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Katie van Schaijik

A glaring instance of asking for unprincipled forgiveness

Aug. 22 at 9:13am

In Todd Akin's apology video, which his campaign dubbed "forgiveness," we find a handy example of the unprincipled variety I've been writing about.

He apologizes, but he declines to take pracitcal responsibility for the damage his remarks did to his cause, the Republican Party, and the voters he was nominated to represent.

Instead, he proceeds as if having said he's sorry, he's done all that can fairly be expected of a man.  Hence, his "please forgive me," only adds to his original offense.  It's as if he says to those he's just betrayed with his boneheadedness, "Now that I've apologized; it's your responsiblity to forgive me and move on."

To be genuinely sorry doesn't mean to feel really bad about what happened.  It means to accept responsibility for what happened and to take the consequences for it (as much as possible) off the victim[s] and on oneself. "I did this; I own it. I'll pay for it."

Newman has a sermon called "Self-denial, the test of religious earnestness."  

Likewise, actions are the test of contrition's earnestness.  Leaving your victims to absorb the punishment for your wrong, while you blame them for "unforgiveness" is proof positive that your contrition is not sincere, but bogus and self-serving.  It ought to be rejected as such.


 

Damian P. Fedoryka

Greetings,

I hesitate to raise the question: Does your statement, "To be genuinely sorry doesn't mean to feel really bad about what happened. It means to accept responsibility for what happened and to take the consequences for it (as much as possible) off the victim[s] and on oneself. "I did this; I own it. I'll pay for it," refer to some morally culpable failing in Aiken, as for example, some cuase that is morally indefensible that motivated him to "betray" the cause of the Republican party? Was he, perhpas, motivated by some "illegitimate" cause of his own?

I do not reject your statement, but have difficulty in understanding the "victims" in this case, are they the vicitms of "legitimate rape" or of the illegitimate use of the word "legitimate." In the latter case was there malice aforethought, as there seems to be in some of the "criticisms" of Aiken?

#1 - Aug. 23 at 8:30am | quote

Katie van Schaijik

Damian, thanks for coming by and commenting!

Damian P. Fedoryka, Aug. 23 at 7:30am

Does your statement, "To be genuinely sorry doesn't mean to feel really bad about what happened. It means to accept responsibility for what happened and to take the consequences for it (as much as possible) off the victim[s] and on oneself. "I did this; I own it. I'll pay for it," refer to some morally culpable failing in Aiken, as for example, some cuase that is morally indefensible that motivated him to "betray" the cause of the Republican party? Was he, perhpas, motivated by some "illegitimate" cause of his own?

I had in mind only the political situation.  He messed up royally—in a way that badly damages the cause he stands for.  

Damian P. Fedoryka, Aug. 23 at 7:30am

I do not reject your statement, but have difficulty in understanding the "victims" in this case...

The victims in this case are those who want to see the pro-life cause advanced, the Missouri Republican party, and all other Republicans running for office this year.

#2 - Aug. 23 at 8:42am | quote

Katie van Schaijik

Here's Rich Lowry making the point: (I mean, explaining how pro-lifers are "the victims" of Akin's blunder.)

If NARAL has a man of the year award, it should go to Todd Akin.

Not only did the newly minted Missouri Senate candidate express his position on abortion in the most discrediting way possible, he threatens Republican hopes to take the Senate. By throwing away a winnable seat, he could preserve a Democratic majority that will sooner desecrate the American flag on the Senate floor than restrict abortion in any manner.

#3 - Aug. 23 at 10:01am | quote

Katie van Schaijik

Here's Ann Coulter:

There’s no rehabilitating this guy. It’s a waste of money. His comments are going to cost Republicans an easy Senate seat in a moment of crisis for the nation. This one man’s stubborn refusal to bow out could cost us control of the U.S. Senate, House seats in Missouri, Senate seats elsewhere and maybe even the White House itself.

#4 - Aug. 23 at 10:33am | quote

 

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