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Old 09-13-2012, 04:58 AM
 
Location: Maine
5,969 posts, read 11,134,540 times
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There are phones in the greenhouse, hardware-type store and furniture store in Smyrna. They're well mannered with the phones. I've never been brushed off and ignored while they answer the phone and talk to someone else.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
13,035 posts, read 7,199,948 times
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A friend of mine and I go almost every year to Indiana in the heart of Amish territory. We found a B&B and the husband is ex Amish. We were told horror stories about horses collapsing and dieing from being overworked, and I see a lot of stressed out horses running in the hot sun. We went to his Uncles Amish farm for a community dinner and he was gracious enough to invite us into his home. It was sparse but clean and the animals looked well cared for. I don't have a problem with kids doing chores but turning them into slave labor is another issue. There's good and bad in every community and I don't have a problem with anyone living their life as they chose. I am however turned off by the animal abuse and the unhappy faces I've seen on the children. It's left me with a negative opinion of the Amish. Has anyone seen the show "Breaking Amish"? It's really sad.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:14 AM
 
1,481 posts, read 2,708,891 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animalcrazy View Post
A friend of mine and I go almost every year to Indiana in the heart of Amish territory. We found a B&B and the husband is ex Amish. We were told horror stories about horses collapsing and dieing from being overworked, and I see a lot of stressed out horses running in the hot sun. We went to his Uncles Amish farm for a community dinner and he was gracious enough to invite us into his home. It was sparse but clean and the animals looked well cared for. I don't have a problem with kids doing chores but turning them into slave labor is another issue. There's good and bad in every community and I don't have a problem with anyone living their life as they chose. I am however turned off by the animal abuse and the unhappy faces I've seen on the children. It's left me with a negative opinion of the Amish. Has anyone seen the show "Breaking Amish"? It's really sad.
Yes! Breaking Amish! Those poor adopted kids! Brought up like slaves! They have to stay "within the family" when they marry. However, it's OK to adopt?
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:50 PM
 
468 posts, read 611,460 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animalcrazy View Post
A friend of mine and I go almost every year to Indiana in the heart of Amish territory. We found a B&B and the husband is ex Amish. We were told horror stories about horses collapsing and dieing from being overworked, and I see a lot of stressed out horses running in the hot sun. We went to his Uncles Amish farm for a community dinner and he was gracious enough to invite us into his home. It was sparse but clean and the animals looked well cared for. I don't have a problem with kids doing chores but turning them into slave labor is another issue. There's good and bad in every community and I don't have a problem with anyone living their life as they chose. I am however turned off by the animal abuse and the unhappy faces I've seen on the children. It's left me with a negative opinion of the Amish. Has anyone seen the show "Breaking Amish"? It's really sad.
I happened across an early review of Breaking Amish so I made a point to tune into the show when it aired.

I thought it was a very poorly edited, incoherent piece of junk.

Frankly, there have been a few of these Amish-meet-the-"real"-world shows and I think they all suffer from the same problem. I posted this to some friends recently who had asked me what I thought of the Amish situation:

