Let’s open cans of worms, shall we? Wonderful way to start 2005 off right. I will serve as an apologist for a couple things I don’t usually find myself advocating… the Amish, and the left wing.
I hadn’t visited ‘relapsed catholic’ for a while and so perused through her offerings…. unfortunately -for her or for me- I came across this incredibly stupid post of hers, America: Not An Amish Paradise”. Incredibly stupid because obviously the writer knows little to nothing about the Amish, except media stereotype, and has thought little about religious rights. Yes, that is right…someone who writes on religion as a forte hasn’t done the homework enough to keep from writing the kind of mistaken opinion that is in this post.
Here is a portion of what she had to say:
Once again the Amish demonstrate their stubborn belief that rights don’t entail responsibilities. Long time readers of this blog know my feelings about the Amish: that they contribute nothing to society except for the occasional pie, and are treated more like colourful, adorable Disney characters than as the somewhat parasitical flesh and blood human beings they really are.
Oh man, where do I start?
Let’s start here…the Amish are people. That means that sometimes they are inconsistant and sometimes they do foolish things, but as a group they do contribute to society, just not the way that relapsed catholic appreciates or approves. Too bad, lady. Not everyone practices their religion your way, but that neither makes them parasitical nor irresponsible.
I live in Amish country in Ohio, I know many personally and have visited their churches. I had some good things done for me and some bad turns by those from the general Mennonite/Amish backgounds, so, no, they are not perfect people. They are generally decent. They have their own charity drives, and they try to be good neighbors in an era when that concept is for the most part lost. They produce diligently in their chosen professions, which even though those are not modern medical science… we aren’t all doctors or scientists in order to take advantage of those services…. is contributing to the rest of society. That was one the more incredibly stupid parts of the post,
“But people who don’t allow their kids to get more than a sixth-grade education (yet employ doctors and vets when they need them) aren’t quite playing fair.”
Look, their version of a sixth-grade education ( and actually I think it is eighth) is superior to most inner city high schools. It is more along the line of the past century’s sixth grade… which is better math and reading skills than lots of Americans end up with in modern public education. So ‘no go’ on that point.
So what if you don’t like their reasons for not having buttons (not a universal Amish belief) or for not driving a car, or whatever small point you wish to pick on? Do you grouse about Orthodox or Hassidic Jews? Or should you? I say no. Let people practice their religion freely, no matter how little sense it makes to you. That is their constitutional right. And you only show your own stupidity when you berate them on inconsequential matters unaffecting the integrity of our government. So stop. Stop, because it engenders an atmosphere of intolerance where we should most protect tolerance, our freedoms and rights as Americans.
Are they doing something that is undermining the safety of our nation, or the integrity of our system? If so, criticise away…berate, rant, and raise your voice, but if you just have personal prejudices, then maybe you should be more careful than to grind that axe in the public forum. It is called ‘journalistic responsibility’, I do believe.
I call it common decency…but that’s just me.
ok. That is it for the Amish subject…now for a bit on liberal lefties….
I read some criticism on left bloggers not calling their readership to help out on the rush to tsunami aid as much as those with right, conservative views. I think that is a lot of posturing.
The devastation and the huge dimension of the need this tragedy involves will take some people time to mentally digest. There are going to be many ways to address the needs of these Asian countries and the magnitude of the relief efforts required.
All the hue and cry about who says what first… is posturing.
Although I do think that Egeland started it all with that remark about “stinginess”. another example of incredible stupidity. I am sure that man will hear it for the extreme faux pas. As well he should.
It does not bode well to find so many rash remarks so early on into our new year.
If anything, times seem to call for cool heads and hearts stoked with longterm warmth and compassion.
I extend a hand of grace to my fellow Americans in liberal land… I wish for such hand to be extended to me, in my red district ( ohmy, that has the makings of a joke). I clearly want to find direct and efficient means to help the sufferings of my fellow man.
Life lived well is a marathon project, and kindness is a daily effort, delivered one on one to truly impact in the most worthwhile manner. The big projects most benefit from those skilled in practiced hands-on service, not just heart tugs from headline hopping.
Whenever someone steps up to help their fellow man – good for them and good for all of us. Why gripe? Who does that help?