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BS: Can People Forgive?

GUEST,Eliza 12 Jan 14 - 11:33 AM
GUEST 12 Jan 14 - 11:44 AM
Jeri 12 Jan 14 - 11:46 AM
Jeri 12 Jan 14 - 11:47 AM
Janie 12 Jan 14 - 11:52 AM
Janie 12 Jan 14 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,Musket 12 Jan 14 - 11:54 AM
gnu 12 Jan 14 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,Pete from seven stars 12 Jan 14 - 12:00 PM
Ebbie 12 Jan 14 - 12:33 PM
Keith A of Hertford 12 Jan 14 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 12 Jan 14 - 12:34 PM
Keith A of Hertford 12 Jan 14 - 12:40 PM
akenaton 12 Jan 14 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,Eliza 12 Jan 14 - 12:59 PM
Janie 12 Jan 14 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 12 Jan 14 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,Musket 12 Jan 14 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 12 Jan 14 - 01:54 PM
Janie 12 Jan 14 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,Musket 12 Jan 14 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,Eliza 12 Jan 14 - 05:45 PM
akenaton 12 Jan 14 - 06:01 PM
Bill D 12 Jan 14 - 06:02 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 12 Jan 14 - 06:14 PM
Jack the Sailor 12 Jan 14 - 06:59 PM
Jack the Sailor 12 Jan 14 - 07:03 PM
Larry The Radio Guy 12 Jan 14 - 07:29 PM
Dorothy Parshall 12 Jan 14 - 09:18 PM
Jeri 12 Jan 14 - 09:56 PM
Jack the Sailor 12 Jan 14 - 10:15 PM
Janie 12 Jan 14 - 11:19 PM
Joe Offer 13 Jan 14 - 01:49 AM
Ebbie 13 Jan 14 - 02:18 AM
GUEST,Musket 13 Jan 14 - 02:42 AM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Jan 14 - 04:59 AM
GUEST,Grishka 13 Jan 14 - 05:27 AM
GUEST,Eliza 13 Jan 14 - 05:42 AM
GUEST,Grishka 13 Jan 14 - 06:42 AM
GUEST,Musket 13 Jan 14 - 07:21 AM
GUEST,kendall 13 Jan 14 - 08:56 AM
Jeri 13 Jan 14 - 09:16 AM
Jack the Sailor 13 Jan 14 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,Eliza 13 Jan 14 - 11:02 AM
GUEST,Pete from seven 13 Jan 14 - 12:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Jan 14 - 12:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Jan 14 - 01:17 PM
Jack the Sailor 13 Jan 14 - 01:38 PM
JennieG 13 Jan 14 - 09:30 PM
Amos 13 Jan 14 - 11:37 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 14 Jan 14 - 12:01 AM
GUEST, Eb 14 Jan 14 - 01:40 AM
GUEST,kendall 14 Jan 14 - 07:06 AM
GUEST,Musket 14 Jan 14 - 07:12 AM
Jack the Sailor 14 Jan 14 - 09:58 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 14 Jan 14 - 12:49 PM
akenaton 14 Jan 14 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,Eliza 14 Jan 14 - 02:14 PM
The Sandman 14 Jan 14 - 04:33 PM
GUEST,Ed T 14 Jan 14 - 05:40 PM
Ebbie 14 Jan 14 - 06:34 PM
GUEST,Grishka 14 Jan 14 - 07:06 PM
Janie 14 Jan 14 - 11:50 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 15 Jan 14 - 09:15 AM
Jack the Sailor 15 Jan 14 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Eliza 15 Jan 14 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,Grishka 15 Jan 14 - 03:50 PM
GUEST,Pete from seven stars link 15 Jan 14 - 04:28 PM
Larry The Radio Guy 15 Jan 14 - 04:39 PM
The Sandman 15 Jan 14 - 04:41 PM
GUEST 15 Jan 14 - 05:02 PM
Jack the Sailor 15 Jan 14 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Eliza 15 Jan 14 - 06:02 PM
GUEST 15 Jan 14 - 07:50 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 16 Jan 14 - 12:04 AM
Georgiansilver 16 Jan 14 - 04:02 AM
GUEST,Grishka 16 Jan 14 - 04:32 AM
GUEST,Musket 16 Jan 14 - 04:48 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 16 Jan 14 - 05:01 AM
GUEST,Musket 16 Jan 14 - 05:07 AM
GUEST,Eliza 16 Jan 14 - 09:35 AM
Jack the Sailor 16 Jan 14 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 16 Jan 14 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,Musket 17 Jan 14 - 01:27 AM
GUEST,sciencegeek 17 Jan 14 - 11:33 AM
Jack the Sailor 17 Jan 14 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,sciencegeek 17 Jan 14 - 12:16 PM
Claire M 17 Jan 14 - 03:34 PM
akenaton 17 Jan 14 - 04:47 PM
Jack the Sailor 18 Jan 14 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,Mary Brennan 01 Feb 14 - 07:08 AM
Dorothy Parshall 01 Feb 14 - 04:03 PM
kendall 02 Feb 14 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,Eliza 02 Feb 14 - 11:50 AM
Dorothy Parshall 02 Feb 14 - 05:08 PM

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Subject: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 11:33 AM

Interesting discussion this morning in our church about forgiveness. Apparently, as a Christian, one should forgive absolutely anyone, no matter what they've done. Found this a bit hard to swallow. For me, a person has at the very least to show a bit of remorse and be determined not to do it again. I asked if paedophiles should be forgiven, even if they intend to continue their activities? Yes. What about serial burglars? Yes. People such as Hitler etc who have committed mass atrocities? Yes. Should the parents of an abused child forgive the person who did it? Yes. Now I think this is outrageous. Only the victims themselves can decide to forgive, and others have no right to dictate to them. It was even suggested that punishment is out of order, and kindness/understanding is better. Surely this would result in total anarchy? A line has to be drawn somewhere. Obviously, I'm a rubbish Christian! What do others here think?


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 11:44 AM

To forgive is one thing. To forget: there's the rub.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 11:46 AM

I can forgive anyone. Forgiving only affects the one who decides to forgive or hold onto the hurt. Forgiving does NOT mean I can't mistrust or dislike someone, because that's based on who I think they are, not what they've done.

