My husband used to be Amish…I asked him to read this thread and this is the response he wanted to post.
I would like to point out some facts about the Amish. I feel I am capable since I *was *Amish until my parents decided to leave (correction…my dad decided to leave), I was 3 years old when my dad decided to leave the Amish. I say my dad because my mom had no say in the matter since in the Amish culture women are submissive and have to listen to the man. When we left, I still had interactions with the Amish community. We visited my Grandpa and Grandma at times, that was tricky because my Grandpa (this is on my mom’s side) was obligated to shun us for leaving. It took awhile but Grandpa finally allowed his daughter and family to visit. He was supposed to have cut off all ties with us since we left the Amish…oh and one more thing…we were all going to Hell since we no longer belonged to the Amish church. They do indeed believe (I don’t know if they changed this thinking recently) that anyone not practicing their religion is going to Hell.
The facts that I will talk about are from my own personal experience or from talking with my aunts and cousin. The Amish believe leading a plain life is what Jesus wanted us to do. Now, how plain or what constitutes as excessive is left up to the Elders and Parson of the Church in the community. They can ride in vehicles but not drive them, they can own a vehicle but not drive the vehicle. They feel it is O.K. to use any mode of transportation that gets a person around except if they feel owning something like a car or driving a car is too excessive, a person doesn’t need to own a car. Phones are not permitted unless it is for work (construction) or its a community phone (phone booth). They have the same beliefs for clothes which is why they are dressed plain. However, some communities allow for different colors which I don’t get.
When you are old enough to walk then you are old enough to help…either in the kitchen or in the field. One lesson I learned (because my dad tried to pull this on me when I got a job at the age of 17) is that everyone in the household who has a job gives their paycheck to the dad including the wife if she has a job. The dad will give allowances if you are lucky. This ends when the child turns 21 or gets married. When my dad asked me for my paychecks I reminded him when he left the Amish he left everything included that stupid rule.
When I say this is all personal experience I do mean that; they are not as pious as you would like to believe. Yes they forgive easy but when a girl brings any notion that she has been touched or abused even the mother will tell her to shut up because “that doesn’t happen”. They are good at hiding things. They seem to wash bad things under the rug fast.
I wanted to give a little insight to the Amish community, I have some hard feeling against them because of my past. To me they are not pious, just plain folk that are hard workers.The man is dominate and the women has to be submissive and she rarely gets any respect. I am learning to let it all go because my dad and mom seem to be able to, but when I was told that my dad’s parents and relatives thought he was a nobody and would put him down for no reason, I can’t see the Amish community as pious. They look the part but trust me deep down they have skeletons just like everyone else