Honors Guild Application

Have questions?  Contact Jennifer Moeschberger, Director of Taylor University Honors Guild programming, for more information.

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Please indicate which question you will be addressing in your essay

On November 8, 1987, a bomb planted by the Provisional IRA exploded in a Sunday service in the town of Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, killing eleven and injuring sixty-three. One of the dead was Marie Wilson, a twenty-year-old nursing student. Her father Gordon was buried next to her under six feet of rubble and held her hand as she slipped away. A devout Christian, he told a reporter upon his release from hospital hours later: "I have no desire for revenge or retaliation. Killing the people who killed my daughter will not bring her back. So I forgive the bombers and I leave everything to God and I believe someday, I will see my daughter again." Alongside the many messages of appreciation he received came others that were critical: his "loving" offer of forgiveness, they charged, muted the siren call of justice and diminished the worth of the victims.

How would you respond to Gordon's critics? Does forgiveness negate the need for justice? Does forgiveness imply that the wrong that's been done isn't that important?

In the book "Made for Goodness" by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho, they say the following: "Forgiveness is not a form of forgetting. It is, rather, a profound form of remembering. When we forgive, we remember who and whose we are. We remember that we are creative beings modeled on a creative God.

When we forgive, we reclaim the power to create. We can create a new relationship with the person who has injured us. We can create a new story of ourselves. When we find the strength to forgive, we are no longer victims. We are survivors."

How is this idea of forgiveness balanced with the need for justice? You are not expected to read the book, however please respond to the quote and write your essay on the ideas of forgiveness and mercy in relationship to justice.

Waiver Acknowledgement