Courage under fire: Amish girls


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yy
October 6, 2006, 11:23 PM
This (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061006/us_nm/crime_schools_dc;_ylt=AlFX2Q.ZIjn1SZnoAzT1nFIEtbAF;_ylu=X3oDMTBhZDJjOXUyBHNlYwNtdm5ld3M-)is an important epilogue to the thread about christianity and its reaction to violence.

I am a Buddhist and I endorse the Christian message of forgiveness and compassion. I am willing to forego further evidence and praise the older girls for putting themselves into harms way to save the younger girls (to live even for a moment longer). It takes a lot of inner strength to not hate your enemy while saving your loved ones.

_Blindly_ fighting violence with violence leads to an unending arms race. For all its appearance of quick result (expedience), violent response fails to solve violent acts in the long run. This chafes. A lot.

It comes down to how much like a saint we each want to live (or end) our lives. I'll likely protect my loved ones with violence. I guess that makes me very far from saintliness, however just.

See this article:

Amish girl asked to be shot first, woman says (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061006/us_nm/crime_schools_dc;_ylt=AlFX2Q.ZIjn1SZnoAzT1nFIEtbAF;_ylu=X3oDMTBhZDJjOXUyBHNlYwNtdm5ld3M-)

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - One of the girls who died in Pennsylvania's Amish schoolhouse massacre asked the killer to shoot her first in an apparent bid to save younger girls, a woman who spoke to the victim's family said on Friday.

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Rita Rhoads, a nurse-midwife who delivered 13-year-old Marian Fisher as well as another victim, said Fisher appealed to Charles Carl Roberts to shoot her first because she thought it might allow younger girls to survive.

Rhoads said she did not know whether Fisher in fact was shot first. Roberts shot 10 girls aged 6 to 13, killing five of them and then himself in Monday's rampage.

Fisher's 11-year-old sister, Barbie, appealed to Roberts to shoot her next, Rhoads said. Barbie survived and was in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia recovering from shoulder, hand and leg injuries.

"Barbie has been talking and she said Marian said, 'Shoot me first,"' Rhoads said. "Apparently what she was trying to do was to save the younger girls."

Barbie, who attended her sister's funeral on Thursday before returning to the hospital, gave details of her ordeal to relatives including her grandfather, who told Rhoads, the midwife told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"It was very courageous of the girls to offer themselves," Rhoads said. "God was really present to give the girls that kind of courage."

Pennsylvania state police were not immediately available for comment.

Roberts, 32, a local non-Amish milk truck driver, attacked the one-room schoolhouse at Nickel Mines, a farming community in Lancaster County about 60 miles west of Philadelphia.

He allowed boys and adults to leave and then tied the legs of the girls before shooting them execution-style, police said.

Four of the girls including Marian Fisher were buried on Thursday and a fifth funeral was scheduled for Friday.

The Amish, descendants of Swiss-German settlers, are a traditionalist Christian denomination who place particular importance on the Gospel message of forgiveness. They believe in nonviolence, simple living and little contact with the modern world.

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knuckles
October 6, 2006, 11:43 PM
I have a 13-year old daughter...I can't even imagine... :(

tellner
October 7, 2006, 03:52 AM
To lay down your life for your companions without hope of rescue, reward or survival. That takes courage beyond measure. My own religion requires that "If someone comes to kill you rise up and kill him first". My wife's allows for vengeance although mercy is preferred. We were reduced to tears by her courage and faith.

Marian Fisher enters the roll of heroes. Whether she ends up next to the Throne as a martyr or at Odin's table in Valhalla - because she died more bravely in battle than most soldiers - her place is assured.

gunsmith
October 7, 2006, 04:03 AM
Rosie o dimbulb rants about Christians being no different then Taliban
I will remember this article.

tellner
October 7, 2006, 04:24 AM
Some are, some aren't. Yeshua ben Maryam's followers can be just as evil as any long-bearded small-brained mullah. And please don't insult either of us by saying they aren't "real" Christians while the Talibanis are "real" Muslims. The urge to evil exists in all of us regardless of what building we go to for religious services.

