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If I were to construct a God I would furnish Him with some way and qualities and characteristics which the Present lacks. He would not stoop to ask for any man's compliments, praises, flatteries; and He would be far above exacting them. I would have Him as self-respecting as the better sort of man in these regards.
He would not be a merchant, a trader. He would not buy these things. He would not sell, or offer to sell, temporary benefits of the joys of eternity for the product called worship. I would have Him as dignified as the better sort of man in this regard.
He would value no love but the love born of kindnesses conferred; not that born of benevolences contracted for. Repentance in a man's heart for a wrong done would cancel and annul that sin; and no verbal prayers for forgiveness be required or desired or expected of that man.
In His Bible there would be no Unforgivable Sin. He would recognize in Himself the Author and Inventor of Sin and Author and Inventor of the Vehicle and Appliances for its commission; and would place the whole responsibility where it would of right belong: upon Himself, the only Sinner.
He would not be a jealous God – a trait so small that even men despise it in each other.
He would not boast.
He would keep private His admirations of Himself; He would regard self-praise as unbecoming the dignity of his position.
He would not have the spirit of vengeance in His heart. Then it would not issue from His lips.
There would not be any hell – except the one we live in from the cradle to the grave.
There would not be any heaven – the kind described in the world’s Bibles.
He would spend some of His eternities in trying to forgive Himself for making man unhappy when he could have made him happy with the same effort and he would spend the rest of them in studying astronomy. Mark Twain, notebook
If God wanted to forgive our sins, why not just forgive them? Who is God trying to impress? Professor Richard Dawkins, The Root of All Evil? The Virus of Faith, Channel 4 2006
I do not believe in forgiveness as it is preached by the church. We do not need the forgiveness of God, but of each other and of ourselves. Robert Ingersoll, What Must We Do to be Saved? Section XI ‘The Evangelical Alliance’
Sleep; and if life was bitter to thee, pardon,
If sweet, give thanks; thou hast no more to live;
And to give thanks is good, and to forgive. Algernon Charles Swinburne, Ave atque Vale
Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them. Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much. Oscar Wilde
After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations. Oscar Wilde
Women can’t forgive failure. Anton Chekhov, The Seagull
No human being is beyond forgiveness. Longford ***** 2006 starring Jim Broadbent & Samantha Morton & Lindsay Duncan & Tam Dean Burn & Andy Serkis & Anton Rodgers et al, director Tom Hooper, Longford to wife
If you are forgiven by God, who are we to condemn you? ibid. Longford to Myra
Julie, radio caller: Do you regret it?
Lord Longford: Not at all ... One of the great blessings of my life ... Forgiving her has been difficult ... For the terrible crimes themselves. Forgiveness is the very cornerstone of my faith ... She has enriched my spiritual life beyond measure ... To love the sinner but hate the sin ... Anyone no matter how evil can be redeemed eventually. ibid.
I am not seeking forgiveness. Boardwalk Empire s2e12: To the Lost, Nucky shoots Jimmy, HBO 2011
God forgives; Outlaws don’t. Gangland: Biker Wars, Outlaws’ slogan
Forgiveness is not an option for gang members. Gangland: Taking Revenge s2e4, Channel 5 2018
Seems in today’s world the power to absolve debt is greater than the power for forgiveness. The Godfather III 1990 starring Al Pacino & Andy Garcia & Diane Keaton & Talia Shire & Sofia Coppola & George Hamilton & Bridget Fonda et al, director Francis Ford Coppola, Cardinal
Do you think God will forgive us for what we’ve done? Man on Fire 2004 starring Denzel Washington & Dakota Fanning & Christopher Walken & Giancarlo Giannini & Radha Mitchell & Marc Anthony & Mickey Rourke & Rachel Ticotin & Jesus Ochoa et al, director Tony Scott, Washington to Walken
Forgiveness is between them and God. It’s my job to arrange the meeting. ibid.
God will forgive them. He’ll forgive them and allow them into Heaven. I can’t live with that. Dead Man’s Shoes 2004 starring Paddy Considine & Gary Stretch & Toby Kebbell & Stuart Wolfenden & Emily Aston & Neil Bell & Jo Hartley & Seamus O'Neil et al, director Shane Meadows, Richard opening remarks
God forgives. The Brotherhood doesn’t. Stone Cold 1991 starring Brian Bosworth & Lance Henriksen & William Forsythe & Arabella Holzbog & Sam McMurray & Richard Gant & Paulo Tocha et al, director Craig R Baxley, head of gang
You must try to forgive, not sink in revenge. Adios, Sabata 1971 starring Yul Brynner & Dean Reed & Ignazio Spalla & Gerard Herter & Pedro Sanchez & Sal Borgese & Franco Fantasia et al, director Gianfranco Parolini, priest to boy opening scene
Let’s forgive the Nazi war criminals. George H W Bush, New York Times 12th December 1984
After the war the Church recommended forgiveness and amnesty, even for unrepentant war criminals. Conspiracy Test: Fugitive Nazis, 2007
God may forgive you, but I never can. Elizabeth I to Countess of Nottingham, cited David Hume II:7
Forgiveness does not mean ignoring what has been done or putting a false label on an evil act. It means, rather, that the evil act no longer remains as a barrier to the relationship. Forgiveness is a catalyst creating the atmosphere necessary for a fresh start and a new beginning. It is the lifting of a burden or the cancelling of a debt. The words ‘I will forgive you, but never forget what you have done’ never explain the real nature of forgiveness. Certainly one can never forget, if that means erasing totally for his mind. But when we forgive, we forget in the sense that the evil deed is no longer a mental block impeding a new relationship. Likewise, we can never say, ‘I will forgive you, but I won’t have anything further to do with you’. Forgiveness means reconciliation, a coming together again. Without this, no man can ever love his enemies. The degree to which we are able to forgive determines the degree to which we are able to love our enemies. Martin Luther King
We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. Martin Luther King junior
Forgiveness is that subtle thread that binds both love and friendship. Without forgiveness, you may not even have a child one day. George Foreman