Monday March 02, 2020
Can You Say John 8:7?
What follows are the thoughts of Minister Fred “They Call Me Mister” Rogers during the 1990s Clinton impeachment scandal, as relayed to journalist and friend Tom Junod, on whom the Matthew Rhys character in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” is based, in Junod's Atlantic piece “My Friend Mister Rogers”:
Last week I woke up thinking how I would like to go on the air and say something like “Whoever is without sin cast the first stone” or “The Lord's property is always to have mercy” or some other outlandish thing, and then ask for a minute of silence to think about forgiveness for those who want it. In fact if our country could dwell on forgiveness for a while I think that would be the one real positive outcome of the pain which must be pervasive in the White House and beyond. I‘ve already written letters to both the Clintons and the Gores saying that often “enormous growth comes out of enormous pain.” I trust that will be so for all of us. The attitude which makes me (sometimes physically) sick is the “holier than thou” one.
The beginning and end of this quote reminds me a bit of Twitter. At the least, Twitter seems full of people without sin who are waiting beside their pile of stones. Is the middle part of the quote sadder? Ideally, yes, “enormous growth comes out of enormous pain,” but I don’t think that translates to the Republican party of Newt Gingrich, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, et al. At all.
Anyway, read Junod on Rogers. It's better than the movie.