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Old 10-07-2006, 02:27 PM   #91
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Quote:
Originally posted by briarrose


The Amish have very similar doctrine to that of conservative Christians.
I was thinking the opposite.

But, we may have different ideas of what "Conservative Christians" are.


I see the Amish beliefs as not being hostile towards others.

and this fits with my image of Jesus of Nazareth and his teachings.


I am sure there are many good folk that are conservative Christians
that hold those beliefs.


Unfortunately, because Conservative politicians and those that support them, use religion against people

the term "Conservative Christian" has been tainted
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Old 10-07-2006, 02:42 PM   #92
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^You're right about the term conservative Christian being tainted. Maybe I shouldn't use that term to describe myself and the Amish. I meant it as trying to live as Christ lived (forgiving, understanding, loving, patient, basically the fruits of the spirit).
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:03 PM   #93
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I think I got what you meant


and I have been thinking a lot about
the example the Amish have set for us all

and even the little girls that died

and offered herself
to try and spare the others

very Christ-like


if more people truly followed the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth
the world would be a better place
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:29 PM   #94
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^ Specifically, the Amish (and other pacifist Christian sects including other Mennonites, the Quakers, and the Church of the Brethren) take "turn the other cheek" literally, and I think to that extent they really are quite distinct. Actually our rabbi's sermon this morning (quite appropriate, as it comes on the heels of Yom Kippur) revolved largely around the example set by the Nickel Mines Amish this week and what we as Jews might learn from them--while Judaism places great emphasis on repentance and seeking out those whom one has wronged to offer apologies (as well as on collective responsibility for demonstrating compassion and fairness, and self-sacrifice so long as it doesn't interfere with just punishment), forgiveness per se often gets short shrift, except to the extent that it's expected once solicited--and even then subject to certain limits, for example, I am forbidden to forgive the Nazis and anyone who enabled them for what they did to my family because I personally was not wronged by them (although I am, of course, expected to accept that it happened and move on, rather than seek retribution which is disproportional or against innocents). So while we in principle have nothing against formally extending forgiveness even when it hasn't been sought, in practice perceived incentive to do this is often lacking, and furthermore may fall into a gray area if it's debatable who precisely was personally wronged (as in the case, for example, of one's children being killed). Like our rabbi, like millions of other Americans for that matter, many of us found the calmness and strength manifestly afforded the Nickel Mines Amish by their forgiveness last week inspiring, and wanted to reflect on what we might learn from it. It was a very good sermon.
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:41 PM   #95
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Yes, the general attitude of the Amish was very Christ-like. I was amazed to hear that story about the girl telling the shooter to shoot her first. I'm honestly not sure if I would do that in that situation. I hope I would though. They are definitely taught more to look out for others than us "English" people, as they like to call us. I can say that not all Amish respond in such a forgiving way. I know an Amish girl who is a very bitter and angry person. I'd be interested in knowing what her reaction was to all of this.
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:50 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally posted by briarrose
I know an Amish girl who is a very bitter and angry person.
Individuals still have individual personalities and failings.
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:54 PM   #97
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Quote:
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Individuals still have individual personalities and failings.
I was just saying that there are Amish who act differently than what is expected, which is found among any group.
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:56 PM   #98
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I didn't mean that in a bad way!
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:59 PM   #99
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Ok, I'm sorry. I read into it wrong.
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Old 10-07-2006, 04:04 PM   #100
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I need to make my intentions clearer at times.
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Old 10-08-2006, 08:55 AM   #101
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This story has dominated British tabloids for a week now, their forgiveness is remarkable.
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:42 AM   #102
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I just read this editorial, if anyone has any thoughts on it. So because of their forgiveness they're pretending it wasn't evil? I don't think so. Forgiveness isn't excusing behavior or ignoring the evil of behavior. Of course forgiveness isn't always deserved, but the point is that these people offer it anyway. I am frankly in awe of them-they are much better people than I could ever be.

By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | October 8, 2006

``There was not one desk, not one chair, in the whole schoolroom that was not splattered with either blood or glass. There were bullet holes everywhere -- everywhere."

