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Love . . . Lust and Elizabeth Taylor

REV. ARTHUR LEE KINSOLVING of St. James Episcopal Church in New York, and father of movie actor Lee Kinsolving, says: “To me, Elizabeth Taylor is a broken dol. She is so very attractive and so talented an actress that teenagers pattern themselves after her. So when she lets her husband down, she lets everybody down.

“Teenagers all over the world feel Elizabeth Taylor sets a pattern for America. And when her movies are shown all over the world, people abroad think of her as a typical American. When she cannot stay married, then these people think most Americans cannot stay married. And I imagine when a foreign girl wants to marry an American man, her parents won’t permit it because they have acquired a distorted view—that most Americans hold marriage in contempt. This is not true. Nevertheless, too many of us have lost the difference between love and lust. We have been shortchanging ourselves because we place lust above love.

“Elizabeth Taylor is a symbol of the Hollywood confusion—that love and lust mean the same thing. Lust is self-centered and selfish. . . . Love is giving unselfishly of one’s self.

“I do not condemn Miss Taylor—it is un-Christian to condemn. But I do deplore the fact that a person with a capacity to do so much, is doing the U.S. and the world a disservice.

“The human tragedy—and perhaps Miss Taylor’s tragedy—is not so much sin as it is blindness to the face of sin.”

DR. MATTHEW IES SPETTER, leader of the Riverdale-Yonkers Ethical Society, says: “I think that the main tragedy of this kind of person is that she is elevated to the role of a love goddess.

“The kind of love goddess we create in America is a fatal misconception. She is a goddess you cannot really love. She is really a sex goddess. And sex goddesses seem to want only to destroy themselves. For them, everything becomes a performance, instead of a true act of love and devotion.

“The sex goddess is part of a trend in literature and the theater whereby hatred is created for women. These stories and plays are written by people who are less than sympathetic to women.

“Hostility to women is further expressed when, for example, our first atomic bomb is called ‘Gilda,’ after the movie with Rita Hayworth. Also, when the bikini bathing suit is named for Bikini Atoll, scene of the first atom explosion. And again when hurricanes are given female names.

“In our culture, unfortunately, we underplay true tenderness; tender people are called soft in the head. Instead we prize those who are tough and cruel.

“The sex goddess is self-destructive and destructive to those around her. Because of her we have become a nation of Peeping Toms, instead of people who know that love means working and suffering together and sharing ideals. Instead of loving, we create sex goddesses and we feed their image to our children. You cannot pick up a newspaper or magazine without seeing ads for all kinds of ‘beauty aids’ that make you look different than you are. Why is it so important to look different than you are?

“This kind of condition existed in Germany preceding Hitler’s rise to power. It is something we must fight here.”

RABBI CHARLES E. SHULMAN of the Riverdale Temple, New York, and author of many books including “What It Means To Be a Jew,” says: “We have a sad situation in our country in which one out of four marriages end in divorce. Liz Taylor’s four marriages, three of which ended in divorce, are indicative.

“Liz Taylor is a type. She is one of those who try very hard for success and, in trying hard, she becomes a sort of public domain. Inevitably they lose something of their private lives.

“When a person’s public life becomes more important than her personal life, something precious has gone out of living. This does not apply to Miss Taylor alone; it applies to all people in the public eye.

“We live in an age highly geared to public relations, and it is inevitable that the more you blow up a person, in terms of notoriety, the harder it is for that person to keep a sense of balance.

“Far from viewing Miss Taylor as a strumpet, I think of her as a tragedy of our age. She is less a person than a product of publicity, a commodity, something with which to sell movies.

“I don’t believe most stars and celebrities are extraordinary people worth as much as a scientist working in a laboratory. But these are the people who gain fame and fortune way out of proportion to their value.

“Obviously, Miss Taylor is unstable. Four marriages indicate that, for her, love does not have a sustaining quality.”

REV. DONALD HARRINGTON, minister of the famed Community Church in New York, says: “Elizabeth Taylor’s plight is part of the materialistic culture of which Hollywood is an epitome. In Hollywood, even the best of people have a hard time staying married. I don’t know why it is that Hollywood stars cannot sustain a normal life.

“As for Miss Taylor’s multiple marriages, it is obvious she does not know what she wants and she cannot hold the love of a man. There are a lot of people who have less of a religious life than she has had, yet manage better than she.

“I’m told she is regarded as a Love Goddess, a symbol of love. Isn’t it sad that a Love Goddess does not know how to love?”




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