Letters to the Editor

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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 | 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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