The Gift of Forgiveness—America as a Work in Progress

  
Via:  1776 Traditional American  •  3 months ago  •  50 comments

By:   Terry Paulson

The Gift of Forgiveness—America as a Work in Progress
On our money, we read the statement “In God We Trust.” Do we? Maybe we need to. It was not added at our founding but later as a reflection of the cultural importance of faith in God’s providence in America’s story. At the heart of that faith is the power of forgiveness.

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We the People

America is an exceptional nation. A great nation founded by divine providence with a recognition of our creator as the source of our human rights.  We were founded upon lofty principles we are still growing and developing into.  Our founders were great people way ahead of the Times they lived in.  We are one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.  We are a nation from which people from all over the world come to yearning to be free. We are a nation that In God we trust and it’s time now for unity, love, hope, reconciliation, forgiveness.  A time to realize how far we’ve come and where we can still go while respecting our founders, our founding documents and the path they set us on.  A republic, if we can keep it.  


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



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America, as successful as it has been in creating a country where people risk their fortunes and their lives trying to enter, has remained a work in progress. Its past leaders, often imperfect by today’s standards, stretched the fabric of our rich mosaic in every age to help live up to the values we first just dreamed of embracing. We aren’t what we will be, but we can be proud of how far we have come in our journey.

Can we ever get beyond the racial sins of our past and present? I take heart in the Biblical story in Genesis about Joseph, the son of Jacob. Like many who were forced into slavery in America’s early history, Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous older brothers. In spite of a tragic series of events, Joseph never lost his strong belief in the God of Jacob.

After being sold into slavery in Egypt, he was wrongly accused of rape and placed in prison. Realizing his gift of being able to interpret dreams, Joseph finds favor with Pharaoh. Through his service, this previously insignificant Hebrew slave becomes second in power throughout Egypt.

In the midst of a famine that Joseph predicted, he was given the opportunity for revenge. When his brothers who sold him into slavery came to Egypt to secure grain, instead of punishing them, he helped them, eventually shared his identity, and was reunited with his father. The story takes many twists and turns, but nothing is more striking in light of our current racial tensions than a conversation with his brothers after the death of their father Jacob.

In Genesis Chapter 50, his brothers, now fearing that they may be punished after their father’s death, come to Joseph and begged for his mercy. They offered to be his slaves and shared a message suggested by their father, “’This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.' Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father."

After hearing their plea, Joseph wept and said to his brothers, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God?” Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father's family….”

Joseph left judgment to God and embraced his brothers who had sold him into slavery. There was no call for reparations, no forced apology, no punishment.

Years ago on a plane from Atlanta to LA, I met Brother Clarence. He was 99 years old and the black son of a former slave. His father had been a young man when the Emancipation Proclamation gave him freedom. Clarence was his last child born near the turn of the century.

Asking what his father said about slavery, Clarence smiled, paused, and said with a certainty I wish more could have seen, “My dad refused to talk about it. He said there’s no point in talking about it because you are free!” What a gift his father gave Brother Clarence as he left Texas and made his way to Los Angeles.

His father, who had actually experienced slavery, wasn’t focused on the past. He cared enough to set his son’s sight on a future with freedom. Clarence was a man of faith, a man of joy with a smile that would fill a room. Even more inspiring, he lived the freedom his father so treasured.

On our money, we read the statement “In God We Trust.” Do we? Maybe we need to. It was not added at our founding but later as a reflection of the cultural importance of faith in God’s providence in America’s story. At the heart of that faith is the power of forgiveness.

Instead of trying to determine fault and reparations for events years in our rearview mirror, is it not more important for us to find a way to keep moving forward? Can we not invest the time wasted in playing this fruitless blame game into working together to make more progress living up to our values of equal rights?

America’s story is still being written. May God feed the better angels of our nature. Like Joseph, may we embrace the power of forgiveness and faith in our future. May we each trust God to empower us to write that future story together in a way that helps further heal our racial divide.

Terry Paulson is a PhD psychologist, author, and professional speaker on Earned Optimism, Making Change Work, Claiming Your American Dream, and Becoming a Conservative Values Voter.


