Lance Armstrong duped everyone. Can you forgive him?

clip_image002MANILA: Ellen Tordesillas (ET) is mad at Lance Armstrong's (LA) 10+ years of lying about doping to win each of his 7 titles of Tour de France; he was taking performance-enhancing drugs all those years (20 January 2013, ph.news.yahoo.com). What matters if you win all those titles and lose all your friends?

After LA confessed to Oprah about taking all those drugs for all those titles (Jay Petrillo, 15 January 2013, examiner.com), ET cannot forgive LA. Can you?

ET is a cancer survivor like LA; when LA came out with his book about his triumph over cancer, It's Not About The Bike: My Journey Back To Life, ET says she read it and read it again. ET loved it that it was "an awe-inspiring tale of immense courage and will." ET bought a number of those yellow ballers in support of Livestrong, LA's foundation for cancer victims. ET says, "Armstrong was hailed as the greatest cyclist on earth."

LA used to be ET's role model; now she's mad at him. "It's the lying," ET says. "It's the disappointment that the character that I once admired so much turned out to be dark and stained." LA survived his cancer; can he survive telling the truth? Can LA survive the disappointments his fans now feel because he has admitted he had been lying all the time, that he won all those 7 trophies by cheating? Can ET survive her own "deep disappointment" with LA?

ET, remember, whom the gods wish to destroy, first they make mad.

ET, go home, to forgiveness. I know. Lying is hard, forgiving is impossible.

ET, I believe that forgiveness is the true measure of your Christianity, whether Roman Catholic or not. (If you're an atheist, I can't forgive you!) I'm a Roman Catholic; it took me probably all of 20 years to learn to forgive my wife who couldn't forgive me for my sins, cardinal and venial. She still hasn't learned to forgive, but I have, and that has made all the difference. I have asked, and continue to ask for God's forgiveness. I have my imperfections still, but I have learned to forgive myself too, and it's a great feeling. That's why I'm not surprised that I'm more creative now that I'm 72 than when I was 62, or 52, or 42, or 32.

The Americans don't realize it yet but, predominant Protestants as they are, as a nation with the Lance Armstrong case, they are being tested on their Martin Luther-derived faith. The Protestants like to proclaim: Sola fide, faith alone. Now then, how does faith alone react to the monstrosity of Lance Armstrong's cardinal sin repeated each year for 10+ years?

Shocking all of America, Lance Armstrong "formally confessed to Oprah Winfrey during her interview on her show Monday that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France" (Jay Petrillo, 15 January 2013, examiner.com). He won the Tour de France titles in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. All the while doping himself to victory.

How will unforgiving Protestants in America, and Ellen Tordesillas, ever forgive Lance Armstrong for his doping, his lying to hide his doping, and his verbal and vicious attacks on his friends when they started to tell the truth about him? He made dupes of them all, didn't he?

I'm not a fan of Lance Armstrong; I never was. But I'm a huge fan of those who confess their sins and ask for forgiveness. Like Lance Armstrong.

Let's listen to LA for a few minutes; here are excerpts from the Oprah interview (18 January 2013, sociallife.com):

I don't know that I have a great answer. I will start my answer by saying this is too late. It's too late for probably most people. And that's my fault. I view this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times.

I was a bully … I was a bully in the sense that I tried to control the narrative, and if I didn't like what somebody said, and for whatever reasons in my own head, whatever I viewed that as someone being disloyal, a friend turning on you, or whatever, I tried to control that and say, "That's a lie. They're liars."

I don't know what I had … I didn't understand the magnitude of that following … The important thing is that I'm beginning to understand that … I see the anger in people … And betrayal. It's all there. There are people who supported me, believed in me, believed me, not just believed in me, but believed what I was saying, and they have every right to feel betrayed. And it's my fault. And I will spend the rest of my life - some people are gone forever, but I will spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust and apologize to people for the rest of my life.

I love cycling. I really do. And I say that knowing that I sound like - people will see me as somebody who has disrespected the event, the sport, the color yellow, the jersey. I did … But, if we can - and I stand on no moral platform here. It's certainly not my place to say, "Hey guys, let's clean up cycling." If there was an effort to, if there was a truth and reconciliation commission - again, I can't call for that. I've got no (credibility). If they had it, and I'm invited, I'd be the first man in the door.

Australian cyclist Robbie McEwen, a two-time Tour de France stage winner, said he "could never forgive" Lance Armstrong.

Someone said when Lance Armstrong admitted his doping, he didn't sound contrite. Oprah said so in some other words (Petrillo as cited):

(Lance Armstrong) did not come clean in the manner that I expected. ... I feel that he answered the questions in a way that he was ready. ... I choose not to characterize. I would rather people make their own decisions about whether he was contrite or not. I thought that he was thoughtful. I thought that he was serious... I thought that he met the moment.

No, Lance Armstrong didn't sound contrite. Betsy Andreu, the wife of a teammate and close friend of Lance before the whole world came to know about the doping, explained it this way, after Lance called her to apologize before the Oprah interview (Neal Karlinsky, 18 January 2013, abcnews.go.com):

I couldn't believe that was Lance. I could not believe that Lance apologized. I think this is a process. Because I honestly don't think he knows how to tell the truth, and how to say I'm sorry. So it means a lot that he called to apologize to me.

Lance doesn't say, "I'm sorry." Lance isn't used to telling the truth and so I think in the days to come, in the months to come, I'm hoping that we'll see the contrition. Actions speak louder than words, so if the words aren't empty …

"It's a huge first step," Betsy Andreu said. "But it's just the first step."

God didn't wait for you to ask for forgiveness, and yet He forgave you. Will you ET and Betsy Andreu and Oprah and Robbie McEwen and other people take the first step to forgive Lance Armstrong, who is guilty as hell? We Roman Catholics forgive the Protestants who don’t know how to forgive!

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