And so, Baruch Hashem, does the urge to good as we see in the beautiful example of this girl.

mike101
October 7, 2006, 08:03 AM
There ought to be a special allowance for a Congressional Medal for this little girl.

The Amish probably wouldn't approve, though. It's a shame.

The word "Hero", is bandied about a little too often these days, I think. But if this girl isn't a hero, there is no such thing. :(

dfaugh
October 7, 2006, 08:36 AM
Its things like this that give me hope that the world my children have to live in, will be a better place.

Heroes are often "ordinary people" caught in extraordinary circumstances.

This beautiful soul looked Evil in the eye, and refused to allow it to intimidate her.

Rest in peace, sweet child......


"No one has the answer, but one thing is true.
You'e got to turn on evil, when its coming after you.
You've gotta face it down,and when it tries to hide,
you've got to go in after it, and never be denied.
Time is running out...Let's roll.
Let's roll for freedom, let's roll for love.
We're going after satan, on the wings of a dove.
Let's roll for freedom, let's roll for truth.
Let's not let our children grow up fearful in their youth."

part of a Neil Young song ("Let's Roll") as a tribute to Todd Beamer, the crew and all the passengers of Flight 93.

sacp81170a
October 7, 2006, 09:34 AM
Adding to the tragedy and obscuring the true heroism of these girls, the antis will have no problem dancing in their blood. This example of true pacifism in action and the subsequent actions of the Amish families in expressing their forgiveness to the widow and family of the perp will be lost. The pseudo-pacifists who want everyone else's tools for self-defense confiscated will turn this to their political advantage, and the true beauty of "turning the other cheek" will be obscured. :banghead:

1911 guy
October 7, 2006, 10:40 AM
I have not the words needed to describe whar I am feeling as I read this. A young woman stared into the blackness of evil and death, but had the courage and personal conviction and faith to not let it overwhelm her. She, in fact, was far more brave than I may ever be.

My heart goes out to the families involved.

Deanimator
October 7, 2006, 10:58 AM
I wish one of them had stabbed him in the eye with a protractor when he was distracted...

tellner
October 7, 2006, 03:09 PM
sacp, that's not the sole province of people you disagree with. Already the pros have been revving up the political noise machine, dancing in the blood of the murdered (to use your analogy) and calling for arming everyone in sight. It's just as vile a way of scoring political points off the victims. There's something one of your heroes said a while back about beams and splinters.

Let the dead rest in peace. Honor their courage. Admire their faith. But please, just this once, don't use them as tools to further a partisan political agenda.

hso
October 7, 2006, 03:20 PM
Let the dead rest in peace. Honor their courage. Admire their faith. But please, just this once, don't use them as tools to further a partisan political agenda.

Well said tellner.

phoglund
October 7, 2006, 04:27 PM
I am not myself a religious man. The hypocricy of the majority of religious leaders and practicioners does not lend itself to belief in the tenents of any religion. These girls however demonstrated the potential of faith to make the world a better place. If even half the believers in the many religions of the world were to practice their faith with just half the integrity these girls showed in the most dire of circumstances we would have a world of much greater peace and safety. They should be honored by all. Honor also belongs to their parents and religious leaders for raising such children. All who are believers only in word and not deed or thought must now stand in shame of their hypocricy. The Amish community as a whole also deserves our greatest respect for the quiet dignity with which they are weathering this storm. We all have lessons we can learn from them. I feverently hope we learn them well.

- phoglund

utahminirevolver
October 7, 2006, 07:16 PM
yy

These girls showed a lot of courage while standing by their beliefs about forgiveness and non-violence. They were admirable.

There is nonetheless a quote from a Buddhist which has a lot of truth:
"If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun" -His Holiness, the XIV Dalai Lama.

One of my favorite saints (and I'm not a Catholic) is Saint Gabriel Possenti from whom we can learn the virtues of arming oneself while going about the daily business of life.

I really like the simple, hardworking country lifestyle of the Amish, but also of Sgt. York, from the hills in Tennessee, a Christian who really had to wrestle with his conscience about being in WW1, but finally decided to go fight and became a war hero.

Glockfan.45
October 7, 2006, 07:30 PM
My respect for the Amish has increased ten-fold. Hearing about the courage of these girls, and the Amish setting up a fund for the shooters family. I will admit I teared up a little when I heard about the older girls offering to sacrifice themselves for the younger ones. What a wonderful place the world would be if we all took a lesson from them.