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MAGA
1  seeder  MAGA    3 months ago

Instead of trying to determine fault and reparations for events years in our rearview mirror, is it not more important for us to find a way to keep moving forward? Can we not invest the time wasted in playing this fruitless blame game into working together to make more progress living up to our values of equal rights?

America’s story is still being written. May God feed the better angels of our nature. Like Joseph, may we embrace the power of forgiveness and faith in our future. May we each trust God to empower us to write that future story together in a way that helps further heal our racial divide.     https://thenewstalkers.com/vic-eldred/group_discuss/8990/the-gift-of-forgiveness-america-as-a-work-in-progress

 
 
 
Adam_Selene
1.1  Adam_Selene  replied to  MAGA @1    3 months ago
Instead of trying to determine fault and reparations for events years in our rearview mirror, is it not more important for us to find a way to keep moving forward?

Well, no.  Restitution is expected. Then we can move forward.

Just follow the 12 Steps of AA would be a start. Even just 8 and 9.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.1  Texan1211  replied to  Adam_Selene @1.1    3 months ago

Going to be pretty hard to make it up to the people who were enslaved.

Just saying.

 
 
 
Adam_Selene
1.1.2  Adam_Selene  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.1    3 months ago

I agree. Since it's a generational sin you would probably have to look at going after generational wealth to fund structural change.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.3  Texan1211  replied to  Adam_Selene @1.1.2    3 months ago

Nope, that won't ever fly. How will you be able to prove what some former slaveowner left his kids, what they left their kids, and so on for at least 4 generations? How will you determine what profits were directly related to slavery?

And how are you going to be able to justify taking money from someone today that had absolutely nothing to do with slavery?

 
 
 
Adam_Selene
1.1.4  Adam_Selene  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.3    3 months ago

I understand your concerns but there would be no intention of writing checks to individuals. Moneys would go towards re-funding police departments (not de-funding), school systems, public transportation, child care - you get the picture.

As for the money - generational wealth is one of the greatest differences caused by not only slavery but the continued constraints put on minorities  so estate taxes would be one source.

Everyone - both free and slave states benefited from the commerce made possible by slavery.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.5  Texan1211  replied to  Adam_Selene @1.1.4    3 months ago
Moneys would go towards re-funding police departments (not de-funding), school systems, public transportation, child care - you get the picture.

Pretty doubtful you could get enough people to go along with that spending if they also don't get free childcare, public transportation, etc. You know it would be a hard sell to take money from people and give it away without allowing them to benefit from it, too.

And some of the same folks demanding reparations are also demanding that police depts. be defunded--not funded differently. Don't think they'll go along with that either.

 
 
 
MAGA
1.1.6  seeder  MAGA  replied to  Adam_Selene @1.1.2    3 months ago

And what about Americans who first arrived in the 1920’s immigrant wave and their children, grand children, and great grandchildren?  What is their sin? What about the ethnic groups that arrived after 1865 and endured language barriers, religious prejudice, job discrimination and are now well adjusted Americans through the following generations.  What do we owe?  What about African Americans whose families arrived here after 1865 or came here from other countries in the Western Hemisphere after 1950?  How much are they owed?  This reparations issue is simply not workable.  We just need to forgive and those who personally have something they need to apologize for to do so and make their own life right with others.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
2  Dismayed Patriot    3 months ago
"Instead of trying to determine fault and reparations for events years in our rearview mirror, is it not more important for us to find a way to keep moving forward?"

Imagine how you'd feel if that was the inheritor of Jeff Epstein's estate after we found out he made millions selling sex with minors to wealthy clients and your daughter was one of the victims. Would most people really agree with them thinking "Well, let's just let bygones be bygones, who really cares if they profited massively off underage sex slaves, what's done is done and it's just time to put it all in the rear view" as Epstein's family continues to live on the money he made.

"Can we ever get beyond the racial sins of our past and present?"

Perhaps if the bigots and racists in our nation would at least admit there has not only been a problem but recognize there is current systemic racism right now in America. How can anyone forgive when much of the abuse is still happening?

All this seed does is tickle evangelicals ears by telling them they and their ancestors should be forgiven for being racists, for supporting segregation, for supporting slavery.

There was no call for reparations, no forced apology, no punishment.