"Having some casual knowledge of one of the Aroostook County, Maine Amish settlements and people, I cannot help but be repulsed by the likes of these shows. In this latest one, the show takes 4 Amish young people and one Mennonite woman and brings them to NYC, where according to the review I read they freak out at the operation of an ATM, going to strip clubs and bars, even getting overtaken by the sight of Grand Central Station (never mind the fact that Amish regularly patronize Amtrak around the country and are far from strangers in such places.)
I think what all these shows miss is that Amish life is NOT about the absence of TV or an SUV in the driveway, but rather about a strict devotion to following the teachings of Christ, and living in a way that cares about other people, while humbling one's own person-hood (which is a very worthy goal regardless of what one thinks about the divinity of Christ.) Yes, Amish keep people in very traditional roles, such as male wage earners and women as farm/housewives and of course these kinds of shows poke fun at that. But what bothers me is that these shows don't seem to examine those ways in order to free Amish people from their strict roles and life of drudgery sans automobiles and Internet connections. Rather, I think these shows accept the fact that most Amish are a bit more virtuous and good than we non-Amish are - that by and large they treat others better than we the "English" do and that these shows know that there is really, something deeply wrong with the "English" way of life - not that cars, bars, and the Internet are inherently bad in and of themselves, but that we serve up technology as a substitute way of living versus a more moral life based on helping and supporting others - that we use technology as a distraction in our lives in order to vindicate ourselves, and that if only these 5 young people can be convinced that our technological way of life, albeit with more liberal gender roles, is better, than we in the English world needn't feel as guilty about the poverty we ignore in our midst, the drone bombing of brown people with "towels" on their heads, the pollution, the rising sea levels and its impact on remote, Pacific Rim island people, the crime, and so on. Amish people and communities, despite their own cultural flaws, represent a supreme danger and challenge to our corrupted, distracted way of life by showing up our way of life for what it really is. If said Amish can be brought into our fold of being intoxicated with SUVs, ATMS, smartphones and so on, that threat of exposing our bankrupt way of life, technological or not, is lessened."
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Caribou, Me.
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Beltrams, I agree: those Amish TV shows say far more about the producers and viewers than they do about the Amish.
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
13,035 posts, read 7,199,948 times
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Granted the shows are geared towards getting good ratings, but having heard it from the horses mouth (an ex Amish) it changes your perspective. I personally think that telling your children that they will go to hell if they are not Amish and shunning them for leaving seems more cult like than a religion. I've seen them driving cars and talking on cell phones and I find that hypocritical. Yes there are strict Amish that adhere to the rules, but they are still human beings and flawed like the rest of us. I think it's incredibly sad for any parent to turn their back on their own child because they want something different for their life. I believe that blood should be thicker than water, or any cult like religion.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
1,031 posts, read 2,047,784 times
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My family and I were in the Grindstone area to the east of Baxter SP when we passed by a few homes with Amish residents. At one house 2 women, 1 man, and young boy were outside. The women were wearing very traditional Amish handmade clothing and the man & boy wore straw hats. They weren't working; just talking and sitting. No animals were in sight though they did have some crops behind the house. At the next house an Amish man in overalls was standing at the front of the property staring into the street. As we drove by he waved. I thought that was nice. I didn't see anything that would suggest children or animals are overworked, nor did I see them using any technology. (No lights were on inside the homes on a dark, dreary day and no one was using cell phones outside.)

I do agree with beltrams that TV shows make the Amish out to be more unsophisticated than they actually are. Sure, they may not have electricity in their homes but there's no moral requirement that states they can't use it. They choose to live primitive lives but are not at fault when they don't. (That's why Amish young adults are not chastised for entering into modern society if they choose to do so.) The idea of the Amish being "mesmerized" by ATMs and modern day culture is foolish. They are Americans and they don't live in completely secluded communities.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Northern Maine
9,494 posts, read 14,291,662 times
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Many Amish men are volunteer firemen and good at it. I stopped at an Amish home in Patten recently and bought some home made baked goods and vegetables at their roadside stand. The electric wire to the house has been removed and they have a very large brand new barn.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:56 PM
 
3,286 posts, read 4,604,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymer View Post
As far as I know, the Amish don't use cell phones. I don't think they use regular phones either, or motors, or electricity. Mennonites, OTOH, *do* use those things.
Amish sometimes have old-fashioned phone booths outdoors for making calls related to their farm and furniture businesses, making medical appointments, etc., but they feel that having a cell phone or indoor home phone readily available inside is unwise as it leads to needless gossiping and wasting of time.

Mennonites are more numerous than Amish in the U.S. Most Mennonites (except for the "Old Order" sects) use modern conveniences, but in moderation. Women wear bonnets. Many Mennonites are involved in hosting foreign students, refugees, or serve abroad in developing countries in relief work or as medical or agricultural extension missionaries. They have their own colleges located in Harrisonburg Virginia, and Newton Kansas.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:03 PM
 
1,070 posts, read 1,331,326 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animalcrazy View Post
I hope they're better people in Maine than in Indiana. We took a carriage ride to a farm and the horse was lame. We arrived to see barefoot children running around in animal feces. A poor unfortunate raccoon trapped in a hot cage with no food and water. A lot of starving diseased cats, and the so called Amish man talking on his cell phone in the middle of the tour. It was a very unpleasant experience.
Did you report this to Animal Protection in the County, or the ASPCA? Or to animal rights' group?
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