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They lecture the priest on the virtues of charity and compassion.Later, it comes out that the beloved nobleman did not in fact kill his good-for-nothing brother.
You forgive because there isn’t anything to be forgiven.
I mean, from a utilitarian point of view, you are still doing the correct action of not giving people grief because they’re a divorcee. All I’m saying is that if you “forgive” something you don’t care about, you don’t earn any Virtue Points.
(by way of illustration: a billionaire who gives 0 to charity gets as many Utility Points as an impoverished pensioner who donates the same amount, but the latter gets a lot more Virtue Points) Tolerance is also considered a virtue, but it suffers the same sort of dimished expectations forgiveness does.
But since forgiveness is generally considered a virtue, and one that many want credit for having, I think it’s fair to say you only earn the right to call yourself ‘forgiving’ if you forgive things that genuinely hurt you.
To borrow Chesterton’s example, if you think divorce is a-ok, then you don’t get to “forgive” people their divorces, you merely ignore them.
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[Content warning: Politics, religion, social justice, spoilers for “The Secret of Father Brown”.