Letters: We harm ourselves if we don't forgive - Quad-Cities Online: Editorials

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Letters: We harm ourselves if we don't forgive

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Posted: Sunday, September 20, 1998 1:00 am

This past Sunday the biblical story commonly known as the ``Prodigal Son'' was presented at our church. The hero of the story is, of course, the father. It is the father who forgives the son who returns full of regret. The behavior of the father is contrasted with that of the brother, who hasn't yet experienced the need to ask for forgiveness or learned to grant it.

I believe that forgiveness is a powerful healer. It can resolve difficult, painful and complex human interactions. The act of forgiving allows us to move forward and proscribes viewing ourselves as victims.

The revelations of the past few weeks concerning our president have revealed to me that our president is a human being -- a lonely human being. I believe that many men in the same situation and presented with the same temptation would behave in the same manner; to include lying about a very personal matter. Who among us does not harbor regrets of some action that they have taken in the past?

The Prodigal Son returned to his father and asked for forgiveness. President Clinton also has asked for forgiveness. I have little doubt that he regrets his actions. In the story the father does not forget his son's actions but he does forgive his son.

I do not believe that we should forget President Clinton's actions and I do not believe that the process of impeachment best serves the interests of our nation. The president of the United States plays a crucial role on the world's stage. He needs to be able to focus his attention on the many problems facing the nation and the world. We hurt ourselves by refusing to forgive.

Craig Patterson, Geneseo

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