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Thread: What are "Old Order" Amish?

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    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    What are "Old Order" Amish?

    Old Order Amish

    The Old Order Amish Churches are a North American religious body descended from the Anabaptist Mennonite followers of Jacob Amman.

    Old Order Amish is an American term that came about in an attempt to describe those who resisted innovations both in society and church work. A series of conferences held in Ohio from 1862 to 1878 resulted in marking clear differences between the conservative and progressive Amish.

    The Old Order Amish are distinguished from the Beachy Amish and the New Order Amish by their strict adherence to the use of horses for farming and transportation, their traditional manner of dress, and their refusal to allow electricity or telephones in their homes. The Old Order Amish is the concept many outsiders have when they think of Amish.

    In 1990 Old Order Amish settlements existed in 20 states in the United States and in one province in Canada. Membership was estimated at over 80,000 in almost 900 church districts. By 2002 there were over 1200 districts.

    According to sociologist Julia Erickson, of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Amish are among the fastest-growing populations in the world. Old Order Amish groups include the Byler group, Nebraska Amish in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, the Renno group, and the Swartzendruber Amish in Holmes County, Ohio. Pathway Publishing Company of Aylmer, Ontario is the major publisher of Amish material.

    Old Order Amish subscribe to the Dordrecht Confession of Faith, a Dutch Mennonite Confession of Faith adopted in 1632. Doctrinally they are similar to other Swiss Mennonites, but show the influence of the Dutch Mennonites.

    They practice shunning of excommunicated members, and emphasize that a person can only hope to be saved, and that it is a form of pride to claim the assurance of salvation. Feet washing is observed twice annually, in connection with the Communion. Non-resistance, including refusal of military service in any form, is a standard practice.

    The Old Order Amish do not build church houses, but rather meet in private homes. Because of this, they are sometimes called House Amish.

    http://www.fact-index.com/o/ol/old_order_amish.html

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    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Some more info, including the differences between various groups, can be found here:

    http://www.mhsc.ca/index.asp?content...tents/O54.html

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    FORT Regular Teeny's Avatar
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    Good info, John - thanks!

    I stumbled on this show tonight by accident and just knew I could rely on the good 'ole FORT to supply me with any and all relevant documentation of this new twist in reality television (tee hee).

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    Interesting information John. Thanks. I have to admit, I know very little (if at all anything, except a stereotype image) of what being Amish means. We don't have them in Texas (that I'm aware of). I have to say after reading that link, I am a very impressed with their "unity" and "commitment to their beliefs" over so many decades. I am also a bit saddened to read that some have been jailed for their resistence to modern schooling etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ineedalife
    Interesting information John. Thanks. I have to admit, I know very little (if at all anything, except a stereotype image) of what being Amish means. We don't have them in Texas (that I'm aware of). I have to say after reading that link, I am a very impressed with their "unity" and "commitment to their beliefs" over so many decades. I am also a bit saddened to read that some have been jailed for their resistence to modern schooling etc.
    We actually studied a case (the name escapes me right now!) about that. The Amish contend that they don't need higher education, because they learn all they need to know to live in their community by 8th grade. The Amish eventually won on that particular one. I'll have to see if I can find the case again, it's quite interesting.

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    Here it is: Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972)

    "The Wisconsin compulsory attendance law requires that children attend public or private schools until the age of 16. Jonas Yoder, a member of the Old Order Amish religion, refused to send his daughter Frieda to school following her graduation from eighth grade. He was fined $5. There were two other parents and children who were also fined.

    A basic tenet of the Amish faith is that religion pervades all life and that salvation requires living in a church community apart from worldly Influence. They object to public secondary schools because the high school tends to emphasize intellectual and scientific accomplishments, self- distinction, competitiveness, worldly success, and social life with other students. Amish society emphasizes a life of "goodness" rather than intellect, "wisdom" rather than technical knowledge, and community welfare rather than competition. The conflict between worldly and nonworldly values, they argued, would do psychological harm to the Amish children.

    Do compulsory school attendance laws, effective beyond eighth grade, violate the rights of the Amish to free exercise of their religion? The Court ruled that to force the Amish to comply with the compulsory attendance law means that they must either leave the state or risk the loss of their children to a secular society. The Court reasoned that, "A way of life that is odd or even erratic but interferes with no rights or interests of others is not to be condemned because it is different." The Amish offer their children an "ideal" vocational education, instilling in them the social and political responsibilities of citizenship. There was nothing to indicate that the health, safety, or welfare of the children have been endangered by the actions of their parents. Justice Douglas dissented with regard to two of the three children because they did not testify as to their own views: "These children are 'persons' within the meaning of the Bill of Rights.... It is the future of the student, not the future of the parents, that is imperiled by today's decision. The child, therefore, should be given an opportunity to be heard before the State gives the exemption which we honor today." (Hardin)"

    http://www.socialstudieshelp.com/EdLaw.htm

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    Thanks Scarlett! That is interesting.

    I was surprised to read all this because I think it does come down to a separation of church and state issue (at least from outward appearances). Based on the link alone and what you just posted, I really do not see how this is harmful to the children, per se', that grow up in this culture. It's not like the children are being abused. It sounds as though they could set the standard for morals of some of today's youth in fact.

    And besides, isn't the basis of this show that in the Amish culture, they are allowed to go out into the world (at the certain age) in order to decide to remain in the Amish society into their adult life? If they decide to go out into the world, they are always able to get the additional education they may want/need. If they decide to stay in the Amish community, then they have the equivalent education as their peers.

    I would be more alarmed if they didn't get any education at all.
    A Bachelor fan til it dies a slow death and oddly enough, A Rock of Love fan...finest hair extensions from Europe and all. ;-)

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    Chairman of the Bored Cruella_DeVil's Avatar
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    Thanks John!

    Now I have a better understanding of something I knew very little to nothing about. You are always so helpful.

    I have always been a noncomformist, but in our family / community that only put me in the category of TROUBLEMAKER!

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