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Forgive? You must be joking!

By Mike Cunningham On January 4th, 2014

I listened yesterday to the widow of Alan Greaves, murdered in a truly random act of savagery just a year ago, as she told how she had forgiven the killers of her husband, as it was the Christian thing to do.

This morning, I heard two more confessions surrounding the idea of ‘forgiveness’, one woman was the mother of a daughter murdered in the July bombings in London, ands the other was the daughter of one of the Brighton bomb atrocity’s victims. One stated that she could forgive her daughter’s killer, the other stated that whilst she had not forgiven the bomber, she had actually become friends with the man who had casually slaughtered her father. This was all told, and of course received by the presenter, as just the way things should be; lions lying down with lambs etc., and all the rest of the total tosh spewed by the fraternity which populates the BBC studios, and certain parts of our political structure.

If I was ever placed in a situation where someone close to me had been the victim of a murderous attack, politically inspired or not, I would be striving to have the privilege of tearing the very heart out of the killer’s body. I would also attempt to cremate his sorry remains and scatter them to the wind, burn his home and possessions; and obliterate his very memory.

But hey, thats just me! Christian values? There wasn’t much Christianity around when Patrick Magee planted his long-delay bomb, nor when those murderous ‘British’ killers got on the train heading towards London; nor when those two men chose Alan Greaves as a target a year ago. Hang them all, and then burn their remains; and leave nothing for the followers to admire or remember!

 

74 Responses to “Forgive? You must be joking!”

  1. Hear! hear! – spoken like a man!

    A family is most folks main reason for their existence, although many seem not to realise it.

    Surely even in this modern age their protection and wellbeing are paramount, perhaps even more so than at any previous time.

    As for ‘forgiveness’, surely that is at the victims discretion? – and if they are dead, doesn’t that rather make a killing unforgiveable?

    For relatives of those victims to spout ‘forgiveness’ is little more than a self-serving gesture. Isn’t ‘an eye for an eye’ also a biblical edict?

  2. Forgiveness without repentance devalues the concept of forgiveness.

  3. Aileen

    I think repentence is largely a meaningless gesture. What does it actually mean. The only time I could possibly see repentence as having some merit is if the individual expressing genuine regret and remorse did so without any intention and indeed even rejecting any possibility of a reduction in sentence as a consequence of their remorse.

  4. Aileen,

    Unfortunately the modern concept of ‘repentance’, is a cursory verbal apology, delivered with a sincere facial expression and itself a devalued gesture more associated with failure than wrongdoing. We might say the meaning has been too ‘politicised’ to mean anything.

    Repentance surely means something much more, something perhaps more punitive, and if self-inflicted rather more significant than some state prescribed incarceration.

  5. You have a point there Colm.
    True repentance should be followed by physical acts of contrition, good works, and even the setting up of a charity as atonement. (As they did in centuries past)

  6. As Profumo did back in the last century i.e.1961…

  7. Colm

    I think repentence is largely a meaningless gesture. What does it actually mean. The only time I could possibly see repentence as having some merit is if the individual expressing genuine regret and remorse did so without any intention and indeed even rejecting any possibility of a reduction in sentence as a consequence of their remorse.

    Repentance is meaningless if it is false. That doesn’t affect the principle that forgiveness should require repentance in any way. Forgiveness is not really, (and shouldn’t be) linked to sentencing.
    Saying forgiveness should require repentance doesn’t mean it should happen automatically with a show of repentance. Rather that it should not, without it.

  8. Excellent example Ernesto.
    Mrs Thatcher understood true repentance and invited him to her 70th birthday celebration.

  9. If I was ever placed in a situation where someone close to me had been the victim of a murderous attack

    Thank your lucky stars that you’re not the relative of a victim then.

    There wasn’t much Christianity around when Patrick Magee planted his long-delay bomb

    Why would there be? I know Pat Magee and he doesn’t profess to being a Christian. I also didn’t realise that on of the central elements of Christianity was dependent on the contrition of others?

    To see some here metaphorically beat their chests about what forgiveness or repentance must or mustn’t be not only brings their interpretation of ‘Christianity’ into sharp focus but also smacks of vicariously living on another person’s wound.

