Our View: Turning the other cheek

DKS Editors

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The Amish have always placed substantial emphasis on keeping their issues and disputes behind closed doors. When violence or hardship is visited upon them, they take it upon themselves to turn the other cheek.

That way of life may no longer be feasible, unfortunately.

In recent weeks, Amish communities have been suffering a rash of “hair attacks” by outsiders and non-Amish neighbors. The Amish, who instruct their women to grow their hair long and their men to stop shaving their beards after marriage, are now being periodically attacked with shears, their hair and beards being chopped off by force. Trumbull County is a current hotbed of these attacks.

Such malicious religious intolerance is disturbing, to say the least. Not to mention the fact that it’s because of hair length, of all things.

The crux of the matter is that the traditionally isolated and peaceful Amish communities have long-standing principles against retaliation of any kind. As a result, most of these “hair attacks” go unreported. Generally speaking, Amish folk take the biblical virtue of “turning the other cheek” very seriously.

“They want to turn the other cheek, let God take care of it,” said Trumbull County Sheriff Thomas Altiere.

As noble as it is to forgive one’s attacker and seek peaceful resolution, it never does well to bury the issue and hope it goes away. Truly, the treatment the Amish are receiving is hateful and uncalled for, but some responsibility rests with the victims to report the offense, so that justice can be done and those at fault can be set straight.

No matter how much you want a problem to go away, nothing is likely to change until you stand up for yourself and alert authorities. If your community is being singled out and assaulted, let the authorities do their jobs.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board whose names are listed above.