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January 19th, 2011
06:47 PM ET

Alabama's new governor apologizes for Christian comments, rabbi accepts

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

What a difference a couple days can make.

On Tuesday, Rabbi Jonathan Miller of Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham, Alabama, fired off a letter to his state’s new governor. He, like many others, was still reeling from comments Gov. Robert Bentley made Monday.

The Bentley remarks that sparked controversy were delivered to a Montgomery Baptist church audience. In them, the just-sworn-in governor suggested that anyone who doesn’t share his Christian beliefs cannot be counted as a “brother or sister.”

So Miller responded, saying he felt "a duty to my conscience and my role as the rabbi of the largest synagogue in Alabama."

The rabbi wrote of feeling “disenfranchised” by Bentley’s words and reminded the new governor that Alabama’s Jews are “faithful people” who also happen to pay taxes, vote, send their kids to the state’s schools, follow the laws and “work, each of us in our own way, for the betterment of all.”

“Our great nation, by law and tradition, provides us with religious freedom. And even though we do not believe exactly alike,” Miller wrote, “we ought to see each other with brotherly affection, and as equals in conscience and human worth.”

Reached Wednesday afternoon on his cell phone, Miller said his concern had dissipated. He was in his car, traveling back from Montgomery, where he’d just met with Bentley.

“He’s looking to fix the thing,” Miller said after the 75-minute meeting, which included about half a dozen concerned community leaders, including those of other faiths. “He was apologetic. He’s clearly looking to reconcile himself. He said today, ‘All of us have put out words we wish we could take back.’”

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Bentley apologized for his remarks.

"The terminology that I used I believe seemed to disenfranchise other religions and it certainly was not meant to do that," he said. "And what I would like to do is apologize. Anyone who heard those words and felt disenfranchised I want to say that I’m sorry. If you’re not a person who can say that you’re sorry than you’re not a very good leader."

WBRC: Bentley meets with religious leaders over controversial remarks

Miller made sure Wednesday to invite the governor to come on up to Birmingham and join his synagogue for services, a Shabbat dinner, maybe even address the Temple Emanu-El crowd.

“All my concerns from this incident are put to rest, but, of course, as a minority religion we always have our antennae up,” Miller said. “We certainly expect from his words and deeds today that he will not be a governor who will divide us over religious issues.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Christianity • Church and state • Judaism • Politics

soundoff (577 Responses)
  1. Philip

    @Muneef...you forgot to quote these verses of the Koran: "Slay them[unbelievers] wherever yoi find them" –Sura 2:161 // "On unbelievers is the curse of Allah"–Sura 2:216 // "Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it"–Sura 2:216. // In order for you to be a true Muslim, you must partake in the slaughter of the infidels. As for American Muslim's who turn renegade on Allah and join forces with the infidels...the Koran warns "But if they turn Renegade, sieze them and slay them wherever you find them"–Sura 4:89. Faithful Muslim's are commanded by Allah to kill those pretending to be Muslim who fight for the infidels. (the Koran stands in stark contrast to the bible, where Christians are commanded to NOT take part in the slaughter of fellow humans)

    January 20, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • Muneef

      Philip.
      Not sure you know what you are talking about here I quoted for you the verses you pointed out and it does not say what you claim it said?
      Al-Baqara sura 02:
      Lo! Those who disbelieve, and die while they are disbelievers; on them is the curse of Allah and of angels and of men combined. (161).

      Al-Baqara 02:
      Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not. (216).

      January 20, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • Muneef

      Philip.
      This one states who ever rage wars against believers then believers should rage war against them...?! While those come in peace we should give them peace?!

      An-Nisa sura 04:
      They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them, (89) Except those who seek refuge with a people between whom and you there is a covenant, or (those who) come unto you because their hearts forbid them to make war on you or make war on their own folk. Had Allah willed He could have given them power over you so that assuredly they would have fought you. So, if they hold aloof from you and wage not war against you and offer you peace, Allah alloweth you no way against them. (90) Ye will find others who desire that they should have security from you, and security from their own folk. So often as they are returned to hostility they are plunged therein. If they keep not aloof from you nor offer you peace nor hold their hands, then take them and kill them wherever ye find them. Against such We have given you clear warrant. (91)

      January 20, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
  2. RIALgal

    It's going to be a loooong four years in the state where the main qualification for public office apparently is that one be a "conservative Christian" - nothing else matters.

