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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

To forgive is divine. To forget may be stupid.

Thanks for all the kind words - even from you, BD - over my jacked up tooth. It's still with me, partly 'cause the dentist can't fit me in for another day or two, partly 'cause the pills are working, and partly 'cause I'm chicken about having my gums carved up.

I think I'd almost rather have surgery in my nether regions than have knives and needles poking about my mouth. That should tell you something about my dentist fear, 'cause like most guys I cherish the nether region and would even take out a separate life insurance policy on it if I could.

And Rune, you are a sadist...I think. Lemon juice and salt? Still if the pain continues I might try it. Maybe new pain will make me forget the old pain.

At any rate, today is election day. And I've been thinking about the number of political ads I've seen featuring apologetic politicians - surprisingly not here in Florida, but replayed on cable pundit shows from the rest of the country.

I've also been mulling over the hubbub with the Colorado megachurch Pastor Ted Haggard, who admitted to some wrong doing with a male hooker.

And I find myself torn. On one hand, a small part of me is impressed with all these prominent people humbling themselves and apologizing for misdeeds. On the other hand I'm skeptical, 'cause I doubt any of them would have 'fessed up if they hadn't been exposed.

Plus I notice a pattern. None of them - not the politicians apologizing for extramarital affairs, or irregular campaign activity, or improper fundraising, etc., or the clergy apologizing for drug use and extramarital affairs - apologized specifically for what they did wrong.

In court if you confess to something they often make you allocute, or formally admit to and describe your actions, as part of the plea deal.

These folks would never make it in a plea deal. One congressman apologized for "improper" behavior with a woman who wasn't his wife. Haggard, who rabidly opposed homosexuality, apologized for "sexual immorality"...with a man.

I don't think I've ever heard one of these people say "I'm sorry, because I had sex with that person who is not my spouse." "I'm sorry, because I stole money from my campaign fund to support my drug habit (or rehab my vacation home)." "I'm sorry, because I purchased illegal drugs and had every intention of using them."

Even better would be "I'm sorry, because I got caught. But now that I've lost everything, I'll try to improve my character. And hopefully soon I'll be able to say that I'm sorry for what I did."

The evasiveness leads me to conclude that none of 'em are really sorry. And while the whole concept of forgiveness is that you should give it if it's requested, I think "IT" - intentionally vague, just like their confessions - should be held against 'em all until they show they're sincere in their sorrow.


  • Hi James...
    I think you hit the nail on the head..the only thing they are sorry about is that they got busted!!
    I hope your tooth will be taken care of soon...actually, warm (not hot!) water with salt...not a fabulous taste but it does help. May the tooth fairy watch over you!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:13 PM  

  • Ah, good points. But for a few exceptions, if the politicians were honest to begin with, they wouldn't have gotten elected, would they?

    By Blogger The Dummy, at 1:05 PM  

  • These people used the "Remorse and Atonement Free Non-Apology Kit"(TM) sold through my internet spider hole. Currently in use by such notable celebriticians as Mel Gibson, Jack Abramoff, Ken Lay (R.I.Hell), Tom Delay, Trent Lott, Mark Foley, Ralph Arza, Fuzzy Zoeller, Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder, and Rush Limbaugh, it uses the following methods of receiving public and private forgiveness without expressing a scintilla of regret for your actions:

    1) Complete the following statement publicly: "I was (select one): Drunk, high on marijuana, high on opiate painkillers, high on cocaine, lustily sexualized, not taking my medication, or in a trance-
    when I did what you said I did.

    2) After speaking line 1, say the following: I have checked myself into a:
    Rehabilitation hospital, sensitivity training clinic, monastery, sorority house, halfway house for the criminally obtuse.

    3) Under no circumstances shall you ever state the following: "I am sorry for doing _______.
    Always say: "I am sorry for what happened"

    Abide by these simple rules, and you too can steal public money, turd burgle pre-teen boys, malign Jews, call spades spades, ingest addictive narcotics wll the same full impunity that we've let these other people get away with.

    Bonus!!! In one year, you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 6:44 PM  

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