A Holocaust Survivor Has A Message For Us On Forgiveness *Weekend Open Thread*

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I happened to see an article at Faithwire the other day that really struck me.  It was a timely piece since it was about a Holocaust survivor and Holocaust Remembrance Day had just passed. This survivor, Eva Mozes Kor, had just received the highest honor from the state of Indiana for her advocacy work.

But that wasn’t the main point of this article, no. It was that Kor, a Holocaust survivor, offered forgiveness to Mengele, to the Nazis, to the people who killed millions and millions of Jews, and tortured many more. It was her message of forgiveness that was so stunning:

And Kor knows a thing or two about forgiveness and kindness, as she and her twin sister Miriam were taken along with their family to Auschwitz back in 1944 when they were just 10 years old. It was there in the concentration camp that they endured the horrors of Dr. Josef Mengele, a German doctor who experimented on Jews.

[…]

“Nobody ever wants to be a victim but there are victims in the world and if I can give them one gift they can use is to try to forgive and heal themselves,” Kor said, according to WXIN-TV. “That to me is the greatest gift I can give anybody to how to deal with their pain and liberate themselves.”

She also shared some important insights about forgiveness in the aforementioned documentary, including her belief that it “has nothing to do with the perpetrator” nor religion. Instead, she said “It has only everything to do with the way the victim is empowering himself or herself and taking back their life.”

Kor repeatedly stressed that forgiveness is both “self-healing” and liberating. Read more about her story here.

“It has only everything to do with the way the victim is empowering himself or herself and taking back their life.”

That is the key, isn’t it? When someone has hurt us, injured us, betrayed us, until we can forgive them, that hurt eats away at us, giving them even more power over us and perpetuating that hurt so that it is recurring over and over again. Forgiveness is a gift we can give ourselves, as well as to those who ask it of us. That is what I take from what Kor said.

Oh, and that wasn’t all Kor had to say.  She had quite the message for Congress, one that made me want to stand up and cheer. This is what she said:

Eva Kor, 83, who was given the Sachem Award by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, the highest award in the state, asked Holcomb during last Thursday’s award ceremony to help her get a message to everyone in Congress, WRTV-TV reported.

“I would like to tell them we all must stop fighting with each other and try to help one another,” she said to rousing applause. “If they keep fighting, they cannot help the Americans.”

And she wasn’t done there, taking aim at people on all sides of the political divide.

“I don’t care if you are on the left, on the right, in the middle — whatever direction your political affiliation is — you are sent to Congress to help run this country and help the American people,” she added, according to the Indy Star. “If all Americans cannot get along, who on Earth is going to do all the healing in the world? We should serve as an example. We are not an example. We are backstabbing.” […] (Click here to read the rest.)

Amen to that, am I right? Indeed, what good are they doing us, the nation, and the world, when their ire continues to be directed at each other for ideological reasons rather than doing their JOBS for us. For Americans. For America. For the world. If not us, who? We are the beacon on the hill, and we need to bear that in mind as an example for Americans and everyone else, too.

As for Kor, there is no doubt she is one amazing woman to have survived all she did. And for her to still be able to  forgive those who trespassed against her, and so many others, to heal her soul and to stop them from having power over her, is a great lesson for us.

But it isn’t just about forgiveness. It is about grace. Make that Grace.  The other day, I watched a movie entitled, “War Room.” It is a powerful movie indeed. In the clip below, these two women are talking about their husbands, and the struggles they have (had) with them. The older one, Clara, has taken Elizabeth under her wing for spiritual guidance. And oh, does she ever give her that as you will see in the clip below:

We get grace even when we don’t deserve it. That is the power of Grace, and the power of God’s grace for us. We don’t deserve it, but we are given it. We all fall short, every one of us. We are just people, after all, and none of us is perfect.

When we can forgive, let it go, and give some grace to the person or persons who harmed us, what a weight that is lifted off of our shoulders. When we can let go of that hurt, stop rehashing it over and over in our heads and hearts, but open ourselves to the grace and “peace that passeth all understanding,” (Phil. 4:7), oh, my what a blessing that is. To let go of our woundedness, and let love flood our hearts instead, allowing us to forgive, to extend that grace, is a gift beyond measure for both ourselves, and those who harmed us.

I know this is not easy. I know I have carried, and do carry, wounds inflicted upon me by others. But what does it harm them for me to carry those wounds? And what does it do to ME to carry those wounds? It keeps me from having that peace, it blocks my path to healing, it blocks my path to God.

