Sunday viewing - Trouble in Amish Paradise

19 July 2009
I watch Compass every week and saw this BBC program last week. It's a very interesting look at two Amish families in Lancaster County. You can watch it from the Compass site.


  1. Great show. I have read a lot of fiction books about the Amish that talk of that very struggle.

  2. I live in the heart of Lancaster County and am very aware of this growing movement in the Amish Culture. It is heartbreaking to see the pain these families face including the loss of their incomes as jobs are taken away because of their faith. However, you can see the peace and faith in the eyes of these brave people.

    I am so glad you posted this. I find it amusing that here in Lancaster County I was totally unaware of this BBC Production until you, in Australia, posted about it.

    Thanks so much Rhonda Jean.

    Becky K.
    Hospitality Lane

  3. We have a small Amish community near our home. They are lovely wonderful people but I know that they are struggling. They need the English to buy from them but they want to stay separate - it's difficult. One gentleman owns a bulk food store - I buy several items from them such as spices, baking items, and some meats. He has told me that many families are struggling to make ends meet. Apparently they are not immune to the same types of economic problems that the rest of us face.

    In addition to the economic problems, they are also facing struggles within their churches - many want to be more progressive so that they can provide for their families.

    Charlene in VA

  4. Thank you for posting the link to the Amish story. I've long had interest in the Amish people. Jeanette

  5. Thanks Rhonda for sharing this surely must be painful to break away esp from family.

  6. Oh my that was a very interesting story. On so many levels so many lessons on courage and following your heart.

  7. Thank you for posting this video. I watched the entire thing without moving. Very interesting, very hard on my heart knowing that these beautiful people have to struggle with htese things. I feel lucky to live where I have the freedom to choose and do as I wish, without repercussion. My heart oges outto them and I pray that all will go well for them.

  8. There is much to be admired about the Amish. They are hard working and family/community minded. However, one must be realistic about the less than admirable side. Following rules for the sake of rules, little education, often the treatment of women as possessions. Each community must follow the Bishop, no matter how harsh or unyielding. It's about power not about following God. My heart aches for the families in the piece. I hope things worked out for them.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing! This was a very moving show! I loved it. If you visit updates may be available in the future.

  10. Thank you so much for posting the link to Trouble in Amish Paradise. What an amazing show.
    It is exciting to see how their faith is sustaining them in such hard times and they are truly joyful in their suffering. I feel very humbled and blessed to have watched this. Thank you Rhonda Jean!

  11. I watched this last Sunday. I was aware of the struggles but it really does bring it home. I was so pleased when the community helped with the little girl. It must be awful to live with "the shunning". Perhaps given a little more time these families will find a solution to their dilemas. I hope and pray so. There is so much to commend them and their chosen lifestyle but there are other things that are incompehensible to me.

    I am pleased to read that there may be updates in the future as I would love to know how well these families move on to their new lives.

  12. Well - I found that an interesting programme. As someone whose own ideas are very "eclectic" to say the least (my own personal combination of some Buddhist ideas/some NewAge (pagan type) ideas) - I had expected to agree with those two men. In actual fact - I sympathise with them/understand why they are acting as they are - but was sitting there thinking "If I were in their position - I dont think I would have said anything. I think I would have probably maintained the status quo". The Amish Bishops really should allow people to read Bibles in English - as most of them no longer understand it otherwise. On the other hand - I can see the point that many of the rules are petty (eg how to keep ones trousers up) - but I think possibly these men are missing the point a bit - as I guess the point of them is not the rules "per se" - but that the whole community gets taken into account when making decisions and that ones mind isnt cluttered with all the endless decisions one has to make every single day in standard modern-day society and is therefore available for "higher things". At a very pragmatic level - when one is in a country like America (with even less of a Welfare State than my own country has - ie Britain) - then its commonsense to stay put within the environs of the Amish's own version of a "welfare state" and I would think it selfish and prideful to remove one's family from that safety and security to suit one's own personal beliefs.

    So - I came to the conclusion that, in their position, I personally would have outwardly conformed and kept a copy of an English Bible locked away out of sight of everyone else.

    I certainly did not agree with that man giving away the "house money" - it was not his to give - it was his whole family's money (not just his personally). It was a very generous act to do so - but foolhardy - particularly as it turned out that they also needed that money for healthcare too.

  13. I watched this program and felt a huge sadness again at the manipulation of elders in some organisations altering the bible to suit his/her own agendas.
    I have been following a very interesting blog
    This couple moved to Amish county and have made a decision to join the community.

  14. I've had an Amish penpal for about three years and just recently she has written how they are struggling with finding a job for the husband and two oldest boys. That no one is hiring.
    They are the nicest, caring, and loving people.
    Thanks so much for posting this BBC show!

  15. I watched this the same day you posted about it. :D Great documentary.

  16. Loved the video! Thanks for sharing. I have been facinated by the Amish since living near an Amish community in Tennessee years ago. They are a wonderful group of people. Thanks again!


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