The Amish

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The Amish

How do you all feel about the Amish?

I just visited Lancaster, PA, which is full of Amish families and farmers. I met with some of them and was fascinated with their lifestyle. Although I would never choose it for myself, I found it interesting and went to research common misconceptions about them and how they live their lives.

I find them to be a respectable group of people who make money off of crazy American tourists like me while trying to live a simple, peaceful life.

What bothers me, however, is the extremeness of Christianity and the binding power religion has over them. They do not learn anything in school beyond eighth grade, and they teach no science classes except for health. Many traditions they follow are relatively sexist, although I have heard they view sexuality as a natural and shameless act. They don't go knocking on doors, protesting in the streets or bothering other people. They tend to prefer the separation of Church and State. They don't have to worry about poverty, divorce, starvation, etc. Of course, they are people and have problems just like anyone else.

I admire their independence, yet I worry for people who are essentially stuck from birth in a society with less chance to experience the world. I worry about the children who grow up there, even if they appear content.

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Yo, you were only like 35

Yo, you were only like 35 miles from me!!! Should have come visited! Would have been so cool -  check out general - I just met Shelley on Sunday night!

 

I agree with you.

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peppermint wrote:I admire

peppermint wrote:

I admire their independence, yet I worry for people who are essentially stuck from birth in a society with less chance to experience the world. I worry about the children who grow up there, even if they appear content.

You have to keep things in perspective.  There's a whole world of people out there living in primitive (to us) conditions, some living in despair.  The Amish are a good people for the most part, don't bother anyone and don't proselytize, that's thebiggest plus for me.  Some of the young leave the farm when they get old enough but most stay.  If they seem happy, they probably are.  They have frequent contact with the outside world and are not ignorant of it so I think most of them know what they are "missing" and probably don't.

Hey, Matt!  Didn't know you lived in PA.  I got tons of relatives there.  Know any Delaney's (including any of more than 10 variations on the spelling), Sharp's, Stuart's or Rush's?  My closest relatives live in Waynesburg, south of Pittsburgh.  Used to go to family reunions there every two years.  Better than going to the zoo! My relatives that is, not the general population.

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Definitely an interesting

Definitely an interesting bunch, the Amish. Wish I could hang a while with them, and some of the Indian clans. The laid back slow paced naturalist thing is appealing. My prolonged camping adventures in Idaho and Baja etc, really changed me for the better. Ever hear me say "do your 40 days" !!??   How about, "jump in a lake" ! 

   3 bedroom house, 3 tepees .... add large family room , portable too, need good horses ....

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Peppermint had the chance to

Peppermint had the chance to rape me and blew it. Too bad for her.


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If she had only known ! Hey,

If she had only known ! Hey, next time ....


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Watch out for

Watch out for those militant Amish.

They may appear nice, peaceful and harmless, but the basis for their society is irrational. I don't like their pacifist additude. There does come a time when it is necessary to fight in war. They just leave it up to others to fight. If it were not for other Americans willing to fight and die to defend their freedom, they would have been exterminated by Nazis, Stalinists or Islamofascists.

Also, they don't have mandatory control over the size of families, so they use land and other resources that causes poverty, starvation for others. They don't develop technology that could improve the human condition and allow more people to live comfortable. So they are as much a part of the problems that cause war and poverty as anyone else, despite their attempt to appear otherwise.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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The Amish clan

 Yeah on the surface it sounds good ,but in REALITY it's not so good,at least not for the one 's who are suffering some kind of disorder,due to a very small GENE pool. They do have a strong community,and they have very good work ethic and really good food.I go down too Reading Terminal just for that reason alone.But who knows they may become extinct,just because of their belief system,kind of reminds me of the "Shaker's" great furniture makers but STUPID when it came to sexual reproduction.

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I used to just think that

I used to just think that they were an interesting oddity, causing no harm to anyone... If someone wants to live their life that backwards, why not?

But really they are a religious cult. What choice do their children really have? They are brainwashed from birth. It is worse than general religion because without technology or an adequate education what chance do they really have of breaking free?

I think it is shameful that the US government allows a religious cult to isolate and dictate the education of its children.

That probably comes under freedom of religion and the old having to respect it because its a religion. What crap,

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peppermint wrote:I admire

peppermint wrote:
I admire their independence

I'm not so sure of their independence. Without the modern world to look down on and feel morally superior to, their whole schtick would collapse within days. Without us, it just wouldn't be any fun for them.


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Yeah, I agree with the

Yeah, I agree with the obvious religious negative aspects of such Amish type separatist cults. Even their seemingly lack of "active" public pacifism participation against war etc seems a burden, .... but they do pay taxes.  On the positive side, is the seemingly lack of consumerism frenzy and over all calmness, and smaller environmental foot print.

 Basically I am guessing and romancing as I do .....  Umm, positives and negatives ??? Got more ? This is interesting .... and the earlier Eskimo folks fascinate me ! Live in ice house ! WOW, amazing,  .... Is "enjoy my wife", just folklore ??? Making the rounds in Alaska ! Hell , they don't call you the "fireman" there , do they !!!?