When you don't forgive, you keep holding onto hope that things can be made right, and that's far more poisonous than just letting go of the whole mess. Especially if you're the only one who wants something to happen or wants a specific outcome.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 11:47 AM

...pretty much what GUEST said without all the extra words.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Janie
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 11:52 AM

Well, I'm not a Christian, and I try to stay away from "shoulds." I will say that the benefit of forgiving, when one is able to do so, is primarily to the person who forgives. Resentment is a painful and often self-destructive emotion to lug around in one's body and mind.

Also, I do not understand "forgive" to mean forget, nor to remove the other of their responsibility for their actions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Janie
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 11:53 AM

Cross posted with all that was already said, and better than I did.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 11:54 AM

Being serious for once... The whole Christian ethos is around everyone being sinners and it is up to Christianity to forgive them. I'm not a sinner because nobody in a dog collar has the right to judge me by dint of their membership of something I'm not signed up to. So it falls at the first hurdle.

Now... I'm not influenced by any religious creed or thought, but the idea of putting some fictitious general sin in the same boat as real sin, such as the ones Eliza mentions.... Christians have no right to forgive or otherwise. People forgive, and being a member of your church or any other doesn't elevate the person to any higher moral ground at all.

A prison chaplain would soon find themselves out of a job if they went around forgiving in that sense. The parole system itself states you are not forgiven till you show remorse.

You aren't a rubbish Christian Eliza. At least you are trying to make head or tail of the concept. I rather doubt you will find a satisfactory answer though..


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: gnu
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 11:57 AM

You are not a rubbish Christian.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 12:00 PM

I tend to have a measure of agreement with you in some respects. I don't think that it is our business to forgive on behalf of someone else wronged, but as a Christian I am called to forgive those that ...trespass against us.....as per the Lord's Prayer .there is also the example of Jesus ....forgive them father, they know not what they do. Also when Stephen was stoned....lay not this sin to their charge....I find it helpful to remember that forgiving is an act of the will, and that feelings may not follow for a while.i also do not think that just because we may forgive that the due process of law should not be pursued in cases of criminal activity, especially in some cases, for example, paedophiles who may need help as well as punishment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 12:33 PM

Paraphrase: "Nothing common to the human condition can be alien to me". I think that understanding is the key to forgiving. I'm not using understanding in the sense of "I would have done the same thing" but instead as being able to accept that, given the processes in that person's mind, I can see how that person got to that point.

But understanding the sequences of thought in that person necessarily dictates that I/we/society must be alert and cautious with that person, and of course, that person's actions have consequences.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 12:34 PM

I heard the wife of that elderly church organist who was murdered on Xmas eve a year ago.
She said she had forgiven the killers, who she called by their first names.
She was quite clear that they should suffer the consequences of their actions, a long prison term.

To be so forgiving is hard.
She is a better Christian than I am.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 12:34 PM

'Unforgiveness' is a waste of time and energy, and is detrimental to all those who employ it!

'Unforgiveness' is the act of being 'pissed off' because someone who's offended you, has not been 'punished enough', to YOUR satisfaction, regardless if the other person has learned from it, or not.

In the course of WAITING for that 'punishing vengeance', the longer you wait, the more like the person who wronged you, you become. It's called 'emotional focus'....and really, aren't there better places for your head to be thinking about, or creating???....or as they say, "If someone gets your goat, you must have a goat to be gotten!!"

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 12:40 PM

The story reported here.
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/dec/22/maureen-greaves-forgive-killers


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: akenaton
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 12:55 PM

Janie said,
"I will say that the benefit of forgiving, when one is able to do so, is primarily to the person who forgives. Resentment is a painful and often self-destructive emotion."

Exactly so, very well put.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 12:59 PM

Lots of very interesting points of view so far, and much food for thought. Mudcat folk have so much wisdom to share. I do feel that 'bearing a grudge' is harmful, and carrying bitterness around for years does one no good at all. Reconciliation is nice, but it depends with whom. The vicar talked about Maureen Greaves, and also the completely different attitude of the family of Mark Duggan (shot by police, as it was thought he was armed) He also spoke about warring neighbours, boundary disputes etc. I must be a really crabby, crusty old thing, because I know I could never forgive some of the most heinous, evil deeds, not even if the perpetrators have been thoroughly punished. Oh dear. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Janie
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 01:32 PM

Eliza 12:59pm because I know I could never forgive some of the most heinous, evil deeds, not even if the perpetrators have been thoroughly punished. Oh dear. :)

Can you forgive the person, rather than the deed?


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 01:34 PM

If you're going to sin then THINK BIG. Murder one person and you risk spending a big chunk of your life in prison. But murder thousands - or even millions - and there's a good chance that the world will 'forgive' you and allow you to die peacefully in your bed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 01:49 PM

Good point Janie. A friend of mine went to prison a few years ago. I wrote a character reference for the sentencing court. I said that I could forgive the sinner but not the sin.

After all, he had pleaded guilty and had been convicted. I am sure the balance of his past community work, friendship and support over the years made my view somewhat subjective. I wasn't a victim, and in this case, the victims were third party rather than people you could name, but my view was skewed by his exemplary past. Not to mention the fact that a good friend was in a position nobody wished to see anyone in.

What I learned from that episode was that judgement should be cold, even and without prejudice. Perhaps forgiveness is subjective too? When society says time is spent, should anybody express lack of forgiveness? I accept that I see my friend and his wife, we go out for meals and drinks etc, yet some other friends of mine cannot understand why I still give the time of day to him. I see their point too, but we are who we are.

Not sure Christians are the link here. It applies, if indeed it does, to all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 01:54 PM

Musket: "Not sure Christians are the link here. It applies, if indeed it does, to all."

"..and don't criticize what you don't understand"...Dylan


GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Janie
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 04:28 PM

I mostly agree with you, Musket. Regarding forgiveness being subjective - I guess my answer is I suppose it depends on what one means by forgiveness. Also think there is both a more abstract notion of forgiveness that is philosophically based, and a more personal concept that impacts one emotionally, and is applied to personal relationships. Those personal relationships may vary from tenuous to very close, but certainly effect our behaviors toward others that fall anywhere within the realm of our personal circles. One of the main variables may be at what distance is knowing or knowledge of a person and their circumstances distant enough to not be experienced as personal, combined with what was/is the nature of that relationship, the personal harm done or not done, and one's intimate knowledge of the either the person or the circumstances that surrounded the transgression - not to mention the nature of the transgression.

