Sunday, October 07, 2007

Spotlighting Amish Grace

The book Amish GraceWhen Chuck Colson, a leading figure of the conservative Christian right, and Bill Moyers, a leading figure of the liberal secular left, both choose to positively highlight the same thing, I think it's worth sitting up and taking notice.

That's exactly what's happened with Colson's recent commentary, "The Context of Forgiveness" (mp3) and Moyer's closing monolouge of his Bill Moyer's Journal program, "Bill Moyers on the grace of the Amish" (mov).

Both discuss the new book, "Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy". I think they are both worth listening to/watching, (and the book itself is probably well worth a read) but here's just a snippet from the Colson commentary:

A demented gunman, Charles Roberts, took a school-room full of Amish girls hostage in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. Before he killed himself, Roberts had murdered five girls in cold blood.

But as shocking as this senseless act of violence was, it was what followed that sent the real shock waves through the nation.

Within hours of the shooting, several members of the Amish community visited Mrs. Roberts and her family, to express their sorrow over her loss and to say they did not hold anything against them. Another Amish man visited the killer’s father. A Roberts family spokesperson said, “He stood there for an hour, and he held [Mr. Roberts] in his arms and said, ‘We forgive you.’”


But the question is, how are we working in our own communities to build cultures of grace? Do we teach our children to forgive? Are we actively working to restore offenders and to reach out in aid to victims? And are we overcoming the evil in the world by good, as we are commanded to?

The Amish have given us a great lesson in the way to defeat hatred and alienation. It is the Christian worldview—the only one that makes such a magnificent response to such a horrible tragedy possible.


Stephen R. Maloney said...

John Hostetler, who taught at Penn State and Temple, has written a superb study of the Amish, called, well "The Amish." He grew up in the community.

(Tomorrow, I'll reprint the large chunk of the story about Sarah.) Is she vice-presidential material? Yes. Is she presidential material? Sooner than most people imagined.


Stephen R. Maloney said...

Kazoo: Please bring the following to the notice of your friends and online contacts.

Note: If you go to Cindy's site: you'll see in the right sidebar a way to link your blog to I Vote the Elephant. If you do so, it should increase the number of visitors to you blog (perhaps dramatically), as well as give you links to pro-Republican sites. You can also accomplish these things by visiting my blog: and clicking on the "Elephant" logo. Thanks.

steve maloney

Anonymous said...

Don't Just Vote the Elephant!

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Hi, Lt. Col. William Russell of Johnstown, PA, is conducting a ferocious campaign with the goal of sending Cong. John Murtha into retirement. You can learn more about William and offer him your encouragement by visiting his web site at: I hope you and your readers will do everything you can to help this American soldier win. I've met William, and he's an outstanding invidivual. On 9/11, William and his wife were in the Pentagon when the terrorists struck. Also on 9/11, Rep. Murtha was in his "Murtha's Corner" in the House, cutting political deals. One of these gentlemen truly deserves to be in Congress, and it isn't John Murtha. Please visit William's site and offer your support to him. Ask the same of people on your e-mail list. Thanks for your help.

steve maloney
ambridge, pa

P.S. I've written several pieces recently on Russell at:

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Hi Kazoo: Is it snowing yet in upstate NY? :-)

Hi, my political blog continues with at least five columns per week -- focusing this week on the campaign of Lt. Col. William Russell against the odious John Murtha.

I've also started a new blog that emphasizes "living better on less (money)." It's about spending less and enjoying it more -- basically, how to free oneself from the rat race. I hope you and your readers will visit this site at: It also answers one of the world's most pressing question: "Where in the heck is Ambridge, PA."

steve maloney
ambridge, pa