Forgiveness

 

Mark Amstutz

A Professor at Wheaton College

Interviewed by Julian Portilla, 2003


This rough transcript provides a text alternative to audio. We apologize for occasional errors and unintelligible sections (which are marked with ???).

The reason why I ended up writing the book is not because I got encouragement from either victims or people who were responsible for some of the violence. In both cases, both of them had no place for reconciliation, both of them had no interest in forgiveness, both of them had no interest in dealing one with the other. So it was precisely the finding that the victims were captured by victimhood and the injustice that they had received and the perpetrators captured by the righteousness of their own acts years ago, they felt complicity and at times sorrow for the things that they had to do, but they felt justified by the fact that there was terror or whatever the justifications were, and they felt that if somebody needed to apologize, for example in Argentina, I had a very senior military man say, "If there is an apology that needs to be made, it should be made by the political leaders who began this process and secondly by the middle class, who asked to be protected from terror, and thirdly the terrorists. After those three groups have in fact apologized, then we ourselves will come forward and disclose and express our apologies." When you begin feeding this issue, it actually accentuates, and deepens the cleavage rather than softens it.