The truth is…I forgive people.
These are not the words one ever expects to hear from a Heathen. We’re all about honor, and repaying insults, and so forth. Heathens, nor Romans, are known as very forgiving people. Not so much turning the other cheek.
But the truth is…I forgive people. Maybe it has something to do with being Hela’s King, with helping rule over the dead, with the passing souls of those who have lived, but at the end of the day…you have to forgive.
No one is perfect. Everyone’s done something bad, done something to hurt someone else. Maybe they meant to, maybe they didn’t. It happens. We offend people, we’re offended by people, we’re hurt and we hurt, endure pain and cause it.
I may insult people, I may rage against their positions and their beliefs and their actions. I may feel anger, hatred, disgust, sorrow, or any other thing. I don’t have many friends, in real life or among the blogs, or anywhere else. I rage against the things I believe are bad; tyranny, oppression, authoritarianism. Even those in my own group have tasted my lash when I see them doing something I deem wrong.
But the truth is…I forgive them all.
I forgive Halstead, for all his insults and his lies and his cruelty and totalitarianism.
I forgive Krasskova and Dawson for trying to insist that only theistic pagans should be allowed to use pagan imagery and heritage.
I forgive Aubs Tubbs for calling me a racist all those many years ago, simply because she didn’t like what I was saying. Same with Sarenth Odinson.
I forgive ISIS for doing what they do.
I forgive because I know why people do these things. Their fear, their pain, makes them terrified of those who would invalidate themselves, their position, their beliefs. Because sometimes the idea that things might be different from what you think they are scares you, can invalidate you because you are good because you believe good things and if those things were not in fact good you worry that you would be a bad person for believing them.
I forgive them all. It doesn’t mean I don’t fight against the things I believe are wrong, but it is why I don’t attack the people, only the position, the ideology, bad thing itself alone.
The truth is I could slaughter every Muslim in the world in waging a war against something like ISIS and Islam as it is today, I could kill men, women, and children, and I wouldn’t regret a single blow in a war against a totalitarian ideology.
But I would forgive every single one of them. Even as I judged them, even if I damned them, I would forgive them too. Because some of them deserve damnation and some of them don’t, but the truth is each one is a person. A unique soul with potential to have done such good, or such evil, as only humanity could.
And I understand, people may have trouble reconciling a genocidal will with a merciful one, but it’s true. I can fight without hatred, do violence of all kinds without dehumanizing the ones I’m fighting. I can live with them afterwards, if it is fated to be.
Were ISIS to lay down their arms tomorrow and never fight again, I could forgive them all. I would see them answer for their crimes, punished, even put to death, but I would forgive their souls even as those were sent to eternal torment.
Because the rage I could hold towards them would not be worth it. The man, the God, I would have to be to hate them is not worth the people they are. They can have my anger, my blade’s judgement, my violence, but my eternal hatred?
It is better to forgive.
So I forgive.
I forgive everyone.
That is the mature view. It’s not about personal insult, taking things personally. Our ancestors were much the same as Middle eastern cultures are today – honor vs shame based, eye for an eye etc. Eventually cultures, like people, have to grow up and realize that you can’t repay every insult eternally, it has to stop somewhere or no one will ever get to move on. Judging the action, not the person.
Forgiving even in Christianity doesn’t mean people don’t have to pay in the real world for their sins. It just means their god doesn’t hold it against them any more.