow of contentment in the eyes; if you mean springtime fancy; if you mean the stimulating sentiment that gladdens the old gentleman’s step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the hope which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that tiding, the indulgence of which gives rise to trust and honor in the boudoir as well as the marketplace, then certainly I am for it.
This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.
We Westerners are romantics. Our struggle is to keep from being delusional romantics. Saints preserve us, one and all.