I have been a Universalist all of my life. I was a Universalist before I knew the word “universalism” existed. I think it’s important to point this out because this post is about forgiveness.
I am also a brooder. It’s important to point that out too. So I’ll start with the most recent thing I’ve been brooding over first.
On Tuesday, Megan Kelly asked why a white person going around in blackface was racist. Ah, blackface. Welcome back into the national conversation again, old friend.
Yesterday morning, Kelly apologized for her comments. (no, I did not watch)
Apology not accepted. At least, not by me.
Two weeks ago tomorrow, UUA Board Secretary Christina Rivera and her child were sent a nasty, violent letter while they were here in Boston for meetings. Far as I know, the person who didn’t have enough courage of their convictions to sign their name to their vitriol hasn’t apologized or asked for forgiveness.
And, I hope that Christina and her family don’t forgive this person.
Some things are not forgivable.
Too often, wronged people are pushed to forgive things said or done quickly. Before they’ve even had time to process what has happened. [think about how quick the families of the Charleston 9 were asked if they forgave Dylann Roof] And yet, the person who does the wrong is seldom asked if they have repented. Because pushing for people to forgive regardless of whether or not the person who committed the wrong has repented is the very definition of cheap grace.
And I haven’t even gotten into the power dynamics of forgiveness. That will happen in another post.
Part of the reason I am a Universalist is that I believe in the power of forgiveness. But forgiveness takes time. And it takes repentance. They go hand-in-hand.
There is more I want to say, but it’s scrambled in my head, so I’ll end here for now.