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Is It Possible to Love Your Enemies If Bernie Madoff Is One of Them?

madoff.jpgThis morning the New York Post reported that Bernie Madoff, the Ponzi schemist who’s serving 150 years for swindling $65 billion, is ill with pancreatic cancer. This afternoon the Prison Bureau released a statement, “While the NY Post story is full of inaccuracies, and we can’t specifically address all of them, we can tell you that Bernie Madoff is not terminally ill, and has not been diagnosed with cancer.”


 So we don’t know whether the alleged jailhouse snitches gave any accurate info–including a story about Madoff participating in Native American sweat ceremonies to purify himself and hanging out with a gay prison posse. But we do know that revenge consciousness is alive and well, at least amongst readers of the New York Post online. A sampling of the article’s many comments, every single one of which expressed similar sentiment:

“Lets hope this shmuck doesn’t die too fast. He needs to suffer for about 50 years.”

“…a long and painful death from cancer while being comforted by jailhouse queens their [sic], really is a God.”

 “It would be sad if he died in prison.I hope he can be saved so he’ll have to serve more of his sentence in as painful and uncomfortable state as possible.”


 “Bernie, Hurry up and DIE. I don’t want to waste any more money than is necessary to feed you!” 

“He’s just using this as a way out of jail. He is trying to work people over again with this illness.”

 “Maybe Bernie can call his broker and ask to sell short his life.”

Siiiiiiiigh. I know, venom is what the Post trafficks in so I shouldn’t be shocked. And most humans have not seemed to fully digest the notion of the golden rule, or loving one’s enemies. Since others have said it better than I, here are some nice points on the benefits of loving one’s enemies instead of churning up more hate, which really just creates a toxic stew we all must live in. Not saying we need to shower this man with love–though it certainly couldn’t hurt–love heals the lover as hate harms the hater. But I am saying that no one deserves to suffer, and wishing suffering on anyone is one of the seeds of evil. Not to put too fine a point on it.


“Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?”
Abraham Lincoln

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Listen to your enemy, for God is talking.”
Jewish Proverb

“He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare, And he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”
Jesus, from Matthew 5.43-45 ESV

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  • Joan Stewart

    Yes it is possible to love your enemies even if it is Bernie Madoff…

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