Thursday, April 17, 2014

No Holiday Sex for You!

My post title takes me to a Seinfeld episode with the Soup Nazi, "No soup for you!" Then he screams, "Next!"

I belong to an ex-Amish group [I'm not ex-Amish] and the myriad topics we discuss attract anger, angst, disagreements and - sometimes - dissension. More often, though, we laugh and learn from each another.

With more than 15 Amish orders, each with different rules and behavior, even within an ex-Amish group individuals say, "That wasn't my experience." Or they ask another, "Why'd you do that?"
Most of my experience and relationships are with the uber strict Swartzentruber Order. Ex-Amish from the higher - more progressive - orders learn about Swartzentrubers, when I jump in on a topic. "Why do they do that?" they ask me.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

5 Tips to Help Ex-Amish Succeed

Laura, Levi, me, Josh, Mosie, Lynsey, Harvey
Having a place to go - is a home. Having someone to love - is a family. Having both - is a blessing. ~ Donna Hedges

When appropriate, I offer both to the ex-Amish who come across my path. Yet I'm the one who feels blessed! My expanding - ever changing - family has provided rich and rare experiences. Laughs. Merriment. Valued relationships.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Do Amish Keep their Anabaptist Heritage?

Educator, former pastor, volunteer chaplain, devoted reader and learner, and new friend Jim Dorough commented to me one day about the Amish. “From what I’m seeing, they seem to have moved away from their Anabaptist roots.”

“You know, Jim, that’d make a terrific blog post. Not all have moved away but most of the orders no longer practice their original Anabaptist tenets.”

“Many world religions emerged out of disagreement to another religion, or oppression of a ruling religion. I’ve done some research on the Anabaptist Movement. It arose in resistance to the Roman Catholic Church that ruled both civil and religious life.”

“Yes, they suffered tremendous persecution and torture from both Catholics and some Protestants at that time. Since you’ve done some research, why don’t you pen a guest post for my blog?”

Well, dear Jim agreed. I respect his knowledge, experiences, and heart for truth. So please read this rare guest blog post. I hope you learn a thing or two from Jim Dorough of Ohio:

Friday, March 21, 2014

Is TV's Amish Mafia True?

Is there any truth to if an Amish boy gives an Amish girl a goat it shows he's interested in her? And if he gives her a pregnant goat he's interested in her long term...or did Amish Mafia pull the wool over my eyes again? he asked.

Months ago the network record-breaking TV series aired a segment where the main character, Levi, bought co-character, Esther, a goat, took it into her house, and gave it to her. 

Is the goat-giving practice accurate or more mythinformation about this culture?

I'm asked similar questions all the time. Living with former Amish and having helped a dozen or so, I prefer to go to the SOURCE for my answers. My wonderful son-in-love - who grew up Amish - never heard of it. Others I asked rolled their eyes and denied this practice. 

It's your turn, dear readers, to get real answers from real former-Amish, in their own unedited words:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Amish Spring Break Activities

Happy Spring! I'm blessed with former-Amish friends. Some have a crazy sense of humor. They're witty. See the goofiness in life. A tad irreverent.

Take my bud Ed. He and his brother left the Amish years ago. Today Ed is married, works, and participates in a Facebook closed group for those who've left Amish. Wow, do I ever learn inside, authentic info when I read the discussions! And they've been so good to take me in as a group member.

Ed posted these Top Amish Spring Break Activities he'd found somewhere on the internet at an Amish joke page. Since we're into Spring and the notoriously wild college spring break stories, I thought I'd share...

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Amish: What's It Really Like?

Amish have many admirable qualities -- hard work ethic, self-reliant, and determined. Like many country residents, they garden and provide food for their family. Children are assigned chores and expected to contribute to the family.

There's also something deeper. Ominous.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Teaching Amish to Drive a Car

Open the Gas Tank Lid
Horse and buggy are his daily mode of transportation.

He wanted to drive. A car!

In his uber strict - Swartzentruber - order, vehicles are verboten! Cars are worldly.

The Ordnung says he may use an English driver only in the case of a medical emergency. And using anything with rubber wheels - a bicycle - is verboten. Inflated tires are wrong.

He could face public discipline. Put in the bann (temporary shunning) if discovered.

Determined to drive, he arranged to ride with an ex-Amish (also verboten) to the DMV for his Learner's Permit. Afterward, he called me. "I need practice," he explained.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Amish Shunning, What's It all About?

I talked a little about shunning in my interview with Josh. More specifically, it was in an answer to a reader's question below that post. Always be sure to read the candid comments.

I admit it! At first, I generalized this practice. Thought I understood. Then I discovered how complex the practice is among Amish. Just as the Amish cannot be generalized, shunning is broader and deeper than most outsiders think.

In my December 12 post It's Sad. Breaks my Heart, I share about a married Swartzentruber Amish man who is desperate to leave. He's held by fears - the intimidating consequences to himself, his wife, and kids. As a Church member, he and his family must be shunned for leaving the fold.

Harvey (in the ball cap) is shunned
And the Amish name names! His name - as his wife - will go on a list. The list is distributed to others preparing for Church membership so they know who they must shun. They use the 1 Corinthians 5:11 admonition as basis for this practice.

A new runaway, Harvey, joined us on Christmas Day. This Harvey is 21-years-old and had joined the Amish Church early - at 17-years.
Consequently, by leaving he is entirely shunned - by his family and Church, which includes the entire settlement.