Bill HennessI live in a part of Illinois where there are many homes of Amish people. I would like to relate some of my thoughts about them.
First, they seem to be law abiding and gently people who virtually never get in trouble with the law. They have, for the most part, obedient children. I have witnessed them in Wal-Marts on many occasions. The little tikes walk along holding onto the cart that their mother is pushing. Of course all of them are dressed just like their parents. Little girls have on long plain dresses with little bonnets. The little boys have home-made pants and shirts with little hats like their daddy's. I have never seen any Amish children acting bad,ever. They seem to be a loving family.
I understand that one of their main reasons for not having TV, radios, etc. is so their kids will be more family orientated. And that, I think, is good.
However, there are some down sides to all of it also.
One negative aspect of being Amish is NONE of them has an education beyond the 8th. grade. They all attend Amish schools taught by a teacher who also only has an 8th. grade education.
The speak a form of low German until they start school where they are taught English. So, all Amish are bilingual.
No one know what kind of parental punishment goes on in the home but all kids are very timid and obedient and intelligent to carry on a normal conversation with.
Now, after telling all the good about Amish children I will move on to, in my opinion, the most negative thing about them. From infancy they are taught nothing but Amish. They are taught to be proud of the fact that they can live hard like other people cannot. They are only exposed to the outside world, (English as we are called by them) and many thing about our normal life style is spoken bad about by their parents to them.
Their religion is from the 17th century, and it is taught to them from the cradle. When they get to be teens, they are given a little more freedom and when they turn 18, I think, they must then choose whether they want to remain Amish for the rest of their lives or leave the Amish. If they choose to leave they are looked upon by their family and friends as practically dead. They are not supposed to be spoken to or acknowledged at all.
Naturally if they choose to leave they will be forced to alienate themselves from ALL their relations and ALL their friends and acquaintances for the rest of their natural lives. So, naturally, not many ever leave the Amish on penalty of loosing all friends and family.
When I see little cute Amish children I feel so very sorry for them because they don't have a chance at a real good life. They must always ride a buggy, always have an outside toilet, always ware the same style clothing. Especially the little girls I feel sorry for. Their lot in life is to marry as soon as possible, raise a huge family, and work hard all their lives. Plus be in subject to their husband. They little boys will be expected to marry as soon as possible, have lots of kids to help with the work, and to help take care of mom and dad when they grow old.
I really feel for these little kids. They have been really brainwashed from as soon as they are born in their parents religion and they don't have a chance or a choice of ever leaving it.
This article is by no means all that concerns little Amish kids but I hope you may learn a little more about these gentle people, the Amish.
Worley October 8, 2009 Ex-minister.org
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