What Saturday Night Live taught America about forgiveness

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Saturday Night Live, a show built around commenting on current events through satire and attempts at humor (some more successful than others), is rarely known for improving the country’s morality. Two Saturdays ago, cast member Pete Davidson epitomized that fact after making fun of a war injury suffered by Congressmen-elect Dan Crenshaw, a Republican from Texas.

After the segment aired, there was an understandable backlash from people on both sides of the political spectrum, with responses ranging from demands for an apology to calls for Davidson (and show creator Lorne Michaels) to be fired. Both are in the news again today, however, because they instead took a rather unusual approach to resolve the situation.

Rather than heed the calls to fire either man, SNL chose instead to invite Crenshaw to appear next to Davidson on Saturday’s show. The segment opened with a bit of self-deprecating humor from a contrite Davidson before allowing Crenshaw the chance to poke fun at Davidson and ultimately deliver a powerful call to forgiveness.

My purpose today is not to rehash the controversy, or even to focus on the interaction between the two men. Rather, it’s to point out that the show offered a compelling and important alternative to the two most common reactions when someone makes a mistake or offers offense to another person, party, or group.

More than our worst mistakes

The easiest path to take for Saturday Night Live after Davidson’s original comments would have simply been to fire or suspend the comedian until the controversy subsided. Such a decision would have likely satisfied the cries for blood that emanate so quickly from the various corners of our society when someone violates the absolute laws of political correctness.

To be sure, there are times when such action is both appropriate and necessary. However, perhaps not when the primary victim of such attacks seems genuinely unbothered, as did Crenshaw when he initially responded by…

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- We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

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