Leaving the Amish

“It’s like standing on the edge of a cliff with nothing but darkness…you don’t know what’s down there.  But you just know you’re gonna jump.”

National Geographic is currently airing “Amish: Out of the Order”, a program about leaving the Amish.  I’ve posted a clip below.  Curious to hear your comments.

I’ll make two of my own:  it’s not made clear, at least in this clip, whether the folks in this piece left before or after baptism.  I suspect it’s a mix of situations.

And: Amish choose non-Amish lives for various reasons, and come from a variety of backgrounds and situations.  Here we are getting a story viewed mainly through the lens of one person’s experience, a gentleman named Mose Gingerich.  Mose is formerly of a Wisconsin Amish community and appeared on the “Amish in the City” program a few years ago.

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    1. Barbara Paul

      Children with speical need

      I have a good question how do Amish parent treat their speical need children born deaf blind Austic down syndrome mental retardtion deformed foot or arm to name few? How do Amish parent or Amish’s behavoir toward children with speical need? Also are children with speical need are lonely the wall are up surround them and are they happy or do they feel trap in Amish life? I guess Amish parent do not put their children in speical need eduction do they?

      I hope Amsih children with speical need have aleast have “smile” on them Ithink.

      That is a good question about Amish children with speical need to find what they are like in that Amish life for them.

      Thank you for information about this a good question.

      1. Marlene

        Special Needs Children

        The family members I am commenting on aren’t actually technically Amish, they are Pike Mennonite, a form of h&b mennonite (close enough). I have 2 cousins, who were fraternal twins. They were born with malformed hips, and also cognitively LD. I played with them when we were small. They were expected to help around the house, and were treated the same as other children. They learned how to read and write. I have another cousin who was Down Syndrome, she also was given chores, according to her abilities. She went to a special school. I was a special needs teacher, in Central PA, and I had an Amish boy, who had severe cerebral palsy. He had a top of the line electric wheel chair and a computer to help him communicate, and he went to the school districts special education classes. In my experience, Amish and conservative mennonite don’t shy away from medical intervention and special needs education when it will benefit the child.

    2. Valerie

      Help for Homosexuals, Amish or Non-Amish

      After reading a couple of posts regarding gay Amish, I would like to share this website to offer anyone who needs the Lord’s help & hope for deliverance from this bondage-this ministry was started by a man 19 years or so ago, who came out of the gay lifestyle & helps others find freedom in Jesus Christ-awesome ministry.


      Please share as there is no pit the Lord cannot pull us out of, whom the Lord has set free, is free indeed!

      Many have been healed through Jesus, by way of Exodus International. Or, just committed to serving Him celibate-like the founder of the ministry.

      1. Jen

        Ignorance is bliss

        Valerie, you are a close minded fool. That’s all.

      2. peggy

        Valery,I commend you for obeying God's word.

        I hope you keep on trying to help those trapped in the gay lifestyle. The most important thing is that you tell people what Jesus said. Your sins are forgiven you-GO AND SIN NO MORE!!

      3. Peggy

        God Bless You

        I commend you for giving out the information to help those trapped in homosexuality. It isn’t popular but PLEASE keep on doing it. We are suppoed to snatch those out of the fire before they die in their sins.

    3. valerie

      No offense taken

      Jen, I understand why you would say that and I take no offense.
      Truly I am close minded about doubting the Truth in God’s Word, open minded, to how it can change me & anyone who trusts in Jesus.

      May the Lord lead people out of captivity,He is sovereign over all & came to set the captives free, His timing is perfect, perhaps today, someone needed to see that and this would only be another attempt to offer hope for them.

      May this be for all who would come to the Cross: Iasiah 61:1: The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because of which He anointed Me, He sent Me to proclaim good news to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to preach liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to declare the acceptable year of the Lord, the day of recompense, and to comfort all who mourn;

      I Cor 1:18: For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

      That power, can set people free.

      May the Lord bless your day.

    4. Jordy


      And what may that power be exactly?

    5. RWblake


      I have found the series compelling. It looks at the social dynamics and family functioning that has held this community together.
      Mose has appeared to be a genuine man who seeks Christ, and some of the others who are on the show. That is inspiring.

    6. susan bartlett

      How can I support teens who need help?

      Dear Mose,
      Do you need help for these teens in San Diego? I am interested in supporting these issues if there is a need!
      Warm Regards,
      Susan Bartlett

    7. Lgbt amish

      Support for gay amish

      I am a gay man who grew up old-order Amish. I left the church 12 years ago. If you’re gay and Amish you learn very early on to hide your secret. I’ve found the Amish community to be very judgemental of it’s members, the constant judgement has caused most Amish to build a wall around themselves. Gay or straight a lot of Amish and former Amish have a hard time being emotionally open and honest. I’m trying to create a safe anonymous space online for Amish and ExAmish who identify as LGBT, a place to seek support and discuss experiences. We have a twitter handle! @lgbtiamish stop by, give us your thoughts and suggestions.

    8. lisa sipes

      i was asking my mom if amish families have special need kids.

      i was wondering if the amish put away their special needs kids but you anwered my question thank you. because i am a special needs adult . my mom and dad did not put me away in a instatution and i am so glad they didnt. i heard that the state use to let any one come in and rape the child or adult and thats not right. and the persons got away with it. sincerly lisa sipes

    9. sue


      i don’t agree with the shunning practice..this is not in the bible and ..in my opinion..was created by a group of amish men in a back room with the door locked..they must have felt GOD forgot something and they needed to add this practice..God would never want HIS children to turn their backs on another..how can you share Gods love and be a witness if you turn your back on people..the Bible says..Gods word says..judge not lest ye be judged..on judgement day we stand before God..not a bunch of amish men who thought they should have power and control over people..

      1. Jeane Raber

        Sue, I agree with you on the shunning. Growing up in an Amish neighborhood and having Amish relatives, I never could understand this practice. I thought God taught us to forgive and not judge. The Amish are some of the most judgmental people I know.

      2. intruthbygrace


        you guys don’t know your bibles!!
        Ephesians 5:11
        And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
        But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
        Matt 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
        Matt 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
        (same repeated in Matt 18:29, Mark 9:47)
        Luke 14:26
        If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
        Matthew 10:37
        He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
        Matt 10:34-36But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
        Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

        For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
        And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
        Luke 14:33-35 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
        Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
        It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.


      When does the new season of Amish: Out of Order starts? Love learning about the Amish.

    11. Tina Kegley

      letting go of the reins

      I am almost finished reading this book. Eye opening and informative. This is the second book I’ve read about someone leaving. Am going to do some internet searches. It certainly puts the Amish more in perspective, where they are not so idealized.