Christmas comes at the end of the year, just a short week before the New Year. Christmas is a celebration of Christ who preached laundering our sins by trading repentance for absolute discharge into the community of the pure. He preached unconditional forgiveness for all “sins” which may be very nice to contemplate but problematic to endorse because some sins are such only in the eyes of the beholder.
Christ did not set a numerical limit to recurrence, neither for one and the same sin, nor for new sins. The arrangement is much like the parking ticket system, which, for as long as we dutifully pay the fines we are welcome to become frequent offenders.
In contrast to Christ, Socrates pondered the issue of repeat offenders and encapsulated his conclusion: “Repeating a sin is unbecoming wise persons”.
My mother, then a member of the local Cathedral’s auxiliary, would bake a leg of lamb for the family during religious fasting on condition that after we sinfully enjoy it, we repent for our sin. She never encountered difficulty extracting pre-commitments to repentance and she would readily accept our word about having repented in preparation for the next sin episode. She was pragmatic.
On the societal stage we bypass God and delegate repentance acceptance to Parole Boards. They do not grant absolution as readily as the deity and are known to ask penetrating questions in the process of gauging remorse, repentance and other parameters that determine the sincerity and stamina of applicants before making them parolees.
The Statute of Limitations is a humane legal tool civilized societies use to encourage self-recovery to persons who break the law without being caught. If someone has been clean at least for the period that one would had been detained for that offence, what good would it do anyone were we to lock up belatedly the offender? Self-correction is humane and more reliable than coerced conduct. As for the paradigmatic aspect of punishment society may gain if offenders copy-cat successful DIY reformed – we surely would be better for that ...
Irrespective of the Law, in real life a time comes that magnanimity becomes redundant and an unwritten statute of limitations cuts in to silently forgive reformed offenders. This is important for the expectation of it is conducive to good conduct by people who had a slip. It also manifests to a society having reached a level of civilization beyond the state of seeking revenge.
As for me, I will forgive whomever for whatever I deem forgivable and will pray for causes to forgive more of the rest. But I shall never “turn the other cheek” and follow current Leaders who lead us to leap, lemming fashion, onto Masochism.
This Christmas is the second one we celebrate under the Covid 19 Pandemic. We all suffer cabin fever in some form, to some extend because humans do not like being hobbled. But while we must survive “acts of God” we need not suffer acts of despots. It makes no sense to let them “lead” us to waste ourselves lamenting the irreversible past instead of shaping the future.
Why did I write about magnanimity in this pre-Christmae paper? You may have guessed that, but I will say it anyway. It is because “our leaders” are turning us into a guilt-ridden peoples to be confined in a gigantic “morgue”, there to lament having been born to the wretched people they say our ancestors were. We need to reject that as we approach the holiday season because “wretched” people have nothing to celebrate and some of us may be mislead to forfeit a nice holiday. We need a break away from a life under the spell of doom-makers and enjoy this, the years’ most festive season.
Instead of listening to Trudeau-the-Son ranting apologies, let us remind him of Trudeau-the-Father’s assertion that “appologizing is a waste of emotion”. Anyway, let’s take leave from our “leaders” to re-gain self- confidence so that we may make Merry over the Christmas holidays. Let’s shake off the induced defeatism, count our blessings, raise our heads, drink, sing and dance. Let’s have some fun.
There is merit to merry traditions. While I strive for Change I cherish the Christmas holiday, not unlike I cherish my father’s pocket-watch. For me it is “Christmas” and it comes with reading Church’s “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” and listening to Allan Maitland reading “The Shepherd” on Christmas Eve and enjoyng the sounds of Jingle Bells. I will indulge again, with no less zest than I did in the past and damn Political Correctness. Whether born into, or have come to those traditions, they are now ours to cherish. Losing them is not much unlike losing our name and becoming “somebodies”.