TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – The public got a moving lesson in forgiveness and transformation Saturday evening.
CANDLES Holocaust Museum in Terre Haute hosted another installment of it’s Be the change speaker series.
The speaker at the event is a former leader of the worldwide racist Skinhead organization. Arno Michealis was a self-declared reverend in the racial holy war who was very popular among racists. He was even the lead singer in a hate metal band. He changed his tune, however, after the very people he hated showed him kindness and forgiveness. It was that message of love he shared through his presentation.
Program organizer Marcus Steiner says, "There is so much division, especially now a days, and he's kind of someone that has gone to the extreme of that and come back. He has seen what hate can do you, not only to the people who are the targets of that but people putting out that hate. So, he's a good embodiment to show the damage that can happen on both sides."
Michealis is also the author of My Life after Hate and co-author of The Gift of our Wounds. He now works with students and peacemakers to end violent extremism.