15 February 2008

Genocide reconciliation

Phew! I escaped another Valentine's day! I have never ever ever had a "special someone" on or around V-day and I wouldn't want to ruin my record now! Although I did give kisses to all the guys at work yesterday, the gals too! Really yummy dark chocolate truffle kisses. Can you tell I used to teach elementary school? It still hasn't gotten out of my system. But that isn't what I have on my mind today. Last night I went to the "Conversations in Global Theology" class that Imago Dei is offering in which we were discussing forgiveness and reconcilliation. We had some readings from Miroslav Volf and Pastor Bejamin, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, spoke of community reconciliation and how an individual must recognize the evil in them in their response to injustice done against them as the first step in forgiveness and in breaking the cyclical nature of revenge and violence. Which I can understand and am leaning towards agreeing with but am troubled by the danger of minimizing and maybe even discounting the evil done to them. Traumatic events can have severe psychological affects and can alter a persons life permenantly and if the first thing they must do is recognize their own sinful nature does that imply that what was done to them is less important, maybe even inconsequential? A story was told, I think referring to ethnic conflict in South Africa, about a nation that said they would grant amnesty to those who were involved if they would publically confess their crimes in hopes that it would create healing community wide. But a grandfather told his grandson, "Go find this man and kill him because he killed your father and the government will do nothing about it." So the cycle of violence and revenge will continue; how do you promote and encourage community wide healing and reconcilliaton if the individuals that make up the community don't agree? Well, anyhow, those are the thoughts rattling around my head this morning.

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