Just because they're common, to the point of being meaningless, that doesn't mean these values are relevant in the political or even the civic world.
Forgiveness is a religious value held by many religious people, but in my view, like many Faith values, it is poisonous for our society and our political system.
Accountability and Justice are the cornerstones of our Democracy, not Forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a personal decision made in one's own bedroom or at church. I don't think it has any place in our civic world unless we come to it in a secular fashion.
Republicans want Christians to forgive Bush, Delay, Hastert... etc. They want to test Christians and see just how far they're willing to go in order to be considered pious. This is a poisonous brand of forgiveness that will dismantle our country.
Republicans consistently peddle the concpet that "hating" George Bush Jr. is unChristian; that it's an emotional problem amongst liberals.
No. Hate, and the refusal to forgive is not an emotional problem. In fact, they are normal human emotions that are healthy, and actually quite productive wrt the Natural world. I personally would not forgive the man who murders my daughter, because if I do, then that man is no longer in my genetic algorithmic ruleset for those who will not be permitted to go anywhere near my other daughter.
For me, it's a matter of natural, human emotional health. We are afterall, very limited in our capabilty to escape our monkey and lizard genetic makeup. We can only go so far without damaging ourselves emotionally and physically.
Christians try to overwhelm these natural feelings in any number of areas, and they make themselves sick doing so. And that's a fact.
Republicans would also like us to forgive them for failing on the Foley issue. They want us to forgive them as a party. They say that it was just one man... and now that man is gone.
I will not forgive them. I've learned my lesson. I don't trust Republicans and I won't trust them in the future.
And I won't trust them with my kids.
I'd recommend everyone practice the same scepticism.
The story about the Amish folk who are forgiving the family of the man who murdered their girls is a Republican setup in my view. It's fine for the Amish personally, but it has no broad applicable meaning, especially not to Republicans.
Personally, I don't even see the sense in it. The family never murdered anyone in the first place, so to me... it's a very hollow gesture.
All it says is that the Amish are willing to forgive people they laid the blame on carelessly in the first place.
The issue of forgiveness in that scenario is for the murderer. The Amish are welcome to forgive that man, but I would not.
I would not because I believe it is healthy for me and my children to hate that man, to put him away, to file him in the genetic and adaptive part of my brain as "BAD NEWS."
There are things I can forgive. But there are things that should NOT be forgiven.
Too many forgave Reagan for Iran Contra... without weighing what that would mean for all the criminals who've now come back, who are now legitimate members of our government, against all logic.
If we had not forgiven them... just like we should never forgive Osama... they would not be doing what they're doing.
Some innate human emotions can be dangerous. Mankind abused women and children and murdered our way to power for eons.
But some innate human emotions are there to help us heal, and to protect us in the future from people and ideas we once learned are poisonous, but have maybe forgotten the lessons about.
Hate and the refusal to forgive are not evil. They aren't bad or immoral.
Refusing to hate and practicing total forgiveness are Faith values that come from specific religions. They are not broadly applicable values and they don't hold any meaning for anyone or anything outside of a church or one's own bedroom.
I believe forgiveness, if practiced as Christians propose it should be... is poisonous.
It's just as poisonous as repressing one's homosexuality, dominating one's wife and kids, or any of the other countless poisonous Christian practices dictated by their Theology.
Christians will throw out all kinds of values and cloak them in the disguise of kindness and ultimate sacrifice for others.
But these values are not pure. They are not the "Word" of God, any God. These are values that have been created by the Church, and roughed out over two millenia of extremely hierarchical dictatorial History.
Beware. Be sceptical. Question. Everything.