Saturday, October 07, 2006


We Do Not Shoot the Amish

I had a big long post about half done, with photographs and all of knitting, wool, studio, etc, but that will have to wait for tomorrow. Mostly because I haven't finished it yet but partly because my heart is so full of this post that I have to put this one up first.

When I first heard about the shooting, I think I was talking to Jen and I said WTF? Did they run out of fish in the barrel or something?

I mean, shooting the Amish is something that we just don't do. It's beyond all possible belief. These people work very hard to not be part of the industrialized world. I, the anti-xian have nothing but respect and admiration for the strength of their beliefs and of their community. If more people lived with their ethics, we wouldn't be in such a huge fucking mess right now. They want to be left alone. That's all they want, and I believe we should respect that.

I likely have a secret love for them as they use buttons on everything, not zippers, and I think we all know how much I like zippers, yes?

And then I read in the paper this weekend that they had invited the widow of the murderer to attend the funeral of one of the little girls that he had slaughtered, and that, at their insistence, a fund had been set up for her and her family.

And I just sat there in disbelief, with tears running down my face. It was very attractive, let me tell you. There's a reason that people like me work alone.

To have the grace and the purity of heart (yes, it's a corny phrase but I tried to think of something else for five minutes and just couldn't so deal with it) to recognize, in the middle of their pain and loss, that she and her children were victims too is something larger than I could ever imagine. I cried again tonight when I told Ben about it. Fortunately he loves me and doesn't mind if my nose looks like a tomato.

Take a memo, people. Make a note to yourself. a) we do not shoot the Amish and b) I think we may have a few things to learn from them.

I'm so with you on the tears, not only did they do what you mentioned, they also went and forgave the family...very soon after the shootings. I sat there watching the news and hearing all this with my own tears and thinking also...if more people could be like this..I am very much anti-xian, anti-religion of any kind but I do believe if all the religious folks out there could take a lesson from and be more like the Amish, in their spirit, the change that would take place globally.....I would gladly have my mind completely gobsmacked.
Such a sad reflection on our country's mindset on guns too. Of course he had to go to an Amish elementary school. The rest of them are like fortresses to keep guys like him out. Yeeeuuuck. Horrible news from the States lately.
i've just started reading "we need to talk about kevin". the early pages have a lot about the hatred expressed towards the mother of such a killer, and having that as a background made the amish gesture toward's the killer's family all the more poignant for me.

one-armed jean
I'm sorry that I'm such a snarky bitch. I feel the sadness of the shooting and poignancy of the Amish community's reaction like the rest of you, but when I read "We Do Not Shoot the Amish" my immediate thought was, "Oh, damn! Then who DO we shoot?"
I am so TOTALLY with you on this one! I mean, why shoot someone who essentially has absolutely nothing to do with you? I realize that this guy was very unstable, but this is evidence that our entire society is completely over the edge!
Any room up there in Canada?
My local paper, the Philadelphia Inquirer (sometimes the "Inky" or the "Stinky", depending on your mood and snarkitude), has deep and extensive coverage of the shootings this Sunday. Given the grace with which the Amish are coping, I feel more than a bit soiled by even looking at the photographs. However, some columnists predict that Amish/"English" relations will be strengthened for the good, so that's another small ray of light to come from this tragedy.
Maybe what we can most learn from them is how to "take care of our own" communities, so violence like this doesn't have to keep happening? One can only hope ...
G-d help us all, I just read a "news" article where one Congressman in WI has a solution to the violence in schools; he thinks teachers and principals should carry guns!

I'd like to see someone run THAT idea past the Amish ... are we incapable of learning?!
One of today's headlines is that dozens of Amish folks went to the gunman's funeral to pray for him and comfrt his family. I had heard previously that members of the families of the girls killed had gone to see the man's widow to support her. They definitley have the right ideas about how to deal with their fellow humans in these situations.
During my visit to Lancaster about 7 years ago, I was humbled by their lifestyle. I have several Amish quilts in my collection. After hearing this horrible news all I could do was hug my Amish quilts and cry. It made me feel closer to them. Been saying a lot of prayers for their families.
I've many the same feelings as you and the others commenting. What's really touching me about the Amish response is that compassion, selflessness, and forgiveness have been their FIRST responses (well, ok second...first came shock and grief). But it seems the society *I* live in often sticks anger and revenge in there before (if ever) getting to the grace and purity of heart part.
I've also been amazed that the Amish haven't seemed to get into a twist over all the hi-tech media people swirling about them in their time of grief.

Watching makes me long for community. I live in a very urban part of the world where we barely even know our neighbors. It's sad. And somewhat lonely.
You put my heart down in words, Rabbitch. When I first read it, I just stared in disbelief. Obviously it's horrible to shoot anyone....but to shoot the gentlest, most peaceful people in the world? It makes me ache. Those lovely people were talking about forgiveness almost immediately, because that's who they are. Would that it were who we all are.
Well said. And these wonderful comments - there is hope.
Like the others, I agree with you on this one. The actions and just pure dignity of the Amish have warmed the cockels of this atheist's heart.

Totally off topic, my word verification is nutfuxc.
Amen. From another atheist.
As always, very well said. The Amish have always had it all over us in many ways. Forgiveness is a freedom of spirit only folks like they could know. Some see THEM as not "having"-I believe they have more than many of us could ever hope to have. WTF is this world coming to?
Thank you. Well said.
Thank you Rabbitch. Thank you.

Words just cannot say....
I think it's relevant that the shootings were not related to their religion (as far as we know), it was a wacked out guy fighting demons of his own.
They are a forgiving people and I'm sure they'd have forgiven anyway, but they were more of a random target and not a specific one.
my thoughts exactly. We just DO NOT DO SUCH THINGS. It is heartwrenchingly tragic. Their gesture of kindness toward the man's wife broke my heart. The world would be a better place......
Totally agree! That ranks right up there with people who beat woodchucks to death with a big old stick.

It broke my heart.
Why does it take a tragedy for people to realize that humanity is disappearing into the great outhouse poop hole? Is it just killing of children that is finally enough to catch our attention? What about the roadrage, or people not having a place to live or enough food to keep from starving, or the wars? Is that all ok when compared to a child's death?
Having lived near an Amish community most of my life, the news was simply incomprehensible.

I live in an area of Southern Indiana where devastating tornadoes ripped through last November killing several. A church over 100 years old, Baker's Chapel, a few miles from where I live was also a casualty of one of the tornadoes.

New York fire fighters and other emergency workers have been going to different areas of the country to rebuild after tragedy strikes as a way of giving back to America when so many reached out to NYC after 9-11. They made arrangements to come here to rebuild the church. They started with a community breakfast and news photo shoot (because it was big news around here.) Once they got to the church site, the Amish from the nearby community were already there and had a headstart on the building. They give so much beyond their own community.

blissfulknitter AT gmail DOT com
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