My Fascination with the Amish

liberalogic

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After the school shootings in Amish country a few months ago, I became intrigued by their way of life and beliefs. Yet, my personal opinion of the culture is deeply conflicted.

On one hand, I respect their virtuous conduct in the name of Christ, their voluntary decision to exclude themselves from the inherent "evils" of mainstream society, and their restraint in forcing religious values on the outside world.

But within this reclusive sphere of existence comes a lack of education (most of them stop school after 8th grade in order to help their families earn modest incomes) and a lack of exposure to the benefits that society can offer. I truly believe that education is a national (and should be a universal) right. Without the gift of knowledge we are unable to independently define and rationalize our existence.

I've spoken to many of my friends at school about this and to my surprise (since I go to an extremely liberal and at times leftist university), many told me that it's simply another culture and that my Americanized perspective constituted a bias towards their way of life.

If anyone is interested in responding to this, it would be greatly appeciated as I'm extraordinarily curious to hear what others have to say.
 

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"But within this reclusive sphere of existence comes a lack of education (most of them stop school after 8th grade in order to help their families earn modest incomes) and a lack of exposure to the benefits that society can offer. I truly believe that education is a national (and should be a universal) right. Without the gift of knowledge we are unable to independently define and rationalize our existence."

If you have ever lived around them, spoken to or gone to school with them, the statement above would never have been written. Amish do not leave school to help provide a "meger income". Amish are NOT poor, they deal in cash and since most now work not only a farm but also a business they are probably making as much as the average American.

They are exposed to the "benefits of society", that is why they shun it. Amish men work in construction and carpentry, the women work in restaurants and sell quilts among other items. They arn't sheltered away from society, they just choose not to bring that society into their homes. Many Amish send their kids to public schools.

As far as schooling. By 8th grade a child can read, write, and do math. They also have been taught by this grade American history as well as some world history.
Yes, they usually quit school in 8th, but it's not a requirement, as you seem to think. In fact at about this age the teenagers are free to experience the "English" society in order for them to decide, for themselves, whether they want to embrace the Amish way of life. I think around %90 of the teens choose the Amish way of life instead of ours. I would say as a group they are very happy and content with their lives and they completely realize what they are giving up.

In case you wonder, I grew up around and went to school with them.
 

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I've never met, or seen an angry Amish. They forgave the perpetrator of the murders of their children and extended the hand of forgiveness and friendship to his surviving family. They walk the walk, and I respect them greatly for it.
 
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"But within this reclusive sphere of existence comes a lack of education (most of them stop school after 8th grade in order to help their families earn modest incomes) and a lack of exposure to the benefits that society can offer. I truly believe that education is a national (and should be a universal) right. Without the gift of knowledge we are unable to independently define and rationalize our existence."

If you have ever lived around them, spoken to or gone to school with them, the statement above would never have been written. Amish do not leave school to help provide a "meger income". Amish are NOT poor, they deal in cash and since most now work not only a farm but also a business they are probably making as much as the average American.

They are exposed to the "benefits of society", that is why they shun it. Amish men work in construction and carpentry, the women work in restaurants and sell quilts among other items. They arn't sheltered away from society, they just choose not to bring that society into their homes. Many Amish send their kids to public schools.

As far as schooling. By 8th grade a child can read, write, and do math. They also have been taught by this grade American history as well as some world history.
Yes, they usually quit school in 8th, but it's not a requirement, as you seem to think. In fact at about this age the teenagers are free to experience the "English" society in order for them to decide, for themselves, whether they want to embrace the Amish way of life. I think around %90 of the teens choose the Amish way of life instead of ours. I would say as a group they are very happy and content with their lives and they completely realize what they are giving up.

In case you wonder, I grew up around and went to school with them.
Just for the record, I'm not trying to bash them or anything. I've just become extremely fascinated with their way of life.

The Rumspringa usually starts at 16, a few years after the end of eigth grade. I think an education beyond eighth grade, which entails a more rigorous examination of literature and history, is necessary in order for kids to make a more, no pun intended, educated decision, as they will attain the tools necessary to grapple with self-examination in the context of the "English world."