SuperNaut
October 7, 2006, 08:34 PM
I hate to be a wet blanket but similar stories came out after Columbine and they turned out to be completely false. Personally I'll wait for some more corroboration.

knuckles
October 7, 2006, 10:22 PM
Personally I'll wait for some more corroboration.


With as close knit as that community is, that may not be forthcoming....

rudolf
October 8, 2006, 01:10 AM
gunsmith wrote:

"The next time Rosie o dimbulb rants about Christians being no different then Taliban I will remember this article."

The Taliban would rape them first, then kill them.

My respect to the Amish girls.

Shootcraps
October 8, 2006, 01:14 AM
What they did was just amazing. A true example of "faith".

A friend at work said, "Can you imagine the counseling those survivors are going to need for the rest of their life?".

I said I bet that won't be necessary. All of their questions will be answered by their faith.

yy
October 8, 2006, 01:27 AM
UtahMiniRevolver:

That's a good quote from HHDL. Still, I struggle with the balance between compassion and the need to stop murderers. A big fantasy is to call down a bolt of lightening on a would-be murderer and instantaneously change his mind to one of peace and harmony. The reality is I'll have to settle for not hating while I pull my trigger. (this assumes I have no chance of talking the murderer down).

Heck, even The Buddha (as prince Sidharta) had full martial training before setting out to seek enlightenment. Self protection is a requirement. compassion and service to all, now that's an aspiration.

The greater compassion is *being ready to* lay down my life trying to let my action affect the murderous. This was what the Buddha did to stop a rampaging elephant and a mad killer on two separate occasions. He had the ability to calm an elephant so he did not flee. He had the ability to avoid every knife thrust so he did not flee. His skills _plus_ his attitude of calm compassion stopped murders/maimings without hatred or acts of violence.

I wish I could be so pious/saintly as that Amish girl. One day.




Oh, Supernaut, I urge you to apply your intellect on the scant available data. I put to you that the sentiment of a young simple girl willing to offer herself to protect her younger sisters rings true, and that that should lead to conclusions of truth rather than hoax. (BTW, to which hoaxes do you refer? And how were they exposed? please pm me or maybe we could start another thread)

I understand that you are repeating the oft-said "don't believe everything you read" and cautioning against the tendency to make saints of the slain. Still, I'm sure you recognize the act of a true pacifist in the report. I can see a kid who was so busy saving her younger sister that she did not have the time or inclination to hate the murderer.

Yes, she ended up dead. But such courage is worthy of praise. I would like to see such courage in myself. And in my kid. So I praise the courage. (incidentally, this is why I detest the hollywood writers that slander heros with cowardice in their films. I suspect they do this because they are cowards and cannot see heroism in others.)

SuperNaut
October 8, 2006, 03:28 AM
Two spring immediately to mind:

That either Dylan or Eric first designed a DOOM video game level that allowed them to perform dry run practices of their attack on the school which was utterly false. Also that Cassie Bernall was shot for saying "yes" that she believed in god also turned out to be utterly false.

Everyone here is quick to say that the MSM is full of it, I don't know why this instance is exempt.

knuckles
October 8, 2006, 10:27 AM
Clarification for my own ignorant ass; what is 'MSM'?

SuperNaut
October 8, 2006, 11:16 AM
Main Stream Media

Keith Wheeler
October 8, 2006, 11:37 AM
Hazak V' Amatz.

JohnBT
October 8, 2006, 02:12 PM
"Everyone here is quick to say that the MSM is full of it, I don't know why this instance is exempt."

Why? Because you have an eyewitness telling it to her relatives, including her grandfather. The grandfather tells it to a respected long-time member of the community (check out her accomplishments on her website - she's a Mennonite and has a site.)

So we have a group of Amish - family members in fact - and a Mennonite friend involved - two groups widely known for their truthfulness and honesty.

That's why.

John

"Barbie, who attended her sister's funeral Thursday before returning to the hospital, gave details of her ordeal to relatives including her grandfather, who told Rhoads, the midwife said in a telephone interview."

