Herschel Walker released a campaign ad this past week that really doesn’t say much. As you might have heard, the Georgie Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate has a very checkered history. His own son, Christian, who up until a week ago was showing the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, put his foot down and called out his father.
Christian posted online: “Every family member of Herschel Walker asked him not to run for office, because we all knew (some of) his past. Every single one. He decided to give us the middle finger and air out all of his dirty laundry in public, while simultaneously lying about it.” Christian is referring to the reports of domestic abuse that have been said about his father. Allegations of domestic abuse happened on more than one occassion.
His ex-wife and Christian’s mother, Cindy DeAngelis Grossman, has accused Herschel of choking her and even putting a loaded gun to her head several times. Of course, Herschel used these accusations to make it about the fact that he was suffering from mental illness. I should say is suffering from mental illness. If it’s not CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), then it’s something else. Either way, he should not be running for the U.S. Senate.
However, in his latest video, he skims over this and says his faith in God helped him. He also slams opponent and current U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, who is also a pastor, of not believing in redemption. But I really don’t believe Herschel does. His ad is so bland and basically a plug for his book, Breaking Free, as well as a target ad against Warnock.
You can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-JiSm2e0ZU
I once saw someone posting something on TikTok that “Forgiveness is a form of gaslighting.” I agree. And so did a bunch of other people. Gaslighting is when you make people believe that they’re wrong and deny them the facts of their lives and actions. It’s basically when you bring up abuse from a parent or relative and they say, “That’s not the way I remember it” or “I did the best I could with what I had.”
But forgiveness is dangerous is because it shifts the burden on to the victim. It puts them in a position where they have to accept an apology or forgiveness or else they’re seen as disrespectful and ungrateful. And of course, Herschel commenting on Christian’s comments is by joking he needs a spanking. This is more gaslighting.
There are some things that apologies don’t fix and forgiveness is not permitted. I don’t believe that Herschel believes he’s been redeemed. This is the problem with Christianity. All it takes is for some farcial aquatic ceremony like being baptized or saying a bunch of “Hail Marys” to a priest is a way to absolve yourself. But the problem is many things like rape, domestic abuse, and even killing someone’s family or loved ones do not deserve something as simple as a “I’m sorry” or “Please forgive me.”
The Netflix series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has the re-enactment of Rita Isbell screaming how much she hates Dahmer. I’ve seen the original video. The only thing probably stopping this grieving woman from jumping over and bashing Dahmer’s head in was the police. But we’ve seen victims and their families lose it in court and attack killers, rapists and abusers with a certain glee on our faces. And many of us probably would do the same thing if it was someone we knew.
But yet, Botham Jean’s family was praised for forgiving his killer, Amber Guyger. His brother, Brandt, even hugged her. It was disgusting that a black man has to forgive the white woman who killed his family. And many people noted how wrong it was for him to have to forgive her. I’m not saying Brandt can’t grieve how he wants, but what if he had screamed at her the way Isbell had and charged after her in court? I’m almost certain Fox News and OAN would’ve committed how much a bad person he is for disrespecting the court.
And that’s the problem with forgiveness. We’ve created a double standard. Maybe it’s because we force kids to do it from day one but don’t do it ourselves when we’re adults. We do bad things as adults to kids, we should apologize. We should ask for forgiveness. But we shouldn’t expect them to accept either. But we force kids, even with threat of corporal punishment, to admit they’re wrong or they need to apologize and need to forgive.
This leads to problems as they get older. They will either always apologizes for things even when it’s not their fault and thus will find themselves gravitating toward abusive friendships and relationships. Or they will be traumatized that they won’t be able to hande basical spats and arguments that occur in relationships. Then there are those who will find ways to twist it so that they don’t even have to apologize or forgive.
Christianity teaches forgiveness, but it should come from a more meaningful way. There’s a video of a pastor who admitted to raping and molesting an underage girl. He refers to it as “adultery” and asks the congregation to forgive him, which they do. You can see that video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTXnUHbmsSU
And this is how violent crimes against people are overlooked and forgotten about. We all make mistakes in life. It’s easy to call someone by the wrong name or forget a lunch date. Or it is possible to make a choice that you later regret. But if that choice harmed someone or made them feel really awful, apologies aren’t enough. Someone’s life is always changed when they are the victim of a sexual assault or violent assault. Even constant criticism of what they do when they’re young can leave them with inferior complexes.
Yet, we’ll have people who will look at the teacher who favored the other students over you as something good. A job supervisor who made your work life and personal life toxic doesn’t get a pat on the back for encouraging you to seek work elsewhere where you got a better salary and/or more accomplishments. People do and have done a lot of bad things over the course of history and we should never let them forget. People say forget and forgiveness but it should be forget about forgiving and block out those who want to feel better about themselves.
God may forgive, but it doesn’t mean we have to.
What do you think? Please comment.