    January 20, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
  3. Muneef

    Al-Baqara sura 02:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Mankind were one community, and Allah sent (unto them) prophets as bearers of good tidings and as warners, and revealed therewith the Scripture with the truth that it might judge between mankind concerning that wherein they differed. And only those unto whom (the Scripture) was given differed concerning it, after clear proofs had come unto them, through hatred one of another. And Allah by His Will guided those who believe unto the truth of that concerning which they differed. Allah guideth whom He will unto a straight path. (213).

    Al-E-Imran sura 03:
    And there may spring from you a nation who invite to goodness, and enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency. Such are they who are successful. (104).

    Al-E-Imran sura 03:
    Ye are the best community that hath been raised up for mankind. Ye enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency; and ye believe in Allah. And if the People of the Scripture had believed it had been better for them. Some of them are believers; but most of them are evil-livers. (110) They will not harm you save a trifling hurt, and if they fight against you they will turn and flee. And afterward they will not be helped. (111) Ignominy shall be their portion wheresoever they are found save (where they grasp) a rope from Allah and a rope from men. They have incurred anger from their Lord, and wretchedness is laid upon them. That is because they used to disbelieve the revelations of Allah, and s-lew the prophets wrongfully. That is because they were rebe-lli-ous and used to transgress. (112) They are not all alike. Of the People of the Scripture there is a staunch community who recite the revelations of Allah in the night season, falling prostrate (before Him). (113) They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency, and vie one with another in good works. These are of the righteous. (114) And whatever good they do, they will not be denied the meed thereof. Allah is Aware of those who ward off (evil). (115) Lo! the riches and the progeny of those who disbelieve will not avail them aught against Allah; and such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein. (116).

    Al-Maeda sura 05:
    And unto thee have We revealed the Scripture with the truth, confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher over it. So judge between them by that which Allah hath revealed, and follow not their desires away from the truth which hath come unto thee. For each We have appointed a divine law and a traced-out way. Had Allah willed He could have made you one community. But that He may try you by that which He hath given you (He hath made you as ye are). So vie one with another in good works. Unto Allah ye will all return, and He will then inform you of that wherein ye differ. (48) So judge between them by that which Allah hath revealed, and follow not their desires, but beware of them lest they seduce thee from some part of that which Allah hath revealed unto thee. And if they turn away, then know that Allah's Will is to smite them for some sin of theirs. Lo! many of mankind are evil-livers. (49) Is it a judgment of the time of (pagan) ignorance that they are seeking? Who is better than Allah for judgment to a people who have certainty (in their belief)? (50).

    Al-Maeda sura 05:
    O ye who believe! Whoso of you becometh a renegade from his religion, (know that in his stead) Allah will bring a people whom He loveth and who love Him, humble toward believers, stern toward disbelievers, striving in the way of Allah, and fearing not the blame of any blamer. Such is the grace of Allah which He giveth unto whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing. (54) Your friend can be only Allah; and His messenger and those who believe, who establish worship and pay the poordue, and bow down (in prayer). (55) And whoso taketh Allah and His messenger and those who believe for friend (will know that), lo! the party of Allah, they are the victorious. (56) O Ye who believe! Choose not for friend such of those who received the Scripture before you, and of the disbelievers, as make a jest and sport of your religion. But keep your duty to Allah if ye are true believers. (57) And when ye call to prayer they take it for a jest and sport. That is because they are a folk who understand not. (58) Say: O People of the Scripture! Do ye blame us for aught else than that we believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed aforetime, and because most of you are evil-livers? (59) Shall I tell thee of a worse (case) than theirs for retribution with Allah? Worse (is the case of him) whom Allah hath cursed, him on whom His wrath hath fallen ! Worese is he of whose sort Allah hath turned some to apes and swine, and who serveth idols. Such are in worse plight and further astray from the plain road. (60) When they come unto you (Muslims), they say: We believe; but they came in unbelief and they went out in the same; and Allah knoweth best what they were hiding. (61) And thou seest many of them vying one with another in sin and transgression and their devouring of illicit gain. Verily evil is what they do. (62) Why do not the rabbis and the priests forbid their evil-speaking and their devouring of illicit gain? Verily evil is their handiwork. (63) The Jews say: Allah's hand is fettered. Their hands are fettered and they are accursed for saying so. Nay, but both His hands are spread out wide in bounty. He bestoweth as He will. That which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord is certain to increase the contumacy and disbelief of many of them, and We have cast among them enmity and hatred till the Day of Resurrection. As often as they light a fire for war, Allah extinguisheth it. Their effort is for corruption in the land, and Allah loveth not corrupters. (64) If only the People of the Scripture would believe and ward off (evil), surely We should remit their sins from them and surely We should bring them into Gardens of Delight. (65) If they had observed the Torah and the Gospel and that which was revealed unto them from their Lord, they would surely have been nourished from above them and from beneath their feet. Among them there are people who are moderate, but many of them are of evil conduct. (66) O Messenger! Make known that which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord, for if thou do it not, thou wilt not have conveyed His message. Allah will protect thee from mankind. Lo! Allah guideth not the disbelieving folk. (67) Say O People of the Scripture! Ye have naught (of guidance) till ye observe the Torah and the Gospel and that which was revealed unto you from your Lord. That which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) from thy Lord is certain to increase the contumacy and disbelief of many of them. But grieve not for the disbelieving folk. (68) Lo! those who believe, and those who are Jews, and Sabaeans, and Christians – Whosoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right – there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. (69) We made a covenant of old with the Children of Israel and We sent unto them messengers. As often as a messenger came unto them with that which their souls desired not (they became rebellious). Some (of them) they denied and some they slew. (70) They thought no harm would come of it, so they were wilfully blind and deaf. And afterward Allah turned (in mercy) toward them. Now (even after that) are many of them wilfully blind and deaf. Allah is Seer of what they do. (71) They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said: O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evil-doers there will be no helpers. (72) They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the third of three; when there is no God save the One God. If they desist not from so saying a painful doom will fall on those of them who disbelieve. (73) Will they not rather turn unto Allah and seek forgiveness of Him? For Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (74) The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) had passed away before him. And his mother was a saintly woman. And they both used to eat (earthly) food. See how We make the revelations clear for them, and see how they are turned away! (75).

