When I first heard they forgave him, I flinched. Why should they have to do that? So quickly?
My visceral response gave way to self-examination. Maybe, like the Amish families who lost their children to a shooter a few years ago, these families are better Christians than I am, with a deeper faith, a less questioning theology, a more profound relationship with God.
I grew up in a house in which hung a print of The Last Meeting of Lee and Jackson (engraved by Frederick Halpin, after Everett Julio), that classic emblem of the Lost Cause. This was common then in my neighborhood in Old Town Portsmouth, Virginia. My father, a Civil War buff who would tell me about the battles as we drove around Virginia, never indicated that the cause was just, but honored both men as soldiers, tacticians, human beings, Virginians. Yet in his political life he angered people, including his own political party, to the point of death threats, by his political stands against the institutionally-protected racism of "massive resistance."
Yesterday I was reading about Matthew Vines, author of God and the Gay Christian, and his continuing effort to be in dialogue with evangelical Christian leaders about the acceptance of LGBTQ people in the church. He was invited to a conversation with Caleb Kaltenbach, an evangelical pastor whose parents split up because they were both gay. Kaltenbach has tried to find scriptural support for being OK with gay people generally, especially since that group includes his parents.
Last year I took a class to determine my Enneagram number. I’m an old hand at Myers-Briggs, with its 16 types, but this nine-number circle with all sorts of arrows going back and forth was a new system for me. Thankfully the teacher, Suzanne Stabile, had a teaching style I understood well. It turns out we are the same type.
Some of us reside in the heart (or feeling) triad, as Suzanne and I do, and some in the head (or thinking) triad. My guess is Thomas would belong in the third triad.