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When forgiveness is no longer an option

August 25, 2009

Here’s a question that needs to be answered:  When should forgiveness be given?  How repugnant does a crime have to be in order to not receive forgiveness?  Many of us are appalled by horrific acts, and the perpetrators who cause them.  We all apply a particular standard on what those offenders must accomplish, before we determine their placement back into civilized society.  They must pay their penance, show an acceptable amount of contrition, and chart a course to repay society in some measurable way.  But who decides how much contrition an offender should show, and how is that decided?

Is the solution to condemn the acts, or the perpetrator of them?  Is it possible to separate the two?  Society has developed its own ecumenical standard, complete with hypocrisy and uneven judgements.  Those that pass through our legal system, must now enter the ethical meat grinder.  Flinch, or show the slightest moral recalcitrance, and you are doomed to incur scorn forever.  Forgiveness for us, can no longer be an option.

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