Thursday, October 12, 2006

So, the Amish school house where ten girls were shot by Charles Carl Roberts IV is now demolished:

Workers with machines moved in before dawn Thursday and demolished the one-room Amish schoolhouse where a gunman fatally shot five girls and injured five others.

Though known for constructing buildings without the aid of modern technology, the Amish relied on an outside demolition crew with heavy machinery to bring closure to the painful chapter in their peaceful community.....

“I think the Amish leaders made the right decision,” Mike Hart, a spokesman for the Bart Fire Company, said as loaders lifted debris into dump trucks to be hauled away.

A group of 20 to 30 people, most of them Amish, gathered nearby to watch as the schoolhouse was leveled. “It seems this is a type of closure for them,” Hart said.


I guess it's already been ten whole days since the killing and everyone, including the Amish, want closure on this horrible incident. So now that the murderer has been forgiven and the school demolished, I wonder if that will help erase the memory of the five murdered girls from their minds? If it is true that the Amish think that the girls are better off than their survivors, why knock down the school house at all--shouldn't it stand as a symbol of these girls going to a better place?

78 Comments:

Blogger Doug Wade said...

I wonder if it's partially so it won't be a tourist draw. As far as I can tell the Amish are already not that thrilled to be an object of tourism although they like having a market for their quilts.

I also if maybe nobody's quite willing to say "It's because nobody can get the stains out of the wood".

3:54 PM, October 12, 2006  
Blogger craig said...

The school commemorates the killer and crime more than the innocent victims. Plus it would probably draw a lot of "crime tourists".

I doubt that anything can erase the memory of the girls from their mind. It is a very tight-knit community; the victims were not just "neighbors" but were sisters, cousins, nieces.

4:05 PM, October 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's with the hostility to these folks, doctor? First forgiveness as an "aphrodisiac" for the predator and now this?

As I remember, there was talk in Columbine about closing the library after the attack there, although I don't remember whether they did so or not. Given the much smaller investment in a low-tech Amish schoolhouse, it only makes sense to abandon this one and build anew somewhere else rather than asking the surviving kids to continue to use it.

The "they're in a better place now" idea is a fairly standard Christian belief/coping mechanism, especially when the deceased are kids. Does it really shock your conscience that much?

What is it about these people that pushes your buttons so hard?

4:37 PM, October 12, 2006  
Blogger TMink said...

Well, they are not like us. Tearing down the schoolhouse struck me as odd as well. All I can conclude is that their ways are not mine. I wonder what I would ahve done. I think I would have tried to make something positive out of the tragedy although just what shape or form that would take I have no idea.

Trey

5:04 PM, October 12, 2006  
Anonymous dweeb said...

If it is true that the Amish think that the girls are better off than their survivors,

The link you provide gives no indication that this is believed to be the case. The Amish don't require a profession of saving faith, baptism, and church membership until adulthood, so it's very possible that these children were not yet 'saved,' and assured of going to a better place.

5:41 PM, October 12, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...

Anonymous 4:37:

What bothers me is that these people find violence intolerable, do not believe in resistance so leave their members open to any crime, yet for such "compassionate people," they tend to forgive a murderer as quickly as possible so that they can go on with their controlled, structured lives--while at the same time attempting to purge the girls from their thoughts by quickly removing the school--the last place they took their last breath.

For people who act so compassionate--they do not seem to hold people's lives as very important. These girls died a horrible death only ten days ago, why try so hard to erase their memory so quickly and move on?--to me, it feels like their compassion is driven more by relief and denial than by real feeling and empathy--except for the murderer and their own desire to "get back to normal."

6:12 PM, October 12, 2006  
Blogger Cham said...

I guess it is their school so it is their business on what they do with it. Maybe they didn't want to have that creepy feeling every time they passed it. Maybe they don't want the kids to have to relive the nightmare.

An Amish family near Lancaster invited me into their home a few years back for Thanksgiving. They are a wonderful, kind, caring group.

Please, let them be.

6:21 PM, October 12, 2006  
Blogger TabithaRuth said...

Helen, I'm worried about you.

"Purge the girls from their thoughts," "erase their memory?" because they demolished the school? If someone murdered my child I would never want to see the place where it happened again. Maybe leaving it there felt more like nothing had changed rather than everything had.

Letting the building "stand as a symbol" of a better afterlife is an odd thought. People who believe in heaven mourn their children. Forgiving the murderer is not the same as thanking him or redeeming him. It is faith that God will deal with him as justice demands.

Perhaps your work with the violent is coloring your reaction to the non-violent. You see the two together and feel that you've got to stop the outcome--by stopping the violent and getting the non-violent to fight back. You want the Amish to be publicly angry and never take it again.

But that is a different issue than mourning their children.

9:37 PM, October 12, 2006  
Anonymous Friend of USA said...

I don't know the psychological words to explain my " theory", but I believe the Amish like most people cannot really forgive that easely, they may pretend they have forgiven the murderer but in reality they feel a lot of anger - which is perfectly normal - so they re-direct their anger at the building because it is unacceptable to them to feel hate towards the murderer.

I think it is part of the reasons why they destroyed the building so quickly.

hey I never said I was 100% sure, and I never said I had a Phd in psychology, it is just an idea...

Re-directing anger where it is appropriate according to their religion...

11:21 PM, October 12, 2006  
Anonymous Friend of USA said...

And I'd like to add that I find the Amish both fascinating and a bit strange at the same time.

I admire certain things about them like their restraint ,and the way they all help each other,
but
other things - like living without music - to me is simply bizarre...
(Ok I'm biased I play the piano)

I feel both respect and a mild aversion to the Amish.

Sorry I cannot explain it any better that that.

11:30 PM, October 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...tend to forgive a murderer as quickly as possible so that they can go on with their controlled, structured lives--while at the same time attempting to purge the girls from their thoughts by quickly removing the school--the last place they took their last breath.

For people who act so compassionate--they do not seem to hold people's lives as very important. These girls died a horrible death only ten days ago, why try so hard to erase their memory so quickly and move on?--to me, it feels like their compassion is driven more by relief and denial than by real feeling and empathy--"

You judgmental, know-it-all bitch. If your daughter were murdered, would you think it clever for some nobody to sit in judgment of your approach to mourning the situation and speculate about your motives?

11:45 PM, October 12, 2006  
Blogger Micajah said...

This article in The New York Times indicates that the Amish community acted rationally in demolishing the building. It had quickly become an attraction for those who wanted to satisfy morbid curiosity. They also were concerned about the building serving as a constant reminder for the families, and about the trauma for the surviving children if they were to go back to school in that building.

