Carl Roberts IV was not Amish. He did not have anything against the Amish as a people. He chose them because he rightly thought they made an easy target. That’s the catch-22 of pacifism; it makes you an easy target and thus can attract trouble. He had some kind of fixation on young girls and he targeted these girls to take out his pent up frustration on. Mr. Roberts was obviously severely mentally fucked up.
The thing that has gotten to me was the reaction of the Amish people.
Before they even buried their children, they publicly forgave the man who lined their daughters up against a chalkboard, tied their feet together and shot them one at a time, execution style.
I found that deeply touching.
But then... they did what really got to me.
As letters, flowers and donations started pouring in from all over the world, the Amish Elders set up a committee to decide how that money should best be spent.
One of the first things they did was set up a fund for the wife and children of the man who committed this horrendous offense against them.
These people exemplified precisely what Jesus really taught.
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.
- Luke 6:27-30
A lot of Conservative Christians like to talk about how America was founded on Christian principles but in my opinion nothing has exposed how far we have strayed from them more than these simple people and their generous acts of kindness.
Can you imagine a different universe where, on September 12th 2001 our President would have gotten on TV and forgiven the men who hijacked and crashed those planes and then announced an aid package for the families of the men who committed the attack?
Can you imagine how, in the real world, those same Christian Conservatives (along with most Americans) would have attacked any President who dared even consider such a reaction to 9-11?
Anybody who has ever been a victim of any violent crime can relate in some tiny way, to what it takes emotionally, to be capable of such forgiveness.
I think this is an example to aspire to.