    January 20, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • Luther Kronstadt

      Ah, Muneef's daily cut-and-paste gibberish that no one reads.

      Muneef, prosyletizing here is about as effective as trying to sell Mother's Day cards in an orphanage.

      January 20, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • Muneef

      What no one reads?? Why are you fearing to become witched if you read it....?? Afraid from finding the truth are we?
      Or your English so poor that it appears gibberish to you? Please explain? You read comics you read science fiction and garbage but reading words that are inspired by God to man you find it is a waste reading it? Really surprised as for me I take every opportunity to read the Bible words quoted here knowing it would be inspiration from God...and that reading it would add to my knowledge...or maybe this is the difference between believers and atheists ? Not sure where you do stand to judge you...

      January 20, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
    • Luther Kronstadt

      Muneef, the correct English would be "that no one reads," not "what no one reads," and a noun and a verb would have been nice.

      The second sentence should be "Why? Are you afraid of becoming (witched) if you read it?" I have no idea what you meant by "witched", so I cannot replace it with a more proper word.

      The third sentence would be better as "Afraid of discovering the truth, are we?"

      Notice the differences in word selections and punctuation?

      But thanks for pointing out my poor grasp of English language: no irony or anything.

      Judge me however you like; I'm sure you already have. Religious zealots are by their very nature judgemental.

      January 20, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      I have never seen anyone indicate that they've read one of these beasts.

      January 20, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • Muneef

      Luther Kronstadt.

      Well that is very good and I wish I could express in the right way for you to understand...am not claiming to be better than any in written English. English is not my mother tongue language.
      Was saying are you afraid from reading the passages you become bewitched...And by Judging I meant if you were a believer or disbeliever..

      January 21, 2011 at 7:24 am |
    • Dan

      Muneef,
      I assume you copied and pasted from the Koran (or quran), not sure the correct spelling.
      You know the biggest difference between the Koran and Bible?
      Here it is: The Koran was written by a SINGLE author, LONG after Christ's crucifixion. He was able to pick and choose from other scripture (WHICH HE DID). No prophecy.
      Now, for the bible. It was written thousands of years BEFORE Christ's birth, life, crucifixion, resurrection, and assencion by NUMEROUS authors, over a vast area of the world. All the prophecies perfectly came to fruition. There were witnesses to ALL of these events.
      Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the light. No one comes to the father but by me". John 14:6.

      January 21, 2011 at 7:41 am |
    • Luther Kronstadt

      Why in the world would you think that anyone would fear that reading the Quran would result in them turning into a witch? That's like a Monty Python sketch –

      "The Quran turned me into a witch!"

      "A witch?"

      "I got better."

