Asking for forgiveness is meant to be a process of reconciliation. But when coerced, it can sow bitterness and discord.
I actually don't see a problem with "I'm sorry you were offended". If that's what you really feel, then say it - and don't be afraid to point out how despite that, you're not backing down from what you said. Emphasize the honesty in your approach - "I'm not going to lie to you by apologizing when I'm not sorry", and then explain why you still stand by your words.
That poor restauranteur should have never fired his daughter. He should have said, "She was fifteen - a child. She regrets it, but it had nothing to do with our business, and still doesn't. We stand behind our principles, and the idea that a family business should suffer for a child's youthful indiscretions defies all common sense. We trust our customers to be sensible and reasonable." Would have been forgotten in days. The bully would have quickly moved on to something else like a cat shooed off the couch.
One thing people loved about Trump was how *unapologetic* he was. Before "woke" became the primary term used, it was a truism among the onlight right to "never apologize to a SJW", because apologies are treated by the far left like an admission of guilt in an interrogation room. All apologizing does is give your interrogators more ammunition to use against you.
The problem with apologies is that they don’t bring home the bacon—and for the most part distract from the expensive, inconvenient business of promoting real, material change. The Pope has just been to Latin America apologizing to indigenous people. Popes have been apologizing to various groups for decades now. But I don’t see any proposals to sell off even a wee bit of the Vatican’s art collection to provide material benefits to them.
The woke have been apologizing and promoting symbolic gestures—taking down statues, renaming schools, and pushing revisionary pronouns—for decades. But I don’t see them making any serious effort to facilitate the creation of affordable housing by taking down restrictive zoning regulations. Or, heaven forfend!, promoting school bussing to integrate the schools whose names they want to change. Or making any effort to address ongoing occupational sex segregation, for all their interest in pronouns.
I agree with the author…
In today’s society, apologies have become an integral part of public shaming. They are not in any way intended as part of a process of reconciliation, but serve only to re-enforce (thru flat out bullying) a particular orthodoxy. Those who demand apologizes are nothing more than “political puritans” pushing their ideology…
Unfortunately it also serves to re-enforce a sense of moral superiority within the “offended” (i.e., now watch me make you bow and I hope everyone else who is watching thinks twice before speaking out against me that way).
We need to start apologizing like Trump would: with your middle finger….
One of the G.K. Chesterton lines I enjoy is: "A stiff apology is a second insult." I think we need a similar line for apologies made to appease mobs.
If an apology is required, then repentance is needed. Repentance includes a commitment not to commit the same act again whether or not you get caught. However, far too often, people confuse being discomforted with being offended. There are times when we should feel discomfort about things that we have done or not done, said or not said, but well-grounded enough not be offended. Change is difficult, and change requires an individual or individuals to feel discomfort with no apology required or expected.
Apologizing only to maintain status or financial position is almost as immoral as is the act of demanding an apology from others only to maintain status or financial position.
To demonstrate true morality requires conviction in belief that does not result in any unnecessary material harm to others. I certainly can have my mind changed, but that does not warrant an apology except to admit that my mind has been changed and thus my current and future behaviors would be altered. Only when my actions cause material harm to others is an apology warranted.
If seeing my status or financial situation decline because I maintain my convictions, then so be it. Those that attack me will be known as the immoral actors in this play.
Apologies only work when people are committed to the very same standards of behavior and goals. If one is committed to "afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted", then they are not going apologize for the consequences of that commitment. You would just apologize for using extreme language or behavior that offends people on the way to your goal, which remains the same. You can behave 'ethically' by not being extreme, whether or not your goal is ethical or moral. In this way apologies accepted grease the skids for unacceptable projects.
Why quote Murray who is a racist and supports people as Viktor Orban?