Maybe Jeri said it best early on in this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 05:35 PM

Thanks Janie.


Err Goofus. Your slip was Freudian. A huge difference between don't understand and can't understand.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 05:45 PM

There is, of course, a whole other aspect to all this, namely the psychological/philosophical one, centred on the question, 'Is anybody really to blame for their actions?' Modern research is starting to show that brain damage, genetic traits, early head injuries etc coupled with traumatic experiences/abuse during childhood can produce a character who may be morally bad, even evil. Should that type of person be forgiven for their wickedness, or at least understood and pitied? In other words, is there truly free will in such a case? I would tend to say not. On that basis, I can forgive. After all, when one of my cats wees on the curtain, I forgive him, because he's only doing what cats do. I feel this is more scientific than religious.   Such ideas were of course wholly unknown 2000 years ago!


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: akenaton
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 06:01 PM

I think the point which impressed me most in Janie's post, were the words, "when one is able to do so". I know for a certainty that there are some things which I could never forgive, but accept that bearing a grudge is destructive in some ways.

I think it is possible to be too forgiving, I think perhaps our society is becoming brainwashed, our sympathy for wrongdoers of all descriptions, seems to outweigh our compassion for the victims of their evil deeds.
We have lost our moral compass.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 06:02 PM

Janie just said a lot of my feelings on the matter.

I tend to think of forgiveness in a couple of ways... in the traditional religious sense (wiping away all blame and concern?), and in a personal sense of simply 'not letting a former situation interfere in current interactions with a person'. As has been said, that is not the same as 'forgetting'.
Once, a guy I knew (who I already had some low opinions of) came into my house uninvited and physically assaulted another friend over a stupid matter. I threw him out and thereafter refused to associate with him... that is, I did not 'forgive' him... even when he asked someone else why.

Then... my ex-wife was careless and disposed of some personal items of mine before I could visit & retrieve them (she could easily have taken them to my mother's house.) In the 2-3 times I met with her or talked to her after that, I didn't bother to mention it. I still 'remember' and am sad about the lost items, but I don't really think it was a hateful or mean thing. Thus, I 'forgive' in the sense that, if I saw her, I'd not bring it up.

That may not totally express all senses of forgiveness, but it perhaps gives a bit of a perspective.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 06:14 PM

Yes, there is free will in most cases.
Yes, there is responsibility in most cases.

No, people should not be forgiven without them facing up to what they've done, in most cases, showing real sorrow for how they've made someone else feel and asking that person for forgiveness.

No, not everyone should be forgiven.

No, if someone is insane, they still do not have to be forgiven by the victim or relatives of the victim, if they don't feel like forgiving them.

Why should people forgive those who can't even bloody well apologize in the first place, or show any remorse?

FAR too much pressure is put on people these days to forgive the guilty people anything at all...almost giving others total freedom to behave like Absolute Shits and STILL be forgiven for it...

And if the Church wants everyone to forgive, it's more likely because it gets them off the hook of having to ask forgiveness from all the wonderful, innocent people they've traumatized throughout history...

Oh..and if anyone ever attacked/raped/abused/murdered my children, or someone I loved, I'd kill them, if I were able to, bugger forgiving them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 06:59 PM

here is a list of bible verses about forgiveness

Matthew 6:14-15
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

That is perhaps the most important principle from Jesus' ministry.

Eliza, The way I see it. You are not asked to forgive those who sin against others you are told that if you forgive those who sin against you, God will forgive you for your sins against others.   

I can't claim to know what Jesus knew 2,000 years ago, but he was a very intelligent individual. Others here have made similar points to this. Forgiving is for the forgiver. I think it is easier for a camel to roller skate across the Sahara than for an unforgiving person to have peace of mind. That's why you should forgive those who trespass against you. Even if they steal or do you violence. Don't get me wrong here. You should still aid in the prosecution. If you thought they were a danger and you wish to prevent another victim from feeling your pain you can speak against them in a parole hearing or refuse to give them a character reference. But for you be forgiven by God, you have to, in your heart, forgive the criminal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 07:03 PM

Musket, It is clear that you don't understand what Christ said about forgiveness and what most Christians believe.

This sums it up pretty well.

"Matthew 6:14-15
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 07:29 PM

I empathize with Eliza's initial post:   when she heard that "as a Christian, one should forgive absolutely anyone, no matter what they've done".   

I don't like blackmail of any kind.

I also really value forgiveness.   But carrying resentments could have their value too......if that's what we choose to do. It helps to reinforce our own values.    If our resentment is harming our own mental or physical health.........then I think forgiveness is a great option.

If we want to do some 'work' with the perpetrator to assist them to take responsibility first........great.    If we decide that doing that is giving the perpetrator too much 'power' over us....so we'll forgive unconditionally!   Just as great.

As for "Matthew 6:14-15
"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."?   I say what a terrible reason for choosing forgiveness.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 09:18 PM

Jeri and JAnie said it well enough for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 09:56 PM

Thanks. I think forgiving is just giving up the grudge. It doesn't mean you're absolving the other person, or thinking they shouldn't be punished legally. It just means you let go of your own stake in it. Of course, I'm not looking at it from a religious point of view.

Think about who suffers when you don't forgive someone. Not the other person. Of course, I suppose one could also not forgive someone else for "making" you feel all that bad shit, but if you're finding reasons why it's right to do so, it's not anyone else's fault but yours. It's hard to move forward when you're always trying to fix what already happened, and you get twisted.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 10:15 PM

Jeri, I think that is pretty the Christian view as well. The call for us to forgive does not negate justice or give absolution.

From a societal point of view is punishment for a higher purpose than revenge? I am happy to forgive a paedophile even if he does not express remorse as long as he serves his time and we do everything possible to ensure he cannot repeat the crime.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Janie
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 11:19 PM

While I do often judge the moral worth of others, I don't see that I can claim an objective right to do so. I have no reason to think my worth by virtue of the fact I am alive on this earth is in any way superior or inferior, i.e. more or less moral, than the existence of any other person, animal, insect, or micro-organism, whether or not I deem their actions to be moral, life-sustaining for me, my family, my tribe, my species, my particular natural neck of the woods, the earth, or the universe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 01:49 AM

I wonder what it really means to forgive another person. I think it has many layers of meaning. It's letting go of the desire for revenge or retribution, and figuring out a way to continue a civil relationship with the person who caused the offense. It's not dwelling on offenses, and not allowing our lives to be ruled by anger against real and perceived offenses.
Just about everybody we know, will offend us at one time or another. If we dwell on those offenses, we're not likely to have a happy or constructive life. Forgiving is a hard thing to do, but it's the only way we can carry on with life.

