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Mythbusters: Amish Edition

Amish Edition

Published: January 1, 2014 12:00 AM
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Amish do not have to pay taxes.

BUSTED

"This is a common misconception. Amish do in fact pay all income, sales, property and other local taxes. Amish are, however, exempt from Social Security, but do not collect from the program either. Amish object to Social Security as an insurance system, because the Amish society takes care of its aged and infirm, and thus have no need for government support."

-www.amishamerica.com

Amish think technology is evil.

BUSTED

"Amish do not consider technology "evil." Rather, they harbor concern over what unrestrained acceptance of all technology may lead to. Amish do in fact use a wide variety of technologies, including batteries, solar panels, and cell phones in some cases."

- www.amishamerica.com

Amish do not vote.

CONFIRMED

"Amish people are permitted to vote, but typically fewer than 10 percent head to the polls. Those who do vote are more likely to cast ballots in local elections than presidential ones. As conscientious objectors to war, some consider it hypocritical to vote for the commander-in-chief. Holding public office is taboo because it may entangle them in litigation, which the church forbids."

- www.huffingtonpost.com

Amish marriages are arranged.

BUSTED

The Amish do not arrange marriages. They date before marriage and in most cases, it is in private (but many in the community often know when two Amish youths are courting). Once they have prayed about it and are sure they have found who they will marry, they make an announcement in the church shortly before they wed.

Amish cannot be photographed.

BUSTED

Typically, the Amish ask that they not be photographed. You will most likely never see pictures of Amish families hanging on the walls of an Amish home or see them carrying around pictures of their family as they feel it is prideful. Some Amish people in tourist areas will hang signs or ask that you not take photos on their property. However, most Amish realize that tourists are curious and are OK with non-posed photography, photos of their farms and their horse and buggies. Amish adults may also allow photos of their children because they have not yet been baptized in the church. Attitudes on photography among the Amish vary from community to community. It is important to be courteous when touring Amish country. No one likes a camera shoved in their face.

Amish youth are given freedom to make choices for themselves before joining the church.

CONFIRMED

Amish choose for themselves whether to remain Amish or not. Typically between sixteen and twenty-one, Amish youth experience Rumspringa; this varies greatly from community to community, church to church and family to family. Though some communities do the whole Rumspringa thing, many do not.

-Behalt Amish Mennonite Center

Amish only complete school through 8th grade.

CONFIRMED

Once they have completed their schooling they go on to help on the family farm or business and eventually takeover or start their own businesses.

"Stopping school at 8th grade means that one's education stops. So not true! The Amish have a core value of lifelong learning and mastering concepts."

- Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Amish hate buttons!

BUSTED

All Amish men's pants fasten with buttons. Even the most conservative Swartzentrubers use buttons on little girl's dresses & men's shirts. It's the absence of buttons on suit coats & vests that have given rise to the button myth.

-Behalt Amish Mennonite Center

Amish are not permitted to cut their hair, ever.

BUSTED

Women are not permitted to cut their hair and they must wear a head covering to keep with the Ordnung. Some men keep their beards groomed and trimmed and others do not cut them at all. It varies from community to community. However, a beard is the best way to tell if an Amish man is married.

-Behalt Amish Mennonite Center

Amish do not communicate with family members once they have been shunned.

BUSTED

Meidung (shunning) is the Amish form of excommunication, however, not all ties are severed once a family member is shunned. Amish who are in the Meidung still attend family gatherings, funerals weddings, etc. Amish who are shunned may not eat at the same table or do business with those who are not in the Meidung. Nothing can be accepted from a shunned individual. This only applies to adults who chose to be baptized into the Amish faith.

-Behalt Amish Mennonite Center

Amish do not believe in riding in cars. BUSTED

The Amish's main mode of transportation is a horse and buggy. While Amish do not believe in owning their own vehicles, they do however, ride in cars driven by the English frequently. In fact, most Amish will pay drivers to drive them to and from work or if they are planning a trip that would take too long by horse and buggy.

Amish do not have church in a church building each week.

CONFIRMED

Amish hold a church service every other Sunday in the homes of the church members. They rotate and share the responsibility of hosting the service.


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