I don’t follow any series on TV, but I’m absolutely addicted to ‘Return to Amish’. Its now in its third series but I’ve been waiting for over two years to find out the next installment about Abe, Rebecca, Mary and gang.
Its staggering to think that in fast paced America, there are over 308,000 people who live like this. Too much sex and not enough sinful use of contraception, methinks!
I’ve long been fascinated by the Amish culture, but really its like all religions, you don’t have to scratch to far under the surface to find a much nastier side.
Shunning, having to wear dentures in your early 20’s because there is no such thing as dental care in the Amish culture, having to stick to rigid rules all your life for fear of having your family and everyone that you’ve grown up with, turn their back on you, presents a far less quaint and wholesome veneer.
I would not like to be gay in that culture and as for being disabled, it must be an excruciating experience. Forget about having an electric wheelchair, or any appliance to make life easier if electricity is forbidden.
I’ve read books about Amish women who have become anorexic, effectively as a means of contraception to stop them just becoming breeding cows, which their sect actively encourages.
Again I see a lot of similarities with the number of sect or “religions” of today. Free thought or any kind of independent thinking are the nemesis of established (male) doctrine and aged accepted traditions.
In this series Mary has been banished, which is a step above shunning, and this means she can have no contact with the Amish and in their eyes she is dead.
What a horrible thing to do to this woman, who’s great crimes were to have the occasional drink, refuse to cease communication with her children who had left the Amish religion and sell some Tupperware to give her a little bit of financial independence.
I’m sure their lives have been made very hard, now that the support of the established Amish community has evaporated. But I hope they never cave in and return to that shackled existence!
Thanks TLC: Hope you’re looking after your cash cows though!
(Update Thursday 15-06-17: Delighted to see season four, even though Kate isn’t in it. The ugly site of a thirty something year old Abe scrimping and saving to get his dentures by post, is as much an Indictment as the Amish culture as it is for the financial heavy weight that is TLC. Good old Mary, is still holding onto her bit of character individuality and gladly refusing to submit to the elders of her church community who have now rescinded her banishment, leaving her now only shunned!)
(Monday 5/9/2016: I watched the last episode of “Return to Amish” last night. I really hope that TLC look after these people, that they are not just turfed back to the harsh reality of life. This channel has made millions in advertising revenues from this very popular series. A nice chunk of money would pay for Abe’s dental work or maybe enable him to work closer to home and take his financial dependency off long haul trucking…)
Links used for this post on the Amish: