Can Christians forgive the dead past?

Question:  Can Christians forgive the dead past, and if they will not, are they really Christians in the ethical and spiritual sense?  For example, I forgive all the persecutors and murderers and enslavers of my Irish Catholic ancestors who did all these wonderful "Sermon on the Mount" things (sarcasm) in the name of Bible-Believing Protestantism.  

I renounce and condemn all the persecution, murder, enslaving, etc that Catholics have done in the name of the Prince of Peace to Protestants, Jews, Orthodox, Pagans, etc. and I ask all the spiritual descendants of the persecuted in the name of Catholic Christianity.  

I also ask all atheists, etc. to join in condemning the mass murders and persecutions done in our lifetimes in the name of antitheist "human progress" and persecution of religious people.

Aren't you tired of the same old bigotries repeated over and over?  Can people say something positive about "those people'?  If not, then why expect "those people" to say or believe anything good about you and your "kind"?  Let's all join together to agree that we will not spread slanders about other groups, races, religions or theologies or options but "Do to others what you will others to do to you."  Check out your sources before condemning other groups and find out if "they" really teach that error or do that evil thing; use primary sources and not 'hate-mongers".  

I join Jesus in spiritually washing the feet of all.

My Reply:
Dude, I totally hear you. Too many negative and worldly people (past and present) have infiltrated the Church (the Body of Christ), spreading poison with their bitterness and divisions, justifying their actions as righteous. We need to remember not only to treat others as we wish others to treat us, but as Christians, we're to remember that Jesus COMMANDED us to love one another as He's loved us, as well as the importance He laid on unity in Him among one another.

Here's a thought on your question:
Jesus said that oaths and vows are considered void at the time of death, so therefore I think held grudges should be also.  But now, technically speaking, when we recite the Lord's prayer, we ask God to forgive us in the exact same way that we forgive others. So wouldn't holding onto unforgiveness for somebody, whether dead or alive be ethically (and theologically) incorrect anyway?

---Pastor Andy
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