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Amish mourn gunman in school rampage (offer heartfelt forgiveness at Roberts funeral)
Yahoo News ^ | October 7, 2006 | MARK SCOLFORO

Posted on 10/07/2006 1:19:17 PM PDT by NYer

Dozens of Amish neighbors came out Saturday to mourn the quiet milkman who killed five of their young girls and wounded five more in a brief, unfathomable rampage.

Charles Carl Roberts IV, 32, was buried in his wife's family plot behind a small Methodist church, a few miles from the one-room schoolhouse he stormed Monday.

His wife, Marie, and their three small children looked on as Roberts was buried beside the pink, heart-shaped grave of the infant daughter whose death nine years ago apparently haunted him.

About half of perhaps 75 mourners on hand were Amish.

"It's the love, the forgiveness, the heartfelt forgiveness they have toward the family. I broke down and cried seeing it displayed," said Bruce Porter, a fire department chaplain from Morrison, Colo., who had come to Pennsylvania to offer what help he could and attended the burial. He said Marie Roberts was also touched.

"She was absolutely deeply moved, by just the love shown," Porter said.

Leaders of the local Amish community were gathering Saturday afternoon at a firehouse to decide the future of the schoolhouse, and of the school year itself.

The prevailing wisdom suggested a new school would be built.

"There will definitely be a new school built, but not on that property," said Mike Hart, a spokesman for the Bart Fire Company in Georgetown.

Roberts stormed the West Nickel Mines Amish School on Monday, releasing the 15 boys and four adults before tying up and shooting the 10 girls. Roberts, who had come armed with a shotgun, a handgun and a stun gun, then killed himself.

Roberts' suicide notes and last calls with his wife reveal a man tormented by memories — as yet unsubstantiated — of molesting two young relatives 20 years ago. He said he was also angry at God for the Nov. 14, 1997, death of the couple's first child, a girl named Elise Victoria who lived for just 20 minutes.

Hart is one of two non-Amish community members serving on a 10-member board that will decide how to distribute donations that have come in following the global news coverage. One stranger walked into the firehouse Saturday morning and dropped a $100 bill in the collection jar.

The condolences flowing into the Bart Post Office filled three large cartons on Saturday — two for the Amish children and one for the Roberts clan.

"(It's) envelopes, packages, food and a lot of cards," clerk Helena Salerno said.

More than $500,000 has been pledged, some of which is expected to cover medical costs for the five surviving girls. They remain hospitalized, and one is said to be in grave condition.

As the Sabbath Day approached, close friends expected to spend Sunday paying visits to the victims' families.

The funerals for the five slain girls — Marian Fisher, 13; Anna Mae Stoltzfus, 12; Naomi Rose Ebersol, 7, and sisters Mary Liz Miller, 8, and Lena Miller, 7 — were held Thursday and Friday.

One Amish woman, an aunt to the Miller girls, set out Saturday to retrieve some of the flowers dropped near the school and bring them to the families.

She was traveling on an Amish scooter and tried to balance two potted plants before going home and returning for the task with a child's small wagon.

The massacre sent out images to the world not only of the violence, but also of a little-known community that chooses to live an insular, agrarian way of life, shunning cars, electricity and other modern conveniences.

By Saturday, the hordes of satellite trucks and stand-up reporters had mostly left the country roads, and a semblance of routine returned. Early in the morning, Amish farmers hauled farm equipment past the boarded-up school.

"It was just getting to be too much," said Jane Kreider, a 48-year-old teacher's aide in Georgetown. "It was just, 'Get out of dodge, get out of our town and we'll pull together.'"