  10. Family, Faith, Country and the Law. Those things in that order were the first concepts I was taught. Those four trump everything and each of those can only be trumped by the one in succession before it.

    If you kill my child there is no force on this earth that could keep me from killing you period. I’ll pray after your dead that god might find it to forgive you, but as long as that person and I both breath I’d be coming even if it cost me my own life.

    There would be a reckoning.

  11. In my new book I emphasize the importance of forgiveness and why revenge doesn’t work.
    Judith Orloff MD

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-freedom/201109/the-power-forgiveness-even-911

    I chose this one at random, because she don’t describe herself as a person of faith, but the principles involved are the same.

    Then coming on to Northern Ireland there’s this man Paddy Monaghan.
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1996/december9/6te069.html

    and these folk who are the same kind of Christians as myself (Okay,so maybe better examples than yours truly ;))

    WHAT IS AN EVANGELICAL CATHOLIC?
    Between 1972 and 1978 there was a major move of the Holy Spirit in Ireland when some 10,000 Catholics came into a deeper, or first-time, personal relationship with Jesus as Lord and Saviour and were baptised in the Holy Spirit. Within a short period there were vital charismatic prayer meetings in nearly every town and village in Ireland. A feature of this revival was its trans-denominational nature – very often God used Catholic Christians to bless Protestant and vice-versa.
    ctd

    http://www.contemporarychristianity.net/econiroot/LionLamb/014/catholic.html

    I’d like to think that those of you who may be Catholic, disillusioned or devout, will read the article as it says what I believe much more eloquently than I can.

    But then, knowing how ‘open minded’ you folk can be I won’t hold my breath…. 🙂
    As they say,
    “Why read when I already know?”

    So forgiveness:
    I actually sympathise/identify with many of the sentiments expressed by Mr Cunningham and Ernest et al.

    When you come from a violent background the desire to hurt with words or actions comes pretty easy. As Kateyo might say it’s learned behaviour which can become a part of us.
    In my own family circle there was a lot of things I had done of which I was, and still am -deeply ashamed.
    When I became a Christian asking forgiveness of parent and siblings for those actions was a process I went through.

    I am not for one moment trivialising or diminishing the experiences of people who post here re Northern Ireland, and I freely admit that I don’t know how I would have coped as a non Christian, and even as a Christian I think I would struggle.

    That widow of Alan Greaves said it well last night on tv.
    She said (in essence) that she forgives the evil act because that is her responsibility as a Christian, but believes that they should still be punished by being put in prison.
    (Incidentally a New Testament teaching as well..)

    *Forgiveness is NOT an emotion, it is an act of the will.
    *Forgiveness does NOT mean no punishment for wrongdoing, because if the law has been broken the sanctions should still be applied.
    *You can still CHOOSE to forgive a person even if they are not asking for forgiveness, because depending on the nature of the offence, anger and outrage or bitterness can destroy YOU.
    *A Christian can still seek and pursue justice even though they have inwardly determined as an act of the will to forgive the perpetrator.

    There is nothing wrong with having feelings of anger, revenge or bitterness in the face of loss. That is natural. It is what you do with those feelings subsequently that will determine your life, not theirs.

    I also agree with Colm that a distinction must be made between forgiving as an individual and forgiving as a society. The individual cannot undermine social justice on the basis of “forgiveness”
    (Anyone remember my anti “soft and slushy, wishy washy, love everybody and everything” type Christianity rants?)

    That is why Christ had to die in the Cross. To satisfy a holy God’s anger at sin.
    If God had just forgiven everything, how would the demands of a Holy God for righteousness and justice have been satisfied?

    “All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way: and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth: he shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and he shall not open his mouth.”

    Isaiah 53: 6,7

  12. Paul

    I wouldn’t condemn what anyone else chose to do for their own comfort. If an individual is made more content by forgiving the murderer of their loved one that is entirely correct for them to do so. However, just as they should not be attacked for doing so, the person who does not want to and will not forgive should not be regarded as being bitter and less moral than the former. Forgiveness is not the ‘right’ thing to do, it is simply a different choice to make.

    None of my views are based on any interpretation of Christianity BTW, and I wouldn’t presume to dictate what the Chrisitian attitude should be in this matter.

