A Pagan Perspective on Amish School Shooting

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  October 7, 2006 — 4 Comments

The York Daily Record interviews a local Pagan for her take on the tragic Amish school shooting which left five young girls dead, and five more hospitalized.

“Leslie Marks said she saw a rainbow Tuesday morning that made her think it was the gateway for the innocents fatally shot Monday morning in their Amish school. Charles Carl Roberts IV took the one-room school house hostage, tied the feet of its young girls, shot them in a burst of gunfire, then shot and killed himself. “I feel bad for Mr. Roberts’ family,” Marks said. “They are not to blame.” She planned to donate 6 percent of Thursday’s profits from her Majikal Munchkin stand at the Markets of Shrewsbury to a fund set up by the market for the victims. Marks came to York County from Baltimore six months ago. She remarked how the first thought of most victims of such a crime would be to sue the family. Instead, some Amish people had visited Roberts’ wife and assured her that her family remained welcome in the community. “Here, they are such good people they are willing to forgive,” Marks said. The Amish beliefs differ little from hers, said Marks, a pagan. “We’re not witches, we’re naturalists,” she said. ‘We believe in forgiveness and karma. There is a reason for everything, as horrific as it was.'”

While I could quibble about her “we’re not witches” remark (many of us are indeed Witches), I’m generally pleased that a paper sought out local people from other faith traditions and allowed them to give their opinions about what must be a huge shock for the community. Good on Ms. Marks (and The York Daily Record) for showing that modern Pagans are giving and empathetic people who are involved with their community.

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • Anonymous

    I will happily take a hit on my karma if it means the man that killed those girls suffers for a long, long time.Jesse

  • Jason

    Jesse,Even if the girls who died, and the community around the girls who died would not wish such suffering?

  • Anonymous

    Jason,That certainly is their prerogative, but it doesn’t change what I think. I was responding to the quote “We believe in forgiveness and karma.” I am one pagan who does not feel that karma exists to tie the hands of good people. I feel this act is unforgivable and if the attacker survived, he would certainly not be forgiven by me.Jesse

  • Jason

    Jesse,“I am one pagan who does not feel that karma exists to tie the hands of good people.”I agree with that sentiment.