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: amish; funeral; gunman; roberts
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AFP - Fri Oct 6, 7:31 PM ET

Amish girls peer out the window of a buggy as they pass through town before the start of a funeral procession of Anna Mae Stoltzfus, age 12, a victim of the Amish school shooting in the town of Nickel Mines, Penn., on 06 October 2006. Four other victims killed by Charles Roberts were buried 05 October 2006. Five other girls remain in critical or serious condition.(AFP/Timothy A. Clary)

1 posted on 10/07/2006 1:19:19 PM PDT by NYer
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To: Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...
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2 posted on 10/07/2006 1:20:08 PM PDT by NYer ("It is easier for the earth to exist without sun than without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. PPio)
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To: CindyDawg; Kimmers; rit; Dog; LibertyRocks; pandoraou812; Sisku Hanne; WV Mountain Mama; ...
By Saturday, the hordes of satellite trucks and stand-up reporters had mostly left the country roads, and a semblance of routine returned. Early in the morning, Amish farmers hauled farm equipment past the boarded-up school.

"It was just getting to be too much," said Jane Kreider, a 48-year-old teacher's aide in Georgetown. "It was just, 'Get out of dodge, get out of our town and we'll pull together.'"

Even the non-Amish had enough of the newshogs. Thanksfully they have moved on to their next feeding frenzy.

3 posted on 10/07/2006 1:22:23 PM PDT by dirtboy (Good fences make good neighbors)
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To: dirtboy

Good!


4 posted on 10/07/2006 1:23:43 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: NYer
As the Sabbath Day approached, close friends expected to spend Sunday paying visits to the victims' families.

Thank goodness they will be able to make their rounds in some semblence of peace.

5 posted on 10/07/2006 1:23:50 PM PDT by dirtboy (Good fences make good neighbors)
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To: wagglebee

I wonder if they will do any searching on the hard drive of his computer at home. Would the results of their findings be interesting to see that these things always come with a trail.


6 posted on 10/07/2006 1:24:58 PM PDT by rovenstinez
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To: NYer
"It was just, 'Get out of dodge, get out of our town and we'll pull together.'"

Words the media needs to hear a lot more of. We would all be a lot better off.

We stand to learn a lot form the Amish.

7 posted on 10/07/2006 1:27:22 PM PDT by oyez ( The older I get, the better I was.)
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To: wagglebee
I saw one picture of a funeral procession of buggies going through downtown Georgetown (all one block of it), and their route was completely surrounded by photographers and cameramen.

The media has become this surreal gigantic python, coiling around a story and squeezing the breath out of it, and then moving on to the next target. On my commute through Bart Township, I never had any notion that someday the quiet roads would become absolutely choked with news vans. It is just too absurd to contemplate, even now.

8 posted on 10/07/2006 1:29:50 PM PDT by dirtboy (Good fences make good neighbors)
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To: dirtboy

I'm sure the alphabet networks will be making TV movies about it very soon.


9 posted on 10/07/2006 1:30:55 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: oyez

Just reading this brings tears to my eyes and a pain in my heart.....

I have alot of 'Jesus' learning to relearn before I die, to forgive someone for killing your child is something I don't know if I could do, and to see The Lord on Judgement day, I must beable to forgive that much....

....back to Bible learning for me....


10 posted on 10/07/2006 1:31:31 PM PDT by HarleyLady27 (My ? to libs: "Do they ever shut up on your planet?" "Grow your own DOPE: Plant a LIB!")
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To: NYer

Once again, the Amish demonstrate their fidelity to the teachings of Jesus. It is an impressive, and awe-inspiring thing.

They mourn the very man who caused the death of their children. Few can do this, and only through devotion to the teachings of Jesus are they able to do so.

Their strength of faith should be a beacon to other Christians, in my opinion, and an inspiration to non-Christians. They certainly inspire me.

For those who are interested in learning where this forbearance on the part of the Amish arises, all that is needed is a careful reading of Matthew, Chapters 5-7. It's all in there. It is the core of true Christianity.


11 posted on 10/07/2006 1:32:00 PM PDT by MineralMan (Non-evangelical Atheist)
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To: HarleyLady27

See my #11. It is from Jesus' own words, as recorded in the four Gospels that the Amish draw their strength of faith. If you would study to learn how the Amish follow Jesus, you'll find it there.


