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  Topic: 'Breaking Amish,' Burning Bridges
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'Breaking Amish,' Burning Bridges
Wall Street Journal, by Hanna Pylvainen

Original Article

Posted By:MissMolly, 9/28/2012 7:53:11 AM

Liberation is a peculiarly American love. And these days it seems particularly beloved when the liberation is one from the tyranny of faith. Mainstream culture prizes those who convert to secularism, the side of the thoughtful and the free. We read of their escapes—books in recent years include "The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance," by Elna Baker, and "Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots," by Deborah Feldman. And we watch their oppression by religion on movie screens and television—"Jesus Camp," "Sister Wives," "Big Love—and are relieved by the distance between their lives and our own.

Comments:
Like so much of what TLC features, the program is a patronizing putdown of the subjects.

      


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: frodo, 9/28/2012 8:10:59 AM     (No. 8895491)

I do understand breaking free from the shackles of a legalistic religion and the ensuing loss of relationships, this author describes.

However, I fail to understand the embracing of atheism in its stead. G_d is much bigger than our theologies and there is real freedom in serving Him.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: jlw509, 9/28/2012 8:27:50 AM     (No. 8895504)

One paradoxical but satisfying thought is that the Amish are in facyt growing exponentially. The newer communities (and there are a LOT of new ones) are increasing at a rate of 5% per yeasr, which means they are doubling every 14 years. They are among the top religious communities in the US in the percentage of their young people who do NOT jump ship, but return from their rumspringa to marry and found their own families in the faith.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: trapper, 9/28/2012 8:31:12 AM     (No. 8895507)

"I am an ex-fundamentalist myself..."

Come home. All is forgiven.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Rather Read, 9/28/2012 8:31:58 AM     (No. 8895509)

I have a large number of Amish living near where I do. I always wave at them when I drive by and they wave back from their buggies. They shop at Wal-Mart, sell their produce at the farmer's market and quietly live their lives.
They are in the world, but not of it. Just like the Benedictine monks at the abbey where I make my annual retreats.

The Amish and the Benedictines would never dream of hurting anyone who disagrees with them.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: DocH, 9/28/2012 8:34:11 AM     (No. 8895512)

The author worries that the less-permanent human relationships she now accepts as the price of her individual ''liberation'' will not be as ''lasting'' as her former ones in what appears to be a tight-knit but hardly abusive religious community.

They certainly will not last into eternity.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: country boy, 9/28/2012 8:43:57 AM     (No. 8895531)

Going to Rices Market in New Hope, PA early tomorrow. Hope the Amish bakery lady is there. Apple turnovers best I've ever had.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: bluehouse, 9/28/2012 8:54:29 AM     (No. 8895552)

You don't have to become an atheist when you leave a particular church doctrine. Just because you think birth control and nail polish are not sinful doesn't mean G-d does not exist.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: Optimist123, 9/28/2012 9:20:50 AM     (No. 8895600)

As #2 pointed out, the Amish give their young a chance to see the other world and decide for themselves what they want.

I'll grant they are probably banished (not the right word) should they choose the English ways, and the brief rumspinga isn't a fair introduction to the English, but it is in their minds, and they can choose what they want later in life if they really wanted to.

What is the Islamic equivalent? Oh, wait, that would be Quatar (I understand), and the bars before flying plains into the WTC and Pentagon.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: MattMusson, 9/28/2012 9:43:09 AM     (No. 8895672)

He came to bring life and that more abundantly. He preached freedom.

And remember - he was crucified by Priests and Lawyers. The soldiers were only following orders.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: wordstress, 9/28/2012 9:54:09 AM     (No. 8895706)

I despise the arrogant put-downs by self-described "progressives" of those who choose to live differently than they do. That said, faith and liberty are not incompatible and, in fact, go hand in hand. That some people choose to live in a way that the majority doesn't understand does not necessarily mean that those people are not free. In fact, I have never met a less free people than those who are slaves to popular culture and the spirit of the times.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: Douglas DC, 9/28/2012 10:03:15 AM     (No. 8895731)

My own journey-left the Lutheran Church for
Conservative Baptist, Issue: that the
pastor and leadership hold that Israel has
no right to exist-one elder even thinks that
the Palestinians should make their capital Jerusalem. This is a Missouri Synod church. Bye bye...

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Reply 12 - Posted by: hoosiergirl71, 9/28/2012 10:10:04 AM     (No. 8895751)

This article vividly points out the difference between a religious spirit and a genuine relationship with the Heavenly Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You want freedom, that is glorious freedom; to be all God meant for you to be. Religion does wall you in, set limits that chafe and control. Being a child of God sets you feel from yourself...whom the Lord sets free is free indeed!

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Reply 13 - Posted by: M Stuart, 9/28/2012 10:10:24 AM     (No. 8895752)

I have been watching this show since inception. I disagree with the characterization of the show.

The kids are a rather strange lot. They are rebellious and atypical. You see their lives against a backdrop of their perceptions. Over 90% of the kids decide to remain with their sects.

I thought the show had done a pretty good job at depicting the old life and the fundamental decisions that the kids make. They are naive, funny, curious, rebellious, sexual. I feel sorry for the parents, and I wish the best for these kids. The Mennonites seem to have it a lot better than the Amish.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: Brittany, 9/28/2012 10:15:26 AM     (No. 8895766)

For a thoughtful program about leaving the Amish, look for the Nat'l Geographic Channel series in which a former Amish man both searches to reconcile his own loss and help other young men and women who have left to get jobs and a future. Very serious. He has even helped a young women (looking for it) find a community to accept her INTO the religion she longs for. We lived among Brethren (lest strict) for years and I must point out that they weren't reluctant to do a bad deal with the English that they would never do with their own. Otherwise fine neighbors and great craftmen.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: Aunt Agnes, 9/28/2012 10:46:35 AM     (No. 8895876)

My late Mom was fascinated with reading about the Mennonite & Amish communities. Whenever she could, she would take day trips to experience the life & she would always bring back samples of their wonderful baking. She said that families are very close & they keep their elderly at home & take good care of them - they don't believe in institutionalizing family members. For this alone I stand in awe of them - and probably why TLC has given the teens a show. These "reality" shows are really about ridiculing "otherness."

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