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If Only George Bush Had Been Amish

The Amish response to the brutal slaying of five of their own offspring in an old fashioned, one-roomed school house was a blueprint for how President George Walker Bush should have responded to the slaughter of nearly 3,000 of our own citizens in the tragedy of September 11, 2001. The merciful decision to forgive a deranged man who, for whatever reason, chose to project a self-inflicted sense of hate upon a classroom of nothing but innocent children was exactly as God would have had it, exactly how he would have responded if it had been one of his own children who had been slain. Something like that of “the cross” when his son, Jesus, spoke the immortal words, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do!” A message for the ages, one for all of mankind to hear, even to understand. A reminder that hate might well rule the day, but, in the end, only love has the genuine capacity to heal a world caught up in the agonizing grip of pain and suffering.

However, such was not to be the case for our president as he chose not to travel the path of peace, but rather a way traversed by men determined to mete out justice according to an eye-for-an-eye, clenched-fist law of lex talionis, one that led a world of onlookers to condemn what turned out to be a shameful display of “shock and awe,” a merciless attack (by the greatest military power the world has ever seen) upon a country of folks preveniently bombed into a near stone-age existence, proving our country to be that of a true bully, one motivated by national glory and corporate greed, all in order to prove to the world who the boss really is, who it is that shall have “the last say.” However, as it turns out, having “the last say” depends not so much upon who is able to throw the final punch, but rather who it is that is most wise, who is able to impel folks to be a friend of he who happens to be crowned as victor.

Almost as if the world had been caught short in some sort of sleeping (counting its peace dividend) slumber, 9/11 pounced upon the body-politik as if slapped in the face. Everyone, except for those of Al-Qaeda (and a complement of heedlessly, inattentive Bush administration officials), was shocked, stricken to the core of their being, put on notice that the world had been irrevocably changed, modified to such an extent that nothing would ever be the same, that a new world order would from this point on be required. If only the Bush administration had done its homework. If only they had been prepared. If only George Walker Bush had been, as he had so routinely claimed to be, that of a true Christian, a resolute, born-again believing follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, the world may have been spared the unfathomable travesty of a “nation of believers” driven insane by an uncontrollable urge to kill in the name of an all-loving (yet, no doubt, rather ill-tempered) God.

If only George Walker Bush had taken the time to read the same Bible as that of the Amish, a simple pastoral community wanting to carry out the merciful requests of a loving God, a people who took to heart the words of one who so clearly taught that the wisdom of the world is no more than mere foolishness to God, that the urge to take revenge upon those who might choose to hurt another is nothing short of folly, that the decision to strike back is like pouring kerosene on a lighted fire, a catalyst that transforms enmity to into a certain desire to kill.

If only our president would have had the capacity to comprehend that having been attacked, the world, for the first time since the days of Pearl Harbor, seemed to feel sorry for us, were more than ready to help us. We had the world in the very palm of our hand, and all that was required was to simply place the so-called terrorist problem in that of their own lap, and, out of an empathic concern for us as a people, they would have immediately come to our rescue. The United Nations had placed inspectors in Iraq, no weapons of mass destruction had been found, and, for the cost of merely one week of war in Iraq, we could have financed the work of a phalanx of inspectors for decades to come. And with the balance of money having been spent on a war lasting longer than that of our involvement in World War II (an amount nearing one half trillion dollars!) we could have paved “the roads of the world” with the glittering gold of gracious and benevolent concern for others by constructing medical clinics for the sick, schools for those without education, water wells for those living in parched lands, and by feeding the tens of millions of staving children around the world…… random acts of kindness that would have generated enough good will to last until the end of time.

And all of such while having pretended to be a noble, Christ-centered, nation, aided and abetted by a sanctimonious undercurrent of jack-booted, xenophobic apologists having marched their way into the bloodstained jaws of empire, we will one day be taken to task, forced, by all of humanity, to take responsibility for having allowed ourselves to have become a venerable “den of thieves,” a nation condemned for having led the world into an apocalypse of horrors, an astonishingly brutal abolition of the world….. as we now know it.