Now, about religion and forgiveness....I hate the bumper stickers that say, "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven." It's an attitude of smug superiority that implies that the owner of the bumper sticker is bound for his/her "heavenly reward," and others aren't (and are probably damned to hell for all eternity). I think a case could be made that God is the essence of forgiveness, not somebody who doles out forgiveness only to Christians and damns everybody else. I found six instances in the Old Testament/Hebrew Scriptures where it says that God is loving and forgiving, slow to anger, and rich in loving kindness. Some might say that to them, God is the essence or embodiment of every virtue, and that the quest of humankind is to reach out and attempt to attain those virtues.

The idea of a vengeful God who must be repaid for offenses, seems to be mostly prevalent nowadays among Evangelical Protestants - particularly in the United States. In days gone by, it was a concept popular among the power elite, who sometimes made use of it to control the unwashed masses. But through the history of religious faith, there has also been a view of a deity who cares for humankind and does not dwell on their misdeeds.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 02:18 AM

Joe O, I agree with you about the layers surrounding forgiveness. I had a brother three years older than I (who has since died. I had nothing to do with it, I swear :) who had a tortured psyche all of his life and he spent that life torturing others. No one in the family knows how he became the way he was, but I know it was very early in his life. There were 10 years at times when he and I didn't speak- our dad once said to me, I thought you would make allowances for him, since he is your brother. I told him truthfully that if he hadn't been I'd have dropped him long ago.

Anyway, there came a time a few years back when I became willing to forgive him. Mind you, I hadn't done it yet but I was willing. So I wrote him a short letter saying that I forgive him and asking for his forgiveness. He wrote back: "Gladly. Hope you can do the same."

We didn't meet often during the rest of his life but when we did, although we never spoke of the letters, we chatted freely if a bit warily.

My point is that I had not yet forgiven him but I was willing to achieve that state. And that was enough.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 02:42 AM

Eliza's dilemma is summed up inadvertently by Jack the Sailor when he points out I don't know what Christians believe.

Too true I don't. I'm not a member so don't know the rules. But neither does anyone, Christian or otherwise if they have issues that need someone to forgive them for.

Forgiveness is something everybody can and does decide upon at a personal level. Being a member of a religion or not does not make it any different. Sounds to me that controlling the congregation isn't just a medieval tradition in this case.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 04:59 AM

If you've never done anything you think is wrong, Musket, you're an unusually happy man. That's assuming you're not a psychopath, which I do.
.......................

Forgiveness, as has been said, is something you do for something that's been done to you. I suppose that includes the indirect hurt that's been caused, so you might be able to forgive someone who had hurt a friend for the pain that caused you, but you wouldn't have the right to forgive on behalf of the friend.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 05:27 AM

As Joe wrote about forgiveness,
It's letting go of the desire for revenge or retribution
- personally. I think it (or at least the willingness, as Ebbie writes,) is a requirement for any notion of faith, however general. It has nothing to do with leniency in moral judgment. Neither it affects civil punishment and the fight against crime and injustice. Lizzie, think about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 05:42 AM

In my work with prisoners, I saw that even the judicial system isn't clear about punishment, retribution, rehabilitation and forgiveness. It appeared to be a very muddy area. No-one could tell me exactly what the aims were in putting people in prison, and a prison record was always a barrier to finding work, no matter how remorseful the ex-inmate. The idea of pardoning people who hurt one personally is one thing, but we are all members of society which punishes wrongdoers in our name, so the wider picture does apply. I don't find anger and non-forgiveness damaging personally; as has been said above, it reinforces my moral compass and my standards of behaviour. Such a lot to reflect upon! As I told the vicar yesterday, one can always pray humbly for enlightenment and guidance, which I do, as my religious exam score would be 5/10 for effort, but 1/10 for success!


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 06:42 AM

Eliza, please do not worry too much about words. Anger and outrage are normal reactions to observed wrongdoings, comparable to eating being a reaction to felt hunger. Eating too much is unhealthy and may be a sign that something is wrong with the person's regulatory system. If you work on it as much as you can, you will do yourself and others a favour. Just feeling bad does not help anybody. Neither does measuring oneself against an abstract ideal.

As for prisons, libraries have been written about their aims and reasons, with considerable success, albeit far from conclusive. Excessive collective outrage, like its private counterpart, can be detrimental to forming a peaceful and meaningful society.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 07:21 AM

What's all that hogwash about me never doing anything wrong Kevin?

That's a mental leap I would expect from the usual shallow suspects.

I said I have never sinned in the Christian sense because I am not a Christian. Do keep up. If you read into that that I have never done anything wrong, you stereotype with the worst of them. I merely said that to judge as a Christian, you have to judge a Christian because that is the only remit. My acts, thoughts and knob gags can be judged by people, but not on the basis of heir membership of something irrelevant to me.

Mind you, fair enough, I am a psychopath.   

Not sure about the happy man though. I was only saying to the wife's sister in bed this morning.......


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 08:56 AM

Someone did me dirt many years ago. Since then, I have forgiven her, but I would never trust her again in that area.
Forgiveness does not mean condoning what she did.
With the help of real communication with her, I was able to forgive and we are now close friends. However,I will never forget.

Holding a grudge is like allowing that person to live in your head rent free.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Jeri
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 09:16 AM

Max said what this guy is saying. When he told me where he got it, I wasn't that surprised.
Yoda on Destination Darkside


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 10:28 AM

I forgive George Lucas for the dialog in the last three Star Wars movies.

And I do this only because I must.

