Atone­ment and re­pen­tance

Los Angeles Times - - SUNDAY OPINION -

Re “For­give­ness won’t end racism in Amer­ica,” Opin­ion, June 25

I would like to add a hearty “amen” to Ed­ward E. Bap­tist’s op-ed ar­ti­cle that says that in­jus­tice and for­give­ness must be linked by atone­ment that in­cludes re­pen­tance.

I would sug­gest that the dots can be con­nected in both di­rec­tions. The per­pe­tra­tor can suf­fer ei­ther lit­er­ally by pun­ish­ment or through the pain of con­science that leads to re­pen­tance. This can hap­pen if he un­der­stands the pain he has caused.

The for­giver ex­pe­ri­ences atone­ment by ac­cept­ing the pain he en­dures, as Je­sus did when he said, “Fa­ther, for­give them, for they know not what they do.” His pain on the cross is seen by Chris­tians as an atone­ment for the sins of the whole world.

For­give­ness is not cheap for the for­giver, but it may be per­ceived that way by the per­pe­tra­tor if it does not lead to re­pen­tance for the pain he caused. Ken Sav­age Palm Desert

Bap­tist gets right to the crux of the mat­ter: It is not just racism, but white racism.

White racism has plagued this coun­try for hun­dreds of years. From slav­ery to Jim Crow laws, lynch­ings, school and eco­nomic seg­re­ga­tion, vot­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion, pris­ons and the shoot­ing of young un­armed black men by our po­lice, it is ob­vi­ous that black peo­ple are treated dif­fer­ently in this coun­try. The African Amer­i­can com­mu­nity has been telling us this for years.

It is up to all white Amer­i­cans to reach out and say this treat­ment must stop. Then it is a step-by-step process of atone­ment at all lev­els of so­ci­ety. This change be­gins in the heart. Paul L. Hovsepian

Sierra Madre

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