On a recent trip to the University of Notre Dame to speak at a conference on “Religion, Spirituality and Business,” I stopped at a toll-road fast-food, fast-fuel station. A theme of my address was to be that “the market has won,” that it is all-enveloping, all-embracing, intrusive, unavoidable.
Last summer I visited the elderly Amish bishop of the church district where my parents were members when I was a child. I took the bishop to visit a few relatives of his in the Holmes County, Ohio, community.
The Amish community, which inspired the world with acts of forgiveness after a Pennsylvania schoolhouse shooting, has been named the newsmaker of the year by the Religion Newswriters Association (RNA) and Beliefnet.
The blood was barely dry on the floor of the West Nickel Mines School when Amish parents sent words of forgiveness to the family of the one who had slain their children. Forgiveness? Forgiveness so quickly for the heinous crime of killing five Amish schoolgirls? How could the Amish forgive such a thing so quickly? Was it a genuine gesture or just a gimmick?
If you were among the 5.4 million viewers who made the premiere of Amish in the City a smashing success, supporters of the widely misunderstood Christian group want you to know that the show does not constitute educational programming.