I think perhaps Helen is drawing some faulty conclusions about the Amish.

12:12 AM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous marty said...

I am a fan but am apalled at your tone concerning the Amish and their beliefs. All Christian religions believe that the dead are better off in heaven with God. You do not seem to like that these people are isolating themselves, as best as possible, from material goods and technical advances. And further, that they should all be punished on a daily basis by having to stare at the atrocity building...a really great idea for the other children. They should be punished for not saving the little girls. That school only had fifteen or twenty students and it is relatively cheap to tear down and rebuild a small school.

1:27 AM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous ho hum said...

Helen is doing what Helen does: saying something outrageous in hopes that someone will link to her blog.

1:28 AM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goodness, Dr. H. Such compassion! I remember another post where you said something about how "as a psychologist" you liked to know what makes people tick. No curiosity this time? Only simple condemnation?

1:31 AM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Amish killer had been female, and the victims male, "Dr." Helen would have waxed eloquent about how affirmative action for women and feminism are to blame for such killers, and how men are increasingly becoming victims of violent women.

2:51 AM, October 13, 2006  
Blogger jw said...

Several relatives of the victims are among the local Amish: People I know fairly well ...

from what I know:

- the building is only a building ... yet it was becoming a symbol and that they do not want.
- the Amish remember VERY well ... they choose to forgive Yes, but they also remember.
- they're nervous for several reasons, one of which is uncontrolled (1) attention, they do not want attention as it draws a great many things most of which they do not want. 1: Attention in the form of tourists at a farmer's martket is quite welcome, beyond that, attention is MOST undesired. Even talking with one of the elders as he walks down the street can be a problem: It is undesired attention.

Trying to use modern city-person thinking to understand the Amish is just plain DAFT! You cannot do it. To understand their motivations and psychology one MUST use rural-isolationist thinking. The two types of thinking are very different and while not incapatable ... I must admit that it is quite hard to hold both thought forms in the same mind. I am forever making errors based on the two different ways of thinking.

I cannot stress this enough! You cannot use your every day thought processes with the Amish: It doesn't work and cannot work. The people think too differently.

4:35 AM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post seems out of character for you in a harsh / uncaring way.

Perhaps they simply believe that sending children back in to a school where they victimized, and where their friends and siblings were murdered, would be too traumatic.

I thought this was actually a very sane gesture. It's only a building and can be easily replaced. If knocking it down helps the kids move on, it sounds like a decent idea to me.

If someone killed my family in my house, I am pretty sure I would move out of the house.

8:10 AM, October 13, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...

Anonymous 11:45:

You state:

"You judgmental, know-it-all bitch. If your daughter were murdered, would you think it clever for some nobody to sit in judgment of your approach to mourning the situation and speculate about your motives?"

And my question is, why is it so horrible to be judgmental? Since when is judgment such a bad thing? Our society seeks to ostracize judgment--it is too darn mean. No wonder nobody in our society knows right from wrong.

And if I am such a nobody, who cares what I think? Apparently, you do as you feel it necessary to come to my personal blog and curse me: why, I think you are displaying a bit of judgmental behavior yourself. Should you really be judging me, given your stated intolerance for judging others? But I suppose it is safer to come here and judge me than it is to judge a murderer or those who quickly forgive murderers because of their religion. Or perhaps it is easier to judge me for not having the religion and/or beliefs that you want me to have.

If the Amish want to forgive, that's their business. But I think that society uses "forgiveness" as an excuse for not taking responsibility. It's a way to act morally superior while minimizing the stature of the victims.

8:30 AM, October 13, 2006  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

I understand their removal of the building. It takes the scene out of sight. Out of mind? No. When my grandmother died, we had to sell her house and a lot of stuff. No one wanted to relocate and her stuff was suitable to the 1920's. We did this quickly. Not to forget her, but to keep the burden of dealing with the leftovers from dragging on. And, we took a loss for expediency's sake.

If removing that building takes a visual and painful cue away, fine. Frankly, I've always found memorials to the dead to be somewhat pathological. Like an inability to let go. Everybody but everybody dies. Never understood what makes people so afraid of it.

8:57 AM, October 13, 2006  
Blogger TMink said...

To the inflamatory posters:

Wow, I thought you were gone! I would say welcome back, but that would be a lie. Instead, I will ask that you post more thoughtfully. Give us some ideas instead of calling Helen names or speculations about her sexual practices.

The "Jane you ignorant slut" posts are tedious and take up bandwidth. The cool part of this blog for me is the reasoned discourse. Disagree, challenge, raise a ruckus, but share some ideas instead of middle school attacks.

But more on point: The Amish confuse me too, and I am a Christian. I disagree with their vow of passivity, but I respect it. I do not feel that I need to withdraw from the world to practice my spirituality in a genuine manner. But their is something about the cloister in the Amish, and I respect their discipline. For me, it is important to be in the thick of things in the culture as it is.

Trey

9:53 AM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous Athena said...

The Amish are a sect, like soooo many in the world, and accepting their explanation of themselves with no skepticism indicates a lack of analytical, intellectual inquiry. Leaving insulting comments only cements one's status as a nonthinker.

Dr. Helen, naturally, is correct to question a behavior by a group that is at odds with the reaction of the majority of society.

I was a member of a sect for three years, which you may read about here if interested:

http://home.earthlink.net/~truth/ABRG-Links.html

This sect is actually prevalent throughout the world. And like the Amish, is known to present one face to outsiders as a means of maintaining the desired image. Personally, I have no doubt that the commenters who posted their thoughts that the Amish were great at Thanksgiving or are just different because they are rural (an insulting idea of itself), were merely deceived by the desire of their Amish contacts to preserve the reputation of being "different". Also, as are all groups who maintain strict social secrecy and heirarchy, the Amish have been accused by former members of harboring child and sexual abusers.

I have no respect for the "Amish" as a group, and find it bizarre that others do. I do believe that we are all capable of having good motives and kind hearts, and likely individuals who call themselves Amish are the same, but it's being able to make judgements and choose their reactions that makes them so, NOT being Amish.

Athena

12:32 PM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It surprises me that some don't understand our revulsion at Helen's mean spirited condemnation of what a group of people did after a terrible event. Her comments are not a reasoned argument; they are nasty implications that the Amish are weird because they want closure and that the weirdness is somehow reprehensible. Why can't they be like ME?? First, no one who has lost a child believes there is such a thing as closure, whether the scene of the death is left standing or not. Second, that is true no matter what religion the mourners belong to. Helen has chosen to make it all about them being Amish and she has chosen to be angry that they do things differently. Some of us are appalled at that.