Regardless, though, watching their reactions to the school shooting and the compassion they showed for the victim and the dignity that they showed themselves is something more christian than I've ever seen in a conservative christian. I wish this part of christianity were more prevalent in mainstream society.
 

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Just for the record, I'm not trying to bash them or anything. I've just become extremely fascinated with their way of life.

The Rumspringa usually starts at 16, a few years after the end of eigth grade. I think an education beyond eighth grade, which entails a more rigorous examination of literature and history, is necessary in order for kids to make a more, no pun intended, educated decision, as they will attain the tools necessary to grapple with self-examination in the context of the "English world."

Regardless, though, watching their reactions to the school shooting and the compassion they showed for the victim and the dignity that they showed themselves is something more christian than I've ever seen in a conservative christian. I wish this part of christianity were more prevalent in mainstream society.
I'm not sure if bashing is the correct word to use here. Are there many Amish living in the rural areas of Jersey? But in Lancaster County in south eastern Pa they have a large population. They are the strictest group I've personally encountered. The English as we are called are looked at as money and rightfully so because we treat them as stupid souls and actually that is quite the contrary. Now in my area o Maryland the Amish are not as strict in regards to ways of making a living. For example they use tractors for work but the rubber tires have to be removed and metal wheels are used. They can only use these pieces of equipment to assist and not become dependant on them. They do quit school but I will say they are very wealthy in land and assets. Many of there homes are as nice as the ones being built in any neighborhood today. Just they lack certain things we have. I have a couple of Amish men I visit for certain business things I need. I've learned heaps about them over time. They are very educated in the news and politics they are very conservative, they know our music; they know our vehicles and what they cost. Many of them travel to places like Mexico for medical procedures because of the cost savings and the risks associated. I have wondered why they didn't go to Canada instead. They are naive to our world in many ways yet they continue to prevail in there world and the logic they use makes sense considering how they do business. Barter is a big tool they use. I personally don't ask a lot of questions up front about religion and such, but over time I have asked many things and have learned from their ways of doing things. I have at times given them rides, this will help them out on a daily basis to get supplies and get home to continue the daily chores they do. In return I could barter from them instead of taking money. They are clever in the ways of survival because they work on rich times and lean times, so survival is pretty much the way it is for them.


Trigg wrote
They are exposed to the "benefits of society", that is why they shun it. Amish men work in construction and carpentry; the women work in restaurants and sell quilts among other items. They aren’t sheltered away from society; they just choose not to bring that society into their homes. Many Amish send their kids to public schools.
In my area the women are home tending to those things and the men are carpenters or doing some sort of labor. The kids go to a local Amish school. But when you visit Lancaster County you'd see more integration into the English society.
And BTW I've seen a few with cell phones so they too can be tempted in our world too.
 

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In my area the women are home tending to those things and the men are carpenters or doing some sort of labor. The kids go to a local Amish school. But when you visit Lancaster County you'd see more integration into the English society.
And BTW I've seen a few with cell phones so they too can be tempted in our world too.
A lot depends on the leader of their particular group. In Indiana they are fairly strict, but they do have gas powdered generators and gas lights. I had my greatgrandmothers quilt finished by an Amish lady and she did an amazing job. Many here work will work with a Minnonite partner, that way they get around the no computers or phone requirements if they own a business. Another thing they'll have is a phone on "common" ground for business.

I've got nothing but respect for them as a whole. It has to be difficult at times.
 
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I'm not sure if bashing is the correct word to use here. Are there many Amish living in the rural areas of Jersey? But in Lancaster County in south eastern Pa they have a large population. They are the strictest group I've personally encountered. The English as we are called are looked at as money and rightfully so because we treat them as stupid souls and actually that is quite the contrary. Now in my area o Maryland the Amish are not as strict in regards to ways of making a living. For example they use tractors for work but the rubber tires have to be removed and metal wheels are used. They can only use these pieces of equipment to assist and not become dependant on them. They do quit school but I will say they are very wealthy in land and assets. Many of there homes are as nice as the ones being built in any neighborhood today. Just they lack certain things we have. I have a couple of Amish men I visit for certain business things I need. I've learned heaps about them over time. They are very educated in the news and politics they are very conservative, they know our music; they know our vehicles and what they cost. Many of them travel to places like Mexico for medical procedures because of the cost savings and the risks associated. I have wondered why they didn't go to Canada instead. They are naive to our world in many ways yet they continue to prevail in there world and the logic they use makes sense considering how they do business. Barter is a big tool they use. I personally don't ask a lot of questions up front about religion and such, but over time I have asked many things and have learned from their ways of doing things. I have at times given them rides, this will help them out on a daily basis to get supplies and get home to continue the daily chores they do. In return I could barter from them instead of taking money. They are clever in the ways of survival because they work on rich times and lean times, so survival is pretty much the way it is for them.