I even forgive him for Jar Jar Binks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 11:02 AM

What a lot of interesting and intelligent posts! Mudcat really is excellent with this type of thing. Thank you everyone for your ideas and comments. I feel quite reassured and encouraged to continue to grow in my understanding of this subject. Best wishes to all. Eliza x


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Pete from seven
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 12:00 PM

Stars
.....and you had some interesting thoughts too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 12:52 PM

Sinning is just another word for doing something wrong. Doing wrong is just another word for sinning. It's a matter of language, not logic. It's just not the language you use.
Why should it be? But I think it's important to us to recognise when we have done something wrong, whatever we call it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 01:17 PM

If you forgive someone for stealing from you that's a different thing from saying it's all right for them to keep what they stole. You might indeed do that, but it would be a separate thing. Again, you might accept the return of something stolen as wiping out the debt, but you might not forgive the act of stealing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 01:38 PM

I agree McGrath. There is obvious societal harm (moral hazard?) in people being excused for stealing simply by making restitution if and only if they are caught.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: JennieG
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 09:30 PM

Not always, no. Sometimes scars ran too deep to be expunged by a few words.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Amos
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 11:37 PM

The opposite of forgiveness--holding a grudge--has been likened to drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

In my view it is an error to give someone else the right to determine your state of mind, or heart, or spirit. Forgiveness--a loosely used term--does not mean forgoing justice, but it does mean releasing any hunger for revenge.

One reason for this is that a crime, once done, is not reversible, and dwelling on blame and regret for the past is detrimental to one's own power to do good in the present. This, thereby, only exacerbates the impact of the crime by redoubling its harmful consequences.

Another aspect of this is that we are most inclined to resent the offenses of others when they resemble our own offenses in some way. Examining your own conscience is a good way to see an offender in a clearer light.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 14 Jan 14 - 12:01 AM

Amos: "...--holding a grudge--has been likened to drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die."

Once again, Amos, you shine!

That was excellent!

Thank You!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST, Eb
Date: 14 Jan 14 - 01:40 AM

"Another aspect of this is that we are most inclined to resent the offenses of others when they resemble our own offenses in some way." Amos

This line to me is the really significant one. As in my experience with my brother, I eventually learned that not only had he learned what buttons of mine to push, I had become skilled in pushing his. Thanks, Amos.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 14 Jan 14 - 07:06 AM

Those who love give hostage to fate.

It's impossible to go through life without stepping on toes.

"The great ship EGO sails on with no thought for the damage it leaves in its wake." (Me)


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 14 Jan 14 - 07:12 AM

Yeah, but in the moonlight, the wake looks wonderful, and the phosphorescence of the plankton is a reminder not to held people back from realising their dream.







Or some such bollocks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 14 Jan 14 - 09:58 AM

Nice one Kendall


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 14 Jan 14 - 12:49 PM

I don't think that not forgiving someone means holding a grudge. It just means you've decided you don't want to forgive them.

Wasn't it Lord Longford who felt that Myra Hindley deserved forgiveness?   You cannot tell someone else how to feel in such a terrible circumstance, because only the people so deeply affected know how they feel and as Hindley, in all her time upon this Earth, after those murders, couldn't even bring herself to say where the bodies of the children were, to bring some kind of peace to those parents, let alone apologize from her soul, why the hell should ANYONE have forgiven her for what she was a part of?

I get very fed up with folks who tell you that you should forgive someone, when they have NO idea how that person has so deeply affected you.

It is only for the person who has been affected the most to decide and whatever they decide to do should be respected.

I could never forgive anyone who murdered a child of mine. To be honest, I don't think I could even if they begged for forgiveness. Some things ARE just simply utterly unforgivable and sometimes, those who have done those things just have to live with the horror of what they've done.

Most certainly, had I ever done such a vile thing, I'd not WANT nor EXPECT to be forgiven. I'd probably just end my life, were I able to, slip quietly away and be no more trouble to anyone, feeling I no longer had a right to live upon this earth, after doing such a terrible deed.

It is not bad to not forgive. It doesn't destroy someone not to forgive. In fact, sometimes, people need to feel they have that power inside them, because every other power has been taken away from them by the person others feel they should openly forgive.

I think it really is down, entirely, to the individual person concerned who has endured such hell.

And if your child has been murdered, raped, etc..how do you ever live a normal life again anyway? You can't. You just go into 'existing' mode.

I have friends in America whose only son was killed by a drunk driver. He was their only child. They have turned towards Love, loving everyone they meet, creating love around them, but...BUT...they have not forgiven the young man who drove into their son, driving him through a brick wall, along with several of his friends, some of whom sustained terrible head injuries...

That man was out of prison SO fast. Adding to their heartache....

They have no intention of forgiving him and he has never made the effort to even go and see them, despite living just a few blocks away. Their lives stopped that day...and even though they have many friends and family around them, so much love, I know that all they want is to be back with the beloved son one day soon.

I would NEVER tell either of them they have to forgive that young man, ever. I've seen just a small part of the fallout of his decision to drink himself senseless, then get into his car....My friends have to live with that each and every day, no child, no marriage of that child, no grandchildren, no future direct continuation of their family. It was ALL taken on that fateful day.

They continue to love though...


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: akenaton
Date: 14 Jan 14 - 01:25 PM

"Another aspect of this is that we are most inclined to resent the offenses of others when they resemble our own offenses in some way. Examining your own conscience is a good way to see an offender in a clearer light."

I really don't think that is relevant in extreme cases like those mentioned by Lizzie.

It may be alright for some "do gooders" to forgive child rapists or murderers, but try telling that to the parents involved. They have to live with the horror for the rest of their lives.
They will never have peace of mind, whether they forgive or not.

Some crimes are so extreme, that the perpetrator is beyond redemption.....and forgiveness IMO.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 14 Jan 14 - 02:14 PM

Our vicar, an absolutely lovely man who radiates goodness, said, "Hate the sin but love the sinner." However, I find it very hard to separate the two. After all, the person who has committed an evil act cannot be viewed as 'lovable' when one knows he/she is capable of dreadful things. To me, in some way it negates the suffering of a victim if one asks them to 'forgive'. I'm afraid I resort to my old friend Common Sense. It's quite normal to detest someone who's done something terrible, especially if one was on the receiving end.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jan 14 - 04:33 PM

Life is short. yes, depending on circumstance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 14 Jan 14 - 05:40 PM

In the past, I have forgiven, I have accommodated, I have lowered my expectations, and I have also learned and moved on. I suspect there is no universal answer, as it depends on the persons involved and situation at hand. I don't really see what religion has to do with it, nor would I suggest anyone judge another for their decision on how to deal with their own situations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Ebbie
Date: 14 Jan 14 - 06:34 PM

Nor do I think religion has anything to do with it. And I agree that each person does - and must do- what their system dictates. No one can expect that one size fits all.

