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squiddity muses on forgiveness
apiphile wrote in metaquotes
A gunman entered a school in Pennsylvania and methodically shot 11 young amish girls through the head.
When we had Dunblaine we screamed and shouted and banned things and blamed people and worried about how our children may be next.
When America had Columbine they screamed and shouted and blamed things and spectacularly failed to ban anything and instead put metal detectors in schools.

The Amish community invited the wife of the killer to the funerals, because they knew that she had her own grief to resolve.
They set up a fund for the families of the children, just like any community would do, but at the same time they set up a fund for the family of the killer, who have lsot their husband and father in a way that will be at least as hard to deal with.
They have sent flowers and condolences to the family.
The parents who lost both their daughters brought round food and told the wife that they forgave her husband.
These were the two daughters who asked to be shot first in the hope that the extra time bought may save one of the others.

I am not a Christian, but I really really hope that if something like this happened to me, I would be strong enough and understanding to do exactly the same thing.
I don't know these people, I never will, but I love them.
And if there is a heaven, I'll expect to see these people there.
- Context loves its neighbour (QWP)

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I forgave the person who hurt me, not for their sake, but for mine.

The only alternative was to hate, and I couldn't carry that around in me for the rest of my life. Hate is pain, and it's pointless.

I forget whom said: hatred is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.

My respects to the Amish community for that...
It shows real strength of character

They haven't been poisoned by some aspects of our modern society.

Those Amish...they're good kids.

I admire them for forgiving the killer like that. I couldn't do it; I'd be unable to rest while I didn't hunt him down and kill him with my own bare hands.

...but then again, that's me.

Yeah... I think that's what Jesus meant when he said, "This is my greatest commandment, love your neighbor." I'm sure He'd understand if these people couldn't love the man who shot their children... but to rise above that and show compassion to that man's grieving family is what Christianity should be about.

*coughs* To be obnoxious, Christ says the greatest commandment is "Love the Lord, your God with all your heart, your soul, your mind, your body and your strength." But he does say that the next, "Love your neighbor as your self," is just like the first.

I completely agree with you that showing compassion should be what Christianity is about. Compassion, Forgiveness, and Love. It's dissapointing to not see that as often in the world today, even if those three aren't coupled with Christianity. The world in general has a hard time forgiving. But it's comforting to know that some people still have the ability to be loving, in the face of a tragedy such as what happened in Pennsylvania.

Yeah - that is a perfect example of living your faith.

Also, one of the little girls who was killed actually stepped forward and asked the killer to "shoot me first", in hopes that it would spare some of the younger girls. I know it is not their way to seek indivisual reknown, but it is my way to recognize a hero when I see one. I hope that I could show as much quiet courage as Marian Fisher age 13.

That's what I've always understood religion and faith to truly be about: Something that gives us the ability to rise above our basic human instincts (i.e. for revenge and hatred). Of all the examples I've seen in my life, the Amish seem to be the only ones truly capable of living their faith.

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Does that include the cruel social ostracism and the like, too?

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You know, it's funny. I've been lurking a lot, and today I'm commenting omg, twice. But we never think of the families of these people, do we? Except in the case of Columbine, to look down on them and blame them. But god, how must that feel, to have your significant other or your parent or your child kill someone in cold blood like that? To see them taken away in handcuffs, if they don't kill themselves (and THAT must be horrible too, suicide is bad enough as is), and realize what they did, what this person you LOVE did?

I'm GLAD the Amish are reaching out to that family. It gives me goosebumps, over emotional freak that I am.

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Forgiveness isn't the same as absolution.

That's something that I tend to struggle with. Sometimes in my head, to forgive someone means to say that what they did was all right, that it didn't hurt, and that it's okay. It's NOT okay, you did something wrong, but I'm not going to hate you for it. I will walk away and take steps to protect myself, but I'm not going to hate you for it. It is not my job to deal out your punishment, and attempting to do so will only result in me being punished worse.

That being said, kudos and amen to the Amish families. They show greater strength of character than I imagine I could.

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A group of someones that included myself, perhaps even in this community, were once joking that all the Dominionist Christians should be forcibly converted to Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints because they're such good people. I guess we should say "or Anabaptist Christians..."

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...and coming after an all-nighter, it brought actual tears to my eyes.

Thanks for the reminder.

Next time, can you put the graphic descriptions of the murders of little girls behind a FUCKING CUT TAG? JESUS CHRIST

"Shot" is one verb. It's no more graphic than the newspaper headlines.

See, THAT's Christianity. That is. Everything else is less than.

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