Oct 24, 2012

'We have to forgive him'

Lu Lobello, a former Marine who was involved in the killing of three civilians in the early days of the war in Iraq, approached the family, now American immigrants, asking for forgiveness.

The family is Jehovah's Witness.

As recalled by the journalist who reported the story, that made a difference:

"She spoke and she said, 'We want to help him.' [...]

"One of the oddities in the story, and there are so many, and I'm really -- I'm not sure what it means -- but they're Christian, for one thing, which makes them a minority in Iraq. Something like two percent of the population or probably a lot less now because so many have left. And they're Jehovah's Witnesses, and they're very religious, and I get -- certainly as anyone would be after something like this, but, it was just, every time I asked them about forgiving Lu or what had happened or how they feel about it or why are they not bitter, because they're not, they kind of of -- they would just default immediately to the Bible or they would start talking about religion and God and forgiveness.

"It was really amazing.

"I mean, you could just see the power of religion at a really really micro level. I mean, they, you know, believe deeply in their religion. And they said, she said, over and over again, we have to forgive him, you know, this is what God commands us to forgive. He's forgiven us and we have to forgive. We must.

"And there was no doubt in their mind about that."