In my own instance, had I not forgiven my brother before he died I would not have forgiven myself. I don't like that bitter taste in my mouth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 Jan 14 - 07:06 PM

Love and forgiveness in the spiritual sense are general attitudes, and implied by any notion of faith. They do not oblige us to "turn the other cheek" in all circumstances, or to be friendly to offenders, but (as we saw before) to let go of the desire for revenge or retribution, personally and collectively. Those desires are selfish and destructive, even if apparently conceived in the name of other people such as the Native Americans or abused children.

Fighting for justice and against crime is quite a different thing, and so is mourning one's losses. I have the feeling that Lizzie Cornish has an inadequate approach to the topic, sadly causing damage to her concerns and her own person.

Eliza, if you ask me: don't worry that much.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Janie
Date: 14 Jan 14 - 11:50 PM

Thank you for starting this thread, Eliza. Much personal thoughtful experience and reflection shared. At your invitation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 09:15 AM

I agree with everything you've written in your post above, Elize. Your vicar is wrong, in my opinion..and under that belief he has, everyone should be forgiven, no matter what the sin involved, which is utter nonsense and it's the wrong thing for the Church to be preaching too, as there are many 'sins' which should never be forgiven, imo.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 12:45 PM

"Hate the sin but love the sinner" I guess is an extension of "Love thy neighbor as thyself" Or more to the point "Love thy enemies."

Its a very very difficult thing to do. But it is what Jesus told people to do. I try to do that because it is good for me to do that. Not because it is good for the sinner. And as I said before that does not mean that I am for letting the sinner avoid the consequences.

You try to love everyone, in spite of what they have done. But that does not mean they are not responsible for their actions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 01:41 PM

I wonder if one can 'try' to love another person? It seems one has to wrestle with one's own responses and emotions in order to conjure up somehow a good feeling about the 'sinner'. I find this impossible I'm afraid. Love to me is something which grows unaided in the heart and can't be encouraged or pushed into being. Religion (in a broad sense) appears to disregard to a certain extent the natural, human reactions and responses to events, acts and situations. In fact, many ask one to suppress, for example, sexual feelings (which IMO are perfectly normal and not at all sinful) or revulsion, hatred, disapproval etc. of evil people. I'm reluctant to let go of my natural promptings. To 'turn the other cheek' is completely daft. Jesus may have asked us to do this, but one's logic argues against it. I value my logic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 03:50 PM

I totally agree, Eliza. The style of the NT is pointed and poetical, indulging in paradoxes. It assumes a reader who knows how to interpret its style, like poetry. Many misunderstand it, others understand it correctly but do not know how to teach (- similar to my piano teacher who was an excellent pianist, or my sports teachers, alas!).

Obviously love cannot be commanded in the way formal duties can. And that is the very point of the "commandment". Faith is about exploring one's relationship to one's "neighbours", ancestors, fellow humans, and the universe. The more you proceed in that, the less you will be worried by envy and other bad feelings - automatically! Those who feel they have to castigate themselves are rarely successful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 04:28 PM

I would say that love is a verb. That is ,it is something done ,rather than felt , though feelings may follow, but no guarantee.    But that is a biblical insight that you might not accept. I would say that it is logical to keep a reign on our emotions, not only because it is biblical but because society could fall further apart than it already has if everyone does and reacts just how they feel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 04:39 PM

A lot of wisdom in Grishka's last response.

Forgiveness is a choice.......and when we make that choice it can really lighten our burden. But if we do it out of 'obligation'....and, as Eliza says, have to 'conjure up somehow a good feeling about the sinner', then it's probably not going to work the way we want it to.

I'm a great admirer of "Restorative Justice" concepts and practices.   I've witnessed many people relieve their burden by forgiving people who have perpetrated the most heinous crimes upon them.

I've also witnessed those who haven't decided to do that.........but have still stayed 'in touch' with those angry feelings and strong judgments, and have used them in a way that has helped them move on rather than remain stuck.

Either choice requires courage.   I would never stand in judgment of anybody who makes any choice that 'works' for them........and is also creating more good than harm to society.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 04:41 PM

I would have enjoyed being a vicar up in front of a captive audience, pontificating without hesitation deviation or interruption, better than just a minute


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 05:02 PM

"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"

I always liked Luke--a bit rebel, a bit free thinker.

"And why behold you the mote that is in your brother's eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye?"

Matthew I have never liked as much as Luke, but ymmv on that.

Any preacher has the obligation to draw attention to matters of scripture and probably morality--define that as you will. But no preacher has the right to espouse "Thou shalts." As has been said by many sharp people on this thread, on occasion 'people of the cloth' forget who wove it. Great teachers lead students to arrive at great questions, and when the students answer those questions for themselves, therein is found the best of education. Good teachers lead students to arrive at good answers with few arriving at wrong answers. Poor teachers tell students what the answers are and fail them for it.

Eliza is, imo, a very brave woman. She never did particularly like me when I posted with a regular guest name--something I will never do again for good reason--but she always was the same wonderful 'questioner' she is now. Great teachers would love to have a class of Elizas because it's people like her who make education fun and worthwhile. FWIW, Eliza, if you were giving the sermon I'd show up (if only to argue with you). Not so much your preacher. IMO, your preacher is wrong and there ain't NO use arguing with some people.

:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 05:43 PM

>>>I wonder if one can 'try' to love another person? <<<

Yes! Absolutely! I can! I have and I will again! One can try to see their point of view. One can look for their good points. One can say to one's self that hating this person is hurting me. It is helpful to think. "The next time I see this person I will smile." For me it is useful to first think of "love your enemies" as "stop blaming your enemies" and "stop dwelling on those who have trespassed against you." The love generally follows that it is not the love you have for someone close to you. It is the love you feel for humanity. I think some call it "agape" but I am not sure of that definition.

Before I became a Christian I spent a lot of time lying in bed when I should have been sleeping stewing over past wrongs. Following that advice "love your enemies" was one of the best things I have ever done for myself. I don't think of it as a commandment. I think of it as a teaching. Not following it has at times led to misery on the part of some family members and friends as well as suicidal thoughts, and that I know of, the the completion of one suicide.

As Larry has said, it is a choice. Christianity is a way of dealing with the hardships of life. There are other ways. Some I would guess are more effective than others. But Christianity has been followed for more than 2 thousand years by more than 1 billion people. Most of them, even when partly departing from the teachings, even when there is abuse of powers among the clergy derive some good from it.

