Religious leaders say cable series 'a bigoted portrayal' of the Amish


HARRISBURG, Pa. (CNS) – Pennsylvania religious leaders from a wide range of faiths and denominations have issued a joint statement criticizing the Discovery Channel for its reality-TV series “Amish Mafia,” calling it a “negative, inaccurate and potentially damaging portrayal of Amish religion and culture.”

“At (its) core, this television series engages in religious bigotry,” the leaders said. “‘Amish Mafia’ is no more acceptable than ‘Jewish Mafia,’ ‘Catholic Mafia’ or ‘Evangelical Mafia.’ The show is an affront to all people of faith.”

Discovery Channel in materials on its website says the cable show is about “the men who protect and maintain peace and order within the Amish community” in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and claims it is “a side of Amish society that exists under the radar.”

But the faith leaders in their Aug. 5 statement said the show misrepresents the Amish “as a crime-ridden culture” and “gives, by association, the same impression of Lancaster city and county. It changes the image of the county from one of pastoral beauty, where people are devoted to faith, family and friends, to one of banal ugliness.”

Discovery Channel’s media department did not respond immediately to a Catholic News Service request for comment.

Lancaster has the oldest and largest Amish community in Pennsylvania. The state has the nation’s second-largest population of Amish, numbering about 58,000; Ohio is first with about 59,000 Amish, according to 2012 census data. Eighteen states have a significant Amish population.


Well TV is all about sensationalizing the negative. The best solution to this is for people to stop watching the program. I would say however, one would be naive to believe that the Amish did not have problems with their own form of “Mafia” or law enforcement.

Of the few programs I saw related to those trying to leave the Amish community, I have to say those young people are among some of the most ill informed, poorly educated souls I have ever seen. Of course if I was helping someone leave the community I would not make it a point to take them to bars and brothels. More of that sensationalism going on.

I don’t care for any of the shows, but have seen a few to keep up with what is on the idiot box, and how things are done. For the most part about 90% of what is on TV, including the news stations, could be dumped. We would all be better off with some peace and quiet.


That show looks like trash to me so I never watched it. I like the Amish.

That said, there was a “Jewish Mafia”:


The Amish are a bunch of heretical lunatics, groups like these should not be aloud to identify themselves as Christians as they confuse people and lead them away from the truth of the true church founded by Christ.


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