1:35 PM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By "some of us," I mean Greg Kuperberg, Mike Johnson, and Andrea. In other words, Greg Kuperberg.

1:51 PM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

helen:

So, what you're saying is that I'm being judgmental in calling you judgmental? First of all, that's a pretty silly argument. Basically, that means that no one can ever criticize another person for being judgmental without being accused of the very same fault. Why, even thinking someone else is judgmental would be hypocritical. But obviously, some people ARE judgmental. I may very well be one such. But pointing out that another person judges others more harshly and more frequently than the norm or than is healthy is NOT alone being judgmental.

Secondly, I don't have a problem with judging folks. What I am saying is that your particular judgment in this case is completely inappropriate and, well, shitty under the circumstances.

You didn't answer the question, but I'm pretty sure that if your daughter were murdered in your home, you would be pretty upset at anybody who publicly called into question your motivations for, say, moving out of that home quickly. If someone said, "Well, she sure seems ready mighty quickly to forget her little girl. She must not think life is very important. She's really minimizing the stature of her daughter."-- I think you'd be pissed as hell, if you were honest here for one minute.

"Or perhaps it is easier to judge me for not having the religion and/or beliefs that you want me to have."

This almost sounds like you are sincerely accusing me of not accepting differences in religion and beliefs?! But YOU are the one who is judging THEM for not having the religion and/or beliefs that you want them to have.

"It's a way to act morally superior while minimizing the stature of the victims."

But YOU'RE the one who is being morally superior!?

"But I think that society uses "forgiveness" as an excuse for not taking responsibility."

Wait, I'm confused. Who is not taking responsibility here? The Amish? The Amish are forgiving as an excuse for not taking responsibility? The Amish are responsible?

I don't have any particular feeling for the Amish. I lived for ten years in a town with a fairly large community of Amish. They are people like any other people. There are good ones and bad ones. But the people in this story AS FAR AS WE KNOW did nothing to deserve this. They are VICTIMS. And I think your statements are crass to an unbelievable degree.

Obviously, you have a right to be crass all day long. Just expect the crap to come flying back at you with the same force you're flinging it.

trey:

"post more thoughtfully"?

"reasoned discourse"?

Why not direct your advice to helen?

2:19 PM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous Athena said...

Greg Kuperberg, I shall save my "revulsion" for the murderer, for I do not find Dr. Helen's comments appalling. I quite understand her reaction, actually, from my own personal history. Perhaps what is upsetting is that her reaction to this scene is not typical of her? I hadn't considered that.

Athena

2:31 PM, October 13, 2006  
Blogger TMink said...

Hey Anon 2:19,
I think that we may read Helen's posts on this subject differently. My reading caught lots of "I" talk in which she claimed her opinions as such and asked questions. It read to me like she was sharing her thoughts and ideas. I do not always agree with her ideas, that would be boring, but I have never been offended by them. So I bet we had different reactions to her post.
I was referring to "You" talk where there is little ownerhsip of ideas, just lots of name calling. "Bitch" seems to be a favorite. I had a friend tell me that bitch means Being In Total Control Honey. I smile every time I think of that. If Helen posted that sort of silliness I would stop reading her blog. And I would send her a post stating why too.
Perhaps a short example is in order. "Hey Helen, it seems like we are both feeling judged by each other! I guess this topic is an emotional one for me. I am curious, it seems to me that the differing religious beliefs of the Amish is uncomfortable to you. What do you think? I also wonder if you blame them for the tragedy. Did I get confused on that? Let me know, I really want to hear your ideas and where we agree and disagree."

OK, so it is a little sappy, and I am sure it comes across as totally dismissive and as if I am talking down to you, honestly I am not. But I KNOW it will read that way. Sorry. I am attempting to show that people can really disagree and remain civil. Even when we are angry.

Trey

PS Why do women think of each other as a "bitch" so much? I do not think that men put as many women in this category as women do. Thoughts?

4:09 PM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey trey:

I'll probably respond to your last post later, but I was wondering... If you're so interested in civil discourse, why don't you say something about the repeated allegations hurled around here by helen and others regarding greg kuperberg, mike johnson, andrea, etc all being sock puppets for greg kuperberg?

I mean, it's ridiculous--as if only one person in this world could be so daft as to disagree with helen?

Talk about being rude and dismissive and refusing to engage in reasoned discourse.

4:44 PM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous dweeb said...

For people who act so compassionate--they do not seem to hold people's lives as very important

No, they don't. Christianity views this world, and everything in it as condemned, temporary, and of secondary importance.

but I believe the Amish like most people cannot really forgive that easely, they may pretend they have forgiven the murderer but in reality they feel a lot of anger - which is perfectly normal - so they re-direct their anger at the building because it is unacceptable to them to feel hate towards the murderer
I think it is part of the reasons why they destroyed the building so quickly.


Ah yes, nothing is as it seems, there's always a dark pathology.

other things - like living without music - to me is simply bizarre..

News flash - everyone is not like you, and there is no requirement for them to be. Get over it.

And my question is, why is it so horrible to be judgmental?

Well, for starters, because YOUR chosen professional field has vreated an industry tells us it is?

The Amish are a sect, like soooo many in the world, and accepting their explanation of themselves with no skepticism indicates a lack of analytical, intellectual inquiry

Or it means one is simply not given to xenophobia, or doesn't have a need to pathologize everything.

I was a member of a sect for three years

That's a cult. The Amish are one of the oldest branches of Christianity - anabaptists, with roots in the first century AD. Any comparison is ludicrous. Clearly your experience colors your judgment.
Look, it's because of the leering ghouls among the rest of us that they had to tear the building down. They just want to be left alone, and merely residing in the USA, a nation founded on the principle that being left alone is everyone's right, means we should respect that, but, as we won't leave the building alone, it has to go.

It would be oh so unacceptable to talk about Muslims today in such a xenophobic manner. Does a religion have to blow things up and chop off people's heads to get a little respect and be left alone these days?

5:18 PM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is Georg Pubkeger!

Mmm, Kegger!

5:18 PM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous Jan in TX said...

