It was outside the charred remains of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas, Louisiana, where Rep. Steve Scalise huddled with the church’s pastor last Friday to talk about how to forgive.
The Louisiana Republican said Rev. Gerald Toussaint had already done what he hasn’t yet been able to do – forgive. Toussaint had forgiven the arsonist who set fire last month to his church.
Scalise, who still uses a cane and walks with a limp, is still struggling with how — and if— he can forgive the man who shot him and three others two years ago while they practiced for the annual congressional baseball game.
At a field just outside of Washington, D.C., the gunman, identified as James Hodgkinson, opened fire. Scalise was shot in the hip and almost died. He underwent numerous surgeries, including some to save his life, and spent months in rehabilitation. Hodgkinson was killed in a shootout with police.
“I still have to address forgiveness for the shooting,” Scalise, the second ranking Republican House leader, told reporters Friday. “It was good to talk to (Toussaint) and get an understanding of how he got to that point.’’