What does it take to forgive someone like Dylann Roof?
Nadine Collier, daughter of one of Dylann Roof’s nine alleged victims, has one message for the suspected killer: “I forgive you.” The 21-year-old Roof is charged with the violent slaying that occurred at the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. At Roof’s bond hearing, Chief Magistrate James Gosnell allowed Collier to deliver a statement to the suspect who joined via videoconference: “I just want everybody to know, to you, I forgive you. You took something very precious away from me. I will never talk to her ever again, I will never be able to hold her again. You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people. But God forgives you, and I forgive you.” The video feed shows Roof watching with a chilling blank stare.
What does it take to forgive someone like Dylan Roof? How does one muster the courage, the conviction, the moral fiber to grant such a gift to someone who has already taken so much? To serve a feast of forgiveness to a person who hasn’t even ordered a single serving?