I for one am SICK of hearing what WONDERFUL people the Amish are, and how us horrid "English" folks could learn a thing or two from them. I've been on a mission all week arguing against this logic. Generally, those with Amish Envy ask "Who are YOU to judge?" Well in turn, I ask: "If one says the Amish lifestyle has admirable qualities which we could all live by....is that not a judgement?
Is judgement only allowed if the ruling is favorable?"


This is a note I sent to a columnist, Christine Flowers in Philly:
===========================
In response to your column: http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/news/opinion/15747391.htm

Do not ask your GOD to help ME be like the Amish. I don't wish to live under their guidelines for PERFECTION.
I believe in rights for women and children. I don't want to be subservient, and I am grateful that my parents raised
me to be intellectual, and charitable to people of ALL faith. I'm also thankful that I was not forced to choose between
accepting their faith and being isolated from all of my family.

You ask: "What about teaching kids that they need to stay in school and explore the wonders spread before them in books? "
The Amish don't believe in this. They believe this will lead their kids astray.

You ask: "What about penalizing people for having children with multiple partners, not caring that they're creating a generation stripped of role models and hope?"
If an Amish child has an overbearing, or even abusive father, they MUST accept them as their role model. Their HOPE is to work a farm and have more children to do the same.

You ask: " What about appealing to the witnesses who know that crimes are occurring in their neighborhoods but keep their lips sealed out of fear?"
This happens within the Amish communities too. Women are afraid to report sex crimes, particularly. Incest is common, and necessary in order
to keep the community alive. Surely you are familiar with the Mary Byler case? This was not merely anecdotal, it brought other stories
to the surface as well.

This is a community which treats women and children as possessions, and shuns those who don't live like them, and will abandon family
members who violate their religious law.You won't find them in Afghanistan rebuilding communities and enabling women to return to
parliament and putting little girls back in school. You won't find them in Iraq building schools and feeding children, nor would you see them on National Guard choppers rescuing hurricane victims. I have NO desire to emulate this culture, thanks anyway.

So while you are entitled to seek this utopia for yourself, please leave ME out of your prayers.

7:49 PM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous Dan said...

Dr. H. - Would you keep the home that you child and friends was murdered in? Compounding that, would you keep it if the perpetrator's blood was all over the walls, ceiling and floors with spatter literally every where? Where your children's blood was commingled with the killers? Or would simply repaint and tolerate the occasional drop of blood here or there that the paint missed?

If you accidentally ran over your child with your car, would you keep the car?

It would seem that it would be in the best interest of the survivors to demolish the building and move on. After the burial, consigning the deceased to the mercy of God, forgiving the criminal they appropriately turned to the material task at hand, caring for the surviving community.What kid would want to use the room where their classmates and neighbors were killed?

Neither the Amish or the majority of Believers who maintain that there is a Heaven and that innocent children have a pretty good chance of getting there have little or no need to maintain memorial the locale of a heinous crime anymore than they have a need to take home the bed that grandma died in at the hospital. What they are doing is entirely consistent with their character. Keeping a bloody school house that by this point smells of decay serves no purpose.

You comments are out of line and mean.

10:19 PM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what all the fuss is about. I know EXACTLY what Dr. Helen means. And that's from personal experience. When my dad died, my mom did something completely unfathomable, almost as if she didn't respect the memory of my dad at all. In our cemetery, all the gravestones stand upright, but my mom bought one that lies flat on the ground. Of all the crazy ideas. Everyone knows that an upright gravestone shows how much respect is due the dead. A flat gravestone is invisible unless you are standing right on it--you might as well put up a billboard saying that my father's death means nothing and that we don't want to remember him when we look across the graveyard. This is just bizarre. There is no rational explanation for my mom's choice. So I know what Helen means.

11:07 PM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous Friend of USA said...

The argument only works because a small house can be demolished, but what about the highways where thousands of people have lost their lives?

And if one my loved one gets murdered on the Brooklin bridge, should they tear down the Brooklin bridge too ?

( I don't live in New York, but I doubt the Champlain bridge in Montreal would mean a lot to most of you...)

11:40 PM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm Spartacus! Er, I mean Greg Kuperberg!

11:50 PM, October 13, 2006  
Blogger jw said...

athena: There exists ways of thinking which are different. There is nothing insulting or degrading in saying that a sizeable section of the rural population do not think as do the city-dwellers. Oh, I'm not talking about Nebish here! Not at all. Rather, culture plays a part in how one thinks. Part of the reason for Jeff Foxworthy's success is that he takes a real thing and makes it too big, thus creating humor.

The Amish are for the most part exactly what they appear to be. They're good people, living a lifestyle similar to one I lived in for a while ... Not a lifestyle I or my wife would choose to practice, but a valid one.

Also, I wouldn't say that they hold back women! Not at all. ALL Amish at age 16 must choose to stay or go their own way. The 16 year old girls have the complete ability to leave with the full emotional support of their family, just like the boys: You only gain the family's financial support once you join as an adult. Also, the Amish practice the policy of woman as small business operator, I do not know of any who do not have their own independant income.

I do not agree with their policy of only educating to grade 8 or age 16, whichever comes first. I think it is daft. There are other things they do which I see as daft. That is the way life is ...

4:04 AM, October 14, 2006  
Blogger Graham Strouse said...

Those girls are dead.

They are not symbols. They are dead girls, political symbols or religious icons.

All we can do is mourn the loss. Shut it up, all of you.

6:27 AM, October 14, 2006  
Blogger TMink said...

Anon 4 something asked me "If you're so interested in civil discourse, why don't you say something about the repeated allegations hurled around here by helen and others regarding greg kuperberg, mike johnson, andrea, etc all being sock puppets for greg kuperberg?"

Well, I don't know what the hell they are talking about! It goes right over my head so I leave it alone rather than comment about something I know nothing about. I am good that way!

Trey

10:02 AM, October 14, 2006  
Blogger TMink said...

Dweeb wrote: "No, they don't. Christianity views this world, and everything in it as condemned, temporary, and of secondary importance."

Hmm, Christianity is a diverse religion. I mean, we have Methodists AND Presbyterians. Heh heh.

Seriously, the is diversity in CHristian thought. Everything in the world as condemned, well, not me. I am forgiven! And we are all loved deeply by the Creator of the universe. And we are all precious. So fallen, yes, condemned, yes in a way, but loved immeasurably.

Temporary, absolutely! But so is my marriage, my time as a father, and my time fishing. We die. One thing I always tell patients who fear the death of a loved one is that the loved one will indeed die. Facts are facts. I have limited time with my loved ones, so I try to love them well.

