Wednesday, October 04, 2006

How the Amish Are Facing This Recent Tragedy

The press is reporting that the Amish are quick to forgive the recent schoolhouse shooting that claimed the lives of 5 young girls so far, and may still claim others. But it is way too soon after the tragedy to make this pronouncement.

I'm surprised that the press is even repeating what they're being told when they know better. The press already viewed the Amish as a curious society, and due to this recent tragedy they have a new toy to play with.

Somebody stop this! Leave those people alone! They are still numb from the shock of it all. It's way to early to encourage them to make pronouncements when they have no idea what they're feeling.

Additionally, in their culture, they are not supposed to do anything other than forgive. What would you say when your daughter was gunned down by a stranger, but everyone surrounding you is expecting you to "forgive"? Would you suddenly erupt in a frothing diatribe and scream about how you hope he's burning in hell?

No. You would repress all those feelings, choking them back, saying what you think should be said. You would say you forgave him. But you wouldn't because you can't. It's too early.


There's an excellent article by Edward K. Rynearson, MD which digs into the recovery process when a loved one has met an unnatural death. In it, he discusses the possibility of a "stoic" response (which is what the Amish community is currently expressing):

"A minority of individuals will experience little, if any, trauma or separation distress. They respond with a stoicism and grudging acceptance of this tragedy. While stoicism may be followed by a delayed response of grief months or years later, this is a rare occurrence. Long-term study of stoic responders suggests that stoicism is a favorable sign and should not be challenged."

With any luck, they are genuinely stoic. But they need to be left to themselves to sort this out. As long as the press remains in their town, shoving microphones under their noses and asking them how they feel, they will never know.


j said...

that whole deal sucks and the press should surely leave those folks alone. I just heard on the new something very disturbing. You know that freak group of idiots that protest at the funerals of the soldiers that are killed? They just told on the news that those freaks are on their way up there.
Now that is disturbing. I wonder how those protesters vote?

Debbie (Fruitful Spirit) said...

I watched the whole thing unfold and I am so embarrassed by the press. So sure are thet that they have the right to report all the news that they spent over an hour reporting the wrong facts because they were not willing to wait for the news press. And then they wanted nothing of the facts they were being told, but wanted to know what was not determined yet. So sad, I feel for the Amish and know they have to battle this pain, and that they would love to do it in their own way. Shame on the press for not getting that message! I gain nothing to see any parent grieving over the loss of their child for whatever reason, I do not call that news!

Badoozie said...

i the news and get the heck out of their face. i freakin hate the media. they exploit everything, nothing is sacred anymore and they have zero respect for anything or anyone.

Miss Cellania said...

I think sometimes what appears "stoic" to an uninvolved observer is plain "shock". They may think delayed grief is a rare occurance, but I can tell you from experience and from group support that a lot of folks will work out their anger, fear, and anguish in private.

mckay said...

i had to turn the channel this morning while making coffee. the camera angles on one national news show seemed to make the journalist more the story than the tragedy. i hated watching the newswoman putting the grieving woman on the spot. i didn't want to watch. i'm so tired of how the news focuses on the perpetrator's past, revealing all the sick clues no one noticed. i think it opens the door for other sickos who crave the idea of going out in a blaze of glory and attention. just how many copy cat shooter/molesters are we going to have to deal with? sick. sick. sick.

all i can do is turn off the tv, pray a bit and raise my boy as best as possible so there's one more healthy, happy person in the world.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Seriously, if something like this happened to me and Rick Sanchez came along with a CNN crew and stuffed a microphone into my face and said "how do you feel" I would be arrested for murder. I would take my hoe or axe handle or whatever tool I had handy and beat the crap out of anyone in a suit, holding a microphone, or holding a camera.

As for the Amish, they are one group of people living in America that I can respect. They believe what they believe, and THEY LIVE THEIR LIFE according to that belief. There is no bullshit with them. I may not agree with them, but nobody can say that they do not live according to what they think.

To me, it is not news that they "forgive" the basket case who went on the rampage. This is what it means to live according to what you believe. The bible says to forgive, and that is what they will do.

But the media does need to leave. The news story is over. Leave those people alone. The Amish Community is all the support group they need.

NOBODY needs some jackass in a news van.

~Deb said...

It's so intrusive how they're going about this. What a horrible tragedy.

R2K said...

Pretty sad, to me it seems like their innocent world has been invaded by the outsiders. I know it cant be that simple, and I know they cant be all innocent. But it feels that way. Theye seem to be trying to live a better, more simple life. And crazy milkman mcgee had to ruin that.

I dont really agree with forgiving people. Sorry but I am that type. I dont think rage is helpful, rather it is a good idea to feel enough anger so that you can put it to practical use to improve things. Like rather than have a candle light vigil, how about protest the fact that ever creep and nut job out there can just buy a gun on a whim?

I could personally see my self going after the person who sold this guy the guns. Maybe that is just blind anger directed at an innocent party. Or maybe they would be a lot more careful selling guns if they knew they would be held to account for the crimes those guns allowed.

pissed off jsull said...

