I’m thinking a lot about these concepts with Liam Neeson’s horrific admittance that he sought out a random black man (cringe; I hate that phrase) to kill after a friend was raped. We can analyze the wrongness of his statements from all sorts of angles: hurting people of color, potentially destroying his platform to do good, betraying the respect people might have for him, and that it reeks of seeking forgiveness from marginalized people, thereby making his redemption their responsibility rather than his own.
Setting the racism aside (hopefully I don’t need to outline how his were racist acts), it did get me wondering why he thought it necessary to admit to it internationally and about guilt and confession and the power those secret feelings have in our lives. The Church certainly caught on to that early on: Confession being a rite in which you admit you committed a wrong and the Church being in charge of your redemption, usually by praying. Prayer and meditation can be helpful, but if that’s all you do, it ignores the rather more therapeutic action of helping: either by righting your wrong or in aid to someone else.
Which gets me thinking about the church and confession. Secrets are power. I used to watch As The World Turns and all 54 years of plot revolved around secrets. The Church As a Keeper of Secrets was a power play despite framing it inside “redemption and helping.” So maybe Neeson and others making public confessions also seek to circumvent anyone having such power over them.
Anyway I’m guessing these concepts might sneak into my WIP.