So I got another comment on the YouTube channel that made my head spin a little bit 😀 The commenter claims that an Amish home I showed in the video “Inside an Amish Home” is “Utterly NOT an Amish home!” The commenter includes a list of five points why he/she thinks it’s not Amish, adding at the end that the video was “total bologna.”
This happens from time to time. Someone comes at a post or video very strong, claiming things which are way off-base (usually based in some popular myth). This can lead to them getting featured in their very own response post (here’s a similar example).
Again, my point is not to pick on people. But on this one, I don’t feel bad in the least to challenge the claims…especially given the tone of the comment 🙂 Here is the comment in full, you can be the judge. My response follows. If you like, you can see what the commenter is referring to, in the images presented in the video above.
This Utterly NOT an Amish home! At timestamp 3:29 I will point out some VERY OBVIOUS reasons as to why this is NOT Amish.
1) Above the first bed on the left is an automobile wall plague – this would NEVER be in an Amish dwelling because it represents the world.
2) There’s an electric alarm clock sitting on the night stand. The Amish DO NOT use electricity.
3) Above the second bed in the right corner, there are three dream catchers – these are considered demonic and would not have presence EVER in their homes .
4) On top of the dresser next to this same bed, is a replica of an 18 wheeler semi – they have NOTHING TO DO WITH gas powered (or electric for that matter) vehicles.
5) Whatever polyester fabric comforter is on the first bed and how disarray both beds are – Not Amish! Cotton? Yes. Wool? Yes. Not this stuff. And it would never look be kept untidy.
I’m sure there are more, but these three things are enough to demonstrate that this total bologna. Not Amish!
Update: for the context of my response below, the commenter also asked in a second comment if I’d lived with the Amish.
Responding to “Utterly NOT an Amish home”
Here is the meat of my response (I responded on the channel, but expanded my answers a bit here (the parts in italics), and added example images):
If it matters, yes sure I’ve lived with them…but you don’t have to live with them to learn something about them.
1) Automobile imagery is not taboo for some Amish families – they don’t think the car is “evil”, they just don’t drive them b/c they feel limiting technology helps preserve family & community. Amish even make automobile-themed jokes and some may have even driven cars when they were younger and not church members.
2) Amish use all types of batteries for clocks, flashlights, and other devices. Even the more conservative groups. Again, electricity is not “evil”, it is more about being careful with unfettered access to tech.
3) Dream catchers are very common in some Amish teens’ rooms, many Amish like Native American imagery. They also like western/cowboy imagery, and you might see it in some decor in teens’ rooms in particular – like glass shades for battery-powered bedside lamps.
4) Amish children have toy cars, Amish people ride in cars, some even hire “Amish taxis” regularly for shorter or longer trips. See 1) above. Some Amish children have little matchbox cars and some of those larger plastic ones the tots can ride around in/on. Visit a large Amish community and pay attention to the passing cars’ passengers. Some non-Amish people even make a living from driving the Amish.
5) Amish use synthetic materials for their clothing, bedspreads, etc. Nothing wrong with it if it’s affordable and does the job. I’d also add that Amish are hardly immune from “untidy” homes. Though like English people, some are faster to tidy them up than others.
I ended my comment by suggesting the commenter read a book like “The Amish” to learn more.
Why My Head Spins
The thing that makes my head spin is not so much the claims, but how confidently they are made. I certainly don’t know everything about the Amish, and never have claimed to.
But I myself would at least, I don’t know, hesitate – before going on a channel dedicated to say Orthodox Jews or French cooking or the history of Minnesota (subjects I know little to nothing about) and claiming things that are so wrong, so boldly.
But I think the comment also itself illustrates very well how deeply-ingrained are some misconceptions about the Amish. Especially, I think, the false beliefs that “Amish think tech is evil” and the “Amish are ‘all-natural’“. To take another example, just today I saw a Q-and-A column in a major media outlet assuming that the Amish don’t pay taxes.
I guess if you have such strong beliefs about something, and then see a channel purporting to be about that topic, but flipping everything you thought on its head…maybe some people have a strong emotional response to that. I guess I’m as much interested in the thought process there, as I am in the pervasiveness of the Amish myths. Your thoughts?