by Ken Sehested
In the surge writing following the massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, the most significant may be Roxane Gay’s “Why I Can’t Forgive Dylann Roof.” (Stacey Patton has a similar piece in The Washington Post, "Black America should stop forgiving white racists.") I think it most significant not because I agree but because it states what so many feel because of a culturally-warped reading of Scripture.
Gay realizes that this counterfeit forgiveness is a form of cruelty to victims. All she says is true—but not true enough.
We have yet to grasp the distinctive character of the Beloved’s initiative on our behalf, “in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Only as we are shaped by this conviction—thereby unleashing the capacity for "transforming initiatives," in Glen Stassen's wonderful phrase—is the capacity for nonviolent living released, the power by which we confront injustice yet refuse to deepen the cycle of violence. Such living requires a beatific vision drawing us forward, not a misery-immersed shove from behind. Read more ›