By Kevin Williams
Wow, it wasn't intentional but this is the Amish365.com version of hitting for the cycle! You know in baseball when a player hits a single, double, triple,, and homer in the same game they have "hit for the cycle." Well in today's Amish in the News we have a story about Amish, Mennonites, Hutterites, the Brethren and, for good measure, the Shakers. The Amish, Mennonites, and Hutterities are all considered closely connected Anabaptist (adult baptism) groups, while the Brethren are also Anabaptists they come from a different historical branch of theology than those three groups. Meanwhile, the Shakers are really not connected in any way to the Amish, Mennonites, Hutterities or Brethren, but they share similarities in worth ethnic and leading an insular life. I had the chance to visit a Shaker settlement (the last one) last year. Click here for that article.
TRUMP AND THE AMISH: At first I thought this article was satire, but it appears real. I'm not thinking this is going to bear much fruit but I don't know, it's never really been tried at this level before. George W. Bush tried courting the Amish in 2004 with very mixed results. But now Donald Trump is going after Amish voters with a PAC aimed just at them. With organization and money, Trump might have more luck. I'm just not sure how Trump's brand of politics will sell with most Amish (I am not going to express my opinions on this Presidential race this year, we'll talk about it on Amish365 as it relates tot he Amish, but I'm not going to give my opinions, it's simply too polarizing of a race, I'm only posting this story because it is relevant to the news right now). Click here to read about Trump's "Amish PAC."
SHAKERS: A Shaker expert gave a lecture about the Shakers in Charleston, WV recently. Sounds interesting. Click here to read the article.
HUTTERITES: South Dakota now has its 55th Hutterite colony, more than any other state. The Hutterites live communally and embrace a bit more technology than the Amish. This article gives good insight into how a new colony is established.
MENNONITES: A Macon, Georgia TV station did a superb series of videos (there is an article with it also) with some Beachy Amish Mennonites who graciously explain their faith and way of life. Just super stuff here. I never caught where this family lived but I am guessing Montezuma, Georgia, which is relatively close to Macon. Their home is gorgeous and they are just very kind to take time out to talk about their lives about topics such as technology and dating. I loved this. Click here to enjoy!
BRETHREN: Thank you to read Connie for sending me this interesting article about a Brethren-owned bakery and food store in Sawyer, Kansas. At first, I saw the woman in the video and was scratching my head. But she is clearly a non-Brethren employee of the bakery. Watch the video a bit longer and you'll see some of the Brethren bakers at work. I 'll have to ask Rosanna about this family. I'm guessing they are New Conference Brethren, but don't know for sure. Click here to read this fun article and watch the video. One item I found interesting is that the bakery owner did go to college and received a degree in agricultural sciences. Higher education is another way the Brethren are different from the Amish, some do pursue careers in medicine or argriculture with the help of college degrees.
So the Amish vote? I needn't realize this. Since they don't take part in social security and other government plans I am surprised!
Hi, Jane - There is nothing in Amish church doctrine that says they CAN'T vote, they just usually don't. Presidential politics are usually too fraught with peril for the Amish to involve themselves with. The Amish are far, far more likely to vote on local issues like fire levies or mental healthy levies or a zoning issue....but Amish voting in a Presidential race, while not forbidden, is rare - Kevin
I don't know anyone at my church (as a Conservative Mennonite) who votes and I certainly can't imagine supporting anyone (verbally) who has been married 3 times and says he has never repented. The PAC may try, but I can't see it getting very far since voting is an out and out no-no in church standards at the conservative and ultra conservative conferences that I know about outside of my own. So is belonging to a union, activist group, political organizations etc.--all are a no-go.
It's interesting because I almost find that the New Order Amish and conservative Mennonite churches like yourself are less likely to vote than some Old Order...I have my theories as to why, maybe I'll expound upon them sometime....thank you for the informative comment, Wildfrond!