12 posted on 10/07/2006 1:34:01 PM PDT by MineralMan (Non-evangelical Atheist)
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To: MineralMan
Their strength of faith should be a beacon to other Christians, in my opinion, and an inspiration to non-Christians. They certainly inspire me.

Amen to that. Even if you do not share their faith, the extent to which they are willing to adhere to such, in the face of such an insane, random incident, should be a point of reflection for all.

13 posted on 10/07/2006 1:34:35 PM PDT by dirtboy (Good fences make good neighbors)
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To: NYer

TROPs could learn plenty about tolerance and forgiveness from the Amish.

The Amish have shown a quiet strength to the world in this.


14 posted on 10/07/2006 1:34:39 PM PDT by TomGuy
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To: oyez
We stand to learn a lot form the Amish.

Absolutely! Lesson #1 = turn off the tv, radio, and other intrusions in your life and use that time to raise your children with love, discipline and fear of the Lord. To forgive the man who murdered their children is to know peace in one's heart.

15 posted on 10/07/2006 1:34:54 PM PDT by NYer ("It is easier for the earth to exist without sun than without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. PPio)
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To: NYer

Looks like the Amish really do turn the other cheek. In a day of high tech, we don't have time to talk to nieghbors yada yada, these simple folks live out the Gospel in quiet yet powerful ways.


16 posted on 10/07/2006 1:39:10 PM PDT by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: dirtboy

Yup. They are an example of what is best about Christianity. Most religions offer some group of believers who epitomize the core values of that religion, at least from my own experience.

The Amish, along with other of the "simple" sects of Christianity, seem to me to do that for Christianity. There are some orders of monks and nuns of Catholicism who do something very similar in following Jesus' teachings. Some offer retreats where a guy can visit for a period. Very worthwhile.

I know a monastery of Buddhists that seems to me to epitomize the core of Buddhism, as well, and have retreated there a couple of times.

I've also done a retreat at a Hindu retreat center which has about it the same simple faith.

It's terrific to see such people in real life.


17 posted on 10/07/2006 1:40:21 PM PDT by MineralMan (Non-evangelical Atheist)
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To: dirtboy
"By Saturday, the hordes of satellite trucks and stand-up reporters had mostly left the country roads, and a semblance of routine returned."

That's it !

A genuine display of God in the lives of people and the lame stream media runs ... sorta' like holding up a cross in front of a vampire in the movies.

18 posted on 10/07/2006 1:41:55 PM PDT by knarf (Islamists kill each other ... News wall-to-wall, 24/7 .. don't touch that dial.)
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To: NYer

I'm sorry but...

God hasn't forgiven the gunman, why should the Amish? (If I can presume to divine God's will here.) According to the Bible, you would have to repent your sins and accept Jesus as your savior before being allowed into God's kingdom. Since the gunman's last sin was suicide, he never had the chance to repent and is therefore damned.

I find it hard to respect the Amish for their forgiving ways. It's nice and all, but every now and then PEOPLE need to take a stand against evil. How great does the sin have to be for them not to forgive? Would Hitler be forgiven? Their conscientious objection to judgment, let alone violence, makes them sheep to the slaughter and endangers the lives of their children.

The gunman is trash and I'm thankful he's dead.

I'm guessing someone might find this post offensive, but it is not meant to attack anyone personally. When one looks at the parallels between a willingness to fight against terrorists and conscientious objection to that fight, you may see my point. Those that would always refuse the fight are ripe to be slaughtered by Islamofascists.


19 posted on 10/07/2006 1:43:37 PM PDT by bolobaby
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To: MineralMan

An inspiration and few of us can emulate it.
susie


20 posted on 10/07/2006 1:45:34 PM PDT by brytlea (amnesty--an act of clemency by an authority by which pardon is granted esp. to a group of individual)
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