Forgive and Forget
Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Missouri Republican Representative Todd Akin said of a rape victim’s chances of becoming pregnant.
Since the comment, a volcano of criticism has erupted all over the country.
People, women in particular, were offended that Akin would say such a thing since he is a man. They asked themselves how would he know what a woman could do in that situation.
Akin, a six-term congressman running against Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill, was asked in an interview Aug. 19 in St. Louis if he would support abortions for women who have been raped.
Forty-eight hours after the initial storm, he acknowledged that he “misspoke” and added that he understands that women can indeed get pregnant by rape.
After he ignited such a political fire storm with his remarks, many Republicans want to eject him from the race.
Despite many phone calls to pull out, including one from Republican vice president candidate Paul Ryan, Akin said that he would stay in the race against Democrat Sen. McCaskill.
But let’s think about this. Akin isn’t the first politician to stick his foot in his mouth.
What about Vice President Joe Biden, Republican Senator from Idaho Chuck Winder or former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi?
None of them stepped down from their positions.
One of them though who utters thoughtless words is Biden, who once suggested that Republicans would usher in a return of slavery.
“They’re going to put y’all back in chains,” he said to a Virginia audience.
Back in March, Winder suggested that women might falsely use rape as an excuse to obtain an abortion.
“I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage. Was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage, or was it truly caused by a rape? I assume that’s part of the counseling that goes on,” Winder said.
When Pelosi spoke about the new health care law, she said, “We have to pass it to know what’s in it.”
Former Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Martin Frost said, “It’s very hard for party officials to force someone off the ballot. When I was chair of the DCCC, we always tried to encourage people to run, but once they won the primary, that was it. We never tried to force nobody off.”
At some point there may be reason to remove someone from office or for them to step down because they really go overboard by saying mean and hateful things or even slander or libel. But everyone needs to take a deep breath.
In today’s culture, people are becoming less tolerant instead of more tolerant, which shouldn’t be happening to a society that is becoming more enlightened. We seem to be going the wrong way.
American society as a whole is becoming angry and more polarized than ever before.
Even Hollywood stars are saying demeaning things against politicians and parties.
Actress Ellen Barkin tweeted a message that called for tropical storm Isaac to “wash every pro-life, anti-education, anti-woman, xenophobic, gay-bashing, racist SOB right into the ocean.”
The point is that there is less and less forgiveness.
Jesus said in the last days that the love of many will grow cold, which is already happening today.
It is obvious that people make mistakes and say the wrong things.
Are we going to crucify them for every utterance that is stupid? Will the media continue to harass them? It definitely seems like it.
The controvery has already passed so we need to forgive and forget.
Politicians and public officials are humans. Actors, public officials, politicians and public figures make mistakes.
Let’s forgive them as Christ has called us to.