2/26/15

Do the Amish use a Bible?

Readers and audiences always ask questions about the Amish -- this complex American sub-culture that intrigues people around the globe. My blog readers are in Canada, Australia, Central and South America, and European countries.

Most people believe all Amish are godly, conservative Christians. Most believe all Amish read, study, and live the words of the Bible.

I was speaking recently when an audience member raised her hand and asked, "Do the Amish use a Bible?"

2/16/15

Intimate View of Cloistered Culture

She was excited!

"We found a picture of a Swartzentruber buggy for our flier," exclaimed the library's adult program planner.

She'd wanted me to speak during her library's Brown Bag Chat - noon program - about my life with Amish and those who've gone beyond their buggies & bonnets.

Some have come through our home - Mosie, Josh, Monroe, Sarah, Noah, Levi, Dan, Andy, Marvin - some I do life with - our son-in-law Harvey, then there's Ida, and Emma. Some I know from a distance - Lester, Katie, Esther, Ed, and John.

Several times I was invited to bring my suitcase of Amish clothes and present a program at private and public venues. I posted about speaking and answering audience questions at the Twinsburg, Ohio public library.

2/7/15

Exposing Fake Amish

Could you identify an illusion?

Recently, this came to my inbox. Read and tell me if you think it's real.

Hello,
I was writing to you because I came across your information pages. My son and I left Holmes County several months ago following my husbands death. I did not want to be his widow fathers new wife and as such we have been

1/26/15

Lived, Left, Shunned, and Sharing about Amish life

Meet Harvey A., (not our son-in-law but, another Harvey)  I don't reveal his last name to respect his Amish family or those who may be affected by his decision to leave.

Harvey grew up in Kentucky as Swartzentruber Amish. His order split over the bed courtship practiced by Swartzentrubers. His differing order became known as Abe Order.

1/17/15

You Might be Ex-Amish if . . .


Ready for a laugh?

Most of my former Amish pals have a sense of humor. Quick witted. Get a gag. Love to banter. Some have a biting playfulness.

I often remind Josh that I love his witticisms. After all he's gone through so far, he still sees whimsy in life.

Several months ago, Rosa put out a challenge to members of my former Amish group, "You might be ex-Amish if . . ."

1/7/15

Inquiring Minds about the Amish

Happy New Year!

Curious readers, researchers, and "reality" TV producers ask me tons of questions about the Amish. I'm no expert - nobody is - but my daily experiences afford personal, unique insights. A special understanding.

I'm grateful for my fun and funny Amish pals, and former-Amish friends and family! I've been inside Swartzentruber Amish homes, English homes occupied by Swartzentruber Amish, and with those in and out of that life - or society. Or "system" as some formers refer to it. From them and my own observations, I learn volumes about this complex American sub-culture.

Below are three questions I was recently asked:

12/21/14

2014 Highlights

2014's Most Popular Post:
  • Wow, first I thought February's Amish Shunning, What's It All About? - with 1,482 readers - was the most popular.
  • Then, a new one blew that out of the water. Within a day, Divided Home - Harvey's shocking story - attracted nearly 2,000 readers! I think because of the story's rarity.
Most Comments:

12/12/14

Christmas the Amish Way

Last December, I posted about an Amish Christmas. Because new readers didn't see it, or might not search my blog for holiday-themed posts, I'm republishing it now.

Remember each order recognizes Christmas differently. In this post, you can visit the stricter Amish orders and learn how they observe the day.

Book Fun Magazine nominated me for 2014

12/5/14

Gay Amish

She emailed a few months ago with questions. I answered. Recently she emailed more.

"To be officially shunned you have to be a member of the church, right?" she asked.
  • TRUE. But, while the Church may shun, the family might not. Read about Harvey in my last post. Then - with some - the Church may not but the family shuns their "wayward" child who left. That's been the case with many of my young former-Amish friends and family.
Then I reminded her of my February post on shunning - and it's complexities. "Read it," I advised. 

11/22/14

Divided Home: He's English, She's Amish

Swartzentruber Amish Harvey
This picture is verboten.

Swartzentruber Amish do not allow nor take photos as it's considered a graven image. Against the rules. A sin!

So why am I publishing a picture of Harvey D. (another Harvey, not our son-in-law)?

He took it himself! Posted it on a public forum. Gave me permission to use it.

You may remember I penned a post on teaching an Amish to drive a car. That was Harvey D.  Back when I couldn't release his name. Read the post. At the time, he was unsure of his destiny - would he leave or remain Amish? The inner conflict broke his spirit.

He was nearly driven to suicide as the two worlds played tug of war with his mind.

11/10/14

Amish Stud

    We went to the small town of Yoder, Kansas, an Amish town, and visited the Amish hardware store, the Amish furniture store … and so on.   
My friend said something that I found hard to believe and I told her that I was going to ask you about this and see what you said.
    My friend was told that a man claimed he is an “Amish stud,” i.e. he helps Amish women get pregnant because there is so much intermarrying (cousins and such) that there is a real problem with birth defects in the Amish community.
    Brenda, I found this so, so hard to believe — but I’ve been surprised by some of the things I’ve read in your blog. I still find it truly hard to believe that the Amish community would do this.
So, can you clear this up for me and my friend? Any truth to this statement?