The power and problem of forgiveness and the Neo-Confederate.
The spirit has placed this one on my mind this morning. The power and problem of forgiveness and the neocon.
Let me start with the power and problem of forgiveness. Forgiveness is the most powerful force in human history. It is so powerful, most of us have forgotten or have know knowledge of where it came from in human history. Each of us were born into a particular time and into a particular space and at some point in time in our lives we needed forgiveness and it just showed up. In some cases it is so natural now that we actually believe that it was always a part of who we were. That we have within each of us the capacity to forgive. But it had not been made a part of our consciousness until Calvary. Seemingly it just showed up and we began trying to use it to the best of our understanding.
Human history and recorded law even at this hour is not characterized by the history of forgiveness. Human history to this point is characterized by the history of unforgiveness. Human history has been unforgiving. In fact, forgiveness is so new, I liken it unto a single grain of sand on a beach. And with that analogy and using these words, I cannot paint a more perfect picture for you to wrap your mind around.
Whether it is the idea of forgiveness with a loved one, a child who makes an error, a spouse who cheats, reconciliation between war-ring nations, or war-ring tribes, Human history is characterized by war and unforgiveness and I liken forgiveness unto a single grain of sand on a beach. ￼￼Forgiveness can stop a war and turn a battleship around, forgiveness can repair relationships and marriages, forgiveness can heal planets if we accept the role we played in its destruction. ￼Forgiveness is the most powerful power in human history and it has the power to change the course of human events.
Most people do not try forgiveness, because it is so new, so counter intuitive, and they don’t understand it’s amazing power. Forgiveness is the opposite of human history‘s first instinct. Forgiveness is the opposite of the human impulse. Forgiveness is the opposite of initial human stimuli. Forgiveness requires you to pause and think about it before you take action. Forgiveness requires you to think.
Forgiveness is not just a benevolent act between two people who have been unable to resolve differences. It is not just a moment that they decide to reconcile and move on. For in the moment that they do forgive each other, the diseases of animus, anger, hatred, ill will, psychosis, jealousy, retaliation, the internal crime of “conspiracy to retaliate,” breathlessness, shame, blame, guilt, grudge, all of these personality distorting diseases are defeated, if the forgiveness is genuine.
Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, can not come up with a pill or a drug for the diseases that forgiveness cures.
The Power of forgiveness alone can add 10 years to your life. Hatred eats away at the human personality like in unchecked cancer. I think I heard Dr. King say that. ￼Some people you can see the hatred in the wrinkle in their faces. Yes you can see meanness, artificiality, inauthenticity in the wrinkle in someone’s face. You can tell someone who is mean before you even speak to them. You can see a life of unforgiveness. It also shows up in hair loss and many other ways￼￼￼. The unwillingness to forgive comes out of your pores￼. It is a part of who you are and it shows up externally.￼
The power of forgiveness also means I no longer have to watch my back. If I offer forgiveness and I still have to watch my back we have not arrived at trust which is also a component of genuine forgiveness.
But again I liken it unto a grain of sand on a beach. It is so rarely used in our personal lives and in human history, that against the backdrop of time in the universe, with all of the stars, it is liken unto a grain of sand on the beach. In short, it is rarely used, in history, it has been rarely used and applied ever.
Then in year zero Jesus shows up.
And for 2021 years we have been trying to find a way to use it. We’ve been trying to find a way to apply it. It is the foundation of conflict resolution in every facet of life. At home it is the source of harmony. Between nations it is the source of peace. Between neighbors it is the source of love. But even at the hour of this writing it is like unto a single grain of sand on a beach. Forgiveness is hard. Retaliation is easier. Punishment is easier and then we have a new problem. We still need the forgiveness after the retaliation and the punishment because we feel guilty and we start asking questions about proportionality. After retaliation, after punishment, after making our list of enemies, we still need to pardon ourselves.￼ An unwillingness to forgive creates a new psychological problem for us.
That brings me to the power and problem of forgiveness with the neocon. By neocon I mean the new and modern confederate sympathizer. At the end of the Civil War over slavery, the original Confederates, seditionist, insurrectionists, traitors, who sought to “raid the capital and conquer it” but never made it to DC, were never tried for treason. They were not hung, shot, jailed, for the crime that they had committed against the country. After Lincoln‘s death do you know what President Johnson his vice president and Ulysses S, Grant did? To welcome the Confederates home and to make room for them in the body politic, the north insisted on the passage of the 13th 14th and 15th amendment, maintained a federal troop presence during a limited reconstruction to protect the newly freed men, and it embarked on a massive mission of clemency and forgiveness. This clemency and forgiveness program, would lead to the beginning of the “Redeemer Democrats,” Dixiecrats, and ultimately the re-empowerment of former slaveholders and the vested land gentry owners and would give birth to sharecropping. The neocon has forgotten that his ancestors had to be forgiven. If their ancestors had been hung for their behavior they might think twice about having raiding the Capitol. I’m not making excuses for the atrocities of slavery I am just saying that the forgiveness that was extended to their ancestors for their behavior should have been taught to them and it wasn’t.￼￼
African Americans were still without rights, locked in a exploitive economic arrangement on the former plantation. But this essay isn’t about them.
This essay is about their ancestors who would Raided the Capitol of the United States. Because the power of forgiveness, also restores a person and their point of view to a level of legitimacy and respect. For the Southerners, once forgiven for slavery, their ancestors would no longer have treason in their blood. No one wants to know that they are great great grandfather was Benedict Arnold.
But going forward the generation of “Arnold’s” had a new economic arrangement and it would no longer be chattel slavery, but a so-called mutually beneficial financial relationship called sharecropping. But even more devastating is the impact of not having treason in their blood for succeeding and future generations. Forgiveness wiped out the word from their lineage. ￼￼
Fast forward this 160 years. The north, through war, had politically conquered the south. In peace, however, it was unable to penetrate the south essence. The soul of the south remained deeply rooted in religiosity, racism, regionalism, classism, and elitism. It resisted progressive racial and economic change, sometimes in cunning ways, but often in militant and even violent ways. In large measure those core political frameworks and structural patterns remain in place today.
The Great tragedy of forgiveness and the neocon is the recognition by many of us that the neocon has been miseducated. And because none of them are going back to school for reeducation, the neocon has to be punished because his DNA and lineage hasn’t taught him a single lesson about grace and how their ancestors avoided being called traitors, seditionists and treasonous.
That’s why some blacks participated in the Trump insurrection of the Capitol of the United States. You see, the white insurrectionists don’t have “treason their backgrounds.” You see they were never taught about sedition from their ancestors. After the war forgiveness wiped out there ancestors memories and the way in which they told their story to succeeding generations. Treason in America has become a political party. Of course the great tragedy of the power of forgiveness and memory is that it has led to a new generation of Arnold’s.￼
Forgiveness it’s like unto a single grain of sand on the beach against against the canopy of an infinite universe made up of unlimited particles and pieces of sand. It is so powerful an idea that we haven’t even figured out how to use it and when we do, we forget that we even needed it.
When the Master was asked How often shall we forgive our neighbor until 7 times? “Not until 70×7,” the master responded. 490 times? He wanted us to get so used to forgiveness that it would become part of the fabric and structure of our being. That’s hard. That is the cruxt of our faith.￼