Forgiveness for the Bee Gees reference, but it came to mind and I thought I’d share. . .
Pastor John Hagee has decided to endorse not only John “Agents of Intolerance” McCain, but “The Great Whore of Christianity,” we all know and love as “Catholicism.” I’ll betcha Catholics are thrilled to peaches:
In a letter to William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, Hagee wrote: “Out of a desire to advance a greater unity among Catholics and evangelicals in promoting the common good, I want to express my deep regret for any comments that Catholics have found hurtful.”
“Deep regret.” “Comments.” Hmm. . .
Forgiveness is an important and powerful thing, especially to people of faith, in all faiths. Forgiveness releases not just those forgiven but the those who forgive from a type of bondage. It is the only and necessary beginning of healing.
Having said all that, it’s important to note that one needs to forgive and ask forgiveness for the right thing, not simply the most convenient thing. To whit, if I was having a discussion with a friend of mine and inadvertently threw some “comment” out there that was taken as racist, sexist, or irreligious, I would ask forgiveness for my “comment.” I would beg their pardon for offending them, hoping that forgiveness could be returned. After all, intolerance and offense are often built out of just this type of benign ignorance. These things happen – even among friends, even in circles where people think they’re well-educated.
If, however, I’d brought along wall-sized timeline diagrams to prove my point and a film crew to broadcast it to the world, then I would think that rises above the level of a simple “comment.” I don’t personally need his forgiveness, not being a Catholic, but I would respectfully submit that perhaps this apology doesn’t quite go far enough. Maybe that’s just me.