Lance Scranton: Can we still forgive?
Have you ever done something you regretted? At work, at home, with your kids, at a game, in front of people you care about? Or what about 30 or 40 years ago? The self righteousness dressed up as virtuous discussion in the national media these days has me feeling like we are headed in a really bad direction for our country.
I’m not a big fan of the latest politician embroiled in a controversy about a picture that appeared in a yearbook in the 1980s. The picture is of two people; one in blackface and the other in a Klu Klux Klan outfit. Obviously a poor choice by the people in the picture and a worse choice by the editors of the yearbook.
We are light years beyond the societal norms that were in place 40 years ago, and we have become a much more sensitive people.
However, along with the sensitivity, I fear our tolerance has changed from one of a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, practices, racial, or ethnic origins, etc., differ from one’s own to one of bigotry, which is a stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.
I’m more disturbed by the Governor of Virginia’s views on late-term abortion than how he acted when he was in his 20s. Obviously, he is a different person today than the the one reflected in his yearbook picture. He has made enough of an impression on voters that he was elected in 2018 and has been a fairly unremarkable governor — until now.
The political class pride themselves on the vetting process candidates must go through to become a nominee to run for office and become a public servant. The standard must have been fairly low, or the research team wholly inept, because now, three of the highest-ranking elected officials in Virginia are embroiled in controversies dating back years.
I get the whole idea that people should be held accountable for crimes they commit, and some of the types that are sexual in nature should be handled very carefully. We’re living in a precise time, and most all of us have something in the closet of the skeleton type. Should we all be called to account for every bad decision we’ve made in our lives, I’m afraid we would be left without anyone to make decisions about our country.
Forgiving (to pardon an offense or offender) is one of the most difficult things to do in our current climate, because for every person who has made a mistake, there must be retribution that matches the scorched-earth type of attacks that can only make our society a pretty unforgiving place to live.
Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.
Springs seep, burble and gush. Lakes beckon us, welcome us, provide us with both the noisy fun of liquid playgrounds and the quiet beauty of murmuring moments of solitude.