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BIN LADEN: Consider Amish response to tragedy

Letter by Thomas V. Karlin, Lakewood on May 5, 2011 at 1:52 pm with 50 Comments »
May 5, 2011 2:53 pm

Re: “A death is no cause for celebration” (letter, 5-3).

When I heard the reports of Osama bin Laden’s death Sunday, I felt the same as the letter writer.

In 2006, in Lancaster County, Pa., a gunman burst into a schoolroom and killed five Amish girls before taking his own life. The response of the Amish community to this tragedy fascinated the whole world.

First, a delegation of elders visited the widow of the murderer, to offer forgiveness. Next, the families of the slain girls invited the widow to their own children’s funeral. Next, they requested that all the relief money coming in from around the world, intended for the Amish families, be shared with the widow and her children. And finally, in the most astonishing act of reconciliation, dozens of Amish families attended the funeral of the killer.

Is it too much to hope for, that we as a nation might someday be able and willing to transcend a tragedy like 9/11 with the Amish Christian response?

The assassination of Osama bin Laden now opens another chapter of our long path of continuous retaliation – a path that has not brought security, peace, freedom or closure. It has only fractured the human family even more, and has sown more seeds of violence. This is no cause for celebration.

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  1. Publico says:

    Stand by for the sure to come abuse Mr. Karlin.

  2. Fibonacci says:

    Mr. Karlin
    Do you honestly think the two situations are the same? I am generally pretty nonviolent, but I can’t imagine how you would what an Amish Christian would look like in this situation. Do you want to invite bin Laden’s family to the next memorial on Srpt 11? I did not “celebrate” when I heard the news, but neither did I feel like a great wrong had been done.

    Was that abuse Publico?:

  3. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    bin laden’s chickens… comin’ home to roost!

  4. APimpNamedSlickback says:

    Fibonacci:

    I think to such an isolated community as the Amish, it is very much the same thing. Five people out of their community is a much higher ratio than 3,000 people out of the entire US, and they likely knew every single one of the victims in that shooting. The loss to their community was probably much larger than the loss the entire country felt on 9/11.

    From what I understand, most of bin Laden’s very large family had disowned long ago. It’s entirely possible, if not probable, that most of them absolutely detest his actions. If that’s the case, then yes, they should be welcomed at the next 9/11 memorial. Remember that Americans weren’t the only victims on that day.

    I would guess that the first thing keeping them from doing so, if they were so inclined, would be fear for their lives because others can’t separate them from their relative’s actions. The moral high ground here is in making that distinction. Clearly the Amish can do it.

  5. BlaineCGarver says:

    LOL…..Osama as fish food, not Publico……(although…)

  6. Blaine, you bad. Say twenty hail Mary’s and rub those beads for two minutes and drink a gallon of holy water, then apologize to the fish.

  7. For some bin Laden’s death represents revenge; for others it represents justice. It may well also represent a rigorous blow to terrorist schemes.
    I don’t think these two cases are analogous, though I believe that God is always ready to forgive a repentant sinner and expects the same of us.

  8. nokoolaide says:

    I’m not Amish………….

  9. Ithappened2me2 says:

    fb, was that in a row> ;-)

    I am guessing the hard working man that drives 700 miles a week (adding to global warming that he so believes in, but that is another topic, unless he is a Preus driver going 55 in the fast lane) will end up with70% of all posts, with at the minimum, 7 in a shotgun row.

  10. Ithappened2me2 says:

    Oh, I forgot, Thomas and Publico, WTF?

  11. Publico says:

    I rest my case Mr. Karlin.
    Some people simply are not capable of thinking beyond what is already stored in their brains. There is a definition for that malady.

  12. ItalianSpring says:

    I will consider the Amish response to “tragedy” when terrorists consider conducting terrorism in the same fashion the Amish do.

  13. redneckbuck says:

    To their core muslims want you to convert. They view Christ as a prophet but a false prophet. Isreal reminds them that Christ exists as a true prophet.

