Forgiveness is way overrated

I’m really in to brotherly love, peaceful coexistence and all that stuff. I got little room for hate and vengeance – antipathy is about as far as I go. Someone slights me, I forgive or forget and move on. Apply the golden rule – forgive as I want to be forgiven.

It’s just that I’m not looking for forgiveness for murder, kidnapping, maiming, torture, assault (except verbal), robbery, abuse, incest, poisoning, grand theft, bribery, the general ruining of lives or conspiring to commit any of the above. Not saying that I couldn’t find a way to forgive some variations of these crimes, just that they don’t come freely. Likely they require some combination of stopping the behavior, confession, remorse, making amends – all of which just might lead to reconciliation. It is true in our relationships, courts and religion.

I know, I know, I know, you are thinking, “what about politicians?” Same list. If, for instance, a political party in charge of our government were to lie about reasons to take us to war, require thousands of our nation’s finest to sacrifice their lives and tens of thousands, perhaps, many more injured for life and wreaking untold heartache and hardship on their families; add to it the organized murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, the maiming of a million or so more and the displacement of even millions more, calling it “collateral damage,” while in their march of madness toward making the Middle East safe for oil companies; emptying our treasury for their rich friends, dismantling the regulations that protected our economic system from failing that caused the unemployment, foreclosures, evictions, repossessions, lost pensions, bankruptcy and ruined lives of a hundred or so million of my fellow citizens, while bailing out those greedy bastards who caused this bringing their status quo back to unimaginable wealth; add to it the spoiling our lands, water, air and bringing the apocalypse of global climate change from fear to a near-term reality; add to it kidnapping and torture… well, I could go on. I don’t care how often they have admitted their sins and asked for forgiveness; I’m not ready to forgive them. Wait a minute, the Republicans, not a one, have admitted or asked for forgiveness, They’ve just asked for my vote. They aren’t going to get that. As God might would say, “Damn them.”

But wait, the new testament Bible teaches us that every sin is forgivable, except if a person blasphemes the Holy Spirit – that’s about God’s forgiveness, not mine and the Christian God has some pretty weird standards. If heaven is filled with murderers, rapists, abusers, liars, thieves, and people in office during the Bush administration, I’d prefer to be elsewhere.

I know, I know, I know, you are saying, “what about corporations, they are people, too, aren’t they?” Same list and likely to be continued.

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4 thoughts on “Forgiveness is way overrated

  1. Mark Dohle

    I think mercy happens, when the one who receives it, or asks for it, comes to an understanding of just what he or she has done and is willing to allow that knowledge to destroy all excuses and hiding from the truth….so in my opinion, mercy is not easy for the one who receives it. It takes a crumbling of all defenses and allowing the naked truth to sear painfully into the soul. Any thing else is play acting. Or perhaps it comes in stages for those who truly seek mercy and forgiveness. Perhaps mercy is for the one who gives it, even if it is not received, for then there is no hold on the one who is now free, at least on that point. The emotional healing can take years.

    In the NDE, the life review, at least for me is the most important aspect of the experience. For the one who experiences it relives both the pain and joy visited on others by their lives….all seems to be replayed.

    In society, those who are a danger need to be put somewhere apart, mercy is not part of the states job, it is justice. In any case, someone who truly wants mercy would also understand justice. In a society where there is no justice, then only chaos will prevail.

    I think we all need mercy and often receive it from our loved ones, if we deserve it or not. It is a gift.


    1. Lee Leslie Post author

      Mark -- thanks for weighing in and I agree with your comments. I chose not to include the word “mercy” in this post, as I felt it went too far implying a personal right to judge and sentence. My right is limited to my voice and my one vote leaving no gray areas for degrees of mercy and with the sentencing guidelines limiting justice to reelection or defeat. Contemplating societal justice for these people is an aspiration too great.

  2. Frank Povah

    You’ve got my vote, Lee.

    In traditional Aboriginal society some wrongs are punished physically, ranging from a beating up to a ritual spearing (the transgressor has to stand and allow himself to be speared in the thigh, the spear being launched from a spear-thrower by an expert). But there is a punishment dreaded above all others. A person could be considered dead and so, in the eyes of the rest of society no longer exist. A sort of super banishment that is on record as leading to death.

    It must have worked because it was rarely used.

    What about invoking the old law of the Icelandic Althing, that of “outlawing” someone, putting them beyond the protection of society and its institutions (the word is used very loosely these days).

    Nothing is too good for them.


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