In the latest Soul Seeing column, Mike Leach talks about how he need to forgive President Donald Trump, even though it’s hard to do so. “How do I forgive someone I don’t even know but who drives me nuts every time I see him boast and lie and cheat?” he writes. Following are letters to the editor responding to the column. The letters have been edited for length and clarity. You can join the conversation by following the guidelines below.
I have a few thoughts for Michael Leach about forgiving President Donald Trump.
Try walking in the shoes of the president of the United States. When he supposedly heard news of the pandemic and didn’t immediately report it, don’t you believe it may have been a prudent decision considering the millions of people that would have gone into sheer panic? It was new news that needed to be discerned and researched further before making a widespread announcement. And there still would have been those that didn’t believe it and kept doing what they were doing. It was inevitable that many people would have died either way.
As of this date, numbers are spiking like crazy. Everyone knows about COVID-19 and they’re out partying anyway. I suppose that’s Trump’s fault too? How is that? The opposite side wants to and erroneously prove that everything wrong in the world is because of the current president. God knows the man is not perfect and neither are you, me and everyone. As for dissension in our country, that started way before Trump had an inkling of becoming president. The president’s job is to protect this country.
How has Trump ignited violence? It is the cities and states that have allowed their cities to be torn down and have allowed violent groups to literally get away with murder at the expense of the lives of many good people and law enforcement. Again, this violence was brewing and active way before Trump became president.
I have heard my Christian liberal friends say, “I hate Donald Trump. I hate him, I hate him, I hate him.” These are the very people who proudly display the sign in their front lawns stating, “Hate has no home here.” Really? That is so hypocritical. Who has room for that?
So the president has a controversial personality. Live with it. Probably some don’t like your personality. Who are we to cast a stone on anyone? Chew on that and peace be with you.
Valley City, Ohio
I am voting for President Donald Trump because he supports school choice, congressional term limits, strong military, limited government and ending excessive regulation.
He supports, more than any other president, the rights of the unborn and to tell the world America is a land of good people.
Palm City, Florida
Michael Leach challenges all rational beings to have the need to forgive President Donald Trump. In his confession he urges us to be more God-like. That’s a tall order, indeed, when the object of that forgiveness tells one and all that he doesn’t need our forgiveness because his sins are at best venial — so minor that he doesn’t see why he could possibly need to ask for our mercy.
I, like so many others, struggle perpetually with the two-edged sword of forgiveness: an ardent wish to be able to “forgive those who have trespassed against us” while at the same time desperately needing absolution for the “things I have done and failed to do.”
The Code of Canon Law 987 tells us one “must reject sins committed and have a purpose of amendment.” Trump neither acknowledges his sins nor has any inclination of correcting his behavior. It would therefore seem he does not meet the requirements for reconciliation.
JOHN C. TUFFY
Endwell, New York
Jesus said to forgive 70 times 7 times. President Donald Trump gives me this opportunity every day. I know I will be judged as I judge.
Between my country and the organizational church, I pray God will be merciful to me a sinner. I have voted and I have closed the door on this. I pray God spare me from doing this with my church since birth.
Charlotte, North Carolina
The 20th century German martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote about forgiveness in this manner: “Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”
The theological question then becomes: How can one forgive someone who claims to have no need for it?
LOUIS J. REITH
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