In my area the women are home tending to those things and the men are carpenters or doing some sort of labor. The kids go to a local Amish school. But when you visit Lancaster County you'd see more integration into the English society.
And BTW I've seen a few with cell phones so they too can be tempted in our world too.
My only question is the experience that young kids have on Rumspringa-- is that enough to make an educated decision about whether or not to join the church? Because once you join, you are shunned if you leave. I've seen and read a lot about the Amish kids drinking heavily during this period (as would be natural after living under such restrictions for 16 years), but I just don't think the education they have at that age is compatible with the magnitude of the decision they must make.

I actually do have respect for them, I just think the whole education thing doesn't make sense (even though they need to work to help support the families).
 

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My only question is the experience that young kids have on Rumspringa-- is that enough to make an educated decision about whether or not to join the church? Because once you join, you are shunned if you leave. I've seen and read a lot about the Amish kids drinking heavily during this period (as would be natural after living under such restrictions for 16 years), but I just don't think the education they have at that age is compatible with the magnitude of the decision they must make.

I actually do have respect for them, I just think the whole education thing doesn't make sense (even though they need to work to help support the families).
I bolded this part. Why do you think its against their religion to drink? The Amish around here keep the local liquor stores open. they have no prohabition against drinking. Just drunkeness, which I believe most religions frown upon.

Quit going on the little information you obtain while searching the web. Go spend time with the Amish and actually get to know them personaly and you might be surprised how intelligent they really are.
 

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I bolded this part. Why do you think its against their religion to drink? The Amish around here keep the local liquor stores open. they have no prohabition against drinking. Just drunkeness, which I believe most religions frown upon.

Quit going on the little information you obtain while searching the web. Go spend time with the Amish and actually get to know them personaly and you might be surprised how intelligent they really are.
Well one misconception is because they get about via buggy they ain't got any troubles. Well they have drug usage, drunks, ones who cheat sexually and other things we too have to deal with. The real difference is their community is much smaller and they can see the issues much easier because of theclose knit community. But the Amish are clever folk about certain business dealings and they have had to use the "english" to excel in there world, because without us then they'd be in a real mess.
 

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A lot depends on the leader of their particular group. In Indiana they are fairly strict, but they do have gas powdered generators and gas lights. I had my greatgrandmothers quilt finished by an Amish lady and she did an amazing job. Many here work will work with a Minnonite partner, that way they get around the no computers or phone requirements if they own a business. Another thing they'll have is a phone on "common" ground for business.

I've got nothing but respect for them as a whole. It has to be difficult at times.
No that is true the Minnonites in our area are very savvy in modern gadgets. This one guy I know who builds mini barns has a Dodge truck and he tricked that engine to really pull. Upgraded banks turbo and 5 inch exhaust a real free breathing rig. And about the local phone I know the Amish teenagers will call dominos for a delivery on the weekends at the local phone booth. The Amish will hire a english family to drive them to certain places or to be used for medical trips and what not and in my area those are allowed by the higher ups. I don't know much about that part of the religion and frankly never asked.
 

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I like how the Amish simply live their lives as they see fit. They dont stand on street corners with signs condemning all of us, or declare war on us because we dont follow their idea of religion (other extremist religions come to mind).

And they are educated, just not in the sense as we (modernized Americans) see it. Education doesnt mean sitting in school for a few years, and if it does, what is more important, being educated or being learned? They are educated in the things they need to know about; how to farm, how to build a barn; how to start a fire in the snow; etc. They know more than me, because they need to know more than me. Geometry and calculous might not have as drastic effect on their lives as it does mine, but then again, does it need to?
 
