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20 June 2009 @ 10:03 pm
Theatrical Muse: Week 288: Question 288  
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 784

Is redemption truly possible?

Someone cut me off while I was changing lanes in traffic the other day on the way to a crime scene, and for a brief illustrious moment I did think fancifully evil things about them. It only lasted for a second, though, only a second or two of barely simmering rage. Then, like so many other situations in life, the anger subsided into reasonable disbelief that someone sandwiched in peak hour traffic could be that rude. It is hard to believe, yes it is, that when there were obviously, hundreds of other commuters trying to get to this destination, in such and such a direction, and so forth, that one man or woman could put themselves before numerous others. It happens, I suppose, oh yes, how I know that rage can override a person and make them see nothing else. I am very experienced in dealing with the results of rage as the result of my job. Rage and violence, and much much else that is wrong with the present day world, I get all of it on my morgue table in the bodies of dead children, of adults, of people who could have or did have, promising lives ahead of them.

Forgiveness, though, I am talking about forgiveness, as well as atonement, glorious somewhat quasi archaic words they might be to some people. To forgive is to pardon the transgressions of someone else that may have angered or upset you in some way. To atone, then, is that act of apology, of reconciliation, that serves to try and deserve the forgiveness of another person, in the first place. Therefore, if I am redeemed, then I have atoned and been forgiven, and if I am in need of redemption, I have not been forgiven, and may have not yet atoned for any of the sins or anger bringing actions I have committed. It is a curious concept, I am aware, entailing of the immense bravura with which humanity carries itself with. If we commit a wrong, we expect that if we follow a coded set of rules, movements and spoken words, that we will get forgiven, nay, that if we do this little dance then we may even deserve to be forgiven, whether it was an unforgiveable act, or not.

This kind of thinking is where I run into some issues with the idea of redemption. I am a man who has religion yes, not as strong as some others, but I am still known to attend church and frequent graveyards, to visit graves of my dead loved ones, of course. I pray, I take communion, I make cakes for cake stalls, I am a small part of a religious community with inhabitants who are inevitably, far more passionate and devoted to Christianity than I am. Looking at Christianity, we get the idea of sin and of forgiveness, even atonement. We sin, we atone via prayer, bread, wine, and we are forgiven by a person in power, of all our past sins and awful transgressions. Then the next week, we go back and do it all over again. It is not that I mind, so much the idea that the church can absolve everyone of everything bad they have ever done, without that person truly having learnt the meaning of what it is to say sorry, to atone and mean it in absolute.

I think that redemption is truly possible, but not without a stringent set of associated happenings that must happen to make it positively true, without deception. It is far too easy in modern society to wave a magic wand that gives over that magic feeling of forgiveness without any atonement or poignant inner thought having happened, at all. As with training dogs, most people learn through repetition, not through a pat on the head and a proverbial cookie in the form of a prayer or a set of words aimed to induce a state of feeling that one has been forgiven. To truly receive redemption a person must first atone for their wrongdoing, they must apology and try to make things right. If and only then, have they learned the error of their ways, have seen that their past actions are wrong and have committed to try and never repeat the same movement of misfortune again, may any person or people, ever, be truly receiving of redemption. To be honest, as much as I may have religion, a pat on the head, the bread and the wine, the prayers, it all seems very weak to me when the person learns nothing at all and continues to repeat the same action, or voice the same words, throughout the rest of their life.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Say Hello - Nitin Sawhney