Some things are not meant to be forgiven. One of them is the murder of your child. We are hard-wired to protect our offspring and when they die at the hands of murderous thugs our overwhelming sorrow and loss learns to move in tandem with an implacable hatred for those who love death so much that they would randomly and enthusiastically kill your child.
Now comes an Anglican vicar, the Rev. Julie Nicholson, whose daughter was one of the fifty people whose lives were snatched away by a group of indoctrinated thugs. The vicar is stepping down from her position as priest in charge of a church in Bristol. She says she finds it—
…very difficult for me to stand behind an altar and celebrate the Eucharist and lead people in words of peace and reconciliation and forgiveness when I feel very far from that myself.
Well, of course it’s difficult. In fact, if you’re a sentient being, it’s damned nigh impossible. That’s why we have the death penalty in the U.S., and why they would have it in Europe if the elitists hadn’t rammed through its abolition. The polls are very clear: most Europeans are in favor of death as the only solution for those who spread death in their wake.
The Rev. Nicholson is a priest. As such she is a mediator, a witness. She is not an über-Christian whose ordination somehow lifts her above her flock. “The priesthood of the baptized” is a bit of tarnished theology by now, but it served its purpose: to bring the priest back down to eye level.
The Rev. Nicholson says she has struggled greatly with her inability to forgive her daughter’s killer and has read many books in these last months on forgiveness. They don’t help; she remains in awe of those who can say “I forgive…”
Her awe is misplaced and her spiritual director ought to be saying as much. Wisely, she has reflected on the scene of Mary at the foot of the cross, watching her Son’s agonizing death. She has noticed that “forgiveness doesn’t come into it at all.” She’s absolutely right: Jesus asked His Father to forgive his killers, but He never asked for the strength to forgive them Himself. Even Jesus had, so to speak, a Higher Power at that point, One to Whom He could surrender his suffering. We are never told that Mary forgave anything, including perhaps even her Son’s choice to do what He did.
Part of the problem of liberal Christianity, and of the thoughtlessly liberal secular bastard it spawned, is that everything is supposed to be forgivable.
No, it’s not.
The human brain is hardwired in such a way that we will kill those who threaten to harm us or ours. Sadly, pacifists have been selectively bred so that condescending compassion trumps all, even predatory killers. Even horrific murders fall before the all-powerful rubrics of politically correct thinking… or rather, feeling. None of these people actually think anymore.
Ms. Nicholson will remain a priest, working with a group of young people associated with music. Her work will serve to embody her daughter’s love of music. When Jenny died, she was in the midst of her musical studies and now her mother will continue them in a different way.
We can only hope for Jenny’s mother that she continue to hate these killers with the full, white-hot hatred they deserve. It is the fire of such hatred against evil that ensures the survival of good in the world.
If you are not willing to hate those who kill your children, what would you be willing to live for?
Hat tip: The Corner.