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I like how the Amish simply live their lives as they see fit. They dont stand on street corners with signs condemning all of us, or declare war on us because we dont follow their idea of religion (other extremist religions come to mind).

And they are educated, just not in the sense as we (modernized Americans) see it. Education doesnt mean sitting in school for a few years, and if it does, what is more important, being educated or being learned? They are educated in the things they need to know about; how to farm, how to build a barn; how to start a fire in the snow; etc. They know more than me, because they need to know more than me. Geometry and calculous might not have as drastic effect on their lives as it does mine, but then again, does it need to?
Yes...My entire point throughout this thread has been that the idea of Rumspringa (the time when they explore the english world and decide whether or not they will join the church) is self-defeating if the kids don't have the education to actually progress in the outside world. So if one decides to leave the church at 18, he/she would be years behind in schooling and have a fairly limited future.

I actually respect the Amish a lot (though I may disagree with some of their beliefs), but this education thing just really bugs me.

Anyone interested in this stuff should watch the documentary "The Devil's Playground."
 

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Actually besides a few of mans modern inventions they are living in the 18 hundreds and are doing a fine job at it. That in itself are milestones and they have funny outlooks to medical procedures like going to Mexico for example but other than that they do pretty well.
 

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Sean Combs Talks About His Summer With the Amish on Jimmy Kimmel...

'Diddy in a Buggy' : Sean Combs Talks About His Summer With the Amish

August 2, 2018 | Music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs reminisced about his childhood experience in Pennsylvania Dutch country with Jimmy Kimmel Wednesday night.
Combs was explaining how his daughter didn't enjoy her rustic summer camp because she didn't have a bed, when Kimmel asked him, "Did you go to camp when you were a kid?" Combs said his mother sent him away one summer to live with an Amish family as part of the Fresh Air Fund, which takes underprivileged children out of the city -- in Combs' case, New York City. Combs has achieved extraordinary success in his life, but he said he still remembers his Amish family in Lancaster and what a "great experience" he had living with them. He said it "helped to make me who I am." "Wow. Do you remember the family?" Kimmel asked Combs. "Yes, I remember the family," Combs said. "But I had no way to stay in touch with them."

Kimmel laughed -- the Amish don't use phones or electricty. But Combs said, "I'm serious. I think about them all the time. And I'm just like, man, I wonder if they know, you know, what I grew up to be. But I don't think they did." Kimmel asked Combs what it's like, living with an Amish family: "It's beautiful," Combs said. "It's a chance to really kind of get away and just -- no electronics. It really teaches you how to just relate with each other." Combs said he had chores -- milking cows (Kimmel joked about that) and picking berries. "It was a lot of chores. You know, they wake up and, you know, do their chores." Kimmel joked that the Amish family probably needed help around the farm, and they "somehow bamboozled this charity into sending you there to work."

But Combs repeated, "It was a great experience." He said his mother left him with the Amish family for two months. Kimmel told Combs, "That would be great if we could get you in touch with that family." "Wouldn't it?" said Combs. "It would be great." Combs continued reminiscing: "I remember we used to go to church. And at the church they used to just have these lavish meals. And it really kind of taught you family...I rode around in a horse and buggy everywhere." "You did?" an incredulous Kimmel said -- "Diddy in a buggy," he joked, noting that now Combs drives around in a Bentley. As Kimmel joked, Combs remained more serious: "But it's one of the things that helped to make me who I am, you know, just all the different experiences of life. I truly appreciated it. Shout-out to the Fresh Air Fund."

'Diddy in a Buggy' : Sean Combs Talks About His Summer With the Amish
 

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After the school shootings in Amish country a few months ago, I became intrigued by their way of life and beliefs. Yet, my personal opinion of the culture is deeply conflicted.

On one hand, I respect their virtuous conduct in the name of Christ, their voluntary decision to exclude themselves from the inherent "evils" of mainstream society, and their restraint in forcing religious values on the outside world.

But within this reclusive sphere of existence comes a lack of education (most of them stop school after 8th grade in order to help their families earn modest incomes) and a lack of exposure to the benefits that society can offer. I truly believe that education is a national (and should be a universal) right. Without the gift of knowledge we are unable to independently define and rationalize our existence.

