The Quality of Mercy is Not Strained

In the midst of the horror and tragedy of Connecticut, let’s remember the healing power of love and grace. In 2006 the Amish community of Nickel Mines reminded us what it looks like.

On the day of the shooting, a grandfather of one of the murdered Amish girls was heard warning some young relatives not to hate the killer, saying, “We must not think evil of this man.” Another Amish father noted, “He had a mother and a wife and a soul and now he’s standing before a just God.” Jack Meyer, a member of the Brethren community living near the Amish in Lancaster County, explained: “I don’t think there’s anybody here that wants to do anything but forgive and not only reach out to those who have suffered a loss in that way but to reach out to the family of the man who committed these acts.”

A Roberts family spokesman said an Amish neighbor comforted the Roberts family hours after the shooting and extended forgiveness to them. Amish community members visited and comforted Roberts’ widow, parents, and parents-in-law. One Amish man held Roberts’ sobbing father in his arms, reportedly for as long as an hour, to comfort him. The Amish have also set up a charitable fund for the family of the shooter. About 30 members of the Amish community attended Roberts’ funeral, and Marie Roberts, the widow of the killer, was one of the few outsiders invited to the funeral of one of the victims.

Marie Roberts wrote an open letter to her Amish neighbors thanking them for their forgiveness, grace, and mercy. She wrote, “Your love for our family has helped to provide the healing we so desperately need. Gifts you’ve given have touched our hearts in a way no words can describe. Your compassion has reached beyond our family, beyond our community, and is changing our world, and for this we sincerely thank you.” The Amish do not normally accept charity, but due to the extreme nature of the tragedy, donations were accepted. Richie Lauer, director of the Anabaptist Foundation, said the Amish community, whose religious beliefs prohibit them from having health insurance, will likely use the donations to help pay the medical costs of the hospitalized children.

HSBC: Too Big to Jail

From The Guardian:

US authorities defended their decision not to prosecute HSBC for accepting the tainted money of rogue states and drug lords on Tuesday, insisting that a $1.9bn fine for a litany of offences was preferable to the “collateral consequences” of taking the bank to court. […]

Had the US authorities decided to press criminal charges, HSBC would almost certainly have lost its banking licence in the US, the future of the institution would have been under threat and the entire banking system would have been destabilised.

HSBC, Britain’s biggest bank, said it was “profoundly sorry” for what it called “past mistakes” that allowed terrorists and narcotics traffickers to move billions around the financial system and circumvent US banking laws. Breuer said Mexican drug traffickers deposited hundreds of thousands of dollars each day in HSBC accounts.

At least they apologized. Soon they won’t even bother.

Meanwhile, the dealer on the corner gets ten years for having a vial of crack.

Today a student asked: “Why are you always sighing all the time?” This is why, kid.

“Waiting for Superman”: The Riposte

The following documentary is pretty simple and low-budget, but it provides some really important responses to the charter school- and business-model education reform movement. The filmmakers demonize people like Geoffrey Canada a little, but the interviews with parents (starting around 20:00, especially) are really powerful.

The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman from Grassroots Education Movement on Vimeo.

What do you think? Leave comments!

Didactic SynCast #78: Frack The UK

Guess what, UK listeners? Fracking is coming your way. Get ready!

DS #78: Frack The UK

Didactic Action: Tell Obama to support the Robin Hood Tax to fight AIDS

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