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.
Occasionally I can explain. Sometimes my answer is, "I dunno. Better ask another former Swartzie."
One topic we discussed was about a strict bishop who prohibited his married congregation members to have sex after child-bearing age. Well, that topic led to an extended, highly spirited conversation!
Then we chewed on how Amish celebrate holidays. Each contributor had a different perspective and story. I added, "In the Swartzentruber Ordnung, sex between married couples is prohibited on holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Olde Christmas.
"How would a bishop know?"
Another ex-Swartzentruber, who had been a Church member, explained the history behind the no holiday sex for you rule.
- Only Church members know this insider info. Even Swartzentruber youth or non-members have no clue. Why? Membership candidates are instructed in the Ordnung (rules). The weeks prior to baptism and membership are a sort of catechism. Therefore if a non-member leaves, he'd not know this tid-bit.
I maintain that the great minds are always learning. What'd you learn in reading this blog post today? Leave your comment below.
(c)Copyright, 2014. Brenda Nixon