  14. alindasue says:

    Italian Spring said, “I will consider the Amish response to “tragedy” when terrorists consider conducting terrorism in the same fashion the Amish do. ”

    That sentence doesn’t make sense. I think you mean – or it would make sense if you mean – that when the terrorists start acting like the person who attacked the Amish students did. I’ve yet to see the Amish conduct torrorism.

    Anyhow, lets see… A man with an ax to grind attacks a school, randomly killing a large number of innocent people and killing himself in the process. A small group of people with an ax to grind attack a couple office buildings, randomly killing a large number of innocent people and killing most of themselves in the process.

    The only real difference I can see here is scale. For that I refer to the words of APimpNamedSlickback:

    “Five people out of their community is a much higher ratio than 3,000 people out of the entire US, and they likely knew every single one of the victims in that shooting. The loss to their community was probably much larger than the loss the entire country felt on 9/11.”

    Yet the Amish community chose to forgive.

  15. beerBoy says:

    redneck – nope – they view Christ as a true prophet but they do not accept him as a god/man. They see the Paulist religion with a Tripartite god as a polytheistic apostasy.

  16. alindasue says:

    redneckbuck said, “To their core muslims want you to convert. They view Christ as a prophet but a false prophet. Isreal reminds them that Christ exists as a true prophet. ”

    I’ve talked to friends who are Muslim about this before. They do consider Jesus to be a true prophet, much the same as they consider Moses or Mohammed to be a true prophets. What they don’t believe is that Jesus was/is the literal son of God. They believe that Jesus himself indicated that he was just a man, which – although I disagree with it – is an interpretation I can understand based on some of Jesus’s words.

    The people of Israel you reference, who I understand to be the Jews, also seem to have a similar understanding of Jesus. My dad became Jewish when he married my step-mom, so I did a little reading up on the subject. If you, yourself, are Jewish, maybe you can enlighten me further on the subject.

    Islam, Judaism (and by extension, Christianity) all come from a common root and all worship the same God. Jews and Muslims actually have more similarities than differences. That’s why I’ve never understood how such annimosity developed between the two groups – but that another topic for another forum thread.

  17. ItalianSpring says:

    alindasue- #1 you have no sense of humor, #2 you have no concept of irony or sarcasm, #3 don’t bother responding to any of my posts as you will be embarassing yourself because of #1 and #2.

  18. alindasue says:

    “alindasue- #1 you have no sense of humor, #2 you have no concept of irony or sarcasm, #3 don’t bother responding to any of my posts as you will be embarassing yourself because of #1 and #2. ”

    ItalianSpring,
    You don’t know me. If you did, you would know that #1 and #2 don’t apply and that #3 I don’t embarrass easily. Just ask my kids.

    I didn’t see any humor or irony in the comment of yours that I was responding to, unless perhaps… your convoluted wording was an indication that for once you were agreeing with me on an issue? I doubt it – but if that were the case, it would truly be irony indeed!

  19. fbergford says:

    Dang I was wrong on this one! It looks like alindasue is going to take the cake!

  20. ItalianSpring says:

    alindasue- I understand.

  21. Roncella says:

    This discussion of forgiveness is important.

    For the Thousands of families affected by the senseless murdering of their loved ones at the hands of a cruel, extreme muslim terrorist and his followers, there is no end to the hurt and loss they have had to live with since 9-11 occured and will live with the rest of their lifes.

    The death of bin laden at least brings to him with a bullet to his head an end of his desire to kill as many Americans as he could in his lifetime.

    The Hurt and Loss that the families feel is handled differently by each person affected. Some may forgive bin laden, others will never forgive him, still others will want more revenge.

    Untill you have lost a loved one to violence suddenly with no warning, stop your amish comparsions and wishful thinking about forgivness.

    We will all face our maker one day however we all have to deal with the here and now with our own free will.

