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Fundies and the Amish


homeschoolmomma1
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Okay, so I had an odd afternoon. I was at a Christian book store buying a First Communion present. My kids wondered off to the kids section because they always have a movie playing. Anyway, this fundie lady came up to me with like 8 kids in tow and said what a beautiful family I had and wondered if I was looking to have any more blessings. Personally, I felt that was just RUDE to ask that. She then went on about have it is good to continue to save others and what a wonderful thing it was to bring my kids to the bookstore (as though it made me more holy) I shouldn't call her fundie I guess cuz I don't know for sure. They all had the homemade dresses and long hair and were praising God left and right. Talking all about salvation and being saved. She asked if I was saved grrrr. I don't like that. Anyway, I said I had to go because I have Mass tonight. She looked confused and then walked away. One thing I noticed was she was carrying like 5 Amish fiction books (I think that is what you call them). She was telling her young daughter how good the books are.

Why do they like the Amish so much? And the books?

Edited by OnceUponATime
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I think a lot of fundies secretly want to be amish and consider them very holy. My fundie-lite mother has practically lifted the amish to sainthood in her mind and said that if my father were saved, she'd be actively looking to join some amish/mennonite community for us all to live in.

And those books are "wholesome" I guess. Fundies really like their Amish, western, and Victorian fiction.

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My fundie sister has given me those Amish fiction books for x-mas presents!(Yes, I read them too. :)) They are basically one of the few fiction books boring enough that fundies can read them for fun but still get a moral message in the end. They usually deal with safe topics like courting or some kind of moral dilemma that God makes them see the right way in the end. Very traditional roles as all the boys are farmers or carpenters and the girls live at home helping the family until the courting begins.

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I think a lot of fundies secretly want to be amish and consider them very holy. My fundie-lite mother has practically lifted the amish to sainthood in her mind and said that if my father were saved, she'd be actively looking to join some amish/mennonite community for us all to live in.

And those books are "wholesome" I guess. Fundies really like their Amish, western, and Victorian fiction.

Are the books suitable for a 10 year old? Her little girl couldn't have been more than 10

Do you think they read books like the Shunning by Beverly Lewis? It is one of the books that seems popular right now.

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wondered if I was looking to have any more blessings.
Why, you should have looked her up and down, and replied "Ma'am, I don't know what brand of Christianity YOU practice, but in our house, we don"t LOOK for blessings. We simply wait and receive them as they are given. Are you sure you're a TRUE Christian?"
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Why, you should have looked her up and down, and replied "Ma'am, I don't know what brand of Christianity YOU practice, but in our house, we don"t LOOK for blessings. We simply wait and receive them as they are given. Are you sure you're a TRUE Christian?"

Haha I should have I was just shocked that she thought that. She did not notice my ebil pants I guess or the Catholic present I was holding

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Are the books suitable for a 10 year old? Her little girl couldn't have been more than 10

Do you think they read books like the Shunning by Beverly Lewis? It is one of the books that seems popular right now.

I personally have never finished one. I've tried but they are so boring, I just couldn't.

One I tried to read, from my mother's collection, was set in a cabin in wintertime Victorian-era. About a single young woman and an older widower "bonding". No physical touching or anything of course. I assume in the end they fall in love and get married or something.

Not necessarily "inappropriate" for 10-year-olds but nothing that would interest them.

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I know this wasn't really the point of your story, but why was she trying to "save" people in a Christian bookstore? Isn't that preaching to the choir? Maybe she just likes to check "evangelize" off her to do list without the trouble of actually having to talk to unsaved heathens. :lol:

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I know this wasn't really the point of your story, but why was she trying to "save" people in a Christian bookstore? Isn't that preaching to the choir? Maybe she just likes to check "evangelize" off her to do list without the trouble of actually having to talk to unsaved heathens. :lol:

Most fundies like to do the whole "Well, I saved 20 people so far this year. And how many have YOU saved?" type of thing. It's their version of keeping up with the Joneses. Sounds like the lady was just bragging how holy she is that she is going out of her house into the heathen world trying to save people. What a saint.

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I'd go ahead and say that she was fundy as most normal Christians don't act the way she did.

I used to read Amish fiction but that lead to researching the Amish and I didn't like what I found. I would rather read my history books that romancetize the Amish who do so much wrong in my view of things. To me they are no better than the fundies we watch and covering it with a pretty white wash isn't going to get rid of the massive abuse they cause to their children, church and animals. :snooty:

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I'd go ahead and say that she was fundy as most normal Christians don't act the way she did.

