Forgiveness in America is something that is no longer easily obtainable. This is radically changing for our society, which once freely operated in the Christian gift of forgiveness. Rigidity and the “new woke order” are the new order of the American day. There is no room for growth in a society without forgiveness for mistakes, because in a world without forgiveness, correction is destructive, not growth causing. Without correction, people cannot change their path. Ultimately, the elimination of forgiveness in America may serve to eliminate some types of upward mobility in our society.
We see this playing out today with the new buzzword: #cancelculture. The Des Moines register recently fired a reporter who wrote a “background profile” to embarrass and harm 24 year old Carson King.
Mr. King was an average obnoxious guy who held up a sign asking for beer money at a football game. His poster, which showed how to send him money, went viral. Mr. King ended up collecting a lot of money. Mr. King decided to donate the money to a Children’s hospital, and Anheuser-Busch decided to match the donations. He raised over 2 million dollars, including the match.
With the good done here, it makes sense that a reporter felt the need to look over Mr. King’s long-past tweets for racism.
That’s right. The reporter found some racist tweets the now 24 year old fundraiser had written at age 16, and reported on it. This embarrassed the fundraiser and embarrassed Anheuser-Busch, who was matching money the 24 year old raised for the children’s hospital. So, Anheuser-Busch ended their match. Mr. King was deflated. Evidently there is no upward path for those who at any time have espoused anything racist. These people must be destroyed. Forgiveness? Repentance? Not options. Destroy!
We all want accountability. But there has to be a societal statute of limitations for non-criminal activity. We don’t want to live in a society in which a 24 year old is held to account for their speech at age 16. Our expectations for 16 year olds are so low that we practically beg them to speak stupidly.
And what about holding a 32 year old accountable for what they said at 24? What about holding a 40 year old accountable for what they said at 30? Keep in mind that we are talking about people exercising their right to free speech. People grow as they age. But if there is no forgiveness, is it not reasonable to hypothesize that instead of seeking growth, a lot of people would simply circle the wagons around the areas in which they need forgiveness?
Don’t get me wrong, if a person is still actively promoting something they said in the past, it would be reasonable to hold them to account for it. But if they’re not promoting “problem points,” what is the point of the #cancelculture pogrom, other than to silence and intimidate? The point is certainly not to correct people so that they can emerge from the storm with a repentant spirit and enter into a new level of righteous living. Again – such growth would require forgiveness.
And so society finds itself angry. The safety valve of forgiveness is gone, and the pressure cooker is heating up. How will it relieve its boiling rage?
So far the path has been to take the pogrom and move to the next target. In a way, the pressure cooker is a really awkward boiler on the ship of deconstructionism. The boiling rage is released by destroying something else in the name of equity, anti-racism, deconstructionism, or whatever faddish term the left wants to use.
The current target of the boiling rage in Tennessee is the bust of General Nathan Bedford Forrest contained in Tennessee’s Capitol Building. Some very angry folks want the statue gone. They hate Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Their hatred of him is interesting because he really represents the best of the American ideal of personal growth and upward mobility. Forrest was upwardly mobile in a lot of ways – economically, politically, and militarily. He enlisted as a private and ended the Civil War as the highest ranking General to not have attended West Point.
But Forrest’s greatest upward mobility was from his faith, from which the Lord drew Him to Christ. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Redemption tells the story beautifully. From inside the flap of the book cover:
Because of his days as a slave trader and his involvement with the Ku Klux Klan, the Confederate general is equated with racism. However, many may be surprised to know that he spent the latter days of his life as a pious Christian and an outspoken advocate of African Americans. This spiritual biography follows Forrest on his journey to salvation, focusing on the lesser known aspects of his life.
Forrest broke out of his caste in life. In death, the left is trying to remove the legacy of Christian, American upward mobility that was so prominently displayed in the waning years of his life.
Forrest did a lot more than make racist tweets. Forrest was worse than Carson King. Forrest traded slaves before the civil war.
How radically powerful then is it to see what Forrest became? The Christian would struggle to find anyone in history more radically transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ than Nathan Bedford Forrest. When Forrest died, his funeral train was over a mile long. It was filled with black saints who viewed him as a friend to their people because Forrest had changed. He advocated for blacks in Memphis – educationally, professionally, and spiritually. Many whites hated Forrest for his radical change. The consequences he faced were far greater than anything today’s woke warriors could dream of.
Forrest finished his life a strong, repentant Christian.
That should scare everyone who reads this, because if the left won’t forgive Nathan Bedford Forrest, they won’t forgive you.