That is not to say people aren’t accountable for their actions, they are. And should be, I might add. But the only ones we can control are ourselves and our reactions to the wrongs done to us. If we can turn them over, pray to let them go, and extend some grace to others knowing we all fall short, oh, what a world that would be…

Unspoken sings about this very thing with their song, “Call It Grace”:

Again, amen to that…

That’s it for me. What are your thoughts on forgiveness and grace? Or the charge to Congress made by Eva Kor? Feel free to talk about any of these things or whatever else is on your minds.

This is the Weekend Open Thread.

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42 Responses to “A Holocaust Survivor Has A Message For Us On Forgiveness *Weekend Open Thread*”

  1. kenoshamarge Says:

    What a wonderful, powerful post Amy! Thank you so much!

    I cannot even begin to understand how Eva Kor can forgive what was done to her family and her people. That she can and does is indicative of a strong moral fiber and a great understanding of how NOT to be like those that afflict you.

    I learned to forgive. I just don’t forget. I don’t keep transgressions against me in the forefront of my mind but I do remember them so that I am not fooled again.

    Jesus told us to forgive our enemies. When I was younger I found that hard, often impossible to do. As I grew, hopefully in wisdom, I realized that it was for our own well-being. A knot of un-forgiveness held inside festers and causes us far more distress than it causes those we will not forgive.

    Matthew 5:43-48

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.

    For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

    For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others?

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thank you so much, Marge. I appreciate that.

      And yes, it is hard to imagine being able to forgive the captors and persecutors like the Nazis. But you are so right that otherwise it festers inside, and eats away at you. Forgiveness is a gift to give both to oneself and to the one who committed the wrong…

      Beautiful passage. Thank you!

      And no doubt it is important to not forget lest one continue to fall into the same trap over and over.

      It reminds me of this hit by the Corrs, a beautiful family band from Ireland:

  2. kenoshamarge Says:

  3. kenoshamarge Says:

    If you hadn’t heard about the “hunger strike” by grad students at Yale you might be surprised to hear that they can get something to eat if they get hungry. WTH? Then it isn’t a hunger strike.

    The college Republicans decided to do something, which according to some on the left is impossibly cruel.

    UH OH! College Republicans near ‘hunger strike’ at Yale have sparked a triggering

    http://twitchy.com/dougp-3137/2017/04/29/uh-oh-college-republicans-near-hunger-strike-at-yale-have-sparked-a-triggering/

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      How is it that students can get into Yale and be so incredibly ignorant? Seriously. I do not get how such juvenile children can possibly be in COLLEGE.

      And this whole “triggering” thing is just idiotic.

  4. kenoshamarge Says:

  5. kenoshamarge Says:

    Busting a Liberal Myth: Yes, ‘The Rich’ Are Paying Their ‘Fair Share’ in Taxes…And Then Some

    By Guy Benson

    Top Trump administration officials rolled out the president’s tax reform plan this week, offering more details than were previously available — but remaining silent on others, including important answers to thorny questions on pay-fors and deficits.

    Democrats predictably pilloried the proposal as a “giveaway” to “the rich” and “big business,” their go-to talking points whenever insisting that the federal government continue to confiscate higher amounts of other people’s earnings. While other major newspapers managed more ideologically neutral headlines, the New York Times chose to emphasize the element of Trump’s plan that Democrats were likeliest to seize upon and attack.

    Tax Overhaul Would Aid The Wealthiest ~ New York Times

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2017/04/28/do-the-rich-not-pay-their-fair-share-in-taxes-n2319837

    I don’t “like” Donald Trump and I never will. But the asininity of his detractors sometimes makes him look good by comparison.

    The old giving the rich a tax break is such hypocrisy since 50% of the public pay no taxes at all. The rich pay the vast majority of ALL taxes. The whole meme is utter bilge but don’t count on the left changing their story since their voters are too stupid to figure out what a bunch of hogwash they’ve been sold for generations.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I saw a breakdown of who pays what in taxes recently, and yes – it absolutely debunks the meme of the Left abt “fair share.” The rich pay WAAAAAAYYYYY more in taxes than everyone else. That this stick continues to be used an WORKS is an indication of how little people check what they are told.

      And yeah – don’t you hate it when they make us defend Trump? 🙂

      Thanks for this, Marge!

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        I absolutely hate defending him! I think it only fair to call balls and strikes on him as we should do with any POTUS. Applause when he’s right, or does something we like, and criticize when he’s wrong or does something we don’t like.

