Thursday, October 12, 2006

What If the Amish Were In Charge of War on Terrorism?

Diane Butler Bass, writing at God's Politics--a new blog featuring Jim Wallis and other Christian progressives--raises an intriguing question: What if the Amish were in charge of the war on terrorism?

Sparked by her admiration of the Amish people in Nickle Mines, PA and how they've responded to the school shooting atrocity, Bass confesses:

"Despite attempts to avoid this particular news, the stories of the Amish practice of forgiveness eventually captivated me. Their practice of forgiveness unfolded in four public acts over the course of a week. First, some elders visited Marie Roberts, the wife of the murderer, to offer forgiveness. Then, the families of the slain girls invited the widow to their own children’s funerals. Next, they requested that all relief monies intended for Amish families be shared with Roberts and her children. And, finally, in an astonishing act of reconciliation, more than 30 members of the Amish community attended the funeral of the killer. "

After a conversation with her husband, she wondered aloud:

"What if the Amish were in charge of the war on terror?"

That's an incredible question! By "incredible," I mean good, imaginative thinking.

Bass ponders the possibilities and then concludes:

"So, here’s my modest proposal. We’re five years too late for an Amish response to 9/11. But maybe we should ask them to take over the Department of Homeland Security. After all, actively practicing forgiveness and making peace are the only real alternatives to perpetual fear and a multi-generational global religious war."

I'm not sure I agree with Bass' suggestions.

But she sure has me thinking. I appreciate her creative thinking and Christian witness.

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