It is not up to me to judge what quality of a Christian anyone is. I would advise, based on my own experience, any one who questions that about themselves, to do what they think is right for themselves based on their own judgement of what Jesus said. The Vicar is just a middleman.

I would say, if asked, if you find yourself overburdened by guilt or hate or greed any of the negative emotions, try turning to Christ for help.

A lot of people, as I did, do that when they hit rock bottom. A lot of people have been helped.


As for turning the other cheek, it works surprisingly well when dealing with people who are angry when you don't know why they are angry. To reference recent news, It is much much better than shooting them dead when they throw popcorn in your face.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 06:02 PM

Some very kind and insightful comments. I do feel a little tentative when questioning doctrine, especially in our church discussions. However, I have never swallowed whole anything presented to me by the C of E, I like to chew it well first. (Please see the thread 'Holy Hanky' for example.) I bet some folk in my village view me as a bit of a maverick, but I sometimes think they secretly share my doubts. I hope God can accept my efforts to arrive at an understanding of my faith.
GUEST, I'm afraid I can't guess who you might be, but if I ever delivered a sermon, I'd enjoy having a discussion with you. Thank you very much for your kind remarks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 07:50 PM

Thank you, Eliza, and ditto that for sure from me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 16 Jan 14 - 12:04 AM

Somehow it seemed appropriate

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 16 Jan 14 - 04:02 AM

The most common misconception over the understanding of 'forgiveness' is that someone is being 'let off the hook' when they are forgiven. In fact they have not been let off but have to live with what they have done or said, that is of course assuming they have a conscience.
There can be however a 'letting off the hook' for the one who forgives! If someone offends you in any way, you can deal with it in many ways such as revenge, spreading gossip about them, giving them a hard time each time you see them etc etc, which in fact allows them still to have a hold over you and your feelings. The alternative is to forgive.. or to give away any feelings of anger, resentment, need for revenge, pain, in favour of not letting those feelings have any hold over you or your emotions. In other words if you are unforgiving of a perpetrator, they still have a hold over you and your emotions. If you forgive, they can no longer have that hold because you have shed any resentment or anger


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 16 Jan 14 - 04:32 AM

Ostentatiously turning the other cheek (martyr pose, "holier than thou") can be the exact opposite of loving one's enemy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 16 Jan 14 - 04:48 AM

Where I come from, turning the other cheek is an act known elsewhere as mooning. I doubt it is an expression of love.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 16 Jan 14 - 05:01 AM

I thought you put your head up only your own ass.....

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 16 Jan 14 - 05:07 AM

I don't have an ass. I have a few paddocks that I rent out to people with horses and even a couple of donkeys. If they ever meet up, I may be landlord to an ass though.

Goofus. This is to date a rather serious thread, which Eliza asked for. A bit of light observation is one thing, but please, when you join in, bang goes the neighbourhood.

Have a sense of decorum eh? Take a leaf out of my exemplary book.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 16 Jan 14 - 09:35 AM

Georgiansilver, that was very well put, and explains it to me in a nutshell. I agree that being spiteful, spreading gossip and seeking revenge does one no good at all. And being 'hooked in' to a bitter, unforgiving attitude is harmful to oneself. I've been mulling over all that folk have posted here, and I think I could lead a Lenten group on the subject with all the ideas expressed by so many intelligent and enlightened posters. (I have led groups before during Lent.) Forgiveness, repentance and starting anew would make a super topic. I've been jotting down a few points already, with a view to having a structure for debate. And nobody has been insulting, unpleasant or abusive - HOORAY!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 16 Jan 14 - 01:03 PM

>>>Goofus. <<<

>>>This is to date a rather serious thread, which Eliza asked for. A bit of light observation is one thing, but please, when you join in, bang goes the neighbourhood.

Have a sense of decorum eh? Take a leaf out of my exemplary book. <<

sigh....


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 16 Jan 14 - 06:47 PM

Actually, I've posted some rather insightful stuff on here....I only had to hold off for a moment while addressing your behavior!

...but I forgive you....and understand that the way you are is beyond your control...

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 01:27 AM

I'll pray for you my son.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 11:33 AM

"The most common misconception over the understanding of 'forgiveness' is that someone is being 'let off the hook' when they are forgiven. In fact they have not been let off but have to live with what they have done or said, that is of course assuming they have a conscience."

Indeed, the difference between forgivenes and absolution -the act of absolving or the state of being absolved; release from guilt, obligation, or punishment.

Then again, there is the very real issue of judgemental people and how they fit into the social equation. The link below gets you into a site that has a number of links, all dealing with how to deal with these difficult people. In the end, it is us how have to deal with them, because they are very unlikely to ever change.

http://www.ehow.com/how_2095872_deal-judgmental-people.html

As you may gather, judgemental folks are not into forgiveness by and large.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 11:49 AM

Sciencegeek.

I doubt that that set of seven "instructions" is applicable to most people. They seem to contradict each other. I cannot agree that it is ever a good idea to argue with the aunt you are not close to across the Christmas Dinner table.

But that is just my opinion. My family used to argue over dinner. I would simply not return myself into a situation where that could happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 12:16 PM

I agree that family seems to have quite a knack for "pushing buttons", but the link is just the entry into a number of related links and different perspectives, etc.

Like everything else in life, there is no single way to look at things or do things... unless you're judgemental... and then there IS only one way!!!!!!   .... P)... LOL


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Claire M
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 03:34 PM

Hiya,

Hmm. Depends what they've done. I read a good # of angel books, this topic crops up loads.

I've been treated quite badly by nurses/carers who didn't know what they were doing & whose ♥s weren't in the job anyway – some were downright nasty – which makes me think *any* new person who looks after me will do the same, despite where I live now being very good :. this makes life quite difficult. I can't & don't want to forgive people like that.

I also knew someone who done me wrong quite a few times, & 1 of the less nasty things this person did was to throw my cds all over my college room while shouting in a drunken rage. The cds were fine, but that got me thinking; had they not been they wouldn't have been missed; which changed my whole life.

In 1 of said books, there was a description of 1 angel making prayers into garlands for God to wear on his head. It cracked me up; I imagined a Pratchetty character w/ flowers on his head. Well, they make me ☻, anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: akenaton
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 04:47 PM

Nice to see the Christian people declare their beliefs....refreshing and openly stated.
This is what I mean about the difference between US and the majority of UK posters, we Brits who have "belief"( unfortunately I'm not one of them), seem so inhibited by the cynicism surrounding them that they are almost apologetic about their faith.