Lone_Gunman
October 8, 2006, 04:09 PM
It might be a true story, or it might not. It certainly is a story of hope and courage.

Remember the story around Pat Tillman's death was supposed to be true also, but the facts around his death were very different from the initial report.

JohnBT
October 8, 2006, 05:05 PM
Was the Tillman story told by an eyewitness who was Amish or Mennonite?

I doan tink so.

John

knuckles
October 12, 2006, 02:00 PM
I hate to be a wet blanket but similar stories came out after Columbine and they turned out to be completely false. Personally I'll wait for some more corroboration.

It might be a true story, or it might not. It certainly is a story of hope and courage.

Remember the story around Pat Tillman's death was supposed to be true also, but the facts around his death were very different from the initial report.

Just want to wrap up this loose end....

http://local.lancasteronline.com/4/26691

jlbraun
October 12, 2006, 02:05 PM
FWIW, "turn the other cheek" is NOT an endorsement of pacifism in any way, shape or form. Basically, a strike to the cheek is an insult, not a lethal threat, so don't go flying off the handle and try to kill someone over an insult. Offer them your other cheek, to show that insults mean nothing to you.

Christ was quite adamant that self-defense was acceptable and moral.

Henry Bowman
October 12, 2006, 02:41 PM
Already the pros have been revving up the political noise machine, dancing in the blood of the murdered (to use your analogy) and calling for arming everyone in sight. It's just as vile a way of scoring political points off the victims. I have to take exception with your characterization, tellner. The "pros" have not been "calling for arming everyone in sight." There is a huge difference in allowing someone to be armed and requiring that they be either armed or disarmed. Apples and oranges. The "pros" in this case are pro-choice.

silverlance
October 12, 2006, 03:02 PM
1. The DOOM dry run idea: well, turned out to be a lie. first time i heard of this one, though. makes me want to go dig out my old doom cd and make a level of my house so i can do dry runs. i bet that'd be tactical. i have a tactical 42" plasma to try it out on, too.

2. the christain girl saying "yes" stuff. wow, it was a lie? damn. my mother harped on about it for months. and every single MSM & christian group praised her vociferously for qutie some time. do you have a link?

silverlance
October 12, 2006, 03:17 PM
What most people know about the massacre is what they learned in the first few days after it occurred. The basic narrative of Columbine—the story that Americans absorbed—was based on fragmentary and incorrect information from the first hours after the shooting. The story was that Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, a pair of lonely, outcast Goths, tore through the school hunting down jocks to settle a long-running feud between athletes and the Trenchcoat Mafia. After years of bullying, the pair finally snapped and turned on their tormenters with automatic weapons and pipe bombs. They arrived at the school with a hit list of victims, including despised minorities, Christians, and athletes. In fact, this tale was mostly a myth, as were other supposed "facts" about Columbine involving Marilyn Manson, the martyrdom of Cassie Bernall, and a plan to hijack a plane and crash it into New York City.

Here is the straight story on seven of the central myths:

1. Targeting jocks, blacks, and Christians: There were no targets. Harris and Klebold just wanted body count, and they didn't care who died. They expected their bombs to do most of the killing, murdering everyone in the cafeteria, irrespective of clique or social standing. When the bombs failed, they shot indiscriminately, firing into open crowds and under tables without bothering to see who their victims were. They taunted jocks briefly in the library, but they taunted virtually everyone else there, too.

2. The Trench Coat Mafia: A small group of Columbine students did dub themselves the Trenchcoat Mafia, and they did have a feud with a band of jocks in 1999. But it was never a formal gang or club, and most of the members graduated nearly a year before the massacre. Harris and Klebold were never closely affiliated with the group and did not appear in the 1998 yearbook picture identifying the members. The TCM had little to do with Harris and Klebold and nothing to do with the massacre. The killers wore long coats in order to hide their weapons.

3. The Hit List: Eric Harris did create an enemies list, with a wide and sometimes comical assortment of personalities—students who pissed him off, girls who refused his dates, Tiger Woods. There's no indication that these were ever intended as targets. No one on the list was killed.