I used to read Amish fiction but that lead to researching the Amish and I didn't like what I found. I would rather read my history books that romancetize the Amish who do so much wrong in my view of things. To me they are no better than the fundies we watch and covering it with a pretty white wash isn't going to get rid of the massive abuse they cause to their children, church and animals. :snooty:

Do tell- what do they do? I don't know much about the Amish I guess. They abuse their children and animals?

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This documentary is a good insight into how the Amish are really messed up (and I doubt most fundies would approve of their interpretation of the Bible, like being banned from wearing a yellow hat-band :S):

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Do tell- what do they do? I don't know much about the Amish I guess. They abuse their children and animals?

Not that this is oh-so-reliable (but I guess it's hard to fin anything about the amish that IS), but MTV True Life had an episode "I'm Ex-Amish". One of the guys on there said his father used to beat him really bad and he eventually ran away.

Here's a trailer for it: http://vimeo.com/21753373

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I think fundies really try to appropriate a lot of Amish culture without actually understanding it, just like they do with Jewish culture. I have plenty of issues with the Amish lifestyle, but in general it's very very different than modern fundies.

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Do tell- what do they do? I don't know much about the Amish I guess. They abuse their children and animals?

Others have given you better examples of family abuse but the Amish are well known for being the major problem of puppy mills and do it so cruely. I also don't agree about their faith that we don't know who will be saved or not. That and they discourage members from reading the bible on their own.

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Others have given you better examples of family abuse but the Amish are well known for being the major problem of puppy mills and do it so cruely. I also don't agree about their faith that we don't know who will be saved or not. That and they discourage members from reading the bible on their own.

I didn't know about the puppy mill thing :shock: You'd think that a community that rely on animals more than most Westerners would treat them with more compassion than that...

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I think a lot of the animal abuse comes from the fact that they don't believe that animals have souls so therefore, horrible cruelty to animals is no big deal...not sure how they rationalize their children, unless perhaps, they don't believe that children have souls until they become part of the church at around 18? (Don't know...this is speculation) I live in upstate New York and there was a case of Amish teen boys sexually using their fathers' horses. All of the horses, cattle, etc. were removed from the farm.

In terms of the Amish literature, I think the fundies like it because often times the young female protagonist turns away from the Amish church in favor of a fundamentalist type church--you know, cuz you can't really go to heaven unless you are a true fundamentalist. The books heavily romanticize the Amish culture AND the protagonist comes to her senses and realizes how wrong her religious upbringing has been. Fundies like to read about conversion!

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I've read a bunch of those books too. Besides the ultra-boring plots, boring characters, and no terrible writing, at the end, many of the characters come to realize that they aren't truly saved because their faith requires work and they become "true fundies." some of the characters stay within the Amish community, some leave. They treat the Amish with shocking disrespect (despite my own major problems with the Amish).

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I've read a few of those -- good thing they were freebies from Amazon. It's so easy to delete stuff from my Kindle. Dreadful books by people who obviously know nothing about the people they're writing about. (That goes for an awful lot of that sort of fiction -- I damn near threw said Kindle against a wall a few weeks ago when I got to the end of a mildly entertaining if highly improbable book about a Jewish woman at the time of Jesus who went around at the end after she met him referring to him as "the Christ." Because an uneducated Jewish woman would have known a Greek title for him that was popularized later, right?)

I don't view the Amish as either horrible or angels. For one thing, there's a lot of variety between different Amish groups, so I don't think it's fair to put them all in a single category. I admire their sheer stubbonness, if nothing else. I don't like the lack of education, for boys or girls. I've heard a lot of really disturbing things about some Amish and the way they treat animals, puppy mills and the like. I like the idea of their giving teenagers a chance to leave, even if in practice the odds are seriously stacked against them; while I despise shunning, at least if you leave the Amish before you are a full member of the church you won't be shunned the same way people who leave after often are, and you have to be pretty much an adult to become a full member.

The biggest thing is that they are insular. They aren't looking to convert us. That is, whatever else goes on, a point in their favor to me.

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Are these books FOR Amish, then? Or just books for outsiders supposedly about Amish? If the former, who are some authors?

