Forgiveness in its deepest sense is something different from “letting go of anger” so that we can individually experience wholeness and healing. It involves an extraordinary suspension of the normal workings of justice: of the normal penalties for crimes, and the normal costs for moral failings. By definition, it is something that can be done only rarely without undermining the basis on which it rests and without creating an entirely different set of moral expectations. The famous admonition from Tuesdays with Morrie that we should “Forgive everybody everything” is perhaps appealing as a psychological instruction, but it is appalling as a general dictum. It resembles the child’s dream that every day should be Christmas.
Monday, April 18, 2011
The Moral Economy Of Guilt
A new issue of First Things is out, and there is an interesting article by Wilfred M. McClay on the The Moral Economy of Guilt. Longish, and it covers more than one topic.