I believe Mr. Clemons was on to something when he made that statement. I have heard— and you must have, too, if you have lived very long—people lamenting about accident victims, “He died so suddenly, I don’t think he had time to be forgiven!”

I often wonder, while reading some words he expressed as Mark Twain, how many of such sentiments I might share with him, if we both had said, or written, every thought that had wandered through our minds. No, I am not staking any claim to greatness I have definitely not earned. Nor will I, at my age, live long enough to earn it, and I am too plain-spoken to lull asleep that many people. It’s just that I wonder what he would have to say in today’s world about people who violate every rule of common decency expressed in all the holy books of Earth, by demonizing other people, and then beheading, electrocuting, poisoning, bombing, or just plain killing them, all the while self-assured of their own deservance of a great reward.

By what treacherous vanity do villains gain sway over the lives of others, themselves protected against repercussions by the general sentiments into which they reside? Where is the merit of so many such situations so commonly thriving in every locale on this ball we all share, even to the point of conflicting in each other’s territory? By support of what law do they violate even the statutes of their own religions? I believe that, in many cases at least, the answer to that can be found in their apologetics.


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