I have some academic books about the Amish that are pretty interesting, I can't say as I'd ever want to join their lifestyle (not being Christian would be a slight problem!) but some of their outlook I can get behind, the idea of putting community first (or at least having that as a value) and so weighing even technical changes against it, has some merit to me in opposition to the "the free market has spoken! Anything goes!"

...but yeah, there's the whole membership business and social sanctions that lets that happen too, so...

The lack of education is something I do have a big problem with, whether it's the Amish or modern fundies doing it. YOU are free to eschew whatever education you don't care for but don't tell someone else (i.e. your kids) that they have to limit themselves.

As education limiters, of course, the Amish are just another group that would be unable to function (at least at current happiness levels) if the world were only them, they DEPEND on the outsider secular culture for survival in 2012, regardless of how much they refuse to use mains power. In that way, they are the same as every other group of fundie out there. It is no longer 1850. You're behind. Deal with it.

I do know quite a few modern fundie families that idolize the Amish though, it's a natural fit among those who lean toward "crunchy con." The more sane realize that it's a romantic dream and nothing more, though.

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The Amish have many many subgroups, Old Order and New Order, and further breakdowns from there. Some Ordnungs are a lot more stringent to the point of banning the visibility triangles on buggies and others actually allow owning cars. All Amish can't be judged by a few. There are thousands of Amish communities, and not all of them get along well because some of them disagree on the fundamentals so severely. Some highly esteem women for the work they do in the household and even on the farm and women have the same voting rights within the community, and sometimes women own businesses and employ others, sometimes even including their own husbands. Other communities do view women as servants to men.

Formal education does tend to stop at 8th grade, but independent learning continues. The reason they don't stay in school for four more years is that a lot of what is learned in high school doesn't matter one lick in their communities. In their communities, it's more prudent to spend those years working in their trades. It's not like fundies who deprive their kids of even an eighth grade education and expect them to get by in a world with people who at least finished high school.

I do like that they don't "dedicate babies to the service of the lord" and instead wait. It's typical to have months of classes when one does decide to be baptized. The typical age is 18-22, though several years older isn't unheard of. It's a decision made by the individual, and some communities have a rate of about 65% of their youth deciding to become full members, and that's okay because it's a choice they get to make. Some put a lot more pressure on therir youth and so have a retention rate closer to 95%.

Shunning only happens after a long the of trying to correct what's seen as dangerous behavior, and even then, it's usually a short period of time, and comes after a unanimous vote by the leaders. All this usually means is eating separately (though sometimes only symbolically, such as placing two tables close and covering them with the same cloth), not accepting gifts from that person, and a few other mild things, though assistance when needed is still given. There are those who basically ignore someone's existence, but that's less common. Excommunication is pretty rare, and even with that, most communities have guidelines for how someone can be accepted back in (usually requiring an admission of what was done wrong and a vow not to reoffend, and for some, just joining another community wipes out the excommunication - I don't think the Catholic church has any rules allowing this at all).

Really the Amish are as varied as your typical Christian denominations. There are a few binds that tie them all together, but they are really very varied, and it does then a great disservice to lump them all together.

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Pretty sure they are for outsiders with a romanticised view of Amish life.

Yes they are. I think fundis like them because they live in this world but not of this word. They also like the idea of an authoritarian church running the community. They also think that they are similar because they have home churches and wear dresses. I read a few free ones on my kindle. I would use them to put me to sleep.

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I guess I was making blanket statements as not everyone in every group does the same thing. I have never talked to an Amish person so it would be wrong of me to judge them and find the entire group failing. I do know that I don't like the Amish that wind up on my one group's radar of extreme animal abuse. I can also say I feel the same way about anyone that winds up on that radar regardless of what they follow.

I know I don't like their faith but for the life of me I can't think of the word to use to explain what I mean. But that doesn't mean I would not like most Amish that I should ever happen to meet. I guess when I made the earlier statements I was just talking off the cuff and didn't stop to think of what I was saying. That was very wrong of me. I'm sure if I and an Amish woman sat down and talked heart to heart or even just coffee chat that I would find a very good friend I would be very loyal to. But it would have to depend on the person as not all women connect or care to.

In other words, I made a blanket statement I should have as not all Amish are one and the same. I don't care for their doctorine as they wouldn't for mine and I don't caare for abusiers but I'm sure that is a small percent of the whole.

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