  6. cindyindie Says:

    Wonderful post, Cuz!!
    I’ve said for a long time now that while the Left likes to guilt-shame conservatives (otherwise known as “normal people”) into feeling like un-Christian scum bags, the one thing they’ve overlooked is the greatest tenet of the Faith: Forgiveness! When are race-baiters going to visit that possibility???

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thanks so much, Cuz’n! I appreciate that!

      Oh, Cindy – there ya go with that whole reason and logic thing again! You cannot possibly expect the Left to have an understanding of something like forgiveness and its impact on the soul! ESPECIALLY if to do so will damage their ideological manipulative claims! 🙂

      Forgiveness is a mighty powerful thing though, isn’t it? And maybe that’s why…

  7. kenoshamarge Says:

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Amen to that – fixing to have my second cup out on the screened porch with the Sunday paper. 🙂

      It is a beautiful world in which we live, and I am thankful for it…

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        I always think of you when I see a Sunday greeting with both blessing and coffee in it.

        Here it is chilly, drizzling and very windy. Chills the body if not the soul. Because it is still a beautiful day if I see it so. And I choose to do just that.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          Thanks, Marge – I appreciate it! It is overcast here with the sun peeking in here and there, but I can’t complain – it is abt 80 degrees with a nice breeze blowing. 🙂

  8. kenoshamarge Says:

    WH Correspondents’ Dinner (Once Again) Gets Predictably Petty and Partisan

    Just as President Trump predicted, the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner on Saturday night got ugly fast, with liberal journalists and an unknown comic from Comedy Central calling the holder of the highest office in the land a “liar.”

    There’s the First Amendment, sure, but then there’s plain ol’ disgruntled, bitter enmity, which liberals have openly displayed since they got their butts kicked last November. While the big WHCA dinner has, in years past, been the site of some light-hearted jabs at the president, the dinners have, of late, been filled with a bilious bile and a viciousness that has made the evening all but unbearable.

    http://www.dailywire.com/news/15878/wh-correspondents-dinner-once-again-gets-joseph-curl

  9. kenoshamarge Says:

    From Legal Insurrection:

    The White House Correspondents Association annual dinner is referred to by the members as “Nerd Prom.”

    Is there possibly a more annoying title in the world? They are not nerds. But they do think of themselves as being smarter than their readers and viewers.

    It’s a disgusting spectacle of insiders patting insiders on the back, and the in-the-know crowd rubbing of self-important elbows. Inevitably, “conservative” correspondents hoping to be accepted into the fold attend.

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/04/live-trump-100-days-rally-versus-nerd-proms/

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      And yet, the media seem blissfully unaware of how hated they are by the very people they need to read/watch them. This kind of behavior is yet another reason why we hate and distrust them.

      But somehow, all of those people still have jobs. Go figure!

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        They have ruled the roost for so long, have been the only voice people could hear or see that they somehow don’t understand that we don’t “need” and in many cases “want” them anymore.

        There are now so many places to get information that their endless “opinion” and bias have made them more and more irrelevant. In their arrogance they think they just have to write, or speak a few more attacks on all the things we believe in and we’ll come around like their fans do.

        Soon few will be well informed. All on the left will only listen or read lefty news and those on the right will only listen or read righty news.

        The few of us who are still rational enough to just want the facts are becoming a bigger minority all the time.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          Well said, Marge – and yes, we do seem to be more and more of a minority these days. It literally makes me SMH. When you have people who respond ONLY with emotions and feelings, facts be damned, in their reactions to politics or a host of other issues, that is bad enough. But with the media stoking that very response, it makes us all the worse for it…

  10. kenoshamarge Says:

    Shapiro Rips Wendy Davis For Claiming Life Beginning At Conception Is ‘Absurd’

    On Thursday, former Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, an ardent defender of abortion, and someone who has had two abortions herself, spoke at a Planned Parenthood event in Charleston.

    Referring to an anti-abortion measure advanced in the South Carolina legislature on Wednesday that defines life as beginning at the moment of conception, Davis called the bill “absurd” and said the bill came from “politicians who believe that thumping their chest … is something that they’re rewarded for when they run for re-election.”

    Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro had a succinct and biting response on Twitter:

    @benshapiro

    No, absurd was your gubernatorial run

    http://www.dailywire.com/news/15877/shapiro-rips-wendy-davis-claiming-life-beginning-hank-berrien

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      And I am so glad he did. What she had to say here in Charleston was completely a-scientific – a bit of irony (read: hypocrisy) considering we had the (liberal) March for Science here last week. Yeah – “science” doesn’t seem to mean the same thing to these folks as it does to those of us who care abt actual Science.