G. Doug Soderstrom, Ph.D.

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The following comments are for "If Only George Bush Had Been Amish"
by dougsoderstrom

Hear hear
Dear Doug

That one single image: of the Amish absolutely unstinting in their forgivness , while in the background the horse-drawn buggies , carrying the bodies of their little innocents so cruelly and cold-bloodedly cut down - shames the whole lot of us ,caught up in the mad mad rush to the Brave New World - as little else ever could.

Very simply ,it begs the question : who is truly evolved - a simple , pastoral folk who've -rightly it seems -spurned the seductive lure of all that modernity holds out , to trudge the often rocky road to Calvary - or the rest of us , wallowing in it.

The answer stares one in the face.

( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: October 12, 2006 )

You said it so very well.... the stark contrast between that of modernity and sin in relation to that of the pastoral life of a simple people and their reverence for God.

Well said, my friend!

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: October 13, 2006 )

Right on! I agree with you 100%.

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: October 13, 2006 )

If only
If only the only inititial European emigrants had been Amish they would have lived in peace and harmony with native Americans from the first Thanksgiving until the competing European powers set their sights upon virgin lands thinly populated by native savages and expatriate misanthropes unwilling to yield to the manifest destiny of English/Spanish/Portugese/Dutch colonial ambitions. The USA inherited its imperialist tendencies honestly from its European progenitors. Their howls of protest are the whining of has-beens, could-have-beens, and should-have(never had a shot in a million)-beens.

I admire the Amish. If their methods ruled throughout the world we could have a peaceful agrarian society capable of supporting perhaps one billion humans (maximum optimism), several billion too late for a bucolic agrarian scenario failing cataclysmic population reduction- choose your poison: holy war, plague, famine, divine intervention, probing aliens et al. If any one tribe ruled peace would reign. But there are tribes within tribes- Shiite v Sunni, Catholic v Protestant, just to start and there are subsets within the subsets ad infinitum. I could go on and I will but not right now. Thanks for making me think differently. I may expand upon this but I tend at times to think I poop gold.

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: October 13, 2006 )

As person of Dutch-Portuguese blood, I take the drsoos words to be ugly unfair and much offense of my heritage. It is more complicated these things are but so easy it is for the doctor to blame my white skin that I should be ashamed for what? The Afrikaans slave traders that were of Negro race sold own for their capitalist imperialism. A thing that is fault of many not just few. Amish are my relatives of not too far cousins in Pennsylvania. Simple ideas do not apply well in all matters as thinks the drsoos.

( Posted by: Dykker [Member] On: October 13, 2006 )

fingerin' Dykker
Thanks for creating yourself in response to me. Do you have anything useful to contribute, little boy? Go play in traffic with your balls.

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: October 13, 2006 )

I don't know if your poop is gold or not...... but I certainly do like "the smell" of what you so eloquently indicated. I agree with everything you said.

White skin..... just another damn color, and in that of my own mind, nothing at all for one to be proud; character yes/ color.... Hell no!

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: October 14, 2006 )

In my previous comment on this piece I neglected to comment on this piece, instead offering my runaway train of thought.

You certainly made me think, as evidenced previously. I agree with most of this. Bush, and indeed all of us, fall far short of the Amish' determination to "practice what they preach" in forgiving the seemingly unforgivable. I too, should strive to forgive, and forget rather than harshly rebuke what I perceive as foolish pranksterism; and judge not. This is a thoughtful commentary well-expressed and I am pleased to have read it.

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: October 14, 2006 )

Thank you very much!

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: October 15, 2006 )

Even though I did not agree with your remarks in regards to drsoos's words, I still would like to thank you for having taken the time to read my article.

The best to you.


( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: October 15, 2006 )

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