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.

Rick and Ron on the Union

This is a FILE photo.

So apparently former Texas Governor Rick Perry is running for President. The man is fascinating for many reasons, but the one I think most important to point out here is that he once suggested Texas might secede from the union.

That seems like kind of a big deal. Seems like one of the most important questions we should ask ourselves about a potential leader of the nation is: “Do you believe the nation should remain united as a nation?” Of course most of us would never ask this question because the answer in almost all cases is “Duh, yes!”

But it seems that Perry isn’t the only Republican candidate who feels this way. When Perry’s comments caused such a commotion in April 2009, Rom Paul said the following:

I’m receptive to the principle of secession. You should have the right to leave.

So, to review: Two Republican candidates for President of the United States think it’s okay is states want to leave the union. God Bless America! (Or at least God Bless those who wish to stick around and remain part of America. The rest of you — you know, whatever. Do your thing.)

UPDATE: I can’t support Rick Perry, but this ad makes a good case for Rick Parry.

TimeWaster™

From the Amazing Grace file.

Today I’m listening to: James Hariman!