  

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 I seem to remember about

 I seem to remember about ten years ago there was a problem with Amish selling drugs.  rumm shpringa 

I don't have a problem with pacifists, and I don't have a problem with anti-industrialists, I guess.  I do, however, have a problem with delusion.  The beliefs of the Amish seem pretty idyllic, on the face of it.  The fact remains the society is highly restrictive, and allows little for what I believe is the highest purpose of an individual.

Not to mention the level of contribution to things like science and medicine makes them inherently small communities.  It would be interesting to see what a large community of Amish would be like.  I believe hardline pacifists are only possible in small groups.  Otherwise they would be muscled out by other not-so-pacifistic groups.

 

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peppermint wrote:How do you

peppermint wrote:

How do you all feel about the Amish?

I just visited Lancaster, PA, which is full of Amish families and farmers. I met with some of them and was fascinated with their lifestyle. Although I would never choose it for myself, I found it interesting and went to research common misconceptions about them and how they live their lives.

I recommend watching the movie The Devil's Playground, which is a documentary about rumspranga, which someone already mentioned.  Basically, Amish teenagers get to spend some time in the "the Devil's Playground" (which is what they call the outside, or "English" world) before they make the decision on whether or not they want to join the Amish church and way of life.

I appreciate the fact that they are anabaptists, so they don't assume their children will share their beliefs, although they do their damndest to ensure it.  I do not appreciate how outmoded their society is.  They're basically trapped somewhere in the 18th century: no electricity (that doc I mentioned has a scene with a boy in rumspranga playing a video game in his room with the help of a car battery); religion controls practically everything in your life; men are in charge, period.

Seriousness aside now, my favourite Amish joke:

Q: what goes "clop, clop, clop -- BANG -- clopitty clopitty clopitty"?

A: an Amish drive-by.

Quote:

What bothers me, however, is the extremeness of Christianity and the binding power religion has over them. They do not learn anything in school beyond eighth grade, and they teach no science classes except for health. Many traditions they follow are relatively sexist, although I have heard they view sexuality as a natural and shameless act. They don't go knocking on doors, protesting in

They practice something called bed-courtship among teenagers that basically lets them share a bed.  I don't know how much fooling around is expected/permitted, but the fact that they are expected to share a bed before marriage is rather different from some current beliefs.

 

 

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If they after the rumspringa

If they after the rumspringa don't join the community they are "shunned" - that means the others aren't allowed to talk to them - even their own families.

 

They are also not allowed any sort of violence against others at all - even self-defense.

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peppermint wrote:How do you

peppermint wrote:

How do you all feel about the Amish?

I just visited Lancaster, PA, which is full of Amish families and farmers. I met with some of them and was fascinated with their lifestyle. Although I would never choose it for myself, I found it interesting and went to research common misconceptions about them and how they live their lives.

I find them to be a respectable group of people who make money off of crazy American tourists like me while trying to live a simple, peaceful life.

What bothers me, however, is the extremeness of Christianity and the binding power religion has over them. They do not learn anything in school beyond eighth grade, and they teach no science classes except for health. Many traditions they follow are relatively sexist, although I have heard they view sexuality as a natural and shameless act. They don't go knocking on doors, protesting in the streets or bothering other people. They tend to prefer the separation of Church and State. They don't have to worry about poverty, divorce, starvation, etc. Of course, they are people and have problems just like anyone else.

I admire their independence, yet I worry for people who are essentially stuck from birth in a society with less chance to experience the world. I worry about the children who grow up there, even if they appear content.

Hi Peppermint,

Bulldog is right on the mark when he says the Amish are good people for the most part and that they don't proselytize. Also, they do have frequent contact with the outside world, contrary to popular belief, so they aren't completely ignorant of it.

On the other hand, EXC is correct when stating that the basis for their society is irrational and that they don't develop technology.... I would go a bit further and add that they don't appear to be interested in most modern technology. Additionally, there is indeed a time when, as Abe Lincoln is said to have purported, "the war is forced upon us".

Having experienced the Amish way, through my own visit to Southern Indiana,  I agree wholeheartedly with what you said about them not learning past the 8th grade and that science studies are essentially non-existent.

To answer your initial question, I'm ok with the Amish. For the most part.

And yup, I've laid out some serious dough for Amish crafted furniture so while I may not be much of an American tourist I can still wear the crazy badge with pride.

 


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Balrogoz wrote: The fact

Balrogoz wrote:

 The fact remains the society is highly restrictive, and allows little for what I believe is the highest purpose of an individual.

 

When I left their community and listened to my music, I felt so lucky that I could enjoy mental freedom. I'm not perfect by any means, but I appreciate art, beauty and passionate feelings almost every chance I get. Peace is nice, but it's essential to be aware of reality and the suffering of the world. It makes for a more well-rounded individual, and it gives you a chance to explore yourself and help others.

