3. Values

 God Above Everything

  • The Amish believe that their religious faith and their way of life is eternally intertwined 
  • Amish have a collectivist society
  • Put God and the community before the individual
  • No competition or desire for wealth should be present in the Amish community

Family

  • Amish have large families
    • On average, each family has 7-8 children
  • In addition to the nuclear family, each Amish community functions as a supportive family
    • Close-knit community who support each other 

Obedience

  • The Amish see obedience as a virtue
    • Not supposed to challenge, just mindlessly accept church authority
  • Should be obedient to God, the Amish church, and the parents
  • Gelassenheit 
    • Important principle of the Amish
    • Idea that a believer should surrender to God by living in a way that God and the Amish church would approve of

Separation

  • Amish live apart from the outside world
  • They believe that salvation will only come from living in a virtuous community
  • Ways the Amish gain separation:
    • Don’t own modern technology
    • Have their own education system
    • Speak their own language
    • Wear distinctive clothing
    • Marry among their community

Simple Living

  • Farming
    • Central to Amish way of life
    • Tilling the Earth is a way for the Amish to feel closer to God
    • Have most productive and stable agricultural societies in the United States
  • Don’t use modern technology
    • Believe that the modern world is full of too many distractions that rip the family apart
    • Believe that people become too materialistic, losing sight of the greater purpose—to achieve salvation

Education

  • Believe in pursuing a life of goof rather than a life of intellect
  • Schools consist of one-room schoolhouses
  • Children stop attending school at the age of 13 (around 8th grade)
    • Believe that education can make a person prideful

Forgiveness

  • Have deeply ingrained habit to forgive
  • In 2006, a gunman entered an Amish school and shoot 10 girls, killing 5
    • The gunman then killed himself
    • The Amish expressed forgiveness to the killer and his family
    • They even attended his burial service 

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