‘Forgiving the unforgivable’ interfaith conference hosted speakers Bishop Gene Robinson and vision keeper Audri Scott Williams

A local paper reported on the four-day event held at Williams College, where Bishop Gene Robinson spoke about forgiving his enemies, and the danger in seeking revenge.

From the article:

“I would sum up that decade of being bishop with the most important learning from that whole decade. What I learned was: no matter how badly someone treats me, it does not relieve me of my responsibility to treat them like a child of God,” Robinson said, noting all the hostility he endured when consecrated the first openly gay bishop in his denomination. “That’s really hard. I got death threats for two years, I wore a bullet proof vest under my vestments when I was consecrated, so there was all that crap coming toward me, right? And what I learned is that the urge to return evil for evil is so seductive.”

Audri Scott Williams, best known for leading the Trail of Dreams World Peace Walk over 6 continents and a second walk across America, spoke about the challenges of forgiveness and working within different communities in interfaith settings. Most distressing was her recounting of human slave dungeons she encountered, operated beside churches, while in part of Africa, and abuses against indigenous women at mission schools in Australia. She spoke on the need for reconciliation as a key component in forgiveness.

Reconciliation in its most basic sense simply means to return to harmony, but it requires truth-telling. “So when we’re forgiving the unforgivable we’re stepping into that space of being pioneers, courageous and powerful enough to say we’ve got to tell the truth now,” Williams said.

What does forgiving the unforgivable mean to you?

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