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If you’ve read the news lately, whether you are on the left or the right, you will notice there is a strange lack of forgiveness for sins of the past, for disagreeable opinions or different political leanings.  I can tell you why it is strange that you wouldn’t forgive someone for sins of the past, besides the fact that it is a very puritan way of thinking, and the growing effect of being unforgiving but it is most clearly illustrated in Virginia this month.

There is no doubt that an unpopular opinion voiced by the Virginia Governor Northam about a post birth abortion spurred an investigation into his past.  The reason there is so much speculation and gossip about which side of the aisle started this toxic search into someone’s past (with an intent to destroy their future) is the contagion of unforgiveness has spread so widely that there is no one who can say “this only happens on the right” or “this only happens on the left.”  It has now become a cultural norm.  What started with the governor spread to the lieutenant governor with a #metoo allegation that is at least more corroborated than the Kavanaugh allegations.  But it didn’t stop there, it spread to yet another Democrat in the line of Govenorship.

Every allegation, every true fact, comes to light with the same twitter scrutiny as Kevin Hart’s “homophobic” tweets. Every apology is swept aside, sincere or insincere, and futures are ruined.

This cultural contagion goes further than just our own past being unforgiven, in fact, it started with being unforgiven for the sins of your ancestors.  Whites are guilty of the sins of their ancestors on the American continent with regards to slavery, colonialism and accidental transmission of disease.  Conor Daly is guilty of his father’s sins. Jennifer Teague felt guilty of her grandfather’s sins. Tomi Lahren is guilty of her great-great grandfather’s sins.

But don’t think, dear intersectionalist, that this is going to be limited to whites.  If you think being called a race traitor is bad, just wait until the mob descends on you for something as innocuous as trying to talk to the other side. And be prepared for ridicule, deplatforming, namecalling, etc. if you, as a feminist, tell a feminist you think they might be wrong.

You don’t know where the lines are being drawn, because they are constantly being redrawn (see Virginia Governor news of the day), and you don’t know when the line will hit you.  You can’t even say, as in the case of the MAGA boys, that it will happen to you because of something you did.  You might just be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If we are going to continue to pursue this very Puritan ideology of being pronounced “guilty by Twittermob,” we are going to continue to have breakdowns in communication.  If you can be unpersoned online for saying the wrong things today, and you can be fired for saying the wrong things yesterday or for a date (or not) 10 years ago or really, anything at all–because you don’t know what will become unpopular in a year or two–then you aren’t immune. You have and will do things that you will need to ask forgiveness for.

What will you do when you are faced with the culture of unforgiveness you helped to build on Twitter when you are the one who needs to be redeemed?

forgiveness