Over the weekend, I published a photo on my Facebook page:
The caption read:
Describe this photo in three words or less…GO!
What was intended as a nice way of sharing among people who read my books and share a passion for the quiet, restrained life of the Amish turned into a firestorm of negativity from a select few intent on spreading their erroneous opinions and hate of the Amish.
But wait, Sarah (you might be thinking). How can OPINIONS be ERRONEOUS?
When opinions are put forth as fact using not one iota of reference to any legitimate source or statistic, they are erroneous. Period. Here are just a few of them…
Well, let’s start with the poop comment.
Apparently, you lived in Ohio which is Amish Country…so yes, there would be horse poop on the roads. Since horses travel down the middle of their lane on road, I presume you are not stepping in their manure, but you simply just don’t like poop. Perhaps we should get rid of all dogs and cats, birds and rabbits because (horrors!) they poop, too. That’s a silly comment, but I shall let it stand at that.
“Everything about them are nasty.”
Really? I mean REALLY? What I deduce from this statement is either A. you have only met a few Amish people and they just were not friendly toward you or B. you met all of them and they were all not friendly toward you.
If it were the former, then you should not generalize about an entire religious and cultural community simply because one, two, or even ten people were not bending over backwards to meet your notion of stranger-kindness.
If, however, it were the latter, then I would suspect that YOU have the problem. Presuming you met all 300,000 Amish people in the USA and they were all nasty to you, then I believe that YOU, not them, have the problem. What exactly is it about YOU that 300,000 Amish people don’t like you? From your comments on the photo post, I can place a good bet that you are a judgmental person with low tolerance for anyone who doesn’t believe what you believe. If you are Christian (which seems unlikely), you might want to flip through the New Testament again…perhaps study a few of Jesus’s teachings or, even better, go speak to your preacher, pastor, or priest about your inability to A. be nice B. keep negative thoughts to yourself and C. judge others without knowing one thing about them.
“And they all treat their animals so badly.”
Interesting. Very interesting. Seems to me that the shelters in MY county are full of abandoned, discarded, and unloved animals. But we don’t have any Amish for 60 miles from my home. Do the Amish treat their animals badly? Perhaps some do (more about this later). However, if you are basing this on the fact that Amish people don’t dress up their dogs in cute little outfits, adorn them with blinged out collars, or let the snuggle on the sofa while watching television at night, then you might have a point.
But I suspect that is not your reason for making this very unsubstantiated claim. There is simply NO logic to your claim. And no facts, either. If ALL Amish treated their animals badly:
They would not get milk from their cows for unhealthy cows won’t produce quality milk (or any for that matter!) their Belgian draft horses would be too weak to pull the mowers, balers, and other farm equipment, and their carriage horses would drop on the road left and right when pulling buggies.
Anyway, enough attention to you. Let’s explore some other ridiculous post…
I noticed on your Facebook page that you have a lot of quotes about forgiveness and acceptance, particularly with the LGBT communities. I applaud your open-mindedness! However, your comments in your post made me wonder at how closed-minded and misinformed you are about the Amish, judging others (the very thing you post that you don’t want done to YOU) and being rather unaccepting of their lifestyle.
So let’s explore your post…
Puppy mills. Are there any Amish puppy mills? Yup. You betcha. In fact, the Humane Society identified at least three puppy mills that are Amish (possibly five, I cannot be certain). However, on this list of puppy mills, there were at least 95 (or 97, depending on how many were Amish) other puppy mills identified that were NOT Amish.
Who buys these puppies? Not the Amish, for sure and certain. So I have to presume it is the NON-AMISH buying them and clearly with no sense of accountability or responsibility for the conditions in which their beloved puppy’s mother lives.
While we are on the topic, a NON-AMISH pet store owner of Just Pups in Paramus was just caught with 67 puppies shoved in tiny crates in a VAN on a very cold night. He had his own breeding farm, apparently, in Tennessee. Again, NOT Amish.
However, let’s use YOUR uneducated logic and words of Wisdom, since 3% of the Top 100 Puppy Mills identified by the Humane Society are potentially Amish and you do not want anyone to buy anything from them, let’s observe the same practice with the rest of America because at least 95% of the Top 100 Puppy Mills are NOT Amish. You never know when you might buy something from a store owner who has a puppy mill, right?
But wait! If you are promoting boycotting Amish goods and products because of the 3-5 top puppy mills being Amish, aren’t you punishing an entire community? Aren’t you generalizing? Aren’t you basically demonstrating the same no-tolerance that you, according to YOUR Facebook page, want the world to show toward the LGBT community? Doesn’t that make you (dare I say it?) a hypocritical bigot?
Now, let’s look at your comment about crimes.