  13. Was there any concept of forgiveness in that faith you were taught Troll or do you only adhere to the conveniant aspects of Christianity?

  14. Colm, my point is that the choice of personal forgiveness is to be made by victims and not those self appointed experts ‘Christian’ or otherwise who have had the good fortune never to have fallen into that catageory.

  15. Colm

    I wouldn’t condemn what anyone else chose to do for their own comfort. If an individual is made more content by forgiving the murderer of their loved one that is entirely correct for them to do so.

    Doing wrong for your comfort is still doing wrong.

    However, just as they should not be attacked for doing so, the person who does not want to and will not forgive should not be regarded as being bitter and less moral than the former. Forgiveness is not the ‘right’ thing to do, it is simply a different choice to make.

    It is one of the annoying things about this argument that when you mention not forgiving, you get a dumb lecture on hate (not what you were doing). It is as if some people think that there are only two choices – you forgive the transgressor or you hate him. That’s bunkum. I consider unconditional repentance immoral as it devalues forgiveness. It is also dismissive, (not necessarily intentionally) of the transgressor’s potential to reform/repent. Hating someone is not immoral but harms the subject not the object (although any resultant action might).
    Also, in terms of doing as you would be done by, I have no wish to be forgiven for what I am not sorry for. Indeed I wish not to be.

  16. It is as if some people think that there are only two choices – you forgive the transgressor or you hate him. That’s bunkum

    It depends on the gravity of what was done, as someone pointed out earlier.
    Some people are very quick to jump in and denounce or defend. Even when it’s not wanted.
    That implies passion.
    Passion usually leads to strong feelings on issues they feel strongly about.
    If they didn’t feel strongly, they wouldn’t respond.
    Would they?

  17. It is as if some people think that there are only two choices – you forgive the transgressor or you hate him. That’s bunkum

    Trolls idea of forgiveness is pretty unforgiving

    ‘Bomb the bastards’

  18. as a Catholic I fall short on many of my religions teachings. I strive to do better, but being who and what I am and a product of the environment I grew up in I understand certain things.

    There are those amongst us that being a christian we must forgive and suffer their actions. Being a man though raised in a family that dealt with the darker elements of society watching a father, grandfather, and uncles put on a badge and gun everyday before they left the house I also understand that on this plane forgiveness does not keep people safe.

    You keep people safe by the fear of or the exacting of violence onto the violent. Those that walk amongst us that live by the sword must be kept down by the sword. It does not mean that one feels no pity or sadness over the actions that certain individuals engage in. What it means is that there are those amongst us that care nothing about being forgiven nor do they want it. What they want is what they want and if it means causing pain to others to get what they want they have no compulsion to restrain themselves from causing that pain.

    These people are only prevented from inflicting that pain on others by either fear of receiving greater pain themselves or the actually receiving that pain.

    Man is a flawed creature some flaws can only be controlled by strength.

  19. Told you so 😉

  20. I’m consistent 😉

  21. The Troll, on January 4th, 2014 at 1:04 PM Said:

    I’m consistent

    Can’t possibly argue there.

  22. Q. When is a victim not a victim?

    A. When he becomes an ‘appeaser’

    http://www.atangledweb.org/?p=6159

  23. Paul Mc

    You either have a personal file on all this stuff, or you have one hell of a memory.

  24. probably both

  25. It’s the latter Harri. It comes with living in a particular environment for twenty five years.

  26. Paul McMahon, on January 4th, 2014 at 1:12 PM Said:

    It’s the latter Harri. It comes with living in a particular environment for twenty five years.

    Okay, understand.

  27. Aileen

    I disagree with you. Unconditional forgiveness is not wrong (or right), it is simply an expression of an individual’s conscience and personal belief and quite correctly it is entirely owned by them and should not be morally judged by others. If for example a mother entirely forgives the murderer of her son regardless of how that killer feels himself, then all she is doing is expressing her own views. The concept of wrongness only comes into it if such forgiveness is used to effect practical consequences like sentencing or treatment of the killer for his crime. To forgive or not is purely a personal decision and should attract no moral judgement either way.

