Is There a Statute of Limitations to Sin in the age of the Internet?

scalesofjustice2Today, I read Monica Lewinsky’s piece in Vanity Fair… was surprised…and then I read it again. I have to admit, I was not initially open to what she had to say, but she got me thinking about some larger issues: like forgiveness and the internet.

With the Internet and social media, sin has no statute of limitations. There is no expiration date, where everyone forgets, forgives and gets on with their lives, allowing the “sinner” to get on with theirs. In this fishbowl climate, where character defects are dissected under a microscope, live forever and can literally be resurrected by the push of a button for new generations to “enjoy”, what does forgiveness mean?

The first time I read Lewinsky’s piece, it seemed strident and defensive. But, the second time I read it, I heard the terror in her tone; the terror that she would never get her life back, that she would never be perceived as redeemed or forgiven. I heard the plea for forgiveness, and to live and let live, as all of us get ready for the next presidential election, and the inevitable mud- slinging and dirt- gathering ensues.

In the law, the statute of limitations is a date beyond which someone accused of wrongdoer cannot be prosecuted or sued in civil court. Forgiveness and mercy are built in, except for murder.

Positive branding creates markets, publicity, empires and riches, but what about negative branding? What about negative branding against a person’s will? What must it be like to be branded “ America’s Premier BJ Queen” at 20 and still have to talk about it at 40? She did something really stupid at the age of 20. Monumentally stupid. But she didn’t murder anyone.

This person is now a 40-year-old grown woman, who if the article is any indicator, is intelligent, articulate and has been trying to do better. If I believe that God lives in each of us, then he lives in people who do monumentally stupid things. If I focus on the mud instead of the brilliant piece of God underneath, aren’t I kind of denying that piece exists? I’m not in prison or dead right now because my acts of youthful stupidity were forgotten with the passage of time. I got to grow up. Let’s forget the BJ Queen.


Goodreads Book Giveaway in progress

Undamned, My Escape from the Old Testament

by L.E. Kinzie

giveaway details at Goodreads.