Secondary importance, I disagree. I am here now. Currently, in my office, Led Zep playing over the ipod, trying to get my office network set up, ready to see 4 patients starting in less than an hour, posting on one of my favorite blogs. Here is where I belong right now, and I have things to do here and now. Nothing more important than here and now because this is where God has me. He can take me, but I am here. So I am responsible for me in the here and now. I am worried about the elections coming up, I am worried about my children's education, I am concerned about the marriage of the couple I see at noon. So I try to make choices that play out my Christianity right here and right now.

I hope the disagreement feels as friendly to you as it does to me, email and blog posts sometimes miss the smile or twinkle in the eye. But I respectfully disagree that all of us Christians are "pie up in the sky, waiting for me when I die." And I bet I am not that unusual.

Trey

10:13 AM, October 14, 2006  
Anonymous Teri said...

Some thoughts:

1) Helen said "while at the same time attempting to purge the girls from their thoughts by quickly removing the school--the last place they took their last breath". They have many more reminders of the places where the girls breathed in joy and contentment, and laughed, and played - I don't see how eliminating the schoolhouse purges their thoughts of the girls. Maybe it helps dull their thoughts of the girls' final terror.

2) I too have a revulsion to the word "closure" but I don't see anywhere that anyone Amish is quoted as using it - that is the interpretation/usage of others, as far as I can tell.

3) Most likely the Amish do not have the same emotional investment in buildings as the rest of us.

They routinely build large buildings like barns. Why should they invest the time, money and emotional energy in restoring or renovating that school house when they can quickly and easily build a new one somewhere else?

If one of my children was murdered by being shot to death in a Toyota Camry, I would not pay to have new windows, new seats, a new dashboard, and new carpeting put in the Camry, I would junk it and buy a new one.

This schoolhouse is not a 3,000-student publicly-funded four-story plant. It's a Toyota Camry to the Columbine Boeing 747.

12:05 PM, October 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The house in which Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka tortured and murdered two young girls was demolished and everyone was glad.

My husband was badly injured in my daughter's schoolyard and it upset me deeply to see his blood still there in the wooden barrier. I asked the school office to have the caretakers try to remove it. Seeing it brought it all back to me in a way I didn't anticipate: it was too vivid.

A friend of mine was murdered when she was 17 years old. When someone is murdered, they are dead and they aren't suffering anymore. If you believe they are in heaven, and therefore reinforce to your mind that their suffering has ended, that can provide some small comfort.

However, your brain has been traumatized. You continually re-experience your child's, friend's, etc., horrifying death. You dream about it. You're thinking about it before you're fully awake. It haunts and tortures you.

The Amish don't need the schoolhouse to stand as a shrine: the shrine will be in their hearts.

Destroying the physical evidence of a loved one's murder is good because revisiting it would only trigger the ongoing trauma. Better to try to focus on the majority of the person's life, which hopefully was happy. It takes time for the trauma to subside, though.

The Amish community is suffering. If they choose to forgive, then it is something they will have to work on for the rest of their lives: it won't be easy for them. It's not a glib thing that they say. And forgiveness doesn't necessarily mean excusing: it can mean seeing the humanity, and the mental illness, of the man who did this and also asking God to have mercy on his sick soul. This is a more difficult way to see the world because sometimes it is easier to hate.

Unless you've experienced it, you can't know the depth of grief and pain that is caused by the violent death of a loved one, especially a defenseless child.

There is no such thing as "closure". "Closure" is a myth. In time, the pain is less acute, but it is always there. Something this horrifying changes people. Just because the Amish are not screaming and crying in front of a television camera doesn't mean they aren't grieving.

Josephine

11:17 PM, October 14, 2006  
Anonymous jan in TX said...

JW - I don't know how you can say the Amish culture does not "hold back women" - they keep modern education out a young girl's (or boy for that matter) grasp until she is 16 years old, then give her an ultimatum? And many most definitely do not have the "emotional support" of the family if they reject the faith, shunned by all, and the religion supports this. Imagine growing up knowing ONLY this community, the rest of the world is a foreign concept. You have not money, no marketable skills (we all know HOUSEWORK salaries are hardly enough to support oneself) You have no REAL choice but to accept this fate, because it is the only choice in which you are "educated" . That is oppressive.

Furthermore, it is most certainly a culture in which MEN make the decisions - period. You may be a "small business operator" but you will not be a doctor, a nurse, an Air Force Colonel, Sec of State, Software Developer, and you will not run any business your husband doesn't "allow" you to run. Sure, you may find some 'progressives' - but the CULTURE is oppressive. And they intentionally raise their kids to stay within this culture.

5:29 AM, October 15, 2006  
Blogger Rowena Hullfire said...

I don't have an issue with anything the Amish did, except it struck me as bizarre for these voluntarily destitute people set up a fund for the children of the murderer! Forgiveness is one thing, fine, but that seemed excessive and uncalled for.

I don't care for Amish society or any intentionally backwards and socially aggressive societies. They can do what they want but I am not going to be their cheerleader. A lot of people have a romanticized notion of the Amish and their ilk, but it ignores a lot of the reality.

1:10 PM, October 15, 2006  
Blogger Atticus said...

rowena hullfire,

The Amish are not destitute. Perhaps you think they are because they don't have electricity or cars? Not sure where that idea came from.

I admire them for setting up a fund for the murderer's family. Recognizing that his wife and children also lost a family member--that's an amazingly generous thing to do. Acting on that recognition is even bigger. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be the family of the murderer.

2:06 PM, October 15, 2006  
Blogger Evan M. Thomas said...

Dr. Helen, not sure I follow your logic on this one. I don't see how it is morally right or wrong to tear down the old school. But I do know that if my kids went to that school none of us would relish the thought of going back into that death hole.

1:45 AM, October 16, 2006  
Anonymous dweeb said...

Trey,

I think, when determining what is and is not Christian Doctrine, I'll give more weight to Paul than to you. "To live is Christ, and to die is gain." How you may or may not FEEL about it is your own matter.

1:21 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger TMink said...

Hey Dweeb,
I agree with your source priorities! But Paul wrote a lot! And most of it was about how to live here on this earth! We could do a word count, or you can think about it and likely agree with Paul (and me.) Why would so much space and attention be given to the here and now of interpersonal relationships if it did not matter? It DOES matter, and not just to how I feel. It matters in scripture. And that is why I disagree with your previous post.

What do you think?

Trey

2:30 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger TMink said...

