Sunday, February 11, 2007
Forget the Ways of Washington?
Mr. Obama was recently interviewed with his wife about his candidacy. Asked if they were worried for his safety as a candidate, his wife responded, 'A black man could get killed going to the gas station in this country..' That seems to me unchristian. The Lord's Prayer, says 'forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.' Admittedly one reading of it is that we should forgive anybody anything. This usually means forgiveness of a favored class of transgressors in practice. A more nuanced reading is to see an analogy between the way God forgives us and the way we forgive others. God forgives us as we recognize sin and in doing so make an effort to reform our ways. Thus as God has forgiven us, we should not hold a grudge and, analogously, forgive others who have made an attempt to reform. I believe this country has made an attempt to reform in its race relations. The easy recourse to the cudgel of guilt is unchristian and in fact is an attempt to hold the rest of the nation in bondage. As Abraham Lincoln said, 'no man should own the labor of another.' White folks do look forward to the day when we can say, "Free at last. Thank God, I am free at last."