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How many of us want to be judged by things we said 20+ years ago, or during our teens or even college years? Some of those things may have been disgusting or reprehensible, unwise or immoral. I’m not suggesting otherwise. 

I’m just wondering where, if at all, forgiveness or grace or allowance for growth, change, and maturity fits in our current woke cancel culture. 

The Olympics Opening Ceremony director was just fired days before showtime for egregious performance jokes he made in 1998. Newly famous college athletes get hammered for offensive texts they posted as 14-year-olds. Actresses get blasted for having participated in a coming-of-age tradition that allowed racist practices 75 years ago, a good 60 years before the actress was involved and more that 10 years since the event publicly apologized and renounced its past. Comedians apologize for jokes they made years earlier in their careers when such jokes were considered edgy but acceptable.

I’m not talking about capital crimes. What is the statute of limitations on what someone later considers offensive speech or boorish behavior?

During his first presidential campaign, George W. Bush was pressured for the DUI he’d gotten as a young man. He said, “When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible.” Smart move. Who hasn’t been irresponsible, particularly when we were young?

During his first presidential campaign, Barack Obama was accused of and admitted to smoking then-illegal marijuana in high school. He called this poor decision “youthful indiscretions.” Smart move. Who doesn’t have a few of these?

Our current culture’s social media-empowered drive for purity is highly arbitrary and wholly without mercy, which is to say it has nothing in common with “religion that is pure and undefiled.”

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

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