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Jul 12, 2009

Amish and the Duggars

Hi All,

It was really interesting tonight as on Compass (a ABC program analysing religion) there was documentary on Amish: and the people that leave the Amish.

I have always found the Amish to be an interesting, vibrant, cultural movement. I was homeschooled using material from a similar, albeit a more liberal movement: the Mennonites. After researching the movement however, I do realise it has a shadowy side, something which this program drove home for me.

It troubled me greatly for example that whilst it is assumed that the "rules" (which govern everything from dress styles to prayer styles) arise from the bible, the reality is that many Amish have never read a bible they could fully understand (they still use the old german bible, a language many of them cannot read nor understand), creating a very obvious problem. Add into this that actual bible study is discouraged: in fact people are shunned for something as simple as reading the bible and then from what they read having the courage to stand up to the elders/bishops and disagree with some aspects of their legalistic take on things.

That was where the show took us: showing us a different, more brutal side of Amish life. I think too often their way of life has been promoted and praised, neglecting to mention the shunnings, the strict rules etc: basically the down side to any fundamentalist religion.

I think the Duggars (a fundamentalist, quiverfull family) are often portrayed in the same positive light as the Amish: just seen as a little more in touch. I have discussed the Duggars and the now infamous sin in the camp comment on here before: and how I struggle to comprehend how a family can appear to be that happy, that together. No family (that I know at least) is that perfect.

That's not to say that I don't still hold a touch of respect for their way of life. I admire the simplicity, the honesty. But yet, the dark side of the beast is still there, simmering under the surface, destroying families, hope and lives.



SuzanneDeAZ said...

And exactly how do you know that the Duggars have a seeder side to them? Did you ever find out what "sin in the camp" they encountered?

Princess Jo said...

Hi Suzanne,

I have never come out and said that I know for certain what the "sin in the camp" comment referred to: there are have been reports and rumours on the web about what it is....and whom it involved. I have only commented on those rumours, stressing that they are rumours etc. And I was only commenting on the fact that no family is that perfect: ever. We are all dysfunctional in some way.

I for one have some history with the movement they are involved with and have seen the seedy side of the beast: just read my next entry down and you will see what I mean. Follow the links in my sidebar, particularly to No Longer Quivering and read more stories about more women whom have stories just like mine.


SuzanneDeAZ said...

I have read and even posted on the No Longer Qivering forum. I will try to read some of your sharings. Were you involved with Bill Gothard? In the early 70's the principal and pastor of our school/church attended his Basic Youth Conference and tried to run mylike as a single young woman who he employed in his school. I loved my job till he attended this conference. After that he bacame controlling and my life became unbearable. So I know first hand that life can be seedy however I do not see the smae things in the life of the Duggars.

Lisa RM said...

Duggars? I will refrain...

SuzanneDeAZ said...

And why do you find it necessaryt to refrain?

Lisa RM said...

I'm an ecologist. I have issues with the ecological impact with that many children. And parents need to raise children, that's not the job of other children in the family. And on and on. I have yet to see/read anything about the Duggars that I agree with.

Stephanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.


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