It comes from sacrifice

The full title of this essay is “Forgiveness and Irony: What makes the West strong.” I have to say I’m far less comfortable with the subtitle—there’s quite a bit of us versus them in this piece, and for me the generalizations ring truer (or less complicated) on the us side of things.

By living in a spirit of forgiveness, we not only uphold the core value of citizenship but also find the path to social membership that we need. Happiness does not come from the pursuit of pleasure, nor is it guaranteed by freedom. It comes from sacrifice: that is the great message that all the memorable works of our culture convey. The message has been lost in the noise of repudiation, but we can hear it once again if we devote our energies to retrieving it. And in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the primary act of sacrifice is forgiveness. The one who forgives sacrifices resentment and thereby renounces something that had been dear to his heart.

from “Forgiveness and Irony,” by Roger Scrunton, City Journal, Winter 2009 :: via ayjay

Originally published at

Add Your Comments