      I have read the Quran, and I never once worried about being turned into a witch. I was never once enlightened or entertained either, but that is true of the Bible and other religious texts I read. Buddhist scriptures were long and away the best, the most humane and insightful, but I still could not believe them as a theology. I suggest Buddhism for you – much more peaceful and understanding of others that the Abrahamic religions.

      January 21, 2011 at 11:16 am |
  4. Dowe Keller

    Wow, I'm just happy I'm not a Christian! Not because I have anything against y'all, but you know that if you let this bozo call you brother or sister, it's just a matter of time till he's borrowed a hundred bucks from you (that'll never get paid back), borrowed the car innumerable times (never filling the tank before returning it), divorced and sleeping on your couch eating your groceries, drinking all the beer, and making pitiful unwanted passes at your spouse.

    Just a warning, He looks like a real creep, make sure you set boundaries now. Give him an inch, and he'll take a mile.

    January 20, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  5. Philip

    Of course I did. Millions of people now living will never die. Who are these? These are the ones who pass right through the great tribulation and never taste death. Jesus' second coming is often confused with Armegeddon. The greek word bible writers used for 'second coming' literally means 'to see with the minds eye'. Jesus second coming has already occured, but only honest-hearted individuals can see it. If you have not yet discerned that Christ has been crowned King of God's Kingdom and is now ruling over his faithful and obedient subjects, there is still time for you. Just pray and study your bible. It will be revealed, if you are honest about it. Whereas Armageddon will be seen by all and with their naked eyes.

    January 20, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
  6. RWRistheAC

    This is what happens when people vote for anything with an R next to its name. Another crazy-tien!

    January 20, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
  7. monnie

    alabama's governor and those like him are morons, period.

    January 20, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • pertyflowers

      As an Alabamian, WE ARE NOT morans. I would say that guy have guts! As a Christian, I would be scared to say all that in front of everyboby. We elected him for a reason. So ,you people need to be quiet because you have no idea what you are talking about.

      January 20, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
  8. Philip

    @Newbie...there are many online bibles you can use. Most come with an easy keyword search, so you will have no difficulty finding references to God's chosen. You will find that God only chooses those who are obedient to Him, no matter their race or nationality.

    January 20, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  9. Newbie

    "Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger

    And Jesus said, repeatedly, that the Kingdom of God would come down upon the Earth in the lifetimes of some of his listeners. Aside from the obvious fact that Jesus was wrong, repeatedly, I find it funny how these "end of the world" prophesies have to keep pushing back their arrival dates."

    Please quote the scriptures you are referring to. If you don't quote scriptures, I can't tell if you are taking scriptures out of context.

    Thank you.

    January 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger

      Don't you have better things to do than test if we have actually read the bible? I have, as well as the Quran, the Bhagavad Gita, lots of Buddhist scripture, and a bit of the Book of Mormon (Mark Twain was right: it IS chloroform in print. The Bible and Quran too, for that matter).

      No more silly games please.

      January 20, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      Oh, I'll play!

      Matthew 16:27-28 – For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

      Matthew 23:36 (though you need to start at 23:1 to see what "all these things" are) – Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

      Matthew 26:64 Jesus saith unto him (the high priest), Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

      Mark 9:1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.

      Mark 13:30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done

      Luke 9:27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

      Luke 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

      But you knew that, didn't you.

      January 20, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • jeff

      @Mr. Sniffles

      Matthew 16:27-28 – For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

      Mark 9:1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.

      Luke 9:27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

      Three of the disciples witnessed Christ's transfiguration; that event is commonly referenced as the fulfillment of these prophesies. John 1:14 bears witness to this: And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

      But you knew that, didn't you

      grace and peace,

      -jeff

      January 20, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      I've heard that one, Jeff, but there are a couple of problems with what you say. One is of course that your interpretation is not a literal interpretation of Jesus' words, and ignores that Jesus made numerous other predictions that would also occur which did not – look at Matthew 23:1-36 very carefully again. If the Kingdom of God is the transfiguration as you say, then those other things must have happened as well. But they did not.

      Another problem is that the transfiguration is a temporary event, whereas the Kingdom of God coming down on the Earth is, as Jesus describes it, the rapture. He never said or implied that the Kingdom of God was a very temporary visit. The transfiguration thesis really sounds like an interpretation put on Jesus' words later to account for the fact that things Jesus said did not come true.

