My wife and I went Christmas shopping yesterday at NorthPark mall which is in one of the most stupidly rich places in the world. It was crazy crowded to the point that people were driving oon the curbs and onto the green areas around the mall. My hunch: the mall was so crowded because this is the one time a year all the Park Cities people with Hummers actually have the chance to take advantage of their car’s height by driving up the curb.
After picking up a couple presents (does it count as “re-gifting” if you buy a present for someone else with a gift card that you received or is it just “thrifty”), we went to see Frost / Nixon. (Overall, good movie that made us think even though it drags at times).
I was struck, while watching the movie, by the importance of an apology. All, it seems, that Frost and his team needed was an apology–an admission of guilt and some sense of remorse. The success of the interviews and DAvid Frost all hinged on a simple admission of guilt. At the end, that’s all that came. (spoiler alert). Frost didn’t berate Nixon–either on camera or in personal conversation later.
I found myself wondering, why. Why is that enough? Why is that so needed? Did the American people need to see that Nixon hurt? Maybe, but I think there’s something deeper.
In order to heal, the wounds sometimes have to be exposed and acknowledged. America and the world needed to hear from Nixon an acknowledgment of what he had done. Until he did that, the nation couldn’t really heal. Although Nixon never recovered from the shame of his actions, Clinton has bounced back from the shame and scandal of his presidencybecause eventually he was honest about it all. South Africa is doing far better as a nation than so many other African governments that have overthrown their regimes because SOuth Africa formed a Truth and Reconciliation committee that got those who hurt others to admit their wrongs.
Public confession help heal the wounds of society. President Bush is moving back into Park Cities area of Dallas and will likely attend one of its United Methodist Churches. Maybe, just maybe, someone in one of our churches can nurture and love him to a place of public confession.