That description is from Janice Ballenger, a deputy coroner in Lancaster County, Pa. She was among the first to enter the West Nickel Mines Amish School after Charles Roberts murdered five girls and severely wounded five others there last week. One of the bodies she examined was that of Naomi Rose Ebersol , a 7-year-old who had been shot 20 times.

How do civilized human beings react to such an atrocity? With horror? Anger? Hatred?

Not the Amish.

Asked by a reporter if the community was angry about the killings, one Amish grandmother, Lizzie Fisher, was adamant. ``Oh, no, no, definitely not," she said. ``People don't feel that around here. We just don't."

Roberts planned his attack meticulously, making a list of supplies he would need, then gradually buying them over a six-day period. It makes the skin crawl just to read the inventory: nails, bolts, wrenches, bullets, guns, earplugs, wooden planks, rope. Roberts brought plastic ties to bind his victims' feet, chains and clamps for restraint, and tubes of K-Y Jelly, a sexual lubricant. Apparently he ``planned to dig in for the long siege," a Pennsylvania State Police colonel surmised, and ``intended to victimize these children in many ways prior to executing them."

Confronted with such premeditated malevolence, what decent person wouldn't seethe with fury and revulsion? What parent or grandparent wouldn't regard such a massacre as not only unspeakable, but well nigh unforgivable?

The Amish wouldn't.

``I don't think there's anybody here that wants to do anything but forgive," one Lancaster County resident was quoted as saying. ``We don't need to think about judgment; we need to think about forgiveness and going on." Many townspeople announced their forgiveness of Roberts directly to his wife and children .

On CNN, a local pastor recounted how the grandfather of Marian Fisher, one of the murdered girls, told younger relatives not to hate Roberts for killing her.

``As we were standing next to the body of this 13-year-old girl, the grandfather was tutoring the young boys, he was . . . saying to the family, `We must not think evil of this man,' " said the Rev. Robert Schenck. ``It was one of the most touching things I have seen in 25 years of Christian ministry."

I can't deny that it is deeply affecting to see how seriously the Amish strive to heed Jesus' admonition to return good for evil and turn the other cheek. For many Christians, the Amish determination to forgive their daughters' murder is awe-inspiring. In his Beliefnet blog, the eloquent Rod Dreher marvels at CNN's story of the Amish grandfather. ``Could you do that?" he writes. ``Could you stand over the body of a dead child and tell the young not to hate her killer? I could not. Please, God, make me into the sort of man who could."

But hatred is not always wrong, and forgiveness is not always deserved. I admire the Amish villagers' resolve to live up to their Christian ideals even amid heartbreak, but how many of us would really want to live in a society in which no one gets angry when children are slaughtered? In which even the most horrific acts of cruelty were always and instantly forgiven? There is a time to love and a time to hate, Ecclesiastes teaches. If anything deserves to be hated, surely it is the pitiless murder of innocents.

To voluntarily forgive those who have hurt you is beautiful and praiseworthy. That is what Jesus did on the cross, what Christians do when they say the Lord's Prayer, what observant Jews do when they recite the bedtime Kriat Sh'ma. But to forgive those who have hurt -- who have murdered -- someone else? I cannot see how the world is made a better place by assuring someone who would do terrible things to others that he will be readily forgiven afterward, even if he shows no remorse.

There are indications that the killer in this case may have been in the grip of depression or delusion . Perhaps it was madness more than evil that drove him to commit this horror, in which case forgiveness might be more understandable.

But the Amish make it clear that their reaction would be the same either way. I wish them well, but I would not want to be like them, reacting to terrible crimes with dispassion and absolution. ``Let those who love the Lord hate evil," the Psalmist writes. The murder of the Amish girls was a deeply hateful evil. There is nothing godly about pretending it wasn't.
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:53 AM   #103
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GEORGETOWN, Pennsylvania (AP) -- Dozens of Amish neighbors gathered Saturday to mourn the quiet milkman who killed five of their young girls and wounded five more in a brief, unfathomable rampage.

Charles Carl Roberts IV, 32, was buried in his wife's family plot behind a small Methodist church, a few miles from the one-room schoolhouse he stormed Monday.

