It’s become something of a habit to share a few thoughts, comments, and links every couple weeks in what I call a “brain dump”.  It’s not as scary as it sounds:

  • Reader Steve recently asked “Where are the Texas Amish?”  We don’t have a Texas Amish State Guide entry yet, but I can point you to this blog post entitled Southern Amish, which has a nice section about a Texas Amish settlement in Bee County.  Also, in the comments section you’ll find a lot of good feedback from readers on this lone community in the Lone Star state.
  • Amish America has a Facebook page now.  I know, what doesn’t have a Facebook page now.  In fact it is kind of funny to think of a website having a Facebook page as it seems a bit like overkill.  But I decided to start this as there are often news articles and comments I want to share but don’t always have time to construct a blog post around them.  If you’d like to “like” Amish America on FB, you can do that here.
  • One article I posted on the Amish America Facebook page was about an Amish-owned coffee shop in Illinois.  It was neat to see this piece pop up just a couple days after posting the Illinois Amish entry.  Sisters Lena Otto and Rose Plank own Roselen’s Coffee and Delights off Rt. 133, the main highway through the Arthur community.  Lattes are a hit, and the sisters serve a heap of food too.  And the drive-through window gets its share of buggy traffic.  Not your typical Amish business.
  • Two of the most active posts recently were those on Amish children and spanking as well as Amish dating.  The spanking issue seems to have particularly resonated.  Lacking my own personal kiddos I’ve refrained from commenting.  But there seem to be a variety of opinion with people coming down strongly on both sides of the issue.
  • In the anti-spanking camp, reader Mark comments that  “I personally know many examples of fine human beings that were never spanked and are not spoiled and if anything very open minded and more easy going than people I know who were spanked. If you were spanked good for you, but maybe if you were not spanked you would even be a better person. I think it sends the wrong message.”  Mike makes the point that “If we isolate spanking from the general context of love, guidelines, and firm discipline, there is no miracle in “spanking” in and of itself. To try spanking outside of that general context will probably have minimal benefits…The key was the context of the spanking and the atmosphere, not the willow rod that mom kept on the top of the refrigerator”.  A number of readers cited Biblical passages in support of physical discipline, particularly from Proverbs, such as Forest who mentioned Proverbs 22: 15, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him.”  Dr. K refers to his work with children in noting that “There is an adage which states that if I say one critical comment to anyone, it should be countered through interactions with 3-4 supportive comments on their character, ability, or other behaviors.”
  • The Amish dating post with the accompanying video also got some feedback.  Sounds like some of you enjoyed it but others and especially people who have seen the entire program have criticized it as not giving a good picture of this aspect of Amish life.  Since I still haven’t seen it all I can’t comment on that but I do think that at least in the segment posted here there were a few good points, despite some flaws (a lot of you were skeptical about that hand-holding couple!)  While we’re on the subject there is another short clip of the show available online, this one on Amish weddings.  If you haven’t seen it yet, have a look:

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