Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Here's another subject I've been wanting to address.

It's not exactly a secret that I am into my animals and animals generally, and was so happy when this resulted in arrest, conviction, jail time, and life changing career impacts.

The TU has not exactly been a shining example on this issue. Then last week, there was this. Apparently it is a re-post from July 2009. A month later, I wrote this. (I had not read the original post.)

The TU blogger decided a re-post was warranted, after watching the game and reading this. The blogger asks "Have we lost our sense of forgiveness? Can someone do something that is unforgivable? My point is that in our culture we are quick to judge and extremely slow to forgive. Our culture does not value forgiveness and that is a shame."

I think these are good questions - but I think the premise is wrong. Our culture loves screw ups followed by apologies. It is almost like there isn't an issue with truly heinous behavior, as long as an apology is offered. "I'm sorry" has become so empty. Does it mean the person is really contrite? I wonder if the blogger would apply this to anyone who is famous, perhaps someone who he does not appreciate for their athletic skills or political viewpoint? I have my doubts.

Regardless, I have asked myself questions like that many times. Not about this specific individual - honestly, if I never saw his name again I would be happier, I would like to never give him or anyone of his ilk a second thought - but about people who matter to me. A couple of years ago, someone I never write about publicly (except in a very secretive way) was attempting to reconnect with me. I soul searched this question: "is it possible for someone to change?" I prayed. Then, in church, the answer came. In the sermon, it was noted that Jesus believed people could.

I did act on that message - grabbed the olive branch. Am I glad I did? Yes. Had change really occurred? The jury's still out, maybe not. But it turns out that all the water under the bridge had eroded the foundation, and it is not really possible for me to cross that bridge any longer. (Funny when my last post had something about bridges, too.) Do I struggle with this? Yes, but sometimes it is necessary to move on. To forgive yourself.

Aside from the false equivalency issue (what difference does it make that people were more vocally outraged in this case? Animals have no voice of their own. And just because we care about animals, does not mean we don't care about people. They aren't mutually exclusive, why do people who are lukewarm about (or dislike) animals assume that they are? Concern (and outrage) are not proportions that must add to 100 percent. They can be limitless, get it? Anyway, his argument is so tired it should be retired), the linked post that sparked the TU blogger to re-post the forgiveness piece is far more annoying.

He describes himself as someone who should be "carrying around a 16-gallon jug of haterade" but I think what his wife says is true. He's a dog liker, not a dog lover. There's a big difference, sorry. I know he was trying to be cute, but his derision for his current two is not funny to a dog lover.

My reactions to his itemized list:

1) Yawn. I'm no sports enthusiast, especially not football, but even if the "talent" was something I really appreciated, I feel pretty zero-tolerance about some issues. This is one.

2) Relativism. Predictable, trite, wishy-washy, patronizing and offensive. Culture is no excuse. Some things are objective. This is one.

3) Troublesome. I am aware of the current relationship with the HSUS. I applaud the HSUS for taking leadership in 2007, and I can understand why they want to take advantage of the situation now. (Although I am free to donate my money to local rescue organizations instead.) However, despite what the president says, I feel very cynical about the motivation and the apology. The image needed to be rehabilitated if a future career was to be a possibility. Brilliant strategy, actually. Do I believe this means he has transformed from a dog abuser and murderer to a dog lover? No. Dog liker? No. Dog tolerator? Well, that is what the law requires. He's not acting on his feelings now. That's all.

4) See #1. Pathetic justification.

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