      Thanks for this!

  11. kenoshamarge Says:

    The American Founders Knew A Virtuous Republic Requires Virtuous People

    If recent findings are any indication, Americans’ acquaintance with the founders’ principles and practices seems to be at a nadir. According to a report of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a majority of college graduates can’t recall “the substance of the First Amendment, or the origin of the separation of powers.”

    Perhaps most alarmingly, “nearly 10% say that Judith Sheindlin—‘Judge Judy’—is on the Supreme Court.”

    A big part of the problem seems to stem from the fact that of the 1,100 “liberal arts colleges and universities” surveyed, just “18%” require students to take a course on American history or government before graduation.

    http://thefederalist.com/2017/04/28/the-american-founders-knew-a-virtuous-republic-requires-virtuous-people/

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      So, so true…Thanks so much for this article, Marge. “Virtuous” citizens seem to be dwindling in number, and rapidly, too. Sad to say…

  12. kenoshamarge Says:

    David Harsanyi: Bill Nye’s View Of Humanity Is Repulsive

    Bill Nye has some detestable ideas about humanity. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Many environmental doomsdayers share his totalitarian impulses (Nye has toyed with the idea of criminalizing speech he dislikes) and soft spot for eugenics.

    In his Netflix series, “Bill Nye Saves the World,” the former children’s television host supplies viewers with various trendy notions to adorn his ideological positions with the sheen of science. In the final episode, Nye and his guests contemplate a thorny “scientific” question: How the state can stop people from having “extra children.”

    It’s worth remembering that not only was early progressivism steeped in eugenics, but early ’70s abortion politics was played out in the shadow of Paul Ehrlich’s “population bomb” theory. Vice President Al Gore has already broached the idea of “fertility management.” “Frankly,” Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg mentioned a few years ago, “I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”

    http://thefederalist.com/2017/04/27/bill-nyes-view-of-humanity-is-repulsive/

    Evidently Planned Parenthood isn’t aborting children fast enough. Pro-Abortion is simply Eugenics by another route.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I just saw something abt how Bill Nye not all that long ago proclaimed, rightly – that chromosomes determine male or female. He now has ditched Science for more Ideology. Just pathetic.

      You ain’t only kidding abt the Eugenics, Marge – well said!

  13. kenoshamarge Says:

  14. kenoshamarge Says:

    Jonah Goldberg: Berkeley Didn’t Birth ‘Free Speech’ But Seems Intent to Bury It

    I know there was a thing called the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley. And, yes, its members and leaders talked a good deal about free speech.

    But the movement for free speech is thousands of years old and runs like a deep river across the landscape of Western Civilization.

    Indeed, I can’t help but get the impression that a lot of people don’t realize that the Free Speech Movement in this context is a brand name. I can tell you that the “mockumentary” band Spinal Tap was born in a 1979 TV skit for ABC. But that is not the same thing as saying the medical procedure — aka the lumbar puncture — was born in the same skit.

    https://townhall.com/columnists/jonahgoldberg/2017/04/28/berkeley-didnt-birth-free-speech-but-seems-intent-to-bury-it-n2319295

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Oh, you know I love me some Jonah Goldberg! (Btw, did you know that his wife is UN Amb. Nikki Haley’s speechwriter? Cool, right? She has some serious bona fides in that regard.)

      Rich Lowry had an article in our paper that alsoaddressed the whole Berkley thing. It was good, too: archive.sltrib.com/story.php?ref=/opinion/5229392-155/rich-lowry-ann-coulter-the-liberal

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        I love Jonah too. He’s not as popular in GOP circles as he was because he was so adamantly against Trump. I still think he’s one of the best writers around. He informs with humor and therefore it is enjoyable to read him.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          One of the things I like abt him – he remains true to himself. Stephen Hayes is like that, too. Whenever I see/hear ads for the cruises that have them on, I can’t help but ponder taking one. How cool would THAT be to be able to listen to them in person, and maybe meet them, too? 🙂

          • kenoshamarge Says:

            That would be fantastic! I forgot about Stephan Hayes, he too isn’t as welcome as he once was. But I respect them. Both of them. Far more than those who just flip-flopped.

            It seems to me that they, like Ben Shapiro are willing to just call balls and strikes. What more can be asked of any of us?

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