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Just An All `Round Mess....

I've been following this story for a few days.....but let me first digress to those of you who have seen the Harrison Ford movie "Witness".  There's a "feel good" scene in the movie where some Amish men are being accosted by some town thugs.  As pacifiists the Amish did not fight back.  But Harrison Ford (aka John Book) steps out of the buggy, in his Amish attire, and heads towards the thugs and gives them a good roughing up.  The scene is "feel good" because you sort of get the idea that those townsfolk got what they deserved. that so?  The Amish ARE pacifists, so even a non-Amish person taking up for them is counter to the doctrine of pacifism.  Unfortunately, a similar scene in real life seemed to play out in Pennsylvania this past week.  Essentially a group of hunters, a mixed party of Amish and non-Amish, were accosted by a local man, Erick Melius, who made fun of what he called the Amish's "pumpkin haircuts." Many Amish men do sport bowl cuts.  Stylish coiffes and haircuts just aren't part of their culture, so this was an uncalled for, childish taunting. A non-Amish person came to their defense by brawling with the offender (sounds like he beat the crap out of the guy).  The beating resulted in the death of Melius and now Stephen Shesko is facing charges.  Melius died later of his injuries.  This is a tough case in a way because it sounds like Melius started it all and Shesko simply came to the aid of the Amish.  It sounds, however, that Shesko is the one who escalated the confrontation from verbal to physical, which would place him clearly in the wrong, in my opinion.  Pacifism is actually a very difficult doctrine.  The Amish are not "wimps" for espousing such a view, sometimes remaining stoic and silent in the face of taunting or trouble is actually the most difficult path to follow, it's a sign of strength, not weakness.  Click here to read the article.  Anyone else have any thoughts?

Re: Just An All `Round Mess....

I also don't believe that the violent action of the man was justified but I just thought about a portion of scripture that reminded me of this. And I found it to be an odd reaction from a prophet. 2 Kings 2:23 "23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. "Go on up, you baldhead!" they said. "Go on up, you baldhead!" 24 He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths." 

Re: Just An All `Round Mess....

And what they don't tell you is that Shesko has already been in trouble for assault before....assaulting 3 police officers and beating them up. Some people never learn. Alcohol probably did play a role, but calling names doesn't mean you should die for that...maybe he should have acted more mature, but kids will be kids, I guess.

Re: Just An All `Round Mess....

Interesting.  Background information like this is helpful, fills in the blanks a bit....Shesko himself sounds like a bit of a hothead....Bottom line, though, is what you said: calling names doesn't deserve death...sheesh, again, my headline says it best, just an all round mess..

Re: Just An All `Round Mess....

Hard one really but it does sound like Shesko escalated it even though he may have meant well since he threw the 1st punch.

I am not a pacifist at all but I think true pacificst like the Amish and certain sects of buddhism are extremely brave and they are not all wimps.

 A person using verbal words to taunt someone is not a good enough reason to hit another person let alone continue to hit them. On the other hand the "victim" was a moron for coming back to fist fight some more and to leave the hospital against medical advice. It did mention he had been drinking though which is probably why this all started to begin with.

Far as the bowl cuts, many traditional Seminole Indians here in Florida also sport bowl cuts.

Re: Just An All `Round Mess....

But just making fun of somebody does not justify dying for that. They could have called him a name back.....two wrongs don't make a right.

Re: Just An All `Round Mess....

I also favor pacifism and readily admit that it is more difficult to do than violence is.  I even find it is easier to believe the worst about others, react fearfully to change, and to gossip than it is to maintain peaceful thoughts.  I am grateful that I am usually more successful than not, but I do have to work at it.

I am surprised at the murder charge.  According to the article, Mr. Melius left, then came back to fight more and also checked himself out of the hospital against medical advice.  Maybe they could have saved him if he had stayed.  I guess that is what lawyers are for.  Dumb and dumber probably covers it.  Think Mr. Melius qualifies for a Darwin award this year?   --Kay

Re: Just An All `Round Mess....

Violence is no real solution - ever.

What might have induced the violent attacker to act this way?
Pride? A feeling of having to protect the 'defenceless' Amish?

The scene in "Witness" for me actually was a "feel bad"-scene.

Re: Just An All `Round Mess....

Martina's point is well taken here.  Actually, I would describe the scene in Witness - for me - as a "feeling bad about feeling good scene."  When I watched, I hate to say it, I'm rooting for John Book (Harrison Ford) and just hoping he gives the thug one good square punch. I cheer when he does it, but then instinctively I'm like...ugh....I have strong pacifist tendencies myself, so I'm upset that my instinctive reaction is to cheer at that scene....Sort of like gorging on a chocolate cake, it feels good while doing it but then when I'm done I'm like "ugh, did I really have to do that?"

Re: Just An All `Round Mess....
  • It sounds like dumb and dumber met at the intersection of Ducan and Red Mill Roads......sad story.

Re: Just An All `Round Mess....

Very well said!

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