His wife, Marie, and their three small children looked on as Roberts was buried beside the pink, heart-shaped grave of the infant daughter whose death nine years ago apparently haunted him, said Bruce Porter, a fire department chaplain from Colorado who attended the service.

About half of perhaps 75 mourners on hand were Amish.

"It's the love, the forgiveness, the heartfelt forgiveness they have toward the family. I broke down and cried seeing it displayed," said Porter, who had come to Pennsylvania to offer what help he could. He said Marie Roberts was also touched.

"She was absolutely deeply moved, by just the love shown," Porter said.
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Old 10-08-2006, 12:34 PM   #104
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Quote:
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Alternatives should at least be discussed.
I remember the GCSE biology lesson we had about how the world was created well. It went like this:

TEACHER: Here on the whiteboard is a list of the names of various theories about how the world was created. Please copy them down into your exercise books. Now you won't be expected in the exam to know in detail all of these theories but you will be expected to be aware of them. The one that you will be expected to know in great detail however is this one, Darwin's theory of Evolution. This is what we're going to spend the next few lessons focusing on. For the others you just need a sentence or so explaining what they are.

*We have brief discussion explaining what each of the theories are about, making notes as he talks. We get to the Creation theory*

CLASS DICKHEAD WHO DISRUPTED EVERY LESSON HE WAS IN:
You'd have to be pretty stupid to believe that though, wouldn't you sir?

TEACHER: WHAT RIGHT DO YOU HAVE TO MOCK OTHER PEOPLE'S BELIEFS?! WHAT RIGHT? NONE! YOU HAVE NO RIGHT! NO RIGHT AT ALL! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?!!

CLASS DICKHEAD: Yeah, but...

TEACHER: JUST SHUT UP! JUST SHUT UP AND GET ON YOUR WORK OR GET OUT OF THIS CLASSROOM!! I'M FED UP OF THIS! EVERY LESSON YOU DO THIS! YOU INTERRUPT, YOU DISRUPT AND PREVENT EVERYONE ELSE FROM LEARNING! YOU HAVE YOUR EXAMS COMING UP SOON AND WE STILL HAVE HALF OF THE SYLLABUS TO GO THROUGH!! EVERY SINGLE LESSON YOU DELAY MY TEACHING!

CLASS DICKHEAD: ...I'm

TEACHER: JUST GET OUT. GET OUT!!!

OK, so I can't remember the exact rant but it was something very similar. I'd never seen him lose his temper like that before (or since) and it ranks as probably my favourite biology lesson ever. Ahhh those were the days.

But my point is, at my school we were made aware of the alternatives, taught to respect other people's beliefs however much we disagreed with them and learnt the theory of evolution (including its flaws). It seems to me to be the perfect compromise. Maybe in the USA you do the exact same thing...though perhaps respect for one another's views needs a little more emphasis in your education system........
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Old 10-08-2006, 12:41 PM   #105
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Quote:
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"...But hatred is not always wrong, and forgiveness is not always deserved. I admire the Amish villagers' resolve to live up to their Christian ideals even amid heartbreak, but how many of us would really want to live in a society in which no one gets angry when children are slaughtered? In which even the most horrific acts of cruelty were always and instantly forgiven?"
I don't know that I agree with this the way he's phrased it, especially the notion that "hatred is not always wrong," but if you take the principle of absolute nonviolence to the level of, say, politically orchestrated mass slaughter, then I can understand the reticence to praise it. In the Nazi concentration camps, Jehovah's Witnesses--who, someone correct me if I'm wrong, don't categorically reject all violence, but do teach nonviolent neutrality in cases of organized violence such as war--were used by the Nazis as barbers, because they were the one inmate group whose members could be counted on not to take advantage of the situation (an SS guard whom you know has killed hundreds and will kill hundreds more sitting prone in your chair, and a razor in your hand). I don't find this philosophy abhorrent or anything, and I do respect it, but personally, it's not for me. However, I don't particularly see the relevance of this to the Nickel Mines situation--what good would it do them to dwell on an evil they can do nothing about now, anyhow? and why approvingly link "hatred" to the willingness to resist evil by force when called for? To me, these things aren't at all one and the same.
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