Ah yes, doesn't that sound nice to anyone who harbors racist prejudices in their hearts? No need to pay any price, no need to apologize, no need to pay back the billions and billions of free labor that was stolen, no need to even give a hand up to those who were oppressed for centuries, let's just "move on" because that's how Joseph treated his family that had sold him into slavery. What a crock.

 
 
 
MAGA
2.1  seeder  MAGA  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @2    3 months ago

Accentuate the negative....

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
2.1.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  MAGA @2.1    3 months ago
Accentuate the negative....

It's not accentuating the negative to admit there are problems that we need to take responsibility for an correct.

I think perhaps the conservative defenders of the confederacy should perhaps go through the 12 step program which is already right up their ally being a conservative Religious screed:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over our racism — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other racists, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
 
 
 
Adam_Selene
2.1.2  Adam_Selene  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @2.1.1    3 months ago

Amen.

 
 
 
JBB
3  JBB    3 months ago

Would God want his Name writ upon secular money?

A quick according to the Bible answer is definitely no!

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
3.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  JBB @3    3 months ago
Would God want his Name writ upon secular money?

The God these pretenders apparently worship probably would. It's just their new God doesn't look anything like the Christ of the bible as described in the gospels they claim to worship.

 
 
 
JBB
3.1.1  JBB  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @3.1    3 months ago

The Bible is clear God abhors that kind of crap!

So, why do the fundies see it all so differently?

You can't get more graven image than cashola...

 
 
 
MAGA
3.1.2  seeder  MAGA  replied to  JBB @3.1.1    3 months ago

There is no image of God on our money

 
 
 
r.t..b...
3.1.3  r.t..b...  replied to  MAGA @3.1.2    3 months ago
There is no image of God on our money

Obviously...what would that look like, anyway?

I did see a wondrous sunrise this morning, probably as close as anything imaginable.

 
 
 
Tessylo
3.1.4  Tessylo  replied to  r.t..b... @3.1.3    3 months ago

Or the beautiful sunset I saw last night.

Although sunrise (the sun rising) might be more fitting.  

 
 
 
Tessylo
3.1.5  Tessylo  replied to  MAGA @3.1.2    3 months ago

Their shouldn't be an image of god on our money.  

 
 
 
MAGA
3.1.6  seeder  MAGA  replied to  Tessylo @3.1.5    3 months ago

I never said there should be.  I was saying that there isn’t one. 

 
 
 
JBB
3.1.7  JBB  replied to  MAGA @3.1.6    3 months ago

Yet His Name is engraved on $ against His will!

Why?

 
 
 
Adam_Selene
3.1.8  Adam_Selene  replied to  JBB @3.1.7    3 months ago

While it was on some coins earlier, putting it on paper money was probably in response to the "Red Scare". Communists cannot touch anything with the word God on it lest they burst into flames.... or is that vampires?

 
 
 
MAGA
3.1.9  seeder  MAGA  replied to  JBB @3.1.7    3 months ago

Name is not image.  God has no issue with reminders that we trust in Him.  Or that we are in fact one nation under Him. He now,  like He said in the Bible doesn’t want us holding other things as gods over our lived in His place, including money.  

 
 
 
MAGA
4  seeder  MAGA    3 months ago

Brother Clarence. He was 99 years old and the black son of a former slave. His father had been a young man when the Emancipation Proclamation gave him freedom. Clarence was his last child born near the turn of the century.

Asking what his father said about slavery, Clarence smiled, paused, and said with a certainty I wish more could have seen, “My dad refused to talk about it. He said there’s no point in talking about it because you are free!” What a gift his father gave Brother Clarence as he left Texas and made his way to Los Angeles.

His father, who had actually experienced slavery, wasn’t focused on the past. He cared enough to set his son’s sight on a future with freedom. Clarence was a man of faith, a man of joy with a smile that would fill a room. Even more inspiring, he lived the freedom his father so treasured.         https://thenewstalkers.com/vic-eldred/group_discuss/8990/the-gift-of-forgiveness-america-as-a-work-in-progress#cm1347114

 
 
 
Dulay
4.1  Dulay  replied to  MAGA @4    3 months ago

Brother Clarence's father said NOTHING about forgiving his former owners for enslaving him. 

