Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
Are the Amish correct in their interpretation of biblical scripture, or are they just wacky?
They have beliefs which are close to the Jewish ultra religious right.
I lived near both peoples.
They are more determined not to use 20th century machinery,
but the local laws prevent them from going totally manual, like
being forced to use refrigeration equipment for the milk they
want to sell to the outside world, however they don't use electrically
powered refrigeration, they use diesel engines instead, symbolically
linking themselves to the 19th century. No phones, no electricity in
the houses. They allow themselves one phone but in a barn.
They ride horse and carriages, they limit their education to 8th
grade and have a newspaper which proves it.
They sell rugs and such on the side of the road and have a lot
of genetically damaged children as the result of inbreeding.
One of their biggest problems is keeping the kids down on the farm
literally. The Amish population is slowly diminishing as a result.
Its too bad, I personally like the few Amish I know, proud and
pragmatic people. Its kind of a cultural anachronism but if the
western culture declines, they may be here when everyone else
has died out if the worse fears of our environmentalists come true.
There is a more moderate brand called Mennenites who are a
20th century offshoot who are not afraid of 20th century machines,
drive cars, have phones, etc., but maintain the religious doctrine
the same as the Amish.
You may remember the movie Witness, the amish allowed the movie
to be made on their property but they panned it in their own paper.
All in all a grand social experiment, probably doomed to ultimate
failure unless western society goes down the tubes first.
If so they will continue and the kids would most definitely NOT leave
the farm since that's where the food is, however I don't think the
rest of the country will go so far down the tubes as to allow
the Amish their complete autonomy.
Right now the Pennsylvanian state government is very tolerant of
them, the amish don't make waves, just live their own lives.
The Jewish ultra right have strict rules about shabot for instance.
They cannot operate machinery on shabot but can use machinery
that does not require human intervention. One example is the
This is a setting built in to all Israeli elevators that when set up,
will go to every floor in sequence, opening and closing the doors
automatically, very slow if you are in a 20 story building I might add.
Also the shabot meal is cooked on a low temp setting portable
electric oven that they start before shabot and can pick food out of
during shabot but cannot start or stop the pots heating.
There was a case I think in Florida, where a jewish establishment
had shabot rules, one of them being not touching the controls of
the air conditioners and one non-jewish employee on one very
hot shabot day, said enough of this bs, turns on the air conditioner
and got promptly fired, the ex sues and loses because the employer
can make those sort of rules and the employee is bound to obey,
even if he is not jewish or non observant.