  22. slugoxyz says:

    Hmm. Interesting letter. I bow to the Amish and their kind hearts. They are indeed better than me. It happens…

    Here is how I see the two situations as different. The School kid murderer is dead already. If Osama had killed himself in the process and gotten every terrorist that had anything to do with 9-11 to go with him, I’d forgive them. But Osama eluded authorities. He continued to lead the killers, recruiting more killers, funding more killings. Osama continued to promote a holy war against all non-Muslims and on Muslims who weren’t as violent as he was. I don’t see killing Osama as revenge. I see killing OBL as self defense as he was still actively engaged in trying to kill me. Reason to celebrate? I don’t promote dancing in the streets over OBL’s dead body but a silent fist pump when no one is looking seems prudent considering we here in America, Europe, the Middle East, SE Asia, Australia and Africa (why didn’t OBL promote Muslims in S America? Oh yeah… there are none) are all safer now with OBL as…fish food. Sorry Karlin. A bad guy who was still bent on harming you and the rest of us is dead. I think that’s a good thing. After I got over my original skepticism, I was shamefully pleased. I am however pleased that our President did not throw the body over the hood of the pick up by releasing the photos. Good job SEALS, Task Force (whatever number we’re on), US Intelligence Community and you too Mr. President. Good luck Mr Karlin. Your motives are good. Your practicality is a little…off.

  23. beerBoy says:

    “alindasue- #1 you have no sense of humor, #2 you have no concept of irony or sarcasm

    alindasue- I understand.

    A comedian who blames the audience and/or claims that it was ironic sarcasm so it didn’t need to be funny when his jokes aren’t funny doesn’t really understand.

  24. fbergford says:

    and the all wise beeboy speaks! Please give us your knowledge!

  25. Ithappened2me2 says:

    Looks like another bB post for another person’s archive.

    :-)

  26. larsman says:

    Ali sez – ” Islam, Judaism (and by extension, Christianity) all come from a common root and all worship the same God. Jews and Muslims actually have more similarities than differences. That’s why I’ve never understood how such annimosity developed between the two groups – but that another topic for another forum thread.”
    No. Islam has a different “god” and a different “jesus”
    Surah 4 : 157 denies the crucifiction
    Surah 4 : 171 denies Jesus as the Son of God

    Most of Surahs 8, 9, 22 and 47 advocate the mutilation / slaying of those that will not surrender to Zukat nor relinquish themselves to Dhimmitude.

    Keep in mind that there is no “old / new testament” time division in the Qur’an, it is all still presently in effect as is, unlike the testamentary division of the 66 books of the Bible.
    Please remember to understand Romans 11 : 25 in our current time frame ;
    blindness in part has occurred to Israel UNTIL the fullness of the Gentiles
    ( that would be us) be come in.
    If a non Christian speaks blasphemously against Jesus, no one is “de-noggin-ated” because Grace is a gift we do not earn, and salvation is an invitation, not a retributive command.
    If anyone speaks against the “other god”, being “stoned” takes on a new meaning, especially in say…Quetta or Riyadh.

  27. Thomas of Lakewood, the Amish are also known for beating their children. So the US did do it the Amish way we beat Bin-laden ass

  28. beerBoy says:

    Please give us your knowledge!

    There are a few slots open in my Fall 2011 classes – please feel free to pay tuition and enroll.

    :-)

  29. NWflyfisher says:

    The Qur’an legislates the death penalty for murder, although forgiveness and compassion are strongly encouraged. In any case, the Islamic rules for retribution state that the punishment must be carried out by government. The family of the victim(s) cannot carry it out. Bin Ladin was respectfully punished by United States Navy Seals in accordance with Muslim tradition and Islamic law. “O you who believe retribution is prescribed for you in the case of murder…” (Quran 2:178)

  30. beerBoy says:

    larsman – The tripartite god of Christianity is not seen in either Islam or Judaism.
    it is Paulist Christianity that created “a different god” than Islam (and Judaism) – not the other way around.

