An Amish Newspaper

You won't find them online, but as this opinion piece from Steve Savage point out, there are at least two newspapers published for the Amish in the U.S. (You can, however, find subsciption information for The Budget, one of the papers, here.)

There's also an Amish Country magazine here--with a news story about an young Amish man with cancer, and how his community rallied around him.

The piece at Amish country quotes from an Albert Troyer, deacon at an Amish church: "The Bible tells us that we are to put our trust in God, and He will care for us."

The piece also gives this insight into Amish life.

Because it violates their cherished principle of trusting in God, the Amish do not take out insurance policies on life, health or home. They do not willingly participate in the Social Security system, but they respect the law and do not object when an employer withholds Social Security and Medicare deductions from their paychecks.

But we will never file a claim," Troyer asserts. "What we pay in helps others who need it more than we do." Every day, the Amish live out their faith in a lifestyle that stresses community and brotherhood.

Sounds like something out of Barack Obama’s speech at the DNC a few nights back.

For alongside our famous individualism, there's another ingredient in the American saga.
A belief that we are connected as one people. If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandmother. If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.
It's that fundamental belief — I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper — that makes this country work. It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. "E pluribus unum." Out of many, one.

This view of America as community is much more appealing than the America described in Sore Losers, the America that embraces the social Darwinism of reality TV, as author John Powers puts it.

Perhaps, as Steve Savage argues, the Amish are on to something. Savage is a Conservative Friend—who like the Amish lives a “plain and simple life” that includes a horse and buggy, but also went to college and works in the outside world. As such, he has an inside view of both the Amish and the outside world.

“The basic laughter-generating premise for ‘Amish in the City’ is false,” he says,

These people who are supposed to be confounded by indoor plumbing and Victoria's Secret catalogs know much more about your culture than you do about theirs. They've seen the Cosmo covers in the grocery store checkout line, and although you've never read their newspaper, they have at least occasionally read yours. The busloads of tourists in "Amish country" might want to ponder whether the plain people they stare at aren't maybe staring back.

How would the tourists feel if they discovered that plain living is not merely the lifestyle choice of a picturesque community of Rip Van Winkles, but a (gently applied) critique of American culture?


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