Liars Like Lance Armstrong & Manti T'eo Deserve Our Forgiveness

Rant 19

lance armstrong and oprahEvery minute it seems, we're finding out another prominent person in the news lied (or cheated) in some way, shape, or form. Manti T'eo and Lance Armstrong just happen to be the two most recent ... And every time it happens, it seems like our general reaction is basically the same: "How could he?!" We're shocked, dismayed, and swiftly ready to write the person off as a bad egg forever. But maybe it shouldn't necessarily be that way. Maybe we're being too quick to judge.

See, while watching the Lance Armstrong-Oprah interview yesterday, I kept thinking that while he was totally coming off like a schumuck who reeeeally screwed up and tarnished his squeaky-clean, do-gooder rep, I could also understand why he did what he did.

I wouldn't go so far as to say as I feel sympathy for the guy, but it just seemed like he lied for many reasons ... One of them is because he was so immersed in a culture of deceit. He kept using the word "generation" to explain to Oprah how he wasn't alone. Not in a cowardly, finger-pointing way, but in a way that makes you take a step back and realize he wasn't alone in deceiving us all. Doping was a generally accepted trend in his world. What riders did (and lied about) to be successful. And once he figured he could get away with it, and everyone else was getting away with it, he just kept "riding out" the lie ... for better or worse.

Similarly, we don't know all the exact details behind the Manti T'eo mess, but it seems like the guy lied because he got swept up in the fable. Couldn't face the consequence of the truth coming out. (Not that that fear prevented it from happening!)

And really, who hasn't been in a situation like that? Even if it was a little white lie you told once, we've all been scared silly to admit the truth at one time or another ... So how can we judge these guys so harshly for doing the same very human thing -- that happened to unfold in front of cameras and entire country?

The way I see it -- it boils down to them just being flawed in a regretable but deeply human way. So the humane thing to do is to consider forgiveness.

How do you feel about Lance and Manti's lies? Do you think you could "forgive" either man?


Image via OWN

in the news, cycling, football


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bills... billsfan1104

I dont think you should be calling Manti-Teo a liar yet. THere is no proof yet that he lied.

Rhodin Rhodin

Well, if everyone doped, then it was still a level playing field.  I guess it really stings to cheat and still lose.  As far as Manti-Teo goes, millions of people have been taken in by bloggers dying of cancer.  Being good at football doesn't make you immune from scams.

PonyC... PonyChaser

Ok, assuming that both men lied, and knowingly perpetuated their individual frauds on their peers, public, sponsors, etc.... I don't personally need to forgive either one. Their life doesn't affect mine. I was an Armstrong fan, but not a sycophant. I feel betrayed by his lies, but not enough that it does anything to my life. Whatever.


This speaks to a larger issue. We are CONSTANTLY asked to "forgive" people in high places - celebrities who do and say nasty and evil things, who live hypocritical "do as I say, not as I do" lives. Politicians are the worst of the lot, because what a celeb does has little effect on how I live my life. Politicians hold my life (sadly) in the greased palms of their corrupt hands.

We should forgive them for lying, cheating, taking bribes, any number of douchebaggery (thank you, Stir. I am ever in your debt for that word), because they "got caught up", or whatever the excuse of the day is.

We live in a ghastly culture where honor no longer exists. We dismiss vile acts - from cheating to murder (Ted Kennedy) - because we have elevated these idiots to god-status.

So from that standpoint, no, I will not forgive. Forgiveness is something that is earned through demonstration of 'penance'. SHOW me that you have changed your ways. SHOW me that you are no longer cheating, doping, bribing, extorting. SHOW me that you are worthy of my trust and forgiveness, and then I will consider it.

paige... paige8608

I watched about 5 minutes of the Lance Armstrong interview...then changed the channel. He wouldn't be straight up & answer questions for real...and danced around the real answer. I was like, "Oh- it's gonna be like that." then changed the channel. Ugh. Who gives a shit.

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

So long as we continue to coddle people that we want to view as role models, they will never really be someone that our children can look up to. Hold them to the highest of standards, THEN and if only then can we evaluate whether or not they are good enough to look up to.

Sure he did good things, but he's still a liar and a cheat.

Stephen Rothman

What I find especially reprehensible in Lance Armstrong's conduct is the aggression of his denials over the years and his actions to slander and destroy those who told the truth about him. It is also heard for me to believe that he is sincerely remorseful. How does that song "Take a Bow" go? "Don't tell me you're sorry 'cause you're not; baby when I know you're only sorry you got caught."

1likeme 1likeme

I stopped watching that interview because I could not stand to watch the whole thing. That man ruined the lives of people who spoke the truth about him andwhen he simply could not bully his way out of the truth surfacing he finally comes clean but without any remorse or feelings of guilt. He could not even admit he cheated until he looked up the definition of cheating in a dictionary and could not rationalize his way around it. He smiled as he recounted suing people he had claimed were good friends. No one in the general public truly needs to forgive this man for his behavior. We need to pay very close attention to his behavior so we can learn the tactics of those void of morals and hungry for power.

nonmember avatar kaerae

Lance cheating is forgiveable. His financially destroying people of limited means by suing them into oblivion for telling the truth and destroying careers of people who spent 8 years in college (physical therapists, etc.) to protect his lies is NOT. He is still an arrogant pig.

nonmember avatar kaerae

Also, BillsFan is right. That is a completely different situation and even if Te'o did lie, it is no where near on the scale with the number of lives and careers Lance destroyed with his lies.

kelti... kelticmom

As a Christian, I am called to forgive others as Christ forgave me, regardless if they deserve it or not, or even ask for it. But that does not mean, however, that they will ever have my full trust again. And they still must answer for what they have done. As for Manti, we don't know if he lied yet, so I wouldn't go around just assuming that he did. There are lots of internet trolls that get their jollies from scamming people.

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