Under and Alone

Bob_Anton_Narrow_RoadIf you’re looking for an interesting book to read during this miserable winter, I recommend the book Under and Alone: The True Story of the Undercover Agent Who Infiltrated America’s Most Violent Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, Random House, 2005 .  Once I started reading this book I couldn’t put it down.  As the title aptly describes, this is the story of an ATF agent who successfully infiltrates a very hardcore motorcycle club in order to build a case against their criminal activity.  The story itself is captivating, but it is one of the undercurrents in the story that I found truly thought provoking.  

At one point in the story, undercover agent William Queen receives news that his mother has died.  Queen remarks that in response, the club members showed him more love and compassion than his fellow ATF agents.  At this point in the story, we catch a glimpse of the quandary Queen has created for himself.  Agent Queen has used deception in order to infiltrate this club.  But Queen has also been deceived.  He has mistaken the camaraderie of the club members, for genuine love and this error in judgment, leads to a crisis of conscience that threatens the entire operation.  Sorry, but you’ll have to read the book to learn how it ends.

As for love itself, it is difficult to define.  Some people believe that love is an emotion, like hate or fear or happiness.  Just as feelings come and go, so love comes and goes.  But I think that love is more than simply an emotion.  Some would argue that love is best defined as commitment to another.  I agree with this definition, but I don’t think it’s specific enough.

The members of the club that Agent Queen infiltrated were certainly committed to each other.  I expect that many of them would not have considered death too great a price to pay in order to uphold their commitment to one another and to the club.  But a steadfast commitment, even unto death, in itself is not an accurate definition of love.  I think a truer definition of love is; a steadfast and selfless commitment to the good of another even at the cost of ones own life.  The key word here is good and this is where Agent Queen was misled.

From the beginning, it was clear to all that this was a very dangerous criminal club.  If the club members loved Agent Queen in the truest sense of the word, they never would have intentionally involved him in activities that could have landed him in trouble with the law or worse.  Though they shared a mutual dedication to one another, love is not an appropriate word to describe that relationship because their relationship was not built on mutual well-being.  Furthermore, it is arguable that, given the opportunity, today some might exact revenge on Agent Queen.  None of this is consistent with love in its truest sense.

So what is the quintessential definition of love?  Well, if you’ve ever attended a wedding you’ve likely already heard the most authoritative description of love there is.  It is found in the thirteenth chapter of the first book of Corinthians in the bible: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

So now I challenge you to take a few minutes and look carefully at the preceding verses.  Consider the relationships you have with those you love.  Does your definition of love really measure up or like Agent William Queen, have you confused love with something less?  The bible states: “God demonstrates His love for us, in that while we were still enemies with Him, Christ died on our behalf.”  Now you know what real love looks like.

You think about that…

God bless you and See you on the road.

Bob Anton, Christian Motorcyclists Association

For more information on CMA or questions or comments concerning this column, please contact Bob Anton at 631-897-8122 or baftmny@aol.com

Leave a Reply