Hey again Dweeb, I re-read your last post and you seemed a little defensive about my post. What's up? I did not find anything offensive or even very challenging in it, just a thoughtful disagreement. Why has your last post have the dismissive flavor of a put down in it?

Later.

Trey

5:15 PM, October 16, 2006  
Anonymous dweeb said...

Trey, your post was full of justifications based on your personal feelings, and when someone uses their feelings as a basis for a naked assertion, that's worthy of dismissal.

I never said anything about what matters - I was responding to comments about the Amish not holding people's lives as important. The point was about approaches to mourning. Many evangelicals, when referring to someone who has died, say that the person has "gone home." I think that says it pretty well. Helen's need to characterize the Amish as lacking in compassion for not nurturing anger doesn't make much sense when you think of it as holding a grudge with the person who "sent their children home."

7:40 PM, October 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You who have judged the Amish are so wrong to do so. Most of you know nothing about them. Most of you do not have a clue as to what they are about. Give it up.

The bottom line is, they keep to themselves, and wish you would do the same. That is why they came to this country - to have the freedom to live their own lives within their own beliefs. Please grant them that.

Leave them alone.

9:25 PM, October 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Athena says that the Amish is a "sect". What does that mean?

What is the criteria for being a
"a sect"....how does that differ from "a cult", or "a religion"?

At least, let you prejudices be known.

9:33 PM, October 16, 2006  
Anonymous 1charlie2 said...

Dr. Helen,

I think your feelings towards the Amish may be coloring your judgement here. I suspect any small, tight-knit community would tear down the schoolhouse very soon, too.

Remember that there would be no need to call a meeting of the school board, and check with the State Education Dept, and the Zoning Board, and the other entrapments that, for example, razing a public school would entail.

My boys go to a private Catholic school. We'd probably tear it down if something like this happened, too. Especially if it were a simple school (I know nothing about the edifice in question, in truth) and easy to build another.

I'm not defending the Amish lifestyle, my opinions on that are rather harsh and even neanderthal, but on this matter I really don't blame them -- the freakin' thing would have become a bizarro tourist attraction for every whack-job and macabre thrill-seeker in the universe. And it's not like the Amish would forcibly remove any of the ijits. So what's left for them ? Even if some wanted to keep it, I'd think the community would have out-voted them on practical grounds.

9:38 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger TMink said...

Hey Dweeb, thanks for writing back! You said: "Trey, your post was full of justifications based on your personal feelings, and when someone uses their feelings as a basis for a naked assertion, that's worthy of dismissal."

Nah, they are not justifications, they are experiences! And I cannot find many feelings in the post. Some of my experiences are feelings, some are thoughts, and some are physical sensations. I was talking about my beliefs, which are primarily cognitive.

Also, when you characterize a group in one particular way, a single example which contradicts the characterizations destroys the overgeneralization. By showing THAT I disagree with your assertion, I countered your point.

My spirituality is inded mine, not one that is fed to or intruded upon me. So I must share personal ideas to share it.

While I disagree with the first part of your most recent post, we agree about the second part. Within the diversity of Christianity, the Amish have taken an almost Buddhist approach to the material world. They are not attached and practice their non-attachment visibly. Your original post was, I believe, quite cogent and accurate about their view of the world.

Thanks for taking the time to post again. Talk to you later.

Trey

11:34 AM, October 17, 2006  
Blogger TMink said...

Anon 9:25 wrote: "The bottom line is, they keep to themselves, and wish you would do the same. That is why they came to this country - to have the freedom to live their own lives within their own beliefs. Please grant them that."

I do not think that our discussing them on an "English" blog is intruding upon them in the slightest! I support their right to be left alone, but I support my right to think and discuss more! How are these postings bothering them?

Trey

11:37 AM, October 17, 2006  
Anonymous dweeb said...

they are experiences! And I cannot find many feelings in the post. Some of my experiences are feelings, some are thoughts, and some are physical sensations. I was talking about my beliefs, which are primarily cognitive

Cognitive, but based on emotions and emotional experience.

Also, when you characterize a group in one particular way, a single example which contradicts the characterizations destroys the overgeneralization. By showing THAT I disagree with your assertion, I countered your point.

That assumes you are part of the group, something I haven't stipulated to. I could say that all frogs like the water, and you could claim to be a hydrophobic frog, which wouldn't counter anything.
Also, for your counter to be of any value, given that we are talking about a group of people, with WILDLY varying levels of both knowledge and acceptance of core doctrines, you'd need to establish that you are qualified to speak authoritatively on those core doctrines.

My spirituality is inded mine, not one that is fed to or intruded upon me. So I must share personal ideas to share it.

A statement which casts doubt on your qualifications to speak authoritatively on the doctrines of an established and organized religion with objective doctrines.

While I disagree with the first part of your most recent post, we agree about the second part. Within the diversity of Christianity, the Amish have taken an almost Buddhist approach to the material world. They are not attached and practice their non-attachment visibly. Your original post was, I believe, quite cogent and accurate about their view of the world.

Then why don't you address something that matters? Such as:

I do not think that our discussing them on an "English" blog is intruding upon them in the slightest! I support their right to be left alone, but I support my right to think and discuss more! How are these postings bothering them?

You're correct, what we post here probably won't impact them, but so far as what we post here may reflect what the larger society is saying/doing, Anon's admonition has value. Helen especially, given her claims to libertarianism, has betrayed a side that is most alarming. I suspect this is a part of the same leanings that put her in a profession which is inherently anti-libertarian, and that a good part of her reaction is related to the fact that the Amish do not place any stock in the pseudo-science of psychology and the collectivist, authoritarian industry it has spawned. A psychologist simply can't leave people alone.

12:22 PM, October 17, 2006  
Blogger TMink said...

Hey Dweeb, I certainly appreciate your taking the time to post so much to share your ideas. Thanks! The posts still seem rather dismissive. Honestly, your posts scream that you are a very educated and thoughtful person, no doubt smarter than I. But I think you miss the boat when you fail to value affect.


But your original post contained: "Christianity views this world, and everything in it as condemned, temporary, and of secondary importance."

I am a Christian. Honest! Saved by the blood of the Lamb, etc etc etc. Now it may be a problem for you that I am not rigidly folowing church doctrine, I would suggest that most of us Christians do not! For us, our spirituality is more about our relationship with the Almighty than adherence to denominational doctrine. Do I have to be the pope to have authority to speak as a Christian believer? And are you His Holiness in disguise? (Just a joke there.)

