quote:GEORGETOWN, Pennsylvania: Dozens of Amish neighbours came out to mourn the quiet milkman who killed five of their young girls and wounded five more in a maniacal rampage. Charles Carl Roberts, 32, was buried at the weekend in his wife's family plot behind a small Methodist church, a few kilometres from the Amish schoolhouse he stormed last Monday.
His wife, Marie, and their three small children looked on as Roberts was buried beside the grave, marked with a pink heart, of the infant daughter whose death nine years ago apparently haunted him, said Bruce Porter, a fire department chaplain from Colorado who attended.
About half of perhaps 75 mourners on hand were Amish.
"It's the love, the forgiveness, the heartfelt forgiveness they have toward the family. I broke down and cried seeing it displayed," Mr Porter said.
He said Marie Roberts was also touched. "She was absolutely deeply moved, by just the love shown."
It is admirable, but give ourselves credit. We too know how to forigive those whose fault it wasn't, and to recognize how their pain reflects ours. THe AMish in this situatio were especially poised to know that that which cost them their children also cost Marie Roberts pert near everything her life was based on.
As for the murderer himself: Love thine enemies. Judge not that ye be not judged. Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord. Cast not the first stone.
The Amish, like Richard said, aspire to be Christ-like. This probably has something to do with them distancing themselves as much as possible from status quo Christianity, which was at best only vagulty Christ-like when the klight was just so and you squinted your eyes just right.
Like an optical illusion Shroud of Turin.
But people, mere people, can often be admirably Christ-like. (And of course, amazingly demonic too.)
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I don't think I could have done it. Try to be there for his widow and his children maybe even a few weeks or months down the road? I'd like to think I could do that, once feelings weren't so raw and wounds so open.
I don't think it even would have occured to me to attend his funeral.
I might not agree with all aspects of their creed, but the degree to which they live up to it just staggers me.
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