Columbia JReubs

Monday, September 24, 2007

9/25/07 JReub Discussion

My thoughts for the discussion tomorrow are based on the lesson we all (most likely) had this past Sunday on forgiveness based on President Faust's talk: The Healing Power of Forgiveness.

In the penultimate paragraph of this talk, Pres. Faust talks about how personal forgiveness doesn't relieve the offender of being subject to justice. "When tragedy strikes," he states, "we should not respond by seeking personal revenge but rather let justice take its course and then let go."

What are the boundaries of justice in this context? If the offense was a crime, the victim may have the option not to press charges--is this "personal revenge" or facilitating justice?

Can we, as victims, bring civil suits where criminal proceedings fail (think the Goldmans v. O.J.) or where the offense isn't punished by law? Addressing this question gets us dangerously close to the question of whether, as practicing Mormons/Christians, we should sue others at all--but, on the other hand, can't we say that a court's ruling is "just," outside of the criminal context?

While surfing the Web on this topic, I bumped into an article on Christianity Today that addresses the issue of whether it's okay to sue others. I've only skimmed it, but I found the "I know the Bible says Christians should not sue Christians, but is it okay to sue non-Christians?" The title alone was enough to make me laugh, but the article does provide some insight that may help our discussion. The answer to the question, by the way, is "yes" (making us fair game to those Christians out there that don't think Mormons are Christian), but after "prayerful self-examination that is not tainted by anger over the other party's actions" (among other things). That sort of sounds like the would-be plaintiff has forgiven, but is just seeking, perhaps, to remedy a continuing problem.... Are there any situations that you can think of where you can fully forgive on the one hand and pursue a civil suit on the other?

Should our perception of justice change with the applicable laws of the land? What about degree of intent (purposeful vs. reckless vs. negligent vs. strictly liable)?

I think I'll stop here. This should keep us occupied for tomorrow's discussion. If not, maybe we could move on to abortion or gay marriage :)


  • Maybe I should mention to all you newcomers that references to Christianity Today are not the norm in our discussions....

    By Blogger Scottypancakes, at 8:49 PM  

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