Monday, October 09, 2006
But hatred is not always wrong, and forgiveness is not always deserved. I admire the Amish villagers' resolve to live up to their Christian ideals even amid heartbreak, but how many of us would really want to live in a society in which no one gets angry when children are slaughtered? In which even the most horrific acts of cruelty were always and instantly forgiven?
Here's a better question. What does hatred gain us?
Seriously, think about that a moment. You don't need to hate to protect yourself or others. You don't need to hate to be willing to see evil people imprisoned, where they can no longer hurt anyone else. You don't need to be angry at people to be strong... it is sufficient to be angry at - to refuse to accept - injustice.
To forgive a wrongdoer is to refuse to give the wrongdoer power over you. If the Amish were angry towards him, or hated him, they would have let this murderer change them, to poison them with a toxin that would destroy their ideals. To give in to that anger, to give in to that hatred, would be to let the murderer cause them real harm.
As for the deaths... the Amish have faith. Real faith, not that wimpy kind that lets someone claim to be Christian, yet support torture. They feel that their children are in Heaven... and with perfect faith in their children's assurance of eternal bliss, why should they feel anger or hatred?
Although Mr. Jacoby claims to "admire" the Amish, I don't think that's true. He ends with the following quote: "The murder of the Amish girls was a deeply hateful evil. There is nothing godly about pretending it wasn't."
Has he asked the Amish if they are "pretending" it wasn't evil? If it wasn't evil, what could there be to forgive?
They knew it was evil; they looked evil in the eye, and knew it for what it was. And they then showed that their love was stronger than hate, and that their faith was stronger than anger, and that their spirits were stronger than any evil that they have come against.
It's wonderful to know that many people understand, and appreciate that... and awfully sad that some folks can't respect it.