Friday, November 12, 2010

The Devil's Playground

Being brought up in an Amish lifestyle includes no electricity, no musical instruments, and no access into the "Devil's Playground."  The "Devil's Playground" is the Amish term for the American way of life.  Amish culture forbids any knowledge of modern culture.  Since education in Amish culture is intentionally stopped at 8th grade, one has no real ability to leave the culture.  This lack of education leaves the average Amish person with little opportunities to support themselves in a life other than farming in Amish community.
Supposably,  the Amish teenagers are given the opportunity to spend 24 hours in the "Devil's Playground" to choose whether they would like to live a life with the Amish or join modern society, although this usually only applies to males within amish community.  But how much choice are they given when they only posses an 8th grade level education at the age of 16?  What kind of jobs can they acquire as an uneducated minor in the modern society?  This choice to stay in modern society is a one-time choice, meaning that they cannot decide to come back later if they so desire.  Choosing to stay in modern American culture also entails that a person will not be in communication with their family ever again.  So as it may seem a "fair" ultimatum to the average person, how "fair" opportunity is it?  With little education, money, family, support, or real job experience, I'd say not as fair as one would think.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Amish Exemption

One question I continue to ask to myself is, how have the Amish learned to thrive off American culture but then also shun it?
Regular activities like using electricity is rejected by Amish culture, however, they thrive off our economy by selling us their Amish-made products.  Many people believe that the Amish are exempt from paying taxes, however, they are not.  They are exempt from the "Social Security Act."  They feel that paying insurance is not "trusting in god."  Who's to say that an Amish person will not need emergency room care?  They are also exempt from medicare.
The Amish believe in a separation between church and state and that they should be able to take care of their own.  Many problems arise when this complete separation and power is given to a culture within a nation.  How can a society not become corrupt when there are no regulations from the federal government?  The perception of a peaceful, loving, non-corrupt and non-harming community allows them to commit such atrocities of sexual abuse, animal abuse, and ignoring some federal laws without much attention.  
It can be Argued that allowing such independence can lead to corruption in society.  Most people do not see the Amish community as a threat.  However, any independent society should not be trusted.