Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Amish Tragedy And Kitty Dukakis

Their tiny, innocent girls executed with gunshots to the head, the Amish community in Nickel Mines, PA suddenly has to consider its response to the particularly brutal invastion by the outside world into their peace and their person.

Will they be true to their beliefs, or will they respond with anger, or in some modern manner -- like locks and guards?

The answer is the former:

Several members of the Amish community interviewed by Reuters said they were sad and disappointed but not angry and emphasized the need for forgiveness.

"It's just not the way we think. There is no sense in getting angry," said Henry Fisher, 62, a retired farmer with five grown children and 33 grandchildren who has lived all his life in the town some 60 miles west of Philadelphia.

He said the Amish lifestyle with no cars, television or credit cards, was "a more peaceful life ... to keep the next generation living a more humble life."

A 25-year-old Amish man who declined to give his name said he lost his 13-year-old niece in the shooting and another niece aged 11 was in stable condition in a Philadelphia hospital.

He expressed resignation rather than anger. "I think it was going to happen. God has his hand in it," he said.

While I see this response as an outstanding witness to their central core values and their faith, I also remember Michael Dukakis' answer in a presidential debate to the capital punishment question regarding what he would do if his wife were brutally murdered. Here's the transcript:
BERNARD SHAW: Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?

DUKAKIS: No, I don't, Bernard. And I think you know that I've opposed the death penalty during all of my life. I don't see any evidence that it's a deterrent, and I think there are better and more effective ways to deal with violent crime. We've done so in my own state. And it's one of the reasons why we have had the biggest drop in crime of any industrial state in America; why we have the lowest murder rate of any industrial state in America. But we have work to do in this nation. We have work to do to fight a real war, not a phony war, against drugs. ...
The coolness of his response and the slick and heartless bridge from his figurative raped and murdered wife to crime statistics and the war on drugs showed Dukakis as an unromantic technocrat, not a president.

The Amish are no such thing. Like Dukakis, they are just going with the beliefs they've always held, but there's heart and love and faith there, not raw statistical knowledge.

Rarely has there been so stark a contrast of Christian beliefs and liberal belief-systems.

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p.s.: If you want a thorough rundown of the news from Nickel Mine, go to this special page of coverage from the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal.