Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Evil in Nickel Mines

By now everyone who's not living under a rock knows about the horrible massacre of five Amish schoolgirls in Nickel Mines, PA, a week ago Monday. When I first heard the news, I immediately went into denial. It couldn't have been an Amish school, I told myself, the newscast got it wrong. I couldn't believe what I was hearing because the Amish are perhaps the most peaceful and harmless community in America. All they do is farm; who would want to hurt them, especially their children? When the horrible reality finally sank in I got sick to my stomach, and then I got mad.

Only pure evil could do what was done in Nickel Mines. Only a human being totally consumed with evil could go into a school, any school, handcuff the little girl pupils together, then execute them, one by one. We need to get reaquainted with the reality of evil. Almost as soon as the horror unfolded, talking heads were calling Charles Roberts, the killer, "crazy", and a "nut job". Charles Roberts wasn't crazy. He wasn't a nut job; he was evil. Evil. And the sooner we accept that, the better off we'll be.

People don't go into schools and murder the children there because they have guns, as Rosie O'Donnell would have you believe. No, people go into schools and murder the children there because they, the killers, are evil. Our society has spent at least a generation running away from the concept of evil. As we've abandoned God, we've abandoned God's opposite, evil. We now prefer to believe that atrocious acts like the one commited at Nickel Mines must be the product of some deep emotional and/or psychological disturbance in the perpetrator. We also prefer to believe that we can repair this disturbance with "treatment" and eventually release the "cured" monster back into society. That type of thinking is behind the current reluctance of so many judges to put child molesters in jail for any length of time. This type of thinking also leaves us ill prepared to deal with the killers who don't kill themselves, as Charles Roberts did.

The Amish community astonished us "English"--their word for the non-Amish--folks by immediately forgiving Charles Roberts. Some of the family members of the murdered girls even attended Roberts' funeral. Such acts are the result of the deeply Christian Amish culture. The Bible, in the New Testament, tells Christians to not resist evil but to "overcome evil with good". I think the Amish are trying to do that. I don't know if that is really the best way to deal with evil, but at least such a belief acknowledges that evil does, in fact, exist. And in doing that, the Amish are far ahead of us "progressive" English.

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