Lance shared a link to an interesting video on the Indiana Amish post this week. It’s an unusual look at a nominally Amish family in Indiana.
It’s a bit confusing what’s going on, but this seems to be a born-again Christian family in transition away from an Amish lifestyle. The father, Elam Graber, is described as Old Order Amish and is certainly not camera-shy. He’s got a garage full of Amish carriages, but his preferred choice of horse-drawn transport is…let’s just say unorthodox.
“Plain life, simple life, is just about not possible anymore,” says Elam. The culprit, according to Elam, is high land prices forcing families off the farm.
I don’t think I’d be so skeptical. For decades now Amish have successfully run businesses and even worked in non-Amish factories while remaining Amish and keeping most of their children in the faith.
It’s interesting to see all the attention paid to threats to the Amish lifestyle, much of it centered on technology (ie, the Amish and Facebook). I can understand the fascination over Amish involvement with technology. It strikes at the stereotype of the Amish as technophobes.
But Amish society is not a static thing; even the plainest groups experience change.
Amish do have rightful concerns over the effects innovations can bring. But perhaps a greater threat than that is prosperity. Love of money, materialism, a “classed” society…Amish society remains in flux, and Amish worry over the changes wealth may create in their communities.
Here’s the video (now unavailable). Curious to hear your impressions. And enjoy the yodel: