A cowboy friend of mine had a desire to do a little genealogical study of his family. He knew his patriarchal line came from England, but that was about it. So he went to England and did some detective work in the genealogy labs there.
It seemed his great-grandfather was an astute horse thief. He knew the law was on to him, so he hopped a sailing ship for Canada and a new life. He headed out west, which made good use of his skills with horses.
If we believe in Christian atonement, then this is how the rest of the story should have gone. The authorities should have arrested my friend: “Sorry Mr. T____, we have a crime that has gone unpunished. Someone still needs to pay. Back in the day, we used to hang horse thieves. Please follow us to the gallows to make this wrong right.”
Christian atonement has never made much sense to me.