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“Forgive us our trespasses”



“And so then they threw your son from a balcony at the mall…so what can you say, what would you like to say, to the man who did that?” “Well, I think the main thing is we forgive him, it’s hard, but we forgive him…we know he faced some tough situations growing up, so we forgive him. That’s what we were always taught.” You have probably seen similar conversations dozens of times in the media; some horrific crime—family of four butchered, only the father survives—and the survivor or relatives immediately offer forgiveness to the perpetrator; often the trial hasn’t even concluded.


These incidents provide fodder for online fights between “pagans” and “Christians”—with the former likely to hold that the families who offer immediate unconditional forgiveness are “mentally ill” or “perverted”, with the general ethic called for being “an eye for an eye”. The “Christians”—probably ready with that old Gandhi saw about, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” (ah, so true)—maintain that forgiveness has always been central to Christianity and that it’s the neo-pagans we really need to fear, they are going to bathe us in blood.


The situation has arisen for two reasons: firstly, a large proportion of these crimes—especially in America, yet also in Europe—are committed by black Americans or black Africans; the families interviewed about these crimes are often narcissistic status-maximisers keen to show that they “understand” the plight faced by blacks and how their negative social conditions, caused by their historical treatment by Europeans, have led them into lives of crime. In other words, to maximise their religious position through the blood of their relatives—not a historically unique act.


A secondary consideration allied to this point is that often they would like to say, “I got no sympathy for them, lock ’em up for ever—electrocute them; that’s what I’d do, if we still had the death penalty,” and yet are too afraid to say so in case they are pinned as “racist” or potentially “Ku Klux Klan” members (understood figuratively, not literally). But all their children were slaughtered, surely no one would begrudge them, even with the racial angle…Would they not? “That’s a rather vengeful attitude you have to a black man, there. Now, we understand he murdered your entire family, but you seem a bit too keen on his punishment. People find it a bit *odd*.” Women, blacks, homosexuals—sacred objects in the West, even if they commit crimes you should be careful not to desecrate the sacred object; after all, the Hindus in India put up with various unsanitary and dangerous antics from cattle, because they are literally sacred cows.


“Then the cow trampled my field, Guru Babajii, went into my house, trampled my baby to death, and overturned the stove—burned the house down. Now I have nothing.” “Yes, but have you considered the cow’s point of view?”

The other reason people have fallen into this “instant forgiveness” habit is that nobody thinks there is a spiritual reality anymore. Hence if you forgive someone it’s more or less *just words* or almost a nice vaguely saintly thing to say (Gandhi again, a liberal saint). Further, the forgiveness is “material”—the people who say this do not think forgiveness takes place at the spiritual level; and it is about the same for the “Christians” and the “pagans”.


For well over a thousand years, the Christian world executed people—often in fairly grotesque ways, such as being pulled apart by horses—and while this went on people took Christianity seriously; demonstrably more seriously than they do today. How did this occur? When they forgave someone, it was a spiritual act; it didn’t reflect some material reality—the implication behind contemporary forgiveness is really “I don’t want to ask the prosecutor for the death penalty” (in America) or “I don’t want a life means life sentence” (in Europe; if such sentences really exist).


So it’s not about forgiveness as it was commonly understood in the past—notably, in the past, people would seriously pray to God “to soften my heart so I may forgive” or they “prayed to God to forgive these people who trespassed against me”. Today, they just say, pretty much, “Sure, I forgive them”. Apparently, forgiveness has become very easy in modernity—convenient, just like Deliveroo. Since I know people have not become more religious, my conclusion is that contemporary “forgiveness”, even when it masquerades as “Christianity”, is really a modern sentiment—behind it lies the idea “Well, he only has one life to live and these lives are gone already, so why go too hard on him—hasn’t enough blood been spilt?”.


Yet this is entirely a modern view; it’s predicated on the idea there’s no afterlife, no God to ask for forgiveness (who may or may not grant it). No, you can just say “I forgive him”, like a magic wand, and it’s done—a nice thing to say, “I am a good person”. There’s no serious struggle, no appeal to God to “soften my heart, for my want for vengeance is terrible” (i.e. a realistic attitude, you actually want to kill the person who slaughtered your family—possibly horribly). Since God doesn’t exist, you yourself can unilaterally pronounce forgiveness whether you feel it or not—it seems like “the right thing to do”, I guess; and you will be congratulated for it.


You can still forgive someone for their crime and say that they have to be executed—if it’s a spiritual exercise. “As a soul, I forgive him—however, the law must take its course.” What liberal modernity has done is smush all this together, so that forgiveness must manifest materially—since it can manifest nowhere else. You have to forgive here and now—and it has to be reflected in a lenient punishment, since that is the only punishment there is. So “Christians” who tell “pagans” that there must be immediate forgiveness are unlikely to be sincere; however, the pure “pagan” attitude—often a parody of actual paganism, where “paganism”, per the Victorians, means “harsh Darwinian atheism”—while more correct also neglects the idea that forgiveness is possible; it’s just not instant, if it’s sincere.



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1 Comment


Some guy with no plan
Some guy with no plan
Dec 15, 2022

I think God exists, it's just that He really doesn't think of us as much we do Him

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