  28. So many times the news headlines talk of a victim forgiving the perpetrator of a crime and then run footage or quotes that show no such thing. The victim talks about not hating and/or not wanting retaliation. The most infamous one (or should be infamous but so many people still have false memories), was Gordon Wilson’s interview in the days after the bomb, where he supposedly forgave the killers. He didn’t but many swear blind that he did and even when pointed out to them that it was mass mis memory/mis reporting, they point to that false reporting to back up their position.

  29. Colm

    I disagree with you. Unconditional forgiveness is not wrong (or right), it is simply an expression of an individual’s conscience and personal belief and quite correctly it is entirely owned by them and should not be morally judged by others.

    I know you disagree but if you consider something immoral, then you consider it immoral.

    If for example a mother entirely forgives the murderer of her son regardless of how that killer feels himself, then all she is doing is expressing her own views.

    .. and vies can be immoral

    The concept of wrongness only comes into it if such forgiveness is used to effect practical consequences like sentencing or treatment of the killer for his crime. To forgive or not is purely a personal decision and should attract no moral judgement either way.

    Yes we disagree. Personal decisions can be immoral.

  30. Trollio

    These people are only prevented from inflicting that pain on others by either fear of receiving greater pain themselves or the actually receiving that pain.

    No one is arguing that forgiveness implies no punishment.
    No one is arguing that in a war situation sometimes a pre-emptive attack is better than waiting.. 1967?
    There are no hard and fast rules, only principles that must be applied in an individual or societal context.
    I do not have the right to tell others not to retaliate. I would in some cases to protect or defend
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx4jn77VKlQ
    or if against my own person I can choose not to retaliate.
    (Although I have always looked for ways to demonstrate that attacking me might not be the best idea)

    Apart from your strange desire to want to bomb everybody, You and me would get along just fine.. 😉

  31. I also think that deriding a victim as ‘an appeaser’ because they espouse a narrative not acceptable to a non victim is also immoral.

  32. Aileen

    Personal decisions that have absolutely no concrete impact on anything else cannot be wrong but as to whether they are moral or immoral is again a matter of personal opinion like the concept of sin. If you believe unconditional forgiveness is immoral you are purely expressing an opinion but neither you or the forgiver are wrong.

  33. Colm

    Of course I am expressing an opinion.
    Personal decisions like deciding you admire Hitler for slaughtering Jews, even if you are not going to act on it, is wrong.

  34. neither you or the forgiver are wrong

    which is just your personal opinion. .

  35. Colm,
    but don’t you think that a person is the sum of all those little decisions and that as an individual we impact on the world around us,
    those closest to us and diminishing the further away we are from each other?
    Sometimes for good sometimes for ill, but always with some impact.

    I was always led to believe that all our little choices determine our character. Whether we are trustworthy or loyal or whatever.

  36. Aileen

    In your view what does forgiveness actually mean ?

  37. Colm
    It is a decision that the person has nothing more that they need to do in relation to the deed (beyond what they have agreed to make recompense. It would be a wiping of the slate with me in relation to the offence.

    It is not not hating.It is not not wanting revenge. That would be a waste of an important word.
    It is not saying that the criminal justice system should not take it’s course, It would mean that I would have no particular requirement for that to happen beyond the default wish for the system not to be compromised.

  38. It is a decision that the person has nothing more that they need to do in relation to the deed (beyond what they have agreed to make recompense. It would be a wiping of the slate with me in relation to the offence.

    You mean like a decision of the will?

  39. Aileen

    Would you agree that ‘forgiveness’ is a flexible word and can mean different things to different people.

  40. philosophical discussion on individual forgiveness doesn’t detract from how the state deals with offences but how the state deals with offences very often can affect the capacity to forgive.

    In a personal capacity I find forgiveness difficult not because of the actions but because of how the state dealt with the aftermath of those actions.

  41. Colm

    Only in that most people appear to be very vague on what words mean. Forgiveness can “mean” not hating to some people but that is just yet another example of how our language is losing its meaning and words can mean anything.

    If you have a philosophy of not hating anyone, (and this is a common one), then that would apply automatically. Forgiveness has to mean something specific to the offence – i.e. you are forgiving him for something.