Fail. 

 
 
 
MAGA
4.1.1  seeder  MAGA  replied to  Dulay @4.1    3 months ago

But he made it clear that his son was to move forward in freedom and build a new life for himself and his kids and grandchildren.  Thus he did not talk to his son much about it.  The last thing Clarence’s father wanted was for his son to be limited by resentment and bitterness over what had happened to him 50 years before then

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.2  Texan1211  replied to  MAGA @4.1.1    3 months ago

Such a reasonable approach can't be used with some folks, they must have the hate, the righteous indignation, they blaming of all for acts of people long dead now. They feel the need to wallow in self-pity, always blaming others for their lots in life.

 
 
 
MAGA
4.1.3  seeder  MAGA  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.2    3 months ago

The bile 🤮from the blame America first gang is hateful and unrelenting.  America can do no good and is unforgivable to them.  

 
 
 
Dulay
4.1.4  Dulay  replied to  MAGA @4.1.1    3 months ago

Your seed is about 'forgiveness' Xx. Brother Clarence's daddy isn't an example of it. 

 
 
 
Dulay
4.1.5  Dulay  replied to  MAGA @4.1.3    3 months ago

Isn't repentance part of gaining forgiveness Xx? The "Lost Cause" has been much defended here lately. Erecting statues and flying a flag carried by traitors doesn't seem very repentant to me. 

 
 
 
Adam_Selene
4.1.6  Adam_Selene  replied to  MAGA @4.1.3    3 months ago
How interesting. When a minority of the population asks to have equity with the majority - that's hateful?
When a minority of the population wants the majority to live up to the social contract found in "...promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty.." - that's "bile"?
The "forgiveness" you are advocating is an exercise in feel good selfishness.
I'm sure Brother Clarence  wanted his son "... to move forward in freedom and build a new life for himself and his kids and grandchildren".
It's sad that his great grandchildren have to march in the streets to protest for that freedom which never quite arrived.
It's good that you realize that you need forgiveness.
It would be better if you understood you need to advocate for the change that would make that forgiveness unneeded.

 
 
 
MAGA
4.1.7  seeder  MAGA  replied to  Dulay @4.1.5    3 months ago

Those now who have things in their own lives that they’ve done to others that they should apologize for and ask forgiveness for should do just that to whom they personally wronged.  

 
 
 
Dulay
4.1.8  Dulay  replied to  MAGA @4.1.7    3 months ago

An apology does not guarantee repentance Xx.  

2 Corinthians 7:9-11 puts it in a form even you can understand. 

 
 
 
MAGA
4.1.9  seeder  MAGA  replied to  Dulay @4.1.8    3 months ago

And your point is?  If one repents/apologizes and attempts to make right what they did and seeks forgiveness from another to make right the wrong they committed against the other and the other forgives, the issue is settled.  The other side is that the person wronged has to forgive when it is sought for God said that He will not forgive the sins of the person who refuses to forgive those who have sinned against them.  

 
 
 
Dulay
4.1.10  Dulay  replied to  MAGA @4.1.9    3 months ago
And your point is?

My point is that nothing in your 'forgiveness' seed talks about repentance OR apologies, which even your bible states are NOT the same thing. 

 
 
 
MAGA
4.1.11  seeder  MAGA  replied to  Dulay @4.1.10    3 months ago

It’s past time to forgive and move on.  To realize the progress made instead of obsessing over the failures and shortcomings we have overcome.  We are a work in progress and it’s time to stop holding on to grudges and remember MLKJr.s dream. 

 
 
 
Dulay
4.1.12  Dulay  replied to  MAGA @4.1.11    3 months ago

Remembering MLK's dream and achieving it are two different things and the shit going on today proves that. 

 
 
 
MAGA
4.1.13  seeder  MAGA  replied to  Dulay @4.1.12    3 months ago

That is because the BLM organization is defying MLK’s dream and openly repudiating it.  His dream bring realized is more important now than ever.  

 
 
 
Dulay
4.1.14  Dulay  replied to  MAGA @4.1.13    3 months ago
That is because the BLM organization is defying MLK’s dream and openly repudiating it.

