While I sympathize with Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, on her attempt to get Anita Hill to apologize, I don’t think Virginia took the right track with Hill. Let’s assume for a moment that Thomas actually succeeded in persuading Hill to utter an “I’m sorry” to her. Sounds nice, doesn’t it Virginia! Too bad it couldn’t be sincere. There is a process to repentance, a road Anita Hill has yet to trod. Hopefully, I can shed some light on the nature of the road for Virginia Thomas and give her some peace in her heart in the process. So here is an open letter I penned to Virginia Thomas. I hope Virginia actually gets an opportunity to read it. It could be balm for her soul…
Count me as an old fashioned fool, but to me, an insincere apology is worse than no apology at all. You can’t force it, Virginia, I’m sorry to say. The spiritual motion required for repentance has to originate within Anita Hill, not within you, Virginia. The ball is in Anita’s court – always has been and always will be.
It has been said that the first step to repentance is sin. If that is true, Virginia, then Anita is well on the road to recovery. But somehow I don’t think Anita is in any mood for reconciliation. I doubt she even recognizes that she has done wrong, let alone feel regret for her actions. And if she doesn’t feel regret, how could she possibly apologize, ask for forgiveness or attempt to make restitution? She just isn’t there yet, Virginia. And she may never get there. In all likelihood Anita Hill is going to go to her grave proudly proclaiming that what she did was noble and good. De Nile isn’t just a river in Egypt, Virginia.
I perfectly understand your quest for an apology from Anita Hill. But it does no good to demand such an apology. Sincere apologies have to come from the heart, and Anita evidently hasn’t reached the stage of emotional and spiritual maturity where she can recognize the fact that she has deeply hurt an innocent man and his wife. Hill wraps her refusal to repent in the blanket of liberal politics – believing that somehow her adherence to leftist dogma exempts her from the demands of civilized behavior.
This is how repentance is done, Virginia. Perhaps you will remember the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
“And when [the prodigal] had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
“And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
“And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
“And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
“I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
“And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
“And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son” (Luke 15:14–21).
And the father caused that a great feast should be held, and when his other son complained, he said to him, “It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found” (Luke 15:32).
Virginia, yes, you and your husband were wronged – painfully so.
And at some point in the hereafter Anita Hill will be held responsible for her sins – just like all of us will be held accountable for our own sins. But repentance is another matter entirely. That is up to Anita Hill, and she ain’t there yet. Hill hasn’t yet reached the stage the Prodigal Son ended up in on one fateful day. Hill hasn’t yet accepted the fact that she did something wrong. Hill may even be in some sort of denial that wrong and right even exist. Rationalization is an amazing thing, Virginia.
You see, Virginia, you can’t force repentance upon Anita Hill. That burden is Anita Hill’s alone. You can take some comfort in knowing that Hill, in her introspective personal moments, knows that something just isn’t quite Kosher between you and her. That’s a matter of a little thing called a conscience. But Anita Hill’s pride appears to be standing in her way of coming clean publicly. Hill apparently cares more for the adulation and cheers from the progressives and the leftists than she does for her own emotional well-being. And that’s her choice. Anita Hill, alone, will suffer the internal torment of a prideful heart and a stubborn streak the size of Nebraska.
Here is a bit of sincere advice, Virginia. Forget about your quest to get Anita Hill to apologize. It is a fruitless quest anyway…it is not in her heart. Instead, concentrate on your own heart and you will find the peace you seek.
In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord taught:
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
“But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
“And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
“And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
“Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matt. 5:38–44).
Virginia, you can find peace in your own heart by simply forgiving Anita Hill. You don’t need an apology from her. That is irrelevant. There is also one distinction to make here, Virginia. Just because you forgive Anita Hill doesn’t mean that she is no longer responsible for her actions. Quite the contrary is true. As I said previously, Anita Hill will one day face an accounting for her life and God will deal with her in both a just and merciful manner. Anita Hill won’t be able to escape that day of judgement. Neither justice nor mercy will be shortchanged. How that accounting goes for Anita Hill will be entirely up to her. Now is the day for her to repent, but if she doesn’t…oh well…she will get what is coming to her.
Virginia, forgive Anita. What will happen is that you will find peace in your heart as you let go of the grudge. Anita isn’t worth the pain in your heart, Virginia. Let it go and be free again.