The twin concepts of redemption and forgiveness are more and more driving my ethics. They are the values of much of the literature I'm drawn to (all of Fyodor Dostoevsky, what I know of Hugo, the best of Stephen King). It is belief in redemption which leads me to oppose capital punishment: the murderer on death row is not beyond the scope of redemption and forgiveness, and should be given a chance to find them. It is the belief which leads me to forgive athletes their off-the-field crimes when others would label them forever tainted. It is in part this belief which is leading me to search for a new church (and at the one I attended today, the pastor used a passage about faith to talk about the need to forgive everybody, including enemies, and he was specific and concrete in the lesson--this is what I'm looking for in a church).
This is becoming the guiding idea of my life, and it is both personal and social: it is amnesty, mutual forgiveness, that can heal some of the hard rifts of our society. Let there be healing. Let there be peace among us.