They can't play musical instruments, which boggles my mind. Essentially they control themselves and keep themselves in check, and that's the tragic part. Not the way they live or what they wear (which doesn't matter much), but the boxed in view of the world they have. The guilt for possibly wanting part of it.

Yes, they have a chance to "experience" the Devil's Playground, but by then they're so rooted in Amish tradition they probably wouldn't find it too appealing. I mean it's called the Devil's Playground.

I wouldn't assume they're all content, either. They're people too, thus in their own private thoughts I'm almost certain some of them feel out of place, curious, torn, etc. Or some of them may be homosexual and be too ashamed to admit it. Religion does not always equal blind passiveness to the way you live. That is why strict communities often produces atheists.

*Our world is far more complex than the rigid structure we want to assign to it, and we will probably never fully understand it.*

"Those believers who are sophisticated enough to understand the paradox have found exciting ways to bend logic into pretzel shapes in order to defend the indefensible." - Hamby


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There is a guy who started

There is a guy who started out local and is now national known as "Raymond the Amish Comic." He's fucking hilarious. He was really raised Amish and left. I saw him in person about 12 years ago at the nearest comedy club. I'm too lazy right now but I'm sure you can find him with google.

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 http://www.imdb.com/title/t

 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090329/

 

Go Harrison..

peppermint wrote:
Peace is nice, but it's essential to be aware of reality and the suffering of the world. It makes for a more well-rounded individual, and it gives you a chance to explore yourself and help others.

 

That's right on the money.  Any social structure based on suppressing basic human nature is deeply flawed.  

 

peppermint wrote:
Or some of them may be homosexual and be too ashamed to admit it.

 

about 1 in 10 of them are.

 

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Bulldog wrote:Hey, Matt! 

Bulldog wrote:

Hey, Matt!  Didn't know you lived in PA.  I got tons of relatives there.  Know any Delaney's (including any of more than 10 variations on the spelling), Sharp's, Stuart's or Rush's?  My closest relatives live in Waynesburg, south of Pittsburgh.  Used to go to family reunions there every two years.  Better than going to the zoo! My relatives that is, not the general population.

 

I live in the other end of Pennsylvania.

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There is a or at least was,

There is a or at least was, a huge Amsih drug ring. Lancaster is only a 30min drive from Newark, DE, where the University of DE lies. When I was a student there in the late 90's, we got nearly all of our drugs from the Amish teenagers. Cocaine, weed, LSD, extasy, nearly everything. Shit, on occasion, we'd have parties and raves in their barns. It was perfect - middle of bumblefuck farm country, hardly any cops, nobody to complain about noise, nobody is going to suspect an Amish kid of dealing - they even supplied the generator to run the turn tables. Charge $10-20 a head, AND sell the drugs, and you make a mint, and they did.

There have been busts, but from what I understand, you can still powder your nose by talking to the kid with a black suit in the horse drawn carriage.

If you are unaware of this sort of story, here is an example:

http://www.cnn.com/US/9810/06/briefs.am/crime.amish/

That was the tip of the iceberg.

They also run rather inhumane puppy mills.

 

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I grew up fairly close by a

I grew up fairly close by a major Amish ... town?  I'm not sure what the appropriate description of them would be.

My impression was mixed.  Some were very nice people; one of my relatives was good friends with some of the Amish who had an agreement of sorts: their Amish friends would show up at 4;30, 5am and cook in this persons kitchen.  Stove, microwave, blender, all the things they didn't have at home.  Clean up (very well) once they were done and slip out by 8am leaving nothing but a loaf or two of bread.  If you didn't get up before 8, you'd never know they were there (and possibly suspect my relatives of having a Magical Bread Faery.)

But there was also the ones that would beat their children sensless for mild infractions.  A man I was in class with had lost his right hand because his father had decided to "cure" him (he didn't know what was wrong) by occasionally making him leave his hand under the rocking chair.  They usually smelled very bad, and the stories of rape from the Amish women would take hours to listen to.  The police don't work with/in the Amish towns; and it usually requires serious allegations of murder before they'd consider trying to arrest anybody.

Some of them are nice people, but really, it is no longer the 17th century.  Advance or be considered what you are: barbaric.


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There is definitely a dark

There is definitely a dark side to Amish culture which is centered around physical and sexual abuse. One aspect of 18th century cultural ideas was that children could be beaten and it wasn't considered "violent", as well as women having no right to refuse sex from their male superiors and it wasn't considered "rape". All of their society is male dominated, and the men get what they want.

 

The Amish are a religious cult. Quaint doesn't change that fact.


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My dad went to watchmaking

My dad went to watchmaking school in Lancaster (he never finished - he went into the Navy before he completed it.) He said the Amish would always be trying to get refunds by taking them apart and puting dirt in. Apparently they aren't so honest. Many of them don't think much of us "English" (that's their word for non-Amish - sometimes they reserve it for non-Amish who are also not Pennsylvania Dutch - which would exempt me.)

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