The response of the Amish to school shootings they themselves describe as “the Amish 9/11” has been to turn the other cheek, to forgive the shooter and reach out to his family.

This made me think what would the world be like if the U.S. had responded to 9/11 the way the Amish did to the school shootings? What if the U.S. said “these people were troubled and clearly out of their minds. We should not think evil of them. We should forgive, and reach out to their families.”

One’s instinctive reaction is to think the terrorists would have just kept attacking. But would they? Such a pacifist response kind of takes the wind out of an attacker’s sails, makes the whole world say, “Look what you did to these peaceful people.” Kind of like that song by Coven, where one group of people attacked another, and the “treasure” they were seeking by force turned out to be nothing but the words “Peace on Earth.” 

Of course, one can’t really imagine the U.S. responding in a pacifist way to 9/11. In fact, one can’t imagine any nation of the earth responding in this fashion to the equilvalent of 9/11. The natural response is to seek out the attackers and their support system and kill them.

And yet here you have the Amish, who have enough numbers to be, in effect, a small nation. And they respond with forgiveness. It makes a person wonder…is a world without war possible? Wouldn’t the first logical step toward such a world be to respond, as the Amish did, to an act of war like 9/11? Will we ever see a world where something like that might happen?

What if you had a situation where, say, a nation like Bhutan or Nepal were attacked by a terrorist group, and the leader of the nation said something like, “Because the majority of people in the nation embrace non-violent, pacifist beliefs in accordance with their religion, the response of the nation, like the response of the individuals who make up that nation, will be to forgive this attack and determine what we can do to provide help for the loved ones of the group which attacked us.”

I can’t imagine the U.S. responding to 9/11 in a pacifist way. My head can hardly get itself around a concept like that. But I can imagine a theoretical world where SOME OTHER nation might respond to a 9/11 act as the Amish did and, nation by nation, this might become the norm.

And it makes me think…isn’t that a better world? And what could be done to move toward a world like that? Or would evil, violent people just take over the world, because good people wouldn’t be willing to fight them?  

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