Morning meditation - Universal compassion
The Five People You Meet in Heaven, the film

The Amish of Orleans Couny, NY

Amish_1 On Thursday evening, February 17, 2007, some of the Amish people who live in Orleans County, NY spoke to us and with us at the Pullman Memorial Universalist Church in Albion, NY about their faith tradition, their beliefs, their values, and their practices.

The Amish deliberately separate themselves from the secular world because they seek a more spiritual Christian life. In order to pursue this life they are willing to make sacrifices giving up modern appliances and clothing which they fear would detract and distract them from their pursuit of the holy.

One of their beliefs and practices which I admire most, and I admire many of their values and practices, if not all their beliefs, is their value of nonviolence. Since the 1500s, as part of the Anabaptist movement, they have practiced nonviolence. If actions speak louder than words, one only has to witness the behavior of the Amish towards the wife and family of the gunman who killed their children in the schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, PA.

What if the Bush Administration's response to the terrorist attack on 9/11 had been a nonviolent response of problem solving, and getting to the bottom of the reasons that that harm was done, and finding nonmilitary ways to repair the harm, rather than taking the nation to war?

As Americans, we are taught in our social studies courses in public schools, and in our history classes in college, pretty much what amounts to a history of war. Perhaps it is time in our human history, and in the development of our democracy in the United States, to get in touch with our nonviolent traditions as a way of dealing with our grievances and injustice, avarice and greed, and lust for power. The models for such strategies are there, as a part of our history, but they are hidden from us in cloistered communities in bucolic hillsides in places like Orleans County, NY.



I enjoyed the article...I have a question maybe you can help me, I have a farm in Pembroke (not far from you) in Genesee County with some nice hardwoods in my woods. Specifically about 100 nice cherry trees that I want to sell or trade nd am looking to contact an Amish logger who does work with horses and wagon. I am unable to find a name of someone who might point me in the right direction. Can you help? Thanks, Steven

The comments to this entry are closed.