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No its not

There was a small news piece during the week, about a priest who decided to step down from her duties as she felt she could not forgive the man who blew himself, and her daughter, up in the London Tube bombings on 7th July last year.

Time ran a single page piece on it by Simon Robinson (20/03/2006 pg 25), small excerpt below. Titled Is Forgiveness Always Divine?

"... "I rage that a human being could choose to take another human's life. I rage that someone should do this in the name of a god," she said."

"... Forgiveness is wonderful and liberating and redemptive, of course. But it has almost become the standard these days. We used to hear about the power of forgiveness from the pulpit; now we get it as another word for moving on, the constant refrain of daytime talk shows and self-help books. Psychologists believe that forgiveness can heal deep trauma, but the concept has become so commonplace that everybody publicly asks for it, from Bill Clinton (for marital infidelity) to celebrities (for assorted addictions) to third-word countries (for debt). We've become so used to people forgiving that we're disappointed when they can't do it."

"... Julie Nicholson will never have that opportunity. Part of the perversity of a suicide bombing is that the murderer dies along with the victims. There is no way to enact the justice that is an essential part of true forgiveness, no chance to dig beneath the logic of hatred to answer the fundamental question: "Why?" Perhaps that will make it impossible for Nicholson ever to forgive. But her decision to resign, like her interview last week, was first and foremost a rare show of honesty. Forgiveness, she reminds us, is not something you can turn on like a tap. At its purest, setting both victim and antagonist free, it is truly a miraculous gift."

- Simon Robinson


Steve P
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