4. Christian Martyr Cassie Bernall: One of the killers allegedly asked student Cassie Bernall if she believed in God, then killed her when she said yes. Bernall became a revered figure among evangelical Christians. In fact, one of the killers posed the question to another girl, Valeen Schnurr, after she had already been shot. They had a short exchange, he reloaded, got distracted, and she crawled away to safety.

5. Marilyn Manson: Klebold and Harris hated Marilyn Manson. On his Web site, Harris said he loved, "Good, fast, hard, strong, pounding TECHNO!! Such as KMFDM, PRODIGY, ORBITAL, RAMMSTEIN, and such."

6. Escape to New York: Harris' journal does contain a passage about hijacking a plane and crashing it into New York City, but that appears to have been an early fantasy. He settled on a more practical scheme long before he and Klebold actually staged their massacre. By the time of the attack, they fully expected to die at the high school. They refer to their death routinely and explicitly in their writings and in their videos.

7. Outcasts: Perhaps the most pervasive myth is that Harris and Klebold were rejected outcasts. They were not captains of the football team, but they were far more accepted than many of their schoolmates. They hung out with a tight circle of close friends and partied regularly on the weekend with a wider crowd.

knuckles
October 12, 2006, 03:20 PM
Hm, so much for this thread....

JohnBT
October 12, 2006, 04:10 PM
"State police Capt. John Laufer, head of the Lancaster barracks, said his investigators have been able to talk to only one of the surviving girls, who are hospitalized at Hershey, because of their medical conditions.

“We confirmed that (13-year-old Marian Fisher) did say ‘Shoot me first,’” Laufer said, “and then Roberts made a statement to the girls, ‘I’m going to make you pay for my daughter.’’’"

The link didn't work for awhile, so I thought I'd post this quote in case it goes down again.

JT

SuperNaut
October 12, 2006, 04:25 PM
In that case, I join the chorus in praising her selflessness.

tellner
October 12, 2006, 04:43 PM
Henry, I'm afraid it's absolutely accurate. The pro side has been using the tragedy to call for turning elementary school teachers into armed bodyguards. It's every bit as political and every bit as venal and self-centered as the other side.

Henry Bowman
October 12, 2006, 05:11 PM
It's every bit as political and every bit as venal and self-centered as the other side.*sigh*

Only if it were true.

Joe Progun says, "Teachers should not be disarmed" or "Teachers should be allowed to be armed" or even "Schools should not be CCW-free zones." This is (mis)translated or reported as "Joe Progun says that all teachers should be armed." I trust you can see the difference.

DonP
October 12, 2006, 05:25 PM
It seems to me that the Brady Bunch was out there the day of, or the day after the Amish shootings calling for gun control "for the children".

They are still making the rounds with the same call for more gun control. They were here in Chicago this week stumping for Tammy Duckworth (Rahm Emanuel's hand picked congress critter candidate) with the same old assault weapons ban story, to protect our children.

IIRC, that Wisconsin congressman (can't recall the name) offered his "arm the teachers" comments as a reply to a "well what can we do about this?" question.

In the balance, the Brady types, Rosie O et. al. never seem to get around to offering their sympathy for the family's loss. And they never seem to have any ideas on what to do about it, just a rant for more gun control of exactly the same kind that just failed. (Rosie O has admitted on a number of public occasions to being clinically depressed and has been under medication for years to treat it, sometimes I think her responses are way out of proportion because she identifies with the behavior issue personally, more than she truly believes gun control is really any kind of answer.)

I don't consider that the congressman was "pushing an agenda". Just answering the question logically, on what can we do to stop this kind of random violence on children. People won't accept that there is nothing you can do to protect them any further. Schools are already gun free zones. Mentally disturbed people are already precluded from owning guns.

Does anyone here believe there is anything that really can be done legislatively to protect the kids?

Henry Bowman
October 13, 2006, 09:34 AM
Does anyone here believe there is anything that really can be done legislatively to protect the kids?Yes. Allow them to be defended.

In the case of the Amish school, they made their own choice as to whether to act in defense of themselves or their children. I have no problem with that other than that I don't agree. But I do not advocate passing a law that takes that choice away from them. Likewise, the Amish don't wish to impose their beliefs on me by law. "Gun free school zones" put our children in danger. Simple observations prove this fact.

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