But I can speak authoritatively on one aspect of Christianity: My Christianity. When you made the blanket statement about Christianity, you were speaking about me. I think you are trying to weasel out of that one with sophistry about the hydrophobic frog. And really good sophistry I might add! But I am not a closet Bahai or Atheist or Animist. You can trust my self-definition.

As to posting about something that matters, well it mattered to me that we agreed and that we disagreed. It may be drivel to you, but I enjoy that part of communion, when you and I agree, and enjoy the discussion when you and I disagree. It still matters. And I appreciate your investing so much time, thought, and feeling into this discussion. It makes me think that my little posts matter to you as well.

So thanks.

Trey

12:58 PM, October 17, 2006  
Blogger TMink said...

Hey Dweeb, something else you wrote mattered to me. "I suspect this is a part of the same leanings that put her in a profession which is inherently anti-libertarian"

I am interested in your thoughts about how psychology is anti-libertarian. WARNING: I think we may agree again. And perhaps even Helen will join us in agreeable communion.

Trey

1:00 PM, October 17, 2006  
Blogger Veronica said...

Dr. Helen,

Interesting ideas here regarding the Amish and their reaction.

Your criticism, though, rather reminds me of a rather different case. While I was still in highschool, one of my peers killed himself(via a shot to the head in his parent's bedroom). His parents decided to keep living there, as always, for a number of years.

It was a small community, and his parents were harshly condemned for their decision. Why?

They were deemed to be attempting to "go on with their controlled, structured lives", by refusing to remove the scene where their son took his last breathe. Surely, they were failing to show much respect for his life. At best, they were driven "more by relief and denial than by real feeling and empathy" and a need to "get back to normal."

After all, didn't they deeply believe that their son was in a better place now, no longer suffering?

I find it curious that the same criticism might be made against two constrasting decisions.

Perhaps, just perhaps, people differ in their reactions to traumatic events. Is this a situation where judgement of any sort is valid?

5:10 PM, October 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anon824 said...

About a dozen years ago, a nut walked in to a Luby's cafeteria in Harker Heights, Texas, and killed around 10 people, including himself.

Luby's demolished the building. They still own the land, I believe, but its just a little grassy spot.

fyi

11:05 AM, October 18, 2006  
Anonymous dweeb said...

Hey Dweeb, I certainly appreciate your taking the time to post so much to share your ideas. Thanks! The posts still seem rather dismissive.

That's your perception. Personally, I see all the stroking in your posts ("I certainly appreciate your taking the time", "you are a very educated and thoughtful person, no doubt smarter than I") as patronizing and dismissive, bordering on passive-aggressive, but so far I've said nothing because I realized my perception may merely be a manifestation of different communication styles. I don't need every communication to drip with syrupy treacle (which, yes, is the way I see some of your opening and closing lines); I've learned not to personalize such discussions.

But I think you miss the boat when you fail to value affect.

Feelings have value, but not in terms of dividing truth. Anyone who has ever waded into the muddy and often treacherous waters of romance should know what harmful deceptions one's own feelings are capable of.

But your original post contained: "Christianity views this world, and everything in it as condemned, temporary, and of secondary importance."

Othrodox Christian doctrine does take this view.

I am a Christian. Honest! Saved by the blood of the Lamb, etc etc etc. Now it may be a problem for you that I am not rigidly folowing church doctrine,

No, it's not. However, when you substitute your gut for objective doctrine in a public forum, I'm going to object. As I said, your gut can deceive you.

I would suggest that most of us Christians do not!

Of course, because the flesh is weak. I said nothing about practice though.

For us, our spirituality is more about our relationship with the Almighty than adherence to denominational doctrine.

I'm never mentioned denominational doctrine, but perhaps if you paid attention to the context, you'd realize that the only "denomination" of consequence here would be Anabaptists and others similar to the Amish.

Do I have to be the pope to have authority to speak as a Christian believer?

No, but you have to acknowledge that there is a fixed objective truth to have authority to speak of. When you make it all about your personal feelings, then there is no authority to speak of anything relevant to anyone but yourself, since your feelings are uniquely applicable only to you.

But I can speak authoritatively on one aspect of Christianity: My Christianity.

But there is no YOUR Christianity or MY Christianity - if there was, there would be NO Christianity, only an empty label people attach to their feelings du jour. Anyone can call themselves a Christian, and speak of THEIR Christianity, which could be nothing more than warmed over Shamanism, for all anyone knows. The minute you posit the concept of YOUR Christianity as something that can differ substantially from any other person's Christianity, you've rendered the term meaningless, and essentially denied not only your ability to speak authoritatively about it, but everyone's standing to do so, for who can speak authoritatively about a meaningless term?

When you made the blanket statement about Christianity, you were speaking about me.

Only if you want me to be. That's up to you - if your concept of Christianity doesn't require that calling yourself a Christian subjects you to definitions not of your own making, then you've completed the transformation of the term to meaninglessness. A thing either is what it is, or it is nonsense.

I think you are trying to weasel out of that one with sophistry about the hydrophobic frog. And really good sophistry I might add! But I am not a closet Bahai or Atheist or Animist. You can trust my self-definition.

No sophistry; just a valid comparison. How can I trust your self-definition - I don't know anything about you - especially when you've essentially outlined a framework in which such self-definitions are too subjective to be meaningful?

As to posting about something that matters, well it mattered to me that we agreed and that we disagreed.

It was a minor point of my post, and you've made it clear that you agreed with its substance for the context and purposes of the point I was making on the subject at hand. Thus, you're nit-picking trivial irrelevancies. You might just as well have written a 1000 word essay on a typographical error.

