A few months ago we looked at three, frankly, off-the-wall Amish myths I’d come across in various places online. Donald Kraybill has a new article out on six other, I would say more widely-held, myths about the Amish. They are:
1. The Amish Are Slowly Dying Out
2. The Amish Are Technophobes
3. The Amish Don’t Pay Taxes or Vote
4. Amish Elders Arrange Marriages
5. Because They Refuse to Cooperate with Police, an Amish Mafia Protects Them
6. Rumspringa Is a Wild Time When Teens Live in Cities
Don concisely debunks each of these misconceptions, which you can read here. Good to share with anyone you know who might believe the above.
The first four of these, it seems, have been around a long while, dating back even generations. For example, the Amish were predicted to go extinct decades ago. People I talk to today are sometimes surprised to hear they are growing rapidly.
The last two on the list are of a more recent vintage, or have at least been popularized (or fabricated) in recent times. These two may hold fast for awhile, given the success of Amish-themed reality shows which are casual about reality.
These are certainly not all of the misconceptions out there about the Amish. In fact, last time we covered this topic, you added quite a few interesting ones to the list.
This led me to think a bit about myth-making–where myths come from, and why certain groups of people might attract more myths than others.
Why do you think so many myths have grown up around the Amish? Are there any other groups of people who have been similarly mythologized?