Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Nickel Mines

The Religious Response

From the television news this morning, Bush, two glimpses of different religious responses to the murder of those children in the Amish community. They are revealing.

One, a ten-second shot of a church meeting of evangelical Christians, an overflow congregation, a public display of ostentatious mourning, congregants leaping from their pews with cries of "This too shall pass!" and "Praise Jesus!" None of them, at a guess, even vaguely related to the victims, but joining in the collective grief with barely disguished enthusiasm. (Okay, there's judgment in those words, and more to come.)

The other, the brief excerpt from an interview with a member of the killer's family. He reports with astonishment that representatives of the Amish community sought out the family of their childrens' murderer in order to offer their forgiveness and sympathy.

Okay, my judgment: the former was a loud, sanctimonious, self-serving exploitation of the tragedy of others, a pretentious expression of moral--no, moralistic--piety in the service of their own "family values" agenda. (I don't suppose those same people will be out there lobbying for stricter guns laws for the "protection" of our families.) The latter, in my view, offered a rare manifestation of the true spirit of Christianity. I don't suppose the Amish would be out on their streets, had the killer survived, loudly demanding his execution.

I recognize these to be my very own judgments, Bush, and that I risk being accused of that same moral rectitude I attribute to others. But I'd be interested to hear what your judgments might be.

2 comments:

GringoWithoutBorders said...

Excellent comment Peter. Heartily agree.

After living in Michigan for a couple of years and meeting the Amish, I think they are a beautiful people. I'm sure hateful and sinister Americans will criticize them for covering their women and practising the virtues of Humility, Chastity, Love, Hope, Temperence ect..

Ooops, I guess Americans will only condemn to hell the Muslims who cover their women and have strict roles for men/women.

PK said...

Yes Peter, the latter is good to see. It wasn't the parents that did it, and I'm sure they felt choked with emotion just as the victims parents did. These parents all lost thier children, be they adult or not. A wife lost her husband and the children a father. A time to come together in their grief... good post Peter.