October 6, 2006

"Marian, the oldest one, did ask to be shot first... The faith of their fathers really was embedded in them."

The religious valor of the Amish girls:
[B]efore killing himself, [Charles Carl Roberts IV] uttered three words — "Pray for me."...

"He asked the children to pray for him, and that's kind of interesting because he said he hated God... He must have recognized the faith in them, God in them."


Too Many Jims said...

Based on how the Amish community there has responded, I would say that if this guy wanted someone to pray for him as carried out his horrid acts, he found the right place. Perhaps he found the only place in this country where they would actually pray for him.

Truly inspiring of awe.

SteveR said...

From one of the saddest and evil stories imaginable, is found grace and dignity. In the midst of all that is going on, we should be learning something from this.

jinnmabe said...

All I ask of the religious is that they contemplate the depths...wait, this is a story about the good effects of a religion. Dang.

George said...

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me...

Psalm 23:4

shake-and-bake said...

A nice little essay on the same theme, from the London Times: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,6-2391210,00.html

John said...

How different this reaction is to the actions of the other major religion in the world?

"Take me first so that others may live" vs. "let me kill as many others (infidels) as I can as I blow myself up"

Both share the belief that a better place exists and they will reach it. Which deserves it?

God bless you Marian. You truly inspire.

chuck b. said...

Very powerful story.

So weird the killer said he was haunted about molestations his alleged victims insist never took place. What's that all about? Repressed memories? Delusions? Lies?

It made me think about the discussion a few days ago about out-of-body experiences. I haven't followed the story much, but if the killer had some sort of brain dysfunction that produced delusions, and a drug could have fixed the delusion-part of his brain so that he'd be normal, would it produce a discussion about spirituality and meaningfulness, or would we just say thank gosh for medical research like we might for, say, antibiotics?

Revenant said...

So weird the killer said he was haunted about molestations his alleged victims insist never took place. What's that all about? Repressed memories? Delusions? Lies?

People who believe themselves to be a certain kind of person often manufacture memories, or translate other people's stories into memories, to fit with their perception of themselves. That's what "recovered memories" are, actually -- fake "memories" created because a person has convinced him- or herself that they SHOULD exist.

I would guess that Roberts was a pedophile whose conscience prevented him from acting on his desires. But he was so tortured over what a horrible person he perceived himself to be that he created memories of actually *being* a horrible person.

That's just a guess, though. There are numerous other possible explanations.

chuck b. said...

That's an interesting theory, revenant. Isn't it also a movie plot? Was it Memento?

Revenant said...

That's an interesting theory, revenant. Isn't it also a movie plot? Was it Memento?

I haven't seen that movie yet, actually.

The phenomenon itself is as common as dirt, though. It is one of the reasons why police get flooded with false "confessions" to high-profile crimes.

knoxgirl said...

It's not that I don't want to take their word for it, but the people he molested as children may have either blocked the memories or are denying it simply because they don't want it all to come to life again.

Five (is it six now?) little girls dead. Roast in hell, mister. The fact that this community can accept his actions with such grace really is "inspiring of awe" as another commenter put it.

nedludd said...

As of now the total is still 5 dead plus the shooter, however they are supposedly getting ready to take one of the girls off life support so she can go home to die.

I have a client whose wife is a PICU nurse at Hershey where some of these kids are. They are staying with relatives because of the harrassment they are receiving from the press demanding interviews. There have been numerous security scares on the PICU floor from reporters trying to force their way in. In addition, some of the press have gotten hold of the church directory where the shooter belonged and are making repeated phone calls and knocking on doors demanding to know about the shooters family.

I actully got caught in the funeral yesterday. I was over in that end of the county on business and got held up trying to cross Route 896 as the procession came down. It was led by a Statie with lights going, and ended the same way. There were two state police helicopters high overhead enforcing closed airspace (there was a real public safety issue for this, there was a fear of the horses being spooked). Between them I would estimate close to 150 buggies escorted by mounted state police and mounted police from Lancaster city. I would guess it took about half an hour to pass.

Some of the Amish were over at the house of the widow of the shooter on Tuesday and Wednesday night trying to comfort her, and she was invited to the funeral. In addition, the Amish have announced that they will be giving the shooter's family a portion of any gifts they receive.

On Thursday night the Catholic bishop from Harrisburg came to Quarryville (the closest thing approaching a town) and said mass. They had to set up speakers and broadcast it out to the lawn because of the number of Amish who showed up as a show of gratitude for the thoughts and prayers. I must admidt that a part of me would love to know what the Jakies thought of a mass.

I tend toward the cynical but I must admidt that I am very happy to be living where I live and amongst the people I do. It just blows me away the way the victims, instead of going on TV and bewailing their very real loss, are instead reaching out to the family of the man that took so much. I can tell you that I unfortunatly would not be so charitable. Of course that might be why I am going to hell and they are not.

As an aside, i wish the press would learn the difference between the Amish and the Mennonites. I have seen more pictures of Mennonites labeled as Amish than I would care to count.