    And, Jesus is treated with far more respect in Islam than in Judaism.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA6vRC1xW_c

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-Hi2saK8iU&NR=1

  31. LarryFine says:

    How does Islam treat infidels compared to how followers of Judaism treat non-believers ? (generally speaking of course)
    .
    beerBoy says:
    August 27, 2010 at 10:46 am

    You can find videos that “document” all sorts of things.
    See that’s the problem with people in the modern age who are ignorant about how videos are created and manipulated – they forget about editing, manipulations of point of view and other aspects of the medium.
    Yes – video is evidence but it is not conclusive – and easily faked.
    .
    ;)

  32. Slugox-welcome to the forum! You addressed it completely, succinctly, and there is no way Alinda, BB, Publico or the letter writer can address your position without acknowledging their’s is faulty. You can’t compare the two scenarios when the perpetrator in one is dead, and the perpetrator(sp?) in the other is alive, well and actively seeking the death of more people.

  33. BB-Do you teach at a Liberal Arts College? I know you said you are in Idaho(I believe from 6 months or a year ago), so I know its not Evergreen….

  34. larsman says:

    Bb calender-fails – “The tripartite god of Christianity is not seen in either Islam or Judaism.
    it is Paulist Christianity that created “a different god” than Islam (and Judaism) – not the other way around”

    The New Testament ( Luke validates Paul who validates John who validates Peter all validating Jesus, another of your “history-fails”) pre-dates the “story”
    of the Qur’an by..let’s see..550 years or so give or take.

    Your apparent problem is grasping the understanding of the Personhood of the Holy Spirit, Who bears witness to the Son, brings all things to remembrance and indwells believers. Acts 5 also validates the Holy Spirit as Divine Trinity as mentioned by Peter with John in reference to Saphira.
    The blessings, birthright and promises of God to Abraham are further continued and identified exclusively through Isaac, Jacob and the 12 Patriarchs. Not Ishmael. Not Esau. Not Eliphaz, Moab or Ammon.

  35. larsman says:

    Bb- Neither the Jews nor the Romans……

    “No man taketh my life from me, I willingly give it”

    “No greater love hath a man, that he layeth down his life for his friends.”

    “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son”

    Do you know how many loooney college prof.s there are today? Why I just saw one (Ward Churchhill) the other day. So by your “logic” doesn’t that mean that all prof.s are loons?
    In Bb’s world one plus one somehow = infinity without condition…

  36. aislander says:

    The responsibilities of government and of individuals or non-governmental groups are very different. The families of 9/11 victims are free to forgive or not–they were the ones directly affected, as was the Amish community in the case cited by the letter writer–but the United States government does not have that option, nor does law enforcement in Lancaster County, PA. Their responsibility is to protect their people. We can argue about the best means of doing that, but blanket forgiveness is not one of them…

  37. beerBoy says:

    larsman – are you suggesting that Islam derived from Christianity because it was later?

    Your apparent problem is grasping the understanding of the Personhood of the Holy Spirit, Who bears witness to the Son, brings all things to remembrance and indwells believers.

    Your apparent problem is grasping the understanding that individuals such as myself can engage in intellectual analysis of theology without being conflicted by one’s own personal belief system. I understand perfectly well what the tripartite theology is, I also understand how it can be seen as back-door polytheism by those who do not have that faith.

  38. beerBoy says:

    Christians are monotheists; but they believe in three fully
    divine beings—the three Persons of the Godhead: Father, Son,
    and Holy Spirit. The tension here is obvious and well known.
    ‘Polytheism’ is most commonly defined simply and without
    qualification as ‘belief in more than one god’, and a god is most
    commonly understood to be any being that is fully divine. Thus,
    on the most common way of understanding polytheism,
    orthodox Christian belief is not monotheistic, but quite clearly
    polytheistic.

    http://www.nd.edu/~mrea/papers/Polytheism.pdf

  39. beerBoy says:

    there is a remarkable absence of support
    outside the writings of Social Trinitarians themselves for the
    conclusion that Social Trinitarianism is monotheistic. And it is
    largely because of this fact that I take the resemblance between
    ST-Christianity and Egypt’s Amun-Re theology to speak so
    compellingly in favour of the conclusion that ST-Christianity is
    not monotheistic.

    ibid.

