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The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard

Amish Grace, the book

Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcends Tragedy by Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt, and David L. Weaver-Zercher is a wonderful book, well written, informative, and inspiring.

Amish Grace describes the events following the tragedy at Nickel Mines, PA on October 2, 2006, when Charles Carl Roberts IV went into an Amish school and took 10 little girls hostage and eventually killing 5 and wounding another 5 and then killing himself.

The Amish, true to their beliefs, forgave Roberts and his family and invited Roberts widow and family to the funerals of their children and many of the Amish also attended the funeral of Roberts.

These acts of forgiveness, while true to the teachings of Jesus, are rarely seen in our society hell bent on vengeance and retribution. Many questions arose in resistance and denial of the forgiveness of the Amish accusing them of perpetrating a PR stunt, or of being psychologically imbalanced. Yet, Kraybill, Nolt, and Weaver-Zercher trace the history of the Amish culture and demonstrate that their acts of forgiveness are genuine, sincere, and "natural" given their belief system and culture.

Diana Butler Bass, a religion columnist, is quoted in the book as saying, "What if the Amish were in charge of the war on terror?"

While Bush and his religious right base claim to be Christian, they certainly don't follow the teachings of Jesus, but the Amish actually do and it shocks the world.

This is a lovely, well written, and inspiring book. I highly recommend it to all Americans and to people around the world, especially Christians who profess to follow Jesus. If people who profess to follow Jesus are sincere, they should pay close attention to the example set by our Amish brothers and sisters.

Having lost two children myself to a 3 time drunk driver, I know personally what it is like to loose children suddenly in a horrific tragedy. Other parents have suffered the same loss of children either suddenly or though terminal illnesses. It would be very helpful if we had the love, sympathy, and support of a community like the Amish have created for themselves.

As a Nickel Mines Amish man said on interview, "We were all Amish this week." I wish that we all  become Amish from here on out. Our world would be a much better place. If we all cannot become Amish, at least we would do well to practice their belief in the redemptive power of forgiveness.

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