Should a young black man who is sentenced to a year in prison for stealing a car be allowed to return to society? To have a job? Go to school? To be forgiven? What about the serial thief who shoplifts food to feed her family? And after serving her fourth sentence for theft – she is released. How about the 58 year old man who served 35 years in prison for killing a man in a bar fight? Forgiveness? Allowed to get a job? What if the 58 year old became a deacon of the church while in prison? And schools young men on how not to behave? Can we forgive any of those accused by the MeToo movement but not charged with crimes? I’m just askin’ . . . . .
And then there’s Roseanne. The weirdo comedienne whose big mouth got her in trouble. And she was fired. And now is despised. Should we forgive her? Give her redemption? A second chance? Jerry Seinfeld thinks so. So do I.
Many on the left will spring to forgive those in prison. Those committing violent crimes. Those who violate the law. But those who use a bad word? Like Roseanne? Never. She has apologized. Tearfully. Asked forgiveness. Yet the world seems to have turned its collective back on her. Not because of criminal activity. Her crime was – stupid and vile comment. And freedom of speech is no longer a right according to some.
I tend to believe that each one of us is more than the worst thing we ever did. Or said. And that forgiveness — “Mulligans” if you will (see May 7, 2018) — can be justified. Mercy – is one of the highest attributes of mankind. So why not be judicious in its dispensing? Do you ever forgive a family member or friend for hurtful things said or done? Then why not strangers when there is genuine contrition. Sincere apology. And a sentence has been served. If you don’t believe that each one of us is more than the worst thing we ever did, then — may you be judged accordingly.