Nancy Ruiz Shows Us the Dark Side of Forgiveness

In response to my article on the Ariel Castro torture/kidnappings in Ohio [‘Her Father the Monster’], a reader wrote the following:

Dear Dr. Hurd: You wrote in your article, “Aside from torturing innocent people, he [Ariel Castro] betrayed her [his daughter] as well. Some things are unforgivable, and it’s better to honor that awful truth than to wallow in the religiously generated, pseudo-scientific psychiatric psychobabble that will be heaped upon her and the victims’ families in the months and years ahead.”

By the victims’ families as well, Dr. Hurd. And it didn’t take long.

See the, “Mother of Cleveland kidnap victim Gina DeJesus: ‘I did not hate’ Ariel Castro” (5/11/13)

The article states: ‘The mother of a Cleveland torture victim offered hugs instead of hate to the man accused of holding her daughter hostage for nearly a decade ‘ While creepy Ariel Castro was disowned by some of his family members, the mom of recently freed Gina DeJesus says she holds no animosity toward the accused monster’I would hug him and say ‘God bless you,’ said Nancy Ruiz in an interview with ABC-TV’s ’20/20.—

The reader reminded me, in this connection, of a quote from Ayn Rand: “If one feels compassion for the victims of a concentration camp, one cannot feel it for the torturers. If one does feel compassion for the torturers, it is an act of moral treason toward the victims.’ (Ayn Rand, 1964 interview with Playboy)

Also, I’m reminded of a quote of Adam Smith’s: ‘Mercy to the guilty is treason to the innocent.’

Instead of trying to explain the ‘rationale’ of a man—claiming sex addiction—for tying up and torturing, repeatedly raping plus forcing abortions on three kidnapped women for over a decade, maybe we should try to figure out what on earth could motivate the mother of one of those victims to say something like this.

Does she actually mean it?

Or maybe a better question: What must she evade in order to utter such a thing?

When a paid hack / psychiatric ‘expert,’ or a parasitic government bureaucrat / politician trying to keep a tax-subsidized social program afloat, or a preacher living off the willful ignorance / donations of lost souls makes such a statement, it’s one thing. Evasion is involved, and the motives are not too difficult to figure out, in those cases.

But when the mother of one of the victims offers hugs to the torturer, the magnitude of the evasion is almost too horrifying—too sinister—to contemplate.

Conventional psychological theory suggests that the mother of Gina DeJesus is going through complicated grief. On the one hand, she probably reached a certain level of acceptance that her daughter was never coming back. On the other hand, the police never produced a body, and she probably didn’t ever totally let go of some hope. Now her daughter is back, with stories rivaling the experience of a P.O.W. or even the survivor of a Nazi concentration camp.

According to conventional psychological theory, the grief process consists of a number of different emotions, each arising at different times. There’s initial denial, sadness, depression, eventual acceptance—but also anger. Where’s the anger here? Anger is sometimes rational, and the same people who will applaud this woman’s platitudes will also likely agree with psychologists who say, ‘Anger is a normal and expected part of the grief process.’

I maintain that there’s something worse than a lack of anger going on here. I believe such statements are made for the approval of others. It’s called second-handedness (another Ayn Rand phrase). ‘If I say what I’m supposed to say, people will think I’m good.’

Hugs, not hate, you say? Whether it’s the fawning, Obama-supporting leftist journalist interviewing her on 20/20, the kind of person who thinks guns (not people) are evil and (while secular herself) likes old-fashioned religion because it keeps people humble and compliant in the social democratic transfer-of-wealth state; or whether it’s the Catholic preacher or evangelical Christian minister who can be expected to applaud her for ‘walking the theological talk” of turning the proverbial cheek; or whether it’s her family and friends whom she can count on to say, ‘How saintly of you. I could never be that virtuous under these conditions.’ Nearly everyone can be counted on to admire her for what she’s saying, and she knows it.

In a truly spiritual (i.e., psychological) sense, Nancy Ruiz is sacrificing her daughter for the sake of social approval. It’s the ultimate and ugliest manifestation of the ’emperor has no clothes’ story one can imagine. Probably nobody believes it, but nearly everyone feels compelled to applaud it, for the same twisted reasons Nancy Ruiz feels compelled to say it.

In other words, it’s all about her, not about her daughter, forgiveness or anything of the kind. I say this because I see no other explanation possible. To purportedly love one’s daughter, see her return from a decade of torture and abuse in the equivalent of a concentration camp, and to tell millions of television viewers you want to hug the torturer ‘ it’s such a disgusting and obscene display, I don’t know what else to think.

I’m not a religious believer myself. But I know enough about conventional Christian doctrine to know that there’s supposed to be a Heaven and a Hell. The idea of Hell, while supernatural and faith-based, is an attempt to hold people accountable for their actions. People like Nancy Ruiz seek to decimate accountability altogether, in any this-worldly or after-worldly sense. In so doing, they make the world a whole lot safer for the kind of terrorism, torture and mayhem we increasingly see around us.

The next time you read of an awful story like this, or when the next terrorist attack or shooting spree occurs somewhere, and you are compelled to ask, ‘Why do these things keep happening?’ then think of Nancy Ruiz and the many people right now nodding in agreement with her “virtuous” display. They’re the ones who show mercy and compassion for their own would-be or actual destroyers. If that’s morality, then human civilization is surely doomed.


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