Results of My 9-11 Poll re Forgiveness
The poll is still open, but the results so far are as follows:
Question: Would you support a "Forgiveness" Garden or other zone somewhere near Ground Zero in NYC?
75% voted Yes, "I would support a Forgiveness Space or Garden at Ground Zero in NYC"
12% voted No, "I would not want a Forgiveness Garden or Marker at Ground Zero"
12% voted "I do not know, or do not like the question"
Let me make a few brief observations, and then open the post up for any and all comments. First, these results are markedly different from a similar poll of the general public, where very few Americans were in any way interested in "forgiveness" in conjuction with 9-11 and the rebuilding project to take place in NYC. Is that because the audience taking my poll has a more profound or more theological understanding of the power of forgiveness?
Second, these results seem to signal an attitude rather different from the prayer of Rabbi Gellman posted by Newsweek today, in which he emphasizes that "America would do well to remember who its real enemies are." I imagine that those who are voting in my poll for "forgiveness" would ask Rabbi Gellman whether he shouldn't be talking not only about uniting against enemies but also loving enemies, albeit in some sort of responsible, constructive, transformative way.
Third, for myself, I would hope that forgiveness in this context would have to be conceived of as specifically "tough" and "transformative." It can't just be a selfish forgiveness, aimed primarily at self-healing and moving on. That kind of forgiveness cannot protect the living from the ongoing threat of terrorism...