Thursday, July 29, 2004

The Buttafuocos, Amy Fisher, and Forgiveness

Remember Amy Fisher, the Long Island teenager who shot Mary Jo Buttafuoco (wife of her lover Joey) in my hometown of Massapequa years ago?  Well, she has written an autobiography.  I will wait for the snickering of my few readers to quiet down.  Most people have thankfully forgotten the sordid details, but once in awhile Joey Buttafuoco makes the news, usually by being arrested.  I grew up in Massapequa and while Joey is not typical of the guys in this town, his type is not too difficult to find.  (I don't mean Italians mind you, I mean stupid, obnoxious, uneducated morons.)  Anyway, Amy Fisher has actually been writing a column for the Long Island Press for awhile now.  I have read it occasionally and it does not impress me but a couple of times it has given me more of a positive impression of Mrs. Fisher.  She once wrote an article that was so good I tried to find it in the online archives of the newspaper.  The article came out a little after Joey was once again arrested for something or other.  Amy Fisher wrote about how stupid she was as a teenager to be doing anything with this jerk.  She mentioned, without sounding self-centered or arrogant, that since the shooting and her time in jail, she has turned her life around.  She is married, with children, and working steadily.  She has never been in any trouble and has apologized to Mary Jo.  She has worked to try to steer young girls away from the path that she went down.  She mentioned, without sounding smug, that Joey has done nothing good since his time in the sun.  He was arrested for insurance fraud, arrested for soliciting prostitutes, been divorced, “acted” in cheap films, and tried to take part in a celebrity fight against a woman.  The article was so good, it actually made me feel a bit for Amy Fisher, not sorry for her, but feel that she was a good person who made some awful and stupid decisions.  I am not one to “forgive” easily.  I don’t have a particularly rosy outlook on people and their “mistakes”.  But I agree with Mark Shea who has stated on his blog that the most scandalous dogma of the Church is never mentioned in the press:  FORGIVENESS.   I know it is up to Mary Jo to forgive the woman who shot her, but I believe she already has.  Usually when you hear Amy Fisher's name, there are usually some nasty adjectives and rolls of the eyes.  I have heard people say they won’t buy or read The Long Island Press because Amy Fisher writes for it, and I don’t claim she is a model person for Catholics, or anyone else.  But if we really believe in redemption and penance, then Amy Fisher (not a Catholic) would serve as a pretty good example.  Believe it or not.

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