Okay, some Amish in the News today:
First, SIGH, the whole Amish reality TV fad seems to be fading, thankfully. I've not had a huge problem with the shows as long as they are labeled "fiction." This actually is a complicated issue because there are two schools of thought on shows like this: 1) ignore them or 2) do battle against them. A group in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is choosing the battle option. The problem is that people are watching the shows and lifting them to record high ratings. If people didn't watch them, they'd die on the vine. Yet I'm also cognizant about freedom in the marketplace of ideas, so I hate to squelch anything artistic.
AMISH AND PUPPY MILLS: A reader on Facebook keeps posting this article in the comments thread along with the notation: " Here's something else to read about the Amish way." So I thought I'd give her a forum. It is a legitimate issue, although since this article was written way back in 2009 many state laws have, fortunately, tightened. My response to the reader is as follows: " some Amish DO run puppy mills and it is disgusting and laws need to be tightened to put them out of business (and customers need to quit buying the designer dogs that fuel the trade). But, you know what? Some Baptists also run puppy mills, some Catholics do too, some atheists, and my guess is that some Methodist, Presbyterians, and unaffiliated people religiously also run puppy mills. Does that mean ALL people of these faiths run puppy mills because a few do? Of course not. If a balding middle-aged man abuses children, does that mean all balding middle-aged men do? Of course not. I am NOT defending puppy mills, but you can't paint a whole culture/people with a bad label because of the sins of a few...Personally, I have visited hundreds of Amish over the years in dozens of states and I've never seen one...." So, there you go. I do think there is an undercurrent among the Amish that views dogs as an extension of livestock and not a family member, but even that is changing - slowly - among the Amish. There are Amish I know that have dogs inside their home and carry them around like a baby. Those are trends you wouldn't have seen even 15 years ago among the Amish.
BUGGIES IN MAINE: Recent buggy crash outside of Easton injured five 5 and a non-Amish driver of a car who hit them. Fortunately there were no fatalities, but it does highlight the dangers of buggies on roads especially in areas where the location population may not be accustomed to the sight of horses and carts on the road. Click here to read more.
WOOD COLONY: Read about one of the most unique - and endangered - Plain settlements in the West: Wood Colony in Modesto, California. Read this article today because it ties into Rosanna's Plain Kansas column next week.