As We Forgive?
By Patrick F. Cannon
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” You may remember this noble sentiment from the Lord’s Prayer. It’s a concept ingrained in Christian theology. No less a personage than Jesus Christ taught that if the sinner repents, and promises to sin no more, he can be forgiven.
In this supposed Christian nation, God may still forgive the sinner, but almost no one else does. In a recent instance, 27-year-old Alexi McCammond – herself an African-American — was forced to resign as editor of Teen Vogue for tweets she had posted 10 years before as a teen-age student. Some of them involved snarky remarks about Chinese fellow students and teaching assistants, so were deemed racist. Apparently, 17-year-old girls cannot be forgiven for being immature, even if they apologize later, as Ms. McCammond predictably did. Maybe Christianity Today will give her a job. She can forget about the New York Times.
By the way, that august newspaper is among those calling for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign. No more hypocritical than most politicians, Cuomo is accused of making unwelcome advances to young women, including some on his staff. Instead of giving the old coot a hearty slap on the face, or just telling him to act his age, they apparently make mental note of his transgressions until a braver woman comes forward publicly, then come out of the woodwork to pile on. By the way, Cuomo is a 63-year-old divorced man, old enough, I guess, to be considered a dirty old man.
So far, he has refused to resign. If he does, it should be for fudging Covid nursing home death figures, not for being an idiot with women. After all, the country was happy to elect two serial sex offenders – Bill Clinton and Donald Trump – to its highest office. Talk about hypocrisy! I would guess that some of my readers voted for at least one of them in full knowledge of their sexual proclivities.
Man’s inevitable sexual urges are now an issue in many now unforgiveable acts. Poor Charlie Rose was accused of luring women to his lair for immoral purposes and has all but disappeared from view. One day, the Charlie Rose Show; the next, reruns of Mister Rogers. Then there’s comedian Louis CK, who got his jollies by exposing himself and masturbating in front of bemused and/or appalled women. Pathetic, surely. Career ending? Why? He has apparently gone back to work. If he’s still funny, it should be OK to laugh at his jokes, just as people seem to enjoy Picasso’s work, despite his appalling treatment of women.
As far as I can tell, none of these men committed an illegal act. If they did, why haven’t they been handcuffed and hauled off to the pokey? Being boorish and stupid has only ever been against the law of good taste, which is violated every day in every way by both sexes. Men who have crossed the line – Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby come to mind – have ended up in prison, as they should have.
In the spirit of forgiveness, I’m even willing to offer absolution to Donald Trump, provided he admits his many sins, and promises to be better in the future. I concede I’m unlikely ever to be required to honor my generous offer. Who have you forgiven lately?
Copyright 2021, Patrick F. Cannon