Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


This will be the last post for about three days as I head out for another long weekend.
Some thoughts on two posts Rod Dreher has over at his Crunchy Con blog.

The Amish and us
Read this:

A grieving grandfather told young relatives not to hate the gunman who killed five girls in an Amish schoolhouse massacre, a pastor said on Wednesday.

"As we were standing next to the body of this 13-year-old girl, the grandfather was tutoring the young boys, he was making a point, just saying to the family, 'We must not think evil of this man,'" the Rev. Robert Schenck told CNN.

"It was one of the most touching things I have seen in 25 years of Christian ministry."

Could you do that? 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. ...

And this;

The Imitation of Christ

Can you believe this? The Amish are raising money for the family of the man who murdered their own children. Yesterday on NBC News, I saw an Amish midwife who had helped birth several of the girls murdered by the killer say that they were planning to take food over to his family's house. She said -- and I paraphrase closely -- "This is possible if you have Christ in your heart."

Says journalist Tom Shachtman, who wrote a book on Amish culture, in today's NYT:

“This is imitation of Christ at its most naked,” Mr. Shachtman said. “If anybody is going to turn the other cheek in our society, it’s going to be the Amish.”

He continued, “I don’t want to denigrate anybody else who says they’re imitating Christ, but the Amish walk the walk as much as they talk the talk.”

The goodness of these people is beyond words.

As mentioned earlier, I have great admiration for the Amish. They do walk the walk. That's not to say there are not hypocrites among them, as with any Christian denomination, Catholic included. But why are they're actions so hard to believe? Why are the actions of the Amish not the standard actions of all Christians? Why do not all Catholics or Christians have that sense of unity? Why can we not all turn our cheeks as they do?
Amongst the Amish religion there are many communities; like local parishes. It's not like Lancaster has one large Amish mega church with stadium seating. Neighboring families rotate Sunday services between their barns. When a problem arises, the local church community helps the family in crisis. The larger the problem, the more churches get involed. I can only image the astronomical cost of healthcare the four hospitalized girls are racking up minute by minute. This burden will fall on the shoulders of the family and their church community. (In this situation, many non-Amish are donating as well to help cover costs.) Without fail, and regardless of circumstances, these communities pull together. They can be depended on. The system always works.
Many aspects of the Amish personify the ideals outlined by Day and Maurin. And I would highly recommend reading The Amish in Their Own Words by Brad Igou. It is a compilation of articles and letters written by Amish for an Amish publication. It paints an honest and frank portrait of these people. It is easy to see the paralelles between these workers of the land and Catholic Workers.
While not without fault, the Amish provide us with an example to follow, one that mirrors our Lord very closely, as well as the early communities of His disciples. The Amish would make better saints than some Catholics. When faced with adversity maybe we would do well to ask ourselves What Would the Amish Do?