  42. In a personal capacity I find forgiveness difficult not because of the actions but because of how the state dealt with the aftermath of those actions.

    In a more trivial example I found it hard to forgive the bank manager who wrecked our and others small businesses. I blame the system that backed his incompetence and the bank’s vested interests against our hard work and trust in the system.
    But the important thing was that there was no hate as such (quite a bit of depression on my part) no personal recriminations between the lovely Mrs Agit8ed and I.
    And time moves on, we recovered, we adjusted to living on a much lower income than we had expected.
    I suppose that’s a roundabout way of saying if you’re looking for true justice in this world you may well be disappointed.

  43. I was in primary school when my Dad first told me “you should never hate people – just the things they do”. It struck a chord with me and I knew that it applied across the board, from whatever had me angry at my fellow pupil to the most heinous crime. I can despise someone and hate what they stand for and hate their company. However to hate something is to wish it destroyed, or cease to exist. It was quite liberating as I used to have moral dilemmas about fairy stories. So often when the wicked witch got her comeuppance we were cleared steered ti be delighted by it, regardless of how cruel and unusual the punishment. Once she was in no position to cause further harm, I used to feel sorry for her perpetual torment, e.g. having to wear molten shoes for ever). I used to feel soooooo guilty about this pity and forced myself to hurrah with the rest. In one simple phrase, I was set free.
    I know that the slick phrase is “hate the sin, love the sinner”, but my dad’s phrase seems more down to earth and was more meaningful to this child’s ear.

  44. Paul

    I would agree with that. When a victim of a crime (or surviving loved ones) feels that justice has not been done it will almost certainly impact on their attitude to the perpretator.

    Aileen

    I agree that forgiveness must mean more than just not hating the perpretator, but given that for most instances there is no practical recompense, forgiveness surely can be little more than a state of mind – a nebulous entity. My personal opinion is that if you are a person of faith forgiveness lies in the hands of your God, if you are not then the concept of forgiveness is irrelevant and meaningless. To me when someone says “I forgive you” it is as meaningless as saying “I absolve you of your sins”

  45. As I’ve told you countless times before Agit, I donn’t hate anyone.

    Your comparison regarding a bank manager and a failed business venture against twp people being murdered is not only an apples and oranges comparison but also quite offensive.

  46. Colm

    Admiring Hitler is just a state of mind. (I’m not saying they are equally immoral.
    Faith can affect if and when you forgive but it can affect if and when you do lots of things.
    Suppose you wronged someone, particularly a friend, are you saying that you are indifferent as to whether they forgive you or not? I suppose “we’re cool” is the modern (or maybe I’m a decade or more out of date) of saying “you’re forgiven”.

  47. Your comparison regarding a bank manager and a failed business venture against twp people being murdered is not only an apples and oranges comparison but also quite offensive.

    So be offended!
    (and just to be clear that isn’t an example of my marmite humour.)

    I never said you hated anyone. You keep telling me that.

    I said,
    “In a more trivial example…” to illustrate my point, not draw a comparison.

  48. If you don’t want me to keep having to tell you I don’t hate anyone then please don’t quote me and pompously declare that;

    But the important thing was that there was no hate as such

    So be offended

    It’s interesting how compassion and sensitivity for victims quickly diminishes when it’s not terrorists who are making the victims.

  49. Colm

    I would agree with that. When a victim of a crime (or surviving loved ones) feels that justice has not been done it will almost certainly impact on their attitude to the perpretator.

    It doesn’t with me, except for the perpetrator role in that justice not being done, including not coming forward and confessing or threatening the powers that be over their role in “peace” negotiations.
    My attitude to the perpetrator is based on my perception of the perpetrator’s actions and attitudes, not someone else’s.

  50. But the important thing was that there was no hate as such

    from us/me to him I meant.
    As I know I have told you before we lost everything.
    Which is why I mentioned the depression…..
    I said it to illustrate how we don’t always get justice
    hence…

    I suppose that’s a roundabout way of saying if you’re looking for true justice in this world you may well be disappointed.

  51. Okay, I can accept that but just as there are differing catageories of justice there are also differing catageories of victims.

    In my case the people who murdered my aunt and my friend in some instances not only went unpunished but were also lauded and rewarded. That affects how the system views such acts by their agents and the capacity for individual forgiveness.

  52. Paul,
    I totally accept what you are saying, and that is why I said my illustration for the purposes of justice, was a trivial one.
    I know you don’t want it but I am sincerely as sorry for your miscarriage of justice as I am for anyone else’s in those circumstances.
    And I really had picked up that you didn’t hate anyone…

  53. So,
    in light of all the comments posted here on the issue of forgiveness anyone care to draw any conclusions or observations even?

    I say this because looking at some of the ancient comments recalled by more veteran ATW bloggers,and from when I first joined, it is obvious that the pool of contributors has shrunken drastically.
    I don’t know about anyone else but I find that a bit sad, as I think ATW has a certain family type feel to it in which even the most dysfunctional contributors are regarded with a certain affection.

    Those who provide the material;
    Our Leader Mr Vance,
    The Troll
    Mr Cunningham,
    Pete Moore
    more occasionally
    Mahons
    Phantom
    Seimi
    and minnows

    thank you each and every one.
    How though, can we expand our membership?
    Do we want to?
    Is it because (as it seems to me) we have moved to a more narrow range of topics?
    Have we gotten too personal and determined to prove our points?
    Are we stating the same things over and over?
    Why don’t we have more ladies contributing?
    Less of the NI/RofI perspective?
    Less science/environmental issues
    We don’t do books now
    or poetry.
    What about space exploration?!

    I think it’s a shame.

  54. Agit8ed

    Perhaps its purely because the range of blogs social media and other forums and functions on the Internet has grown so rapidly since ATW first started that we have lost the numbers we used to have here. For the blogosphere as a whole ATW is a rare very long serving and still active site where so many last just a few months. The nature of the internet is in many ways transitory and people surf and move around different sites rarely staying with the same ones for long, with only the Biggies like Facebook Twitter etc. remaining constantly on peoples browsing menus.

    Peoples lives change and yes for many reasons including lack of interest in the subjects/slant/commenters can push people away but its hard to know what can be done about that. The different styles of debate will also be off-putting to some but then again no 2 people ever debate in exactly the same way so while some will be repelled by ‘personalised’ arguing as we see sometime here others will be attracted.

    Those of us who are faithfull to ATW can just stick around and hope that others will like what they see here, or indeed not like what they see here and come aboard to tell us why !

  55. Good points Colm.
    Do I remember there was a time when posts were rated?
    There may have been a certain quality control to that in that one could read the comment without necessarily responding?

    I have thought that for example of life where we live, our general lifestyles, how we do or don’t stay fit and healthy might be both interesting and less contentious.
    I know Seimi did it with NI, but there are other places too.
    I have loads of photos from living abroad years back, that might be of interest to others, but despite having three computers I still don’t know how to upload things like that.
    How about in addition to music night, and a book/ literature spot (what I am reading/enjoying now) we had a techno/nerd spot whereby people could ask how to do things computerly?
    Nothing set in stone, but only as the need/interest arose.

  56. I’m not sure what relevance expanding a blog / blog’s readership has to do with victims and forgiveness but I’ll go along with it anyway.

    The mission statement on the ATW strapline reads ‘A dissenting review of contemorary British & American politics’ and I generally think that the staple has been: Immigration, Islam, Europe, gay marriage, Afghanistan & Iraq and US politics. Since I started reading and commentating here more years than I care to remember ago threads regarding Ireland have decreased immensely and long gone are the days when people like myself, Noel, Chris Gaskin, Andrew McCann, Maudradin Ruad, Submariner to name but a few would continuouslly lock horns over them.

    In terms of female readership I think the ATW has more or less kept a consistant number of a female audience. There’s the vetrans like Aileen, Daphne & Patty who were commentating here when I first arrived and are still here alongside that London girl who had the baby, (who’s name esacpes me), and absolute head – the- balls like Jo. The girls who have left have been replaced by newer ones like Pinky & Mairin.

    If you’d like to expand the topic content of the threads may I suggest that you do what both Seimi & Noel have done by getting your arse into gear and writing a piece for submission to David? I personally would like to see more Eurocentric issues dealt with but while I’ve been threatening to submit a piece from last year I haven’t had the time / been too busy / been too lazy to do it. . . . yet.