Jack, I thought your post in particular was great, full of emotion and lots of common sense regarding how to handle disagreements.
I know you will be surprised by this, but you have made quite an impression on me lately, showing a side of your character that I hadn't recognised.
The few cynical comments which have appeared on this thread, look quite out of place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 18 Jan 14 - 10:56 AM

I appreciate the kind thoughts Ake, nice of you to disregard all of the things you and I disagree on and focus on what you like. Its like you are putting the topic of this thread into action.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Mary Brennan
Date: 01 Feb 14 - 07:08 AM

It's a difficult one. I tend to forgive people and try not to bear grudges but I think I might find it difficult if someone had murdered or abused somebody I was close to.

I think it's best to at least try to forgive people, for your own sake. If you can't you end up bitter and twisted yourself and that's no way to live your life.

Perhaps that's what your vicar (and Jesus) meant?


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 01 Feb 14 - 04:03 PM

I know she will forgive. Could you?

GUEST COLUMN: Letter from a mother to a hit-and-run driver
Lila Hope-SimpsonPublished on December 09, 2013Share 837 13 Comment
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Lila Hope-Simpson.

Letter from a mother to a hit-and-run driver

Once, when my husband and I were driving along Highway 14, we spotted a turtle in the middle of the road. We pulled over and Ian gently picked up the turtle and carried him to a pond on a nearby farm. When I hit a low flying robin with my car one day, I drove back to check and see if it was okay and still breathing before driving off. To think an individual would drive a vehicle into my daughter, pinning her against an adjacent car and then leave her severely injured and alone lying on the ground, is incomprehensible to me.

I don't know you and you don't know me, but you have affected the lives of every member of our family enormously. After you fled, my daughter called out for help and was surrounded by caring people who contacted my husband and placed a 911 call for police and ambulance.

Since that night, she has had eight surgeries and has been hospitalized for over a month, and that is just the beginning of our long road to recovery. A few weeks ago, a reporter asked me what I would say to the assailant if I could speak directly with that person. I reflected for a moment and then shook my head blankly and said, "There are no words."

Now, some time has passed and I do have a few things I would like to say to you. You and I actually have more in common than you might think. We both have had major life altering decisions to make. Mine were medical choices that would affect my daughter's life. Your decision was based on whether to run away or offer assistance. Making choices is not easy for anyone, but I like to think weighing the consequences of one's actions plays a role in making those significant decisions. While you are at home sleeping at night, my daughter is woken up repeatedly in the hospital every night for blood work, IVs, pain medications, injections, vitals and nerve block checks. It's hard to get a good night's sleep in a hospital setting; I know because I have been sleeping in her room for over a month now.

You may take walking for granted, but we don't. It will be awhile until my girl can walk again, and never unaided. Has your life been turned upside-down? Our lives have. Things that used to be important to us are not any more, and things were not that important before, are more important now.

Neither my husband nor I have worked since the accident. We don't have time; we're too busy for now learning the ropes.

For many years, I wrote the Positive Parenting column for the newspaper and, although I confidently covered many topics relating to parenting, I never wrote about how to cope after a hit-and-run incident. This is all new territory for me. It feels like I have been dropped into a foreign country where I don't speak the language, I am not familiar with the culture, I have never eaten the food and I don't know the geography or road maps. I am kind of lost in this new territory, but experiential learning is teaching me to cope and I am slowly inching forward.

My daughter has risen far above this event. This incident does not define her. She is positive and beautiful. She is motivated and I am confident that she will do great things with her life. We are grateful that she is alive and thriving.

We have learned that, even though there was one person who committed an unspeakable act of cowardice, there are a thousand people who have proven to us that humankind is good. Anne Frank wrote in The Diary of a Young Girl, "In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart." Although you chose to flee and hide, our friends and community have stood by us and supported us with compassion, love, kindness, music, art, wholesome meals, funds, yarn, caring and generosity of spirit.

Read about community efforts to help Tasha Hope-Simpson here.

Most people prefer that justice be done. My daughter has become every mother's daughter and that is why everyone genuinely cares so much.

My only prayer was wishing that it could be me instead of her lying in that hospital bed. I have shed many tears. So many tears that sometimes it feels like there are none left to weep.

Even though it was my daughter who was hit that night, I, too, have felt broken and shattered. But there has been laughter and peace too. We have learned how to embrace what we have and each other, and appreciate the world around us.

Tell me, do you ever think about that night? Does it affect your dreams? Do you wonder about the girl you hit and how she might be doing? Or is it easy for you to carry on and buy groceries and watch TV and go for coffee like everything is normal?

As a teacher, I always taught my preschoolers that there are consequences to actions. I taught them to take responsibility for their behaviour. I would urge you to take responsibility for your actions that night. Don't be afraid. Come forward. Somebody knows. Do the right thing and tell someone. Call the New Minas detachment of the RCMP and help them wrap up their investigation, 679-5555, or contact Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers, 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), for a cash reward.

Read more about the investigation here.

I know I'm supposed to feel better if I forgive you, but the truth is, sometimes I still feel angry that you caused so much pain. For now, I will go back and be there for my daughter and family, and I trust that the world is a kind and nurturing place. My daughter has taught me to find peace and with her courage and the support of friends and community. I am gradually learning to do so.

Knowing who you are would provide some closure for us. And you know what? I urge you to do this for yourself as well. After all, if we can look out for a turtle or a robin, it's not too late for you step up to the plate for one innocent girl.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: kendall
Date: 02 Feb 14 - 09:38 AM

The person I mentioned broke my heart and cost me $200,000. I will never forget, but I can't let the resentment serve as a millstone around my neck forever.


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 02 Feb 14 - 11:50 AM

I still feel that we can't have an opinion on whether someone else should forgive a person who has harmed them terribly. Or harmed their child, for example. It isn't for us to decide that. But for oneself, it's probably better to forgive, if one can. However, I'd still demand remorse or penitence. If the perpetrator isn't in the least sorry, then damn them!


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Subject: RE: BS: Can People Forgive?
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 02 Feb 14 - 05:08 PM

Lack of forgiveness only harms the person who cannot forgive and carries the burden of un-forgiving.


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