Child abuse. Wife abuse. Elder abuse. Does it happen? Yes. However, it happens in ALL societies. 679,000 children were abused in America (according to a 2013 report on child abuse). 28% of young adults aged 14-17 reported having been the victim of sexual assault and, overwhelmingly, it was by a family member. That’s TWO MILLION CHILDREN! And most of the time, those offenders never even make it to court.
I have first hand experience with this. And I can assure you that my offenders were non-Amish and, to be perfectly frank, sat with their families in a Catholic church pew every Sunday.
My roommate in college was molested repeatedly by her brother while she was growing up (Catholic offender). A young man I know was molested by another boy (uncertain of offender’s religion but not Amish). Another young man I know was molested as a young boy (Catholic offender). Wow, I’m seeing a pattern here. Perhaps we should boycott all Catholics, at least based on this ignorant logic.
I don’t care what religion you practice. Intolerance to ANY group based on stereotyping or ignorant generalizations is simply fallacious and demonstrates just how illiterate and uneducated people can be.
But I’m not judging the Facebook commenters of the world. And I demonstrated my own tolerance of these misinformed and sanctimonious people: I left their posts on my page and did not ban them for spreading their antipathy. Instead, I am leaving those comments there so that others can read and form their own opinions.
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This is why you are the writer. I couldn’t have said it better. I applaud you for doing your research and giving us the fact. Therefore, setting these pure misguided souls straight??
Thank you so much. As you may remember from a message I sent you, I recently found your writing, of which I love. I love how you put this blog into words. The saying ignorance is bliss is so untrue, especially in a time where everyone is judging something or someone. I’m sure in the Amish, just as any religion or group of people you will find the undesirable. Thanks again for following up on this.
I also applaud you Sarah for addressing these stupid comments. I know alot of people are plainly ignorant when it comes to their education on the Amish. Where I work most people know my love of the Amish and when they have a question they will ask me. Instead of posting these smart … comments maybe they should try to seek more knowledge. Thanks again Sarah I read all your books and love them!!!
Very well said! It is so easy in these times we live in, to use media to make judgements of people, even whole groups of people. Easier yet, to spread these beliefs far and wide. It doesn’t seem to matter if they are true or lies. These issues are very serious issues and to accuse falsely is evil. Thank you for all that you write and say to show the Amish are people, real people, with very high morals, who are just as appalled by these happenings as we are. God bless you.
I just shared this blog because I love how so very TRUE and LOGICAL it is!!! I can’t stand when I hear someone say “Oh, those Amish all run puppy mills” or “They treat their animals so badly” or ‘They are ALL abusing their wives and children and are dirty criminals” or whatever ugly things they generalize an entire group with. Amazing how these angry, hating, judgmental people, who honestly, lets face it, are mostly from the liberal side….are so quick to cry about ‘tolerance’ and at anyone else they JUDGE to be ‘intolerant’ about all the ‘liberal issues’ they so love and cry about non-stop, ad nauseam. I love the facts and stats in this blog!! Ie: 3, maybe 5 of the top 100 known puppy mills are Amish owned!! So wait…then that means that ALL THOSE OTHERS in the TOP 100 ARE NOT AMISH OWNED!! So how come these complaining whiners aren’t bashing all non-Amish people everywhere because hey….if a puppy mill is owned and run by, lets say…a white English family…then ALL WHITE ENGLISH FAMILIES ARE EVIL, ABUSIVE and HURT ANIMALS and must NEVER buy ANYTHING from ANY WHITE ENGLISH PERSON….EVER!!!!!!
Yeah…uh, ya see the stupidity in THAT non-logic????? lolol
It just goes to prove what I’ve always said…there are certain people, certain groups that will just complain, just whine and just ‘protest’ anything, simply FOR the reason to do just that-complain, whine and protest…not because they ACTUALLY know facts or even understand anything they are complaining, whining and protesting about. It is obvious to me that these ‘people’ get their info from stupid shows out there like Amish mafia or other CRAPPY untruthful, NON-reality shows about the Amish or from websites/pages that like those shows, have not one word of truth in them. 😀
Oh and yes, abuse DOES happen in EVERY ‘walk of life’ the Amish included, but believe me, from what I have seen, or more like have NOT seen, in no way near the numbers it does in our ‘English world’! In my over 20 years of knowing the Amish and going to Lancaster County, Pa. I can HONESTLY say that I have NEVER, EVER, EVER and I do mean NEVER, EVER, have I seen ANY Amish man, woman or child hurting ANY other human being NOR any single animal, nor any of them raising a voice to another human, nor any road rage, nor cussing, nor giving the finger, nor dirty looks even!! Also, I’ve never seen a flustered mother smacking an Amish child across the face in the store or out in public or anywhere, or screaming at them to shut-up…but I can’t even count how many times I have seen and heard that in the ‘non-Amish’ world!!!
Nor have I even ever seen a dirty, unkempt home of theirs either…inside or out…and yes, I HAVE been in them. 🙂