I've spoken to many of my friends at school about this and to my surprise (since I go to an extremely liberal and at times leftist university), many told me that it's simply another culture and that my Americanized perspective constituted a bias towards their way of life.

If anyone is interested in responding to this, it would be greatly appeciated as I'm extraordinarily curious to hear what others have to say.
Uneducated? Amish? Strange idea. I would normally call all US-Americans uneducated but not so the Amish people. Very friendly people with good manners. I guess 8th grade means they start to go to school in the age of 6 and leave school 8 years later in the age of 14. I guess this is the old German system of school, where a vocational education follows and they will start afterwards to learn a job as well in theory and in practice. I heard the children of the Amish are very disciplined and they learn a lot. The school system of the Amish is part of the own culture - although they don't teach their religion in their schools. This is part of the family life and community life. I don't know whether they will make later a journeyman's examination (German: Gesellenprüfung) and a craftsman examination (German: Meisterprüfung), but if so then I think the Amish are able to solve every problem in every job. You miss perhaps an academic apprenticeship. But academics are often a little helpless in the requirements of the daily life.


 
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After the school shootings in Amish country a few months ago, I became intrigued by their way of life and beliefs. Yet, my personal opinion of the culture is deeply conflicted.

On one hand, I respect their virtuous conduct in the name of Christ, their voluntary decision to exclude themselves from the inherent "evils" of mainstream society, and their restraint in forcing religious values on the outside world.

But within this reclusive sphere of existence comes a lack of education (most of them stop school after 8th grade in order to help their families earn modest incomes) and a lack of exposure to the benefits that society can offer. I truly believe that education is a national (and should be a universal) right. Without the gift of knowledge we are unable to independently define and rationalize our existence.

I've spoken to many of my friends at school about this and to my surprise (since I go to an extremely liberal and at times leftist university), many told me that it's simply another culture and that my Americanized perspective constituted a bias towards their way of life.

If anyone is interested in responding to this, it would be greatly appeciated as I'm extraordinarily curious to hear what others have to say.
I grew up in Amish country. One of my best friends throughout childhood was an Amish kid. His name was Harley. He worked very hard and though their education level might not meet what you consider to be acceptable standards; consider this. When Harley turned 18 he was married (not too thrilled about it I might add), and his father bought him his own farm. At a cost of more than $200,000. Paid outright. So even though you may consider their education level a hinderance toward the accumulation of wealth, and successful family building. They do exceptionally well financially speaking. The town I grew up in saw a steady increase in Amish population as I grew up. I’ve long since moved away, but do go back occasionally to visit remaining family, and each time I am surprised to find that a property that once belonged to a neighbor, or classmates family now has new Amish owners. Their way of life while seemingly simple, lacks for nothing of importance. And I can assure you they have no difficulty in rationalizing their own existence. In point of fact they likely would question others rationale of their own existence, if it centered around consumerism. That is... If it were in them to be so judgemental.
 

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After the school shootings in Amish country a few months ago, I became intrigued by their way of life and beliefs. Yet, my personal opinion of the culture is deeply conflicted.

On one hand, I respect their virtuous conduct in the name of Christ, their voluntary decision to exclude themselves from the inherent "evils" of mainstream society, and their restraint in forcing religious values on the outside world.

But within this reclusive sphere of existence comes a lack of education (most of them stop school after 8th grade in order to help their families earn modest incomes) and a lack of exposure to the benefits that society can offer. I truly believe that education is a national (and should be a universal) right. Without the gift of knowledge we are unable to independently define and rationalize our existence.

I've spoken to many of my friends at school about this and to my surprise (since I go to an extremely liberal and at times leftist university), many told me that it's simply another culture and that my Americanized perspective constituted a bias towards their way of life.

If anyone is interested in responding to this, it would be greatly appeciated as I'm extraordinarily curious to hear what others have to say.
well first off, your education statement is way off base.

they stop at 16, and of the 15% that don't go back, most can pass college entrance exams.
 

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Actually besides a few of mans modern inventions they are living in the 18 hundreds and are doing a fine job at it. That in itself are milestones and they have funny outlooks to medical procedures like going to Mexico for example but other than that they do pretty well.
Looks like this is a very old thread that got bumped.

It's a curious thing, Americans' fascination with the Amish. Even leftist secularists give them a pass when normally they're very critical of Christians. I appreciate that Amish are peaceable and keep to themselves, are hard-working and industrious. But believe me, they are not the best examples of perfect Christians. In fact they are far from it.

Amish are highly legalistic. Highly, HIGHLY legalistic. They are in fact much like the Pharisees of old. They have rules for "godliness" that are peculiar to say the least.

Buttons. Musical instruments. Hair.

Electricity. Dolls with faces. Colors and are acceptable and unacceptable.

None of these things are in the Bible of course; they're all what we call "extra-Biblical", and they're all highly regulated by the "patriarchal" establishment in the church. But worse, so much worse, if you refuse to tow that extra-Biblical line, you are "shunned". And by shunned, I mean shunned. You are cut off from your family and community--the only one you have ever known.

So when I think of the Amish, I really do not think of JUST peaceable and industrious people living quietly. I also think of highly oppressed and regulated people living under the thumbs of dictatorial religious leaders who make their own rules up "as they go". And enforce them with "shunnings".
 

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After the school shootings in Amish country a few months ago, I became intrigued by their way of life and beliefs. Yet, my personal opinion of the culture is deeply conflicted.

On one hand, I respect their virtuous conduct in the name of Christ, their voluntary decision to exclude themselves from the inherent "evils" of mainstream society, and their restraint in forcing religious values on the outside world.

But within this reclusive sphere of existence comes a lack of education (most of them stop school after 8th grade in order to help their families earn modest incomes) and a lack of exposure to the benefits that society can offer. I truly believe that education is a national (and should be a universal) right. Without the gift of knowledge we are unable to independently define and rationalize our existence.

I've spoken to many of my friends at school about this and to my surprise (since I go to an extremely liberal and at times leftist university), many told me that it's simply another culture and that my Americanized perspective constituted a bias towards their way of life.

If anyone is interested in responding to this, it would be greatly appeciated as I'm extraordinarily curious to hear what others have to say.
I grew up in Amish country. One of my best friends throughout childhood was an Amish kid. His name was Harley. He worked very hard and though their education level might not meet what you consider to be acceptable standards; consider this. When Harley turned 18 he was married (not too thrilled about it I might add), and his father bought him his own farm. At a cost of more than $200,000. Paid outright. So even though you may consider their education level a hinderance toward the accumulation of wealth, and successful family building. They do exceptionally well financially speaking. The town I grew up in saw a steady increase in Amish population as I grew up. I’ve long since moved away, but do go back occasionally to visit remaining family, and each time I am surprised to find that a property that once belonged to a neighbor, or classmates family now has new Amish owners. Their way of life while seemingly simple, lacks for nothing of importance. And I can assure you they have no difficulty in rationalizing their own existence. In point of fact they likely would question others rationale of their own existence, if it centered around consumerism. That is... If it were in them to be so judgemental.
They are very judgmental. With each other.

See my post.
 

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After the school shootings in Amish country a few months ago, I became intrigued by their way of life and beliefs. Yet, my personal opinion of the culture is deeply conflicted.

On one hand, I respect their virtuous conduct in the name of Christ, their voluntary decision to exclude themselves from the inherent "evils" of mainstream society, and their restraint in forcing religious values on the outside world.

But within this reclusive sphere of existence comes a lack of education (most of them stop school after 8th grade in order to help their families earn modest incomes) and a lack of exposure to the benefits that society can offer. I truly believe that education is a national (and should be a universal) right. Without the gift of knowledge we are unable to independently define and rationalize our existence.

I've spoken to many of my friends at school about this and to my surprise (since I go to an extremely liberal and at times leftist university), many told me that it's simply another culture and that my Americanized perspective constituted a bias towards their way of life.

If anyone is interested in responding to this, it would be greatly appeciated as I'm extraordinarily curious to hear what others have to say.
well first off, your education statement is way off base.

they stop at 16, and of the 15% that don't go back, most can pass college entrance exams.
Wow this really proves my point.

People have a love affair with the Amish. I grew up in Mennonite country and they're a little better, but I have stories there too. It's just uncanny. I wonder how many of these folks who think the Amish are quaint are also liberals.....liberals tend to be very tolerant of Islam as well. Go figure that, huh? lol
 

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