First of all Xx, there is no central BLM 'organization'.

Secondly, how about you give me some examples of how BLM is repudiating MLK. 

 His dream bring realized is more important now than ever.

Then get to it Xx. Let's see some seeds from you that take HONEST steps toward THAT goal. 

 
 
 
MAGA
4.1.15  seeder  MAGA  replied to  Dulay @4.1.14    3 months ago

Really?  No central organization?  What’s this? https://blacklivesmatter.com/about/

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.16  Texan1211  replied to  MAGA @4.1.15    3 months ago

Why, that must be some fake site put up by white supremacists to fool folks onto thinking that BLM has a central organization.

Probably expect a report from CNN on it any old day now.

 
 
 
MAGA
4.1.17  seeder  MAGA  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.16    3 months ago

No doubt!

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.18  Texan1211  replied to  Dulay @4.1.14    3 months ago
First of all Xx, there is no central BLM 'organization'.

Then who runs their website?

 
 
 
MAGA
4.1.19  seeder  MAGA  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.18    3 months ago

Ghosts?  

 
 
 
Dulay
4.1.20  Dulay  replied to  MAGA @4.1.15    3 months ago

Just because they have a website doesn't mean they have a centralized ORGANIZATION. They don't have a headquarters, they have chapters. The co-founders live in three different cities. Pretty sure James Dobson doesn't run the FRC website. 

Now, how about those examples of BLM repudiating MLK? 

 
 
 
MAGA
4.1.21  seeder  MAGA  replied to  Dulay @4.1.20    3 months ago

Every time BLM acts in violence or promotes it on line or in written material or speeches by members it repudiates MLKJr.  Howmany cops did MLK’s followers assassinate? Did MLK ever say pigs in a basket, fry em like bacon?

 
 
 
Dulay
4.1.22  Dulay  replied to  MAGA @4.1.21    3 months ago

Weak sauce Xx. 

NO movement should be held responsible for the machinations of EVERY ONE of their 'followers'. I'm pretty fucking sure that you wouldn't want ALL Evangelicals to be blamed for the actions of EVERY Evangelical who has murdered and bombed and raped children and, and, and. 

 
 
 
MAGA
4.1.23  seeder  MAGA  replied to  Dulay @4.1.22    3 months ago

BLM has done bad things in violation of MLK Jr.’s non violence peaceful civil disobedience every where it’s acted and in all of its pronouncements.  BLM has nothing in common with MLK Jr.’s moment and dream.  They are totally incompatible and mutually exclusive of each other.  

 
 
 
Dulay
4.1.24  Dulay  replied to  MAGA @4.1.23    3 months ago
BLM has done bad things in violation of MLK Jr.’s non violence peaceful civil disobedience every where it’s acted and in all of its pronouncements.  

Once you inserted "all' and 'every one' your claim failed Xx.

BLM has nothing in common with MLK Jr.’s moment and dream.  

BLM is an extension of MLK's 'movement'. 

They are totally incompatible and mutually exclusive of each other.

You haven't a clue WTF you are talking about Xx.

I suggest that you go review what Dr. Bernice King has said about BLM.

I doubt you will. 

 
 
 
Dulay
4.1.25  Dulay  replied to  MAGA @4.1.23    one month ago
They are totally incompatible and mutually exclusive of each other.  

MLK did not feel that way. In some of his speeches he acknowledged the frustrations that cause riots. Here's one such passage:

Now I wanted to say something about the fact that we have lived over these last two or three summers with agony and we have seen our cities going up in flames. And I would be the first to say that I am still committed to militant, powerful, massive, non­-violence as the most potent weapon in grappling with the problem from a direct action point of view. I'm absolutely convinced that a riot merely intensifies the fears of the white community while relieving the guilt. And I feel that we must always work with an effective, powerful weapon and method that brings about tangible results. But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.

Here's the link to the full speech for those who want to read more. 

http://www.gphistorical.org/mlk/mlkspeech/

Here's just a small snippet:

It may be true that morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. It may be true that the law cannot change the heart but it can restrain the heartless. It may be true that the law can't make a man love me, but it can restrain him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important also.
 
 
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