I’ve been asked lately about all the Amish reality shows. And at first, I didn’t really know what people were talking about, since I don’t watch television. But someone gave me a link to watch Breaking Amish on YouTube, and wanted to know if I’d come across Amish as depicted in this show. So I watched it, but before I “grade” it, I’d like to backtrack.
I want to step back fifteen years ago, when Amish fiction became a genre of its own. Or maybe it started with The Witness, a movie where Harrison Ford falls in love with an Amish woman. It seemed like the answer to everyone’s problems was to become more like Amish. So tourism exploded in Amish communities, and along with it, new thoughts and temptations.
When my daughter and I went to visit an Amish tourist area once. People where dressed up as Amish and gave buggy rides. When the Amish we came across in stores didn’t seem true to their culture, I leaned toward one teenager and whispered, “You’re not Amish, are you? You just run the store?” She shook her head. “Yes, I am. But some of our ways are silly.” She went on to make fun of how young Amish get married, have so many children, etc. I’m sure if I asked her if I could take her picture, she’d pose. I’d known many, many Amish families by this time, so she was such a rarity, my daughter walked out of the store, appalled.
This girl was like…one of the Amish girls on Breaking Amish. I wonder how long it took to the makers of Breaking Amish to find this “needle in a haystack”. Obviously, they have no respect for the Amish or their culture, and know they won’t sue, so they’re a free-for-all. I think Kate, the beautiful Amish girl with dark hair, was the only one who acted Amish, and defended them while the others told bizarre stories. (A coincidence? Don’t we like to see friction and a good fight?) The other ones I found super disgruntled with their heritage. When was the last time you sat in a restaurant and heard a man DEMONIZE Amish men, saying they have sex with animals? Kate wanted to leave, and I cheered her on.
And why did they take these Amish boys to a strip club? One Amish guy walked out, the other said “I thought you were more of a man than this.” Oh, and isn’t it so fun to watch people squirm? Isn’t this what our culture craves? And it’s a no-brainer why they took the Amish men (boys?) to a strip club. Sex sales and it’s all about the money. And people fighting sales too, so I’m sure they interviewed Amish youth and found someone like the girl in the shop we met. (And may I add, good-looking? That sells too.)
As I wrote this, I kept thinking of this scripture:
Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. Titus 1:15 NLT
I find Kate to have a pure heart, so she has eyes to see the good in the Amish culture. As for the others, well, I hope they mature and some day come back on television and give a realistic view of Amish life.
If you want to watch a documentary that portrays the Amish accurately, watch The American Experience: The Amish. If you follow the link below, it will take you to the show. If you watch this documentary, you'll see through these "reality" shows.