Thursday, May 9, 2019

Do the Amish lie? Do they seek attention?

I took my friend Janet to Smicksburg to get plants for my garden…and a shopping list from others…my kids.  “Mom, text me when you get to Lydia’s. See if she has sweet banana peppers or Amish Paste Tomatoes.”  At $1.65 per six-pack, jah, I fill my back deck with orders from family and friends. And then Lydia’s flower arrangements…sigh…what a talent.

It was great as usual. Janet exhaled with utter satisfaction as we wandered around the windy roads. “They have something we don’t have. I feel so peaceful,” she said.

As usual, I agreed. It’s why I’m hooked on the Amish way of life. We visited Barb, an Amish mother of nine who also runs a greenhouse and her daughters and grandkids were all sitting around talking, and a young Amish boy on a pony came up. How much more of Little House on the Prairie could we take?
Little House on the Prairie moment!

We continued to mosey around, trying to find a new quilt shop, but instead saw a sign for cedar lawn furniture. We followed them and to a new shop, and to my surprise, it was the youngest brother (bruder) of a well-loved Amish family I write about. (I must change names to protect their privacy and culture. MOST Amish don’t want attention brought to them.)

As I talked to “Joe” about getting a new picnic table, he said he’d like to start reading my books because SO MANY LIES ABOUT THE AMISH ARE CIRCULATING! (Yes, I know I said that in all caps, which writers shouldn’t do, but I do mean to scream it out.)

You see, the Amish in Western Pennsylvania have been targeted by big name media to tell lies. Paid to be on shows that are utter nonsense. If they were any other people group, they’d sue, but of course they don’t believe in defending themselves. They trust God to do it, but I like to help. 😉

“Joe” told me the Amish in punxsutawney are particularly hurt, since some Ex-Amish who took the bait (money) to tell lies still hold their ground. Some are still making money selling slanderous tales. I don’t know why people are addicted to reality shows that demean people of any culture or race. Why do we need to look down on others?

One theory on why many crave to bash the Amish is very interesting. We want to pop their perfect, little world. It’s like saying, “Aha! I told you they were fakes!” Instead of looking within to change our lives to make them better, it’s easier to look down on others.

And sadly, there are a handful of Amish willing to exaggerate (lie) to get attention to give us that ‘aha moment.’  It’s heartbreaking to listen to people like “Joe” because of the shame placed on his culture. (Some tales are too salacious to write on this blog.)

Although they don’t believe in suing, they do want the record set straight. And that’s my mission as an author about these fine people. Many real Ex-Amish folks can give a truthful, fair account of their lives growing up Amish, but it’s not degrading enough to create a media mania.


  1. How sad! It seems anyone will say or do anything these days for money. I don't really know any Amish (A friend's parents were grew up Amish, but then turned Mennonite. So, she grew up Mennonite.)but I do read about them a lot. I would love to know an Amish family.

    1. Hi Beverly. The Amish have spread out across America, some have even moved to Ireland! You may have Amish near you. Go to Amish America blog. It has a state by state listing of Amish settlements.

  2. Thank you! I stopped reading Amish fiction because I became friends with a Mennonite lady that grew up Amish and she told me that most of those books are not an accurate portrayal of the culture and people. Although I may not see everything they believe as truth, I respect their dedication to their beliefs and way of life to not read or listen to the false writings and reports. Being part of a minority religion myself, I know how it feels when people ask questions that you know have been circulated as falsehoods about my beliefs. Thank you for setting the record straight.

  3. Hi Southern Ladye,
    Many Amish fiction authors have Amish read their books for accuracy. Many do their homework and interview Amish people, but recently a flood of authors just "put a bonnet on it", meaning take your story and give it Amish characters and setting because the genre is hot. For me, I stick to Amish authors I know have a tie to the Amish or do their research.