Michelle Obama says that she can “never forgive” Donald Trump for spreading doubt about her husband’s citizenship. Whereupon President Trump, in his signature tit-for-tat way, said that he could “never forgive” Barack Obama for undermining our military. Hillary Clinton said that President Trump’s supporters were not only “deplorable” but “irredeemable.” Meanwhile lots of politicians and pundits are saying how one person or another is “unforgivable.”
This has to be the ultimate repudiation of a human being. It goes beyond hate.
Mollie Hemingway in the Federalist chronicles this phenomenon. And then this Lutheran journalist gives one of the boldest and most explicit Christian exhortations–complete with Bible verses–that I have ever seen in a secular publication.
It defies summary or quotation. You really need to read it all: Dispute Between Michelle Obama and Trump Shows Our Need to Forgive.I’m not saying that a person who has been sinned against has to forgive. Forgiveness cannot be coerced or even obliged. It always has to be a free gift. But to say that someone cannot be forgiven–even by God, presumably–is a horrible judgment and is surely horrible to feel.
I can see someone saying “I don’t forgive,” or “I won’t forgive,” or “I can’t forgive.” But to say that a person is “unforgivable” or has done something so heinous that he or she cannot be redeemed, that’s the harshest judgment of all.
Mollie closes her piece by quoting Lt. Com. Dan Crenshaw, a Texas Republican just elected to Congress. A Saturday Night Life comedian mocked the former Navy SEAL for only having one eye. He lost it fighting in Afghanistan. But instead of demanding an apology and insisting that the offender be fired, as has become the normal response, Crenshaw just said,
There’s a lot of lessons to learn here. Not just that the Left and Right can still agree on some things. But also this: Americans can forgive one another.