Far be it from me and I do believe that your intentions are good, this never would have happened if everyone had guns. No I don't want felons and such to have guns but damn dude if regular folks/teachers/staff/administration were packing how many would have been killed. I can answer that. None. He never would have tried it.
He would have stayed home cut his wrists and bled his sorry assed self to death.
thats what low rent fucking cowards do.

EmmaSometimes said...

It's sad, tragic and horrible what happened but I don't believe forgiveness to be an event but an on-going action.

The media doesn't understand this. Somedays are easier to forgive than others and to question when is too soon or not soon enough is certainly not the media's place. I SO agree the media needs to leave those people ALONE!!

I hear on the news "life has to go on" as a quote from someone in the Amish community, and the media treats that like that is an outrageous statement. How the heck do they know the best time on when they should move on? Oh, wait, let me get the manual on school shootings. Forgiveness comes exactly 26 days from the death of your loved one and moving on comes a week sooner no later. PULEEESE.

I am not an expert, by any means, but putting expectations on the limitations of grief or forgiveness is absolutely wrong. I wouldn't dream of telling someone they've grieved too short of a time just as much as I wouldn't to tell someone when their forgiveness was genuine or not. It is a personal decision that I would never feel comfortable questioning.

I pray that God gives them peace in this time. They really need it.

EmmaSometimes said...

ps. good post, as usual Saur.

daveawayfromhome said...

Dont worry, the press will go away as soon as a nice, new, shiny story appears. Does anyone else think that the American press is starting to resemble the British Tabloid press, say, circa the death of Princess Diana?

The Lazy Iguana said...

jsull - your logic would lead me to conclude that the cure for cancer is...MORE CANCER! Why, if EVERYONE had cancer then.....uhhhh....what was I talking about again??

The idea that more guns on the street will prevent gun violence is not exactly very solid.

That said, there is not a whole lot that can be done about it at this point. The time to remove handguns from society was when Colt invented the famous .45 caliber model 1911 handgun.

But it is a little late now. Removing handguns today will mean that criminals will have them for the next 20 or so years. And ONLY criminals will have them. And cops.

The NRA is full of crap. We DO need more controls over firearms.

And for the 2nd amendment? Why make it easy for terrorists to get assult rifles? I mean, if Bush can spy on what books I check out from the public library, or check my phone call records, or data mine my credit card history, or wiretap my phone - why not keep track of how many guns I own? Is the 2nd amendment more important than the 4th or 5th?

j said...

well there is no way for bush or anyone else to keep track of our guns bro. I only own 34 and none are regesterd anywhere. There are people who don't own any. I can't fathom not loving my family enough to be able to protect them to all ends. If the teacher at the Mormon school would have had a gun how many little girls would have been killed?
I guess that would depend on how well her father had taught her to shoot. I assure you that you don't want to go up against my daughter. Shes 7, unless you are a marine she will out shoot you. I fear not leaving my family, bride 33, daughter 7 son 3, my son isn't able to shoot yet he has 2 more years but the rest of the household will absolutely wear you out at the range.
I understand that it is insane for everyone to be armed but if the teacher had been armed then all would have been negated. I agree with the NRA take. They have a regestery of the serial numbers of the guns their members have, i'd never sign up for that.
Arm yourself. Does anyone have a clue about what Hitler wanted? #1 he wanted government schools so he could pursuade the children, #2 he wanted all the citizens to be unarmed. Arm yourself people, be prepared, defend yourself.
son of the second ammendment jsull

Ed Abbey said...

First, I would like to say that we drive the media. Just looking around at the people I know, they are frothing at the mouth wanting to know the latest news about some media celebrity or event, even if it means getting partial or incorrect information. We have driven the press into what it is today in that the first one to get the scoop is the winner. The Amish tradgedy is no different than the two others a week earlier and yet not one person above mentioned the media coverage of them. We're driving the media.

Second, Lazy Iguanta said, "They believe what they believe, and THEY LIVE THEIR LIFE according to that belief." Obviously spoken by someone unfamiliar with the Amish. I live in the middle of the second largest grouping of Amish in the United States. If you study them, they are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites. They don't believe in phones but yet many have neighbors install phones in a barn across the road. They don't believe in vehicles and yet they drive vehicles on other non-Amish property and they all employ van drivers to fill their needs. They don't pay taxes and yet they have free access to our health care system and never pay what they owe. A local Amish man had a heart transplant and was told to pay what he can. His family held a bake sale on one Saturday and gave those proceeds to the hospital. That was all they ever paid. I could go on and on about the Amish and all the hypocritical things that they do.

Jsull - Amish have guns. Whoever told you they don't is wrong. The reason I know is because Amish don't believe in population control of pets by spaying or neutering. They practice population control by tying a piece of twine around the cat or dog's neck and blowing their brains out with a gun. I've seen it many times and it roils my stomach. They didn't have guns in the school, but what "English" school does?

All: Amish believe we "English" are on the fast track to hell. Does that change your opinion of this so called quaint community?

Anonymous said...

We've built a freak show society, we get what we deserve.

Edge said...

I haven't followed the story as closely as I should, but it is a testament to their deep convictions and beliefs. I find their response more admirable and noble that any I have seen in recent days.