Thursday, November 11, 2004

On Arafat's death

So, he has finally been declared dead. I think the world is a better place without him. I find some of the more raucous expressions of glee at his death disturbing, just as I do the unconditional panegyrics to his terror.

It is with such men that the true impossibility of being Christian comes home. Forgiveness is far harder than hate, it is the hardest thing of all, because it is meant to be unconditional. That is the image we have to follow, of the man who was able to forgive those who mocked him, beat him, crucified him. It does not matter that this man did not care about those he killed, for this is ultimately not about him. It is about me.

In my bones I fear I feel something of what Christ would say, that in today's world of all the sinners it is the terrorists who need our forgiveness the most. He himself reached out to sinners in his day, even to his executioners, and I have no doubt he would do the same today. So I must admit my human frailty here, I find it not within myself to forgive Yassar Arafat for what he has done. I can only hope that, with Christ's love, I may one day be able to acheive the understanding necessary to enable me to forgive Arafat, and the many like him.
As of today however I cannot forgive, but I can hope for peace, and today, today of all todays, for peace I pray.

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