Forgiveness: A Time to Love and a Time to Hate

Monday, April 18, 2011

Helen Whitney, writer, producer and director, of the film “Forgiveness: A Time to Love and a Time to Hate,” is joined by Donald Shriver, former president of Union Theological Seminary, and Father Petero Sabune, a prison chaplain who has visited many of Rwanda’s prisons after the genocide, to discuss the human capacity to forgive. The two-part film explores stories—from adultery and personal betrayal to global reconciliation after genocide. “Forgiveness: A Time to Love and a Time to Hate” airs April 17 and 24 at 10 p.m. on PBS.


Father Petero Sabune, Donald Shriver and Helen Whitney

Comments [12]

Megan Hallahan from Rome, Italy

For more on Donald Shriver's reflections on forgiveness, visit where his perspective is featured alongside his fellow Council Members - grassroots peacemakers, practitioners and opinion-makers from all over the globe. Browse individual reflections by Council Members or download the entire "Meditations on Forgiveness" book at

Apr. 20 2011 05:33 AM
Ruth . from Rockville Centre, NY

I beg of you to correct what was said (and is usually said) about "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth..." Even as early Hammurabi, the issue was monetary compensation and in the Jewish Bible, if you look at Exodus 21:24, where this statement appears, it is in the context of a legal discussion of monetary compensation for various types of injuries or losses. No one literally had an eye taken for an eye lost.

Apr. 18 2011 02:34 PM
Calls'em from Fairfax, VA

It's much easier to forgive a dead Nazi then a live one, but when I've toured the battlefields of WWII in Europe, I only stopped my car at the German cemeteries long enough to spit outside their gates.

Apr. 18 2011 02:22 PM
Calls'em from Fairfax Cty, VA

How do you justify the current love affair that so many in the current regime, Congress (70 Dem members of the socialist group) and academia seem to be having with Marxism, Maoism, class warfare and worse. How can a kid at a $50,000.00/yr college and driving a Benz wear a "Che" T-shirt? The "philosophies" in vogue have caused the death of hundreds of millions of people in the past 100 years. Who will apologize to the millions of people that Bill Ayers and his type plan to murder in the future?

Apr. 18 2011 02:09 PM

Siouxie - You NEVER Can forgive (remove, divorce) their handcuffs of sin unless they desperately want it released. However you can love and be rid of anger. Love holds people accountable for their own good. Warns others of their evil, and does what is best for all involved. As Dennis Prager says, forgiveness can be a sin! Love is never a sin.

Scott Berry

Apr. 18 2011 02:03 PM
Tony from Canarsie

Forgive me, but there are no gods nor is there any need for them to live a moral and ethical life. The Bronze Age ended long ago.

Apr. 18 2011 01:59 PM

I am so frustrated that I cannot help your guest. What they are saying makes no sense Biblically. Jesus DID NOT forgive his enemies, He begged His father for mercy because He could not free them from their sin like he did the thief.

Forgive us our acknowledged indebtedness as we forgive the acknowledged indebtedness of others.

You must get rid of anger and bitterness first by trusting God and being meek. This has nothing to do with forgiveness.

Apr. 18 2011 01:58 PM
Siouxie from Bronx

But how do you forgive someone who has been cruel over and over again but is never ever sorry. What do you then?

Apr. 18 2011 01:58 PM

Responding to Gay Edelman "Isn't forgiveness for the forgiver's peace of mind and wholeness of soul?" Yes and no. Yes, that is our modern definition. No, that has absolutely nothing to do with Jewish or Christian Biblical teachings on forgiveness. That is why we are so confused. Forgiveness and Reconciliation are NEVER separated anywhere in the Bible.

With respect,

Scott Berry

Apr. 18 2011 01:52 PM

With all due respect to Helen and her superb work, the film reveals the worlds confusion. We are confused because we have added definitions to forgiveness that did not exist in Biblical time. 5 Issues:
1. Jesus offered forgiveness of sin to one thief, invited him to heaven, but did not pray for Him
Jesus did not offer forgiveness to the other thief or the Roman soldiers , but prayed because He could not forgive their sin.
2. God never forgives people, only sin.
3. Forgiveness means to remove, send away, or divorce.
4. Non one prays “God forgive me” but to forgive remove acknowledge sin and guilt from me.
5. Forgiveness defined as “to relinquish anger and bitterness” is never a Biblical concept – this is called MEEKNESS.

Scott Berry

Apr. 18 2011 01:45 PM
Gay Edelman from New York

So much emphasis on reconciliation. Isn't forgiveness for the forgiver's peace of mind and wholeness of soul? And aren't there times to forgive and NOT reconcile (with, say, an unrepentant abuser?)

Apr. 18 2011 01:40 PM

has anybody else read the sunflower. all about forgiveness???
for unforgivable atrocities??

Apr. 18 2011 01:34 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.