Hey Dweeb, something else you wrote mattered to me. "I suspect this is a part of the same leanings that put her in a profession which is inherently anti-libertarian"

I am interested in your thoughts about how psychology is anti-libertarian. WARNING: I think we may agree again. And perhaps even Helen will join us in agreeable communion



The entire mental health industry is a Procrustean bed, with an authoritarian bent on ordering people's very thoughts to its template of the ideal. This person's not happy enough - raise their serotonin. That person's too shy, another's too moody, and that kid isn't doing well in Language Arts. Give them each their soma, their chemical straitjacket, and get them back within half a standard deviation of the mean. Insofar as psychology attempts to define a norm, deviations from that norm constitute incorrect thinking, or, as Orwell would put it "thoughtcrime." The mental health industry is also very collectivist. Helen's condemnation of the Amish for deviating from the normal vengeance ethic betrays her allegiance to this thinking, as does her entire professional specialization. The libertarian approach is that what you think or do is no one's business but your own until you materially violate someone else's rights. When that happens, it's your conduct that matters, not the terrible things mommy and daddy did years ago that made you want to violate someone's rights more than you wanted to do what's right. Once society starts looking for long term "Dear Officer Krupke" bases for violent or antisocial behavior, the obvious question is, what will society DO with this information? Of course, the only useful thing it CAN do with it is violate the liberty and privacy of people who've committed no crime, because this information indicates they're "gonna" or "maybe gonna" commit one. It's like the situation in the movie "Minority Report" where people are arrested, tried, and sentenced based on clairavoyants determining that they're going to commit crimes, except it's not even THAT reliable, since it's all statistical. It can only show probabilities. A true libertarian will defend a parent's right to raise a child to be a serial killer, subject to sanctions ONLY if and when the kid actually pulls the trigger on someone. No psychologist would stand for that. Why on earth would you try to find out what sort of parenting produces a serial killer if you don't intend to interfere when you see it?

2:25 PM, October 20, 2006  
Blogger TMink said...

Nice to have you back Dweeb! I get a kick out of you because your posts are so grumpy! But you strike mas an interesting person. Sorry I am so difficult to insult!

One thing you said was: "The entire mental health industry is a Procrustean bed, with an authoritarian bent on ordering people's very thoughts to its template of the ideal."

Wrong! Some is, I would go so far as to say most is, but read Scott Miller, outcome and research based treatment in which the practioner (that is me) follows the patient's treament plan. No stretching or cutting allowed.

Also, to appreciate subjectivity more, why not read about Intersubjectivity? Relational and non Procrustian analytic theory. Good stuff. It will help you gain some wiggle room in your authoritarian shackles.

Or just criticize my posts. Cause that makes me laugh. In a good way. Kinda funny peculiar but mostly funny ha ha.

Trey

2:59 AM, October 21, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...

Dweeb,
You state:
"Why on earth would you try to find out what sort of parenting produces a serial killer if you don't intend to interfere when you see it?"

How about in order to prevent it? Your "morality" is such that it does not allow a person to try to keep innocent parties from being killed? What kind of libertarian thinking is that?

5:08 PM, October 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prevent it how? By telling people how to raise their kids? Nanny state much?

10:27 AM, October 23, 2006  
Blogger TMink said...

Hmmm, is it the Nanny state to prevent sexual abuse and exploitation of children by their parents? If so, call me Nanny!

Is it Nanny state to interrupt people from raising dangerous psychopathic children? If so, Call me Nanny again!

These children would come into contact with the juvenile justice system routinely, and would become wards of the state. That is because we have a vested interest in children NOT growing up to be psycho killers (Talking Heads props not withstanding)and parents who are intent on doing so would be found incompetent, neglectful, or abusive. Thus the child(ren) would be removed from their custody.

Sounds good to me.

Trey

10:52 AM, October 23, 2006  
Anonymous dweeb said...

I get a kick out of you because your posts are so grumpy!

Again, your perception - I'm smiling as I type, but if you want me to go all Barney-the-purple-dinosaur, you're going to be disappointed.

Sorry I am so difficult to insult!

Why would you say that? If you think I give a rat's behind about insulting you, then your perception is not only different, but deficient.

Wrong! Some is, I would go so far as to say most is, but read Scott Miller, outcome and research based treatment in which the practioner (that is me) follows the patient's treament plan. No stretching or cutting allowed.
The very EXISTENCE of the industry is all about stretching or cutting. The concept of it as a healthcare service presumes a healthy template. One can't be an oncologist without the presumption that cancer-free is a standard to be achieved.

Also, to appreciate subjectivity more, why not read about Intersubjectivity? Relational and non Procrustian analytic theory. Good stuff. It will help you gain some wiggle room in your authoritarian shackles.

I need no wiggle room, because I reject the authoritarianism of the industry. My continued question: why has every problem the social sciences purport to address increased in lockstep with the number of social scientists?
The social sciences are inherently anti-libertarian.

Or just criticize my posts.

It is you who initiated the exchange by criticizing my post. I am merely responding.

1:48 PM, October 23, 2006  
Anonymous dweeb said...

How about in order to prevent it? Your "morality" is such that it does not allow a person to try to keep innocent parties from being killed? What kind of libertarian thinking is that?

I think anonymous 10:27 put it very well. One of the consequences of liberty is that you can't have total security. In a free society, government is limited to retroactive enforcement of people's rights - once your rights are violated, the government may apply consequences to the violator. When the government punishes a killer, it is acting in the libertarian fashion to prevent the future killing of innocent parties. Is it likely that more innocent parties will be killed in a libertarian society? Quite possibly, but no one ever said liberty doesn't carry risk. Historically, governments have killed more innocent parties than all types of private parties, so, in the end, you're really safer under a libertarian system, because it mostly constrains government, the most dangerous killer of all.

The first post I ever read here was "who stole psychology?" I found it ironic then, as now, that you don't see how the things you complained about are inherent in the nature of the beast.

Is it Nanny state to interrupt people from raising dangerous psychopathic children?

ABSOLUTELY!!!! A true libertarian will defend a parent's right to raise a child to be a serial killer, subject to sanctions ONLY if and when the kid actually pulls the trigger on someone.

That is because we have a vested interest in children NOT growing up to be psycho killers

I have a vested interest in LOTS of intrusive interference with other people's choices. That doesn't mean I have the right to impose upon them. If my neighbor raises his child to be a "psycho killer," my rights have not been violated, any more than they have been violated by the neighbor on the other side owning guns, or the one behind me practicing voodoo. When the gun owning neighbor's bullet crosses the property line, THEN my rights have been violated, and libertarian government has standing to act. When the voodoo practicing neighbor steals my pet for a sacrifice, likewise. When the first neighbor's child crosses my threshhold wielding an axe, THEN I have a legitimate right to shoot him, or libertarian government has a legitimate call to act. Your right to swing your fist ends only at my nose. Similarly, the neighbor's right to raise a death-metal skinhead killer ends when the kid imposes the results of his twisted little worldview on me in a manner that materially violates my rights..

1:50 PM, October 23, 2006  
Anonymous dweeb said...

You state:
"Why on earth would you try to find out what sort of parenting produces a serial killer if you don't intend to interfere when you see it?"

How about in order to prevent it?

This response makes no sense. Read my question again, Helen, and then consider how one prevents it without interfering.

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