    On of the things which does disappoint me is David’s increasing unwillingness to comment on his own threads in the sense that it seems like an echo chamber however, I do realise that David has other fish to fry, keeps ATW largely afloat with an astonishingly prolific number of threads and I’m here with his grace so I better keep my mouth shut 😉

  57. Paul

    Alison is the woman whose name you couldn’t remember.

  58. That’s her Colm!! Apologies Alison.

  59. ATW used to be more fun in the past. I think that David’s lack of presence on the threads has something to do with it – not that he should be under any obligation. If he chooses not to comment for whatever reason, it’s our tough luck.

    It is an interesting issue of group dynamics and the significance of the host. David is the cohesion, without his presence it has less character. IMO, regardless of the characters commenting.

  60. I’m not sure what relevance expanding a blog / blog’s readership has to do with victims and forgiveness but I’ll go along with it anyway.

    I wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts or modifications of mind on what after all is a very important aspect of being human.
    The expanding contributions bit because I couldn’t see anywhere else to put it.
    See?

  61. We could continue the discussion on Pete’s open thread

  62. I seem to remember a McCann, an RS a Jaz, a couple of other guys, Geoff? and FrankOD,.
    I don’t know about being more fun, but it seemed to be more rounded topics wise, when I first started.
    it could just be that there’s an ebb and flow to these things.. I used to go to a great current affairs group that met in a pub, thirty even more people, mostly professional types.
    One person would do a presentation on a subject of their choice, then we would all wade in.
    That ebbed and flowed.

  63. Back to forgiveness. I was raised with the notion that forgiveness means basically wiping out what the perpetrator did, and continuing on as though nothing happened. Kind of twisted and the revelation later in life that this was totally wrong was a hell of an epiphany for me. It is not absolution, it is not acquittal.

    Forgive means to yield. To let go. Clinging to bitterness, hatred, anger only warps the person who cannot let go of it.

    My act of forgiveness does nothing for the perpetrator. It only benefits me and allows me to move on, to grow, to be free.

    Grizzly Mama

  64. Monica
    Good to hear from you. Hope you are doing well. Happy New Year.

  65. Well said Monica. What a contrast to the blood-thirsty post.

  66. Yes well said Monica, and good to see you commenting.

  67. Wise words Monica.

  68. The Troll is allowing his feminine side to show! Happy New Year Grizzly Mama, and welcome back to the bear pit…

  69. Hope you are doing fine Monica. I know you don’t comment here very often, but when you do, your views are always pearls of wisdom. Keep well.

  70. I think repetence is every bit as shaky as forgiveness in many ways.
    It’s a counterfactual, like saying “If I were born rich, I’d have …”.
    If I had been born rich, the “I” would be a different person to the “I” now making the statement, and the one I is imposing his view on the I, who probably wouldn’t share it, if you see what I mean.

    If, let’s say, a convict emerging from jail says “I regret doing xxx”, he is saying “If the I that I am now had existed back then, he would not have done the deed”. The deed was, however, done because the Is were different, and the regret is therefore meaningless.
    This is even clearer when something new comes to light that causes you to regret that you did not know when doing the deed.

  71. That’s an interesting perspective Noel.

    Have a look at this article about Pat Magee, alluded to above:

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2000/aug/28/northernireland.jamiewilson

  72. The deed was, however, done because the Is were different, and the regret is therefore meaningless.

    The regret has meaning.
    To not regret is to say
    “It doesn’t matter.”
    Which in turn, implies that no act has meaning.
    “To regret” means that one has learnt, and even though the past cannot be undone, the future can be different.

    Moses when he learnt that he had been adopted by the Pharaoh’s daughter left the palace and ended up killing an Egyptian overseer abusing on of the Habiru, his own people.
    For people of faith however we believe that providing we acknowledge them as such, God can take our bad actions and make something better or more positive out of them.
    Regret is not the same as self pity. I think God wants genuine contrition and then we move on, and trust that He will make the very best of a bad or unintended situation.

  73. Paul,

    Magee is an interesting character.

  74. I know him quite Well Noel. As a person he’s a bit of a conundrum,