      I do appreciate your comments, though. This is more of an actual debate than usually occurs here, and you are the first person to actually try to present a Christian rebuttal – I occasionally throw this issue out, and I have always gotten silence. Thank you.

      January 20, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  10. C. Burns

    Go to Google and type "Charles E Burns Jr" and find the book that lays it out. The Governor's propaganda is a result of having not much else, perhaps, to display concerning Faith in CHRIST than heavy aggressive divisive rhetoric. Doesn't the Bible say to let GOD separate the wheat from the tare? Well, I guess now there's a whole state full of people that, needless to say, this Gov. won't win over to CHRIST. "He that is wise wins souls"....

    January 20, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  11. Tudor

    As another southerner once said "stupid is and stupid does"

    January 20, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  12. Nicole

    Comment for MarkinFL

    Research the saints! There have been true followers of Christ after the Crucifixion and Resurrection. The lives of the saints are so fascinating--Georgetown University exists because a Ignatius of Loyola read the lives of the saints and converted in process. St. Isidore of Seville is a good one to start with.

    January 20, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      In all honesty, it was more of a snarky commentary on the reality that the majority of "Christians" seem to do a very poor job of following his teachings. That's the problem with "absolutes", there are almost always exceptions. I know there are some who truly believe that consistently being good to others is pretty much the highest human goal you could hope to obtain and do there dangedest to try. I also know that anyone can do that and Christians certainly do not have a monopoly on it. Far from it. Some of the best "Christians" I've ever known, weren't.

      January 20, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  13. HeavenSent

    Abudu Rahman, Christians are Christ man ... those that follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    January 20, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  14. Spence

    I'm sorry...please forgive me Rabbi...how nauseating. So now we know the Governor never had a pair.

    January 20, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  15. Philip

    Jesus never called Jewish religious leaders "brothers". He did call them "offspring of vipers" and proved that their lies did not originate with God, but with God's enemy, the original liar, Satan. Jesus did weep recalling how his Father had once gathered the Jews as a hen gathers her chicks, and it pained him deeply to see God's chosen people turn their back on Him, even seeking to kill the one God sent to save them, himself.

    January 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Newbie

      Philip, what is the scripture that talks about God's chosen people?

      I'd like to read it for myself.

      January 20, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  16. Philip

    @Liberator...false-religions you mean. True Christians never have, and never will join in on the carnage of war. It is the false Christians who disobey God and join in on the mass murder of war.

    January 20, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Have there ever been two "true" Christians in close enough proximity to each other to const.itute an organized religion? By all accounts the the last "true" Christian died on a cross.

      January 20, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  17. Liberalator

    Stories like this continue to reinforce my opinion about how devisive religiob is and has been since it birth thousand's of years ago.

    All I see in religion, especially the chrisitian religions, is a history of murder, torture, imprisonment, abuse and anti-intellectualism. No one has been able to give me a concrete example of when religion has played a major role is averting any kind of man made calamity, especially wars. The opposite is generally true. Look at what is taking place in Iraq between Muslims and Christians and in the middle east between Muslims and Jews, etc.

    The goverenor of Alabama is just another example of the ignorance and stupidity of religous posturing and practice.

    January 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  18. joe

    I think It's pretty bad that an atheist can forgive but a christian cannot.As christians we should always forgive........

    January 20, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  19. Philip

    @Steve...true, not even Jesus himself knows when the last day of this system of things will be. He knows the season though!, and described in great detail how things would be just prior to the last day. We are in that season, and will most likely live long enough to see "Thy Kingdom Come" to this earth and replace these greedy God-forsaken kingdoms who now rule over us. We will see an answer to the most popular prayer in history, the praying for God's Kingdom to come and His will being done on EARTH as it is in heaven.

    January 20, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  20. RoadRunner, Albuquerque, NM

    Don't we all have a little crud in our hearts. Yes, he was wrong for saying what he did, but aren't we just as wrong for being so haughty as to presume that he doesn't mean his apology. How else do we have a chance to correct what is wrong within ourselves, except we get caught and confronted. At that point, we can be like Sarah Palin, and take the position of "Bite me," or we can say, "I was wrong. I apologize, and I ask you to give me a chance to learn from my mistakes." Of the two, I prefer the latter approach, b/c none of us is without hardness in our hearts. Many of us just want the chance to grow beyond our own inadequacies and insecurities. That is where forgiveness becomes a healing gift that we all have within our power to release or withhold, depending on what kind of karma we want to go forward with and what kind of world we want to build.

    January 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.