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Americans choosy about dispensing forgiveness
Whitney Jones, Religion News Service
November 04, 2010

Americans choosy about dispensing forgiveness

Americans choosy about dispensing forgiveness
Whitney Jones, Religion News Service
November 04, 2010

Most Americans have a desire

for more forgiveness in their lives, but they are more critical when choosing

who to forgive, according to a new survey.

Sixty-two percent of

American adults said they need more forgiveness in their personal lives, and 94

percent wanted to see more forgiveness in the country, according to a study by

the Michigan-based Fetzer Institute.

“Americans express a

near-universal desire for a more loving and unified world,” said the “Survey of

Love and Forgiveness in American Society,” released Oct. 28.

Researchers found that even

though the U.S. is composed of people who are usually forgiving, more than half

of Americans said there are situations where people should never be forgiven,

including abuse, sexual crimes, murder and other intentionally committed

crimes.

The survey found that a

majority of Americans also believe forgiveness is conditional: 60 percent said “forgiving

someone would first depend on the offender apologizing and making changes.”

Most people said they sought

the advice of friends and family rather than religious leaders when grappling

with issues of forgiveness, while one in four said they did not know where to

go for help with spiritual needs, and a third of them struggle with

spirituality.

While most Americans are not

running to churches and religious leaders for guidance with forgiveness and

other personal issues, 60 percent said they are more spiritual now than they

were five years ago.

These findings were based on

an online survey conducted by StrategyOne, which was taken Aug. 4-15 by 1,000

U.S. adults, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.