  40. LOL, you seriously believe that stuff BeerBoy? While some strains of Christianity believe in the Trinity(most notably Catholics), many do not. Many Christian religions recognize Jesus’ clear subordination to his Father. Over and over he stated that he came not to do his will, but the will of His Father who sent him. The idea of the Trinity came almost 300 years after Jesus death(Council of Nicea 325 c.e.). It is primarily based on the interpretation of John 1:1 to claim that Jesus IS God….but the same sentence structure is used when Peter is bit by a serpent and doesn’t die, and the people marvel and say he must be “A god”. The fact that one of the largest “christian” religions in the world practices severe idolatry in violation of the scriptures(Virgin Mary, Jesus, canonizing imperfect men as “saints”, etc. does not change the fact that Christianity, as defined by the Holy Bible is clearly monotheistic. Jesus subjected himself to His Fathers authority, was baptized, stated over and over he was here to do the will of His Father. John 14:28, Jesus clearly states “the Father is greater than I am”.

  41. BB-your links are great if this was a discussion about Trinitarians versus Islam as opposed to Christianity versus Islam. It was actually interesting to read, and would give pause to any Christian that believes in the Trinity in my opinion. Thanks for sharing-but its just one strain of Christianity…….

  42. KARDNOS says:

    “fbergford says:
    May 5, 2011 at 6:44 pm
    Wow now they are calling it assassination! I guess whatever helps you sleep at night! Get ready folks for Kardnos! I just called down to Vegas to get the over/under on how many posts Kardnos will do…Vegas says 15…any takers!?

    You are a perennial loser, Bergie. The forum as been up for 3 days and this is the first time I’ve even looked at it. I knew it would be nothing but smartass comments about the Amish and the same old trip about Bin Laden that has been on a half dozen forums already.

    You might want to consult a doctor about that obsession with me, though.

    Vegas doesn’t lose. You do.

  43. KARDNOS says:

    “one strain of Christianity….”

    LOL…but they all are the “correct one”….

  44. KARDNOS says:

    “fbergford says:
    May 6, 2011 at 9:11 am
    Dang I was wrong on this one! It looks like alindasue is going to take the cake!”

    Another loser comment. Bergie, you need to understand that these forums are based on dialog, thus if someone is exchanging thoughts with another, the number of posts will increase.

    Now if someone has nothing of value to say – such as yourself – the number will be limited.

  45. beerBoy says:

    “one strain of Christianity….”

    ….which is, by far, the dominant strain that, at the Nicean Council, determined all Christian nonbelievers in the doctrine of tripartite god as heretics.

  46. Ithappened2me2 says:

    I read this, and I got a good laugh:

    Another loser comment. Bergie, you need to understand that these forums are based on dialog, thus if someone is exchanging thoughts with another, the number of posts will increase.

    Now if someone has nothing of value to say – such as yourself – the number will be limited.

    So why such an enormous quantity of posts from the author of the above comments, since, the majority of the time, he has nothing of value to say?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  47. yabetchya says:

    KARDNOS says:
    May 8, 2011 at 10:46 am

    you are a perennial loser, Bergie. The forum as been up for 3 days and this is the first time I’ve even looked at it.

    Naw,,,, just the first time you posted mrhillxxxx.

  48. Roncella says:

    Thomas, the last sentence of your letter is the most worst conclusion of your entire letter. You say ” this is no time for a celebration”.

    This is exactly the Right time to celebrate the death of bin laden. Hopefully other muslim terrorists around the World will put off their meeting with their virgins, and have some fear for their lifes instilled in them.

  49. KARDNOS says:

    Would Jesus celebrate a death, Roncella?

  50. KARDNOS says:

    “yabetchya says:
    May 9, 2011 at 6:17 am
    Naw,,,, just the first time you posted mrhillxxxx.”

    I didn’t post “mrhillxxxx”

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