Copy of a recent mail to the producers of a religious programme about forgiveness:
"I have just watched your programme on Prime TV regarding a religious view of the need to forgive.
The message conveyed by the presenter was that the offering of forgiveness to others was the key to healing and moving on for those who had been wronged.
The programme presented the example of the young man who had fallen asleep whilst driving through Owhango in 1988,flipping his car and condemning his passenger friend to a life of paraplegia. Clearly the young man had suffered the consequences of guilt and had found solace in the idea that he could release himself that pain by forgiving himself as God would forgive him.
The young man admitted that he had not seen his "friend" in over 20 years but hoped one day to meet again and ask for his friends "forgiveness" - presumably on the same rationale that the friend would also be "released".
The young man presented on the programme clearly had no spine, no moral dignity or compassion to front up to his friend and apologise, or offer help in any small way on an ongoing basis.
He had avoided any form of personal responsibility for his actions.
In presenting your programme you are sending the wrong message into the community.
Forgiveness is never a solution to resolving past wrong doing.
Freedom comes from having a clear conscience - that we have behaved according to our own moral standards.
The programme also made clear that God would withold forgiveness if mortals also failed to forgive, is to suggest that God also judges - that forgiveness is not unconditional with God.
The contradictions are disturbing.
I would ask that your editors be more critical of the material being presented.
Without such critiquing your programme runs the risk of being labelled little more than mythical propaganda."