The Misfit Amish LLC
Amish Parental Love
Updated: Mar 16, 2022
“It’s often taught as a transactional type of love”.
What do I mean by this?
It’s conditional on the Amish person or child complying with the rules established by the church and the hierarchy established to control the members of the church and community. As long as you obey the rules, you are loved, if you do not for example, become baptized the pressure is applied by your family, church and the community to comply, if you don’t comply at some point, it will be time to shun you.
If your family has a different understanding of love and they don’t comply with the demands of the community and the ministry to shun you, your family will be the next in line to be mistreated, socially isolated and lose social status as well as be harassed at social functions by ministry and community members until either you comply with their demands (remember the ministry and community is harassing you because they love you) or you leave the community entirely.
Some of the harassment may include the following:
1. excluding the targeted people from events they would normally be invited to
2. not communicating with targeted people unless it’s to admonish them to obey and submit to the demands
3. not eating with targeted people
4. not spending any time with targeted people when they normally spent time with them
5. repeated meetings with ministry and others involved to demand your compliance with their demands
6. rumors about the targeted people and their family will run rampant
7. preaching about the targeted people and wonder if there’s hope for their soul along with enough details that folks who know the rumors, know exactly who is being preached about
8. Moving goalposts: the targeted family may have painted their walls a shade the ministry has now decided that is too bright or unacceptable, sometimes a shade of curtain that was previously acceptable is now no longer acceptable, sometimes the color of your buggy seat is now no longer acceptable
9. the church may even attempt to take over the targeted family’s business by appointing a committee of men to manage it
10. demanding that church members confess on their knees in front of every baptized member because they did not shun a member (to the church and communities’ satisfaction) that is an Abgangna (excommunicated, left, runaway, apostate)
If you choose to leave the community and ministry may manipulate the narrative to say: You CHOSE this!
I have been hearing periodic reports from sources about the way the Ministry is mistreating the parents of abgangna children that love their children and eat with them, they spend time with their children, they have conversations with their children, they do typical parent-child activities that maintain the connection between the parents and children.
Ministry in this church has had repeated meetings with the parents amongst other things to where they no longer can even look the parents in the eye. The parents feel unwelcome. The parents have determined that the ministry is attempting to get them to leave, so the church can shun the parents as well.
One parent has decided to stop attending church. The other parent has decided to continue going to church despite the harassment and rumors around the family.
Let’s talk about part of why some of these children are abgangna, from my best understanding a neighbor was a child rapist and the ministry did not want it to be reported to Law Enforcement. The solution the ministry offered the family was for the family to move.
“Church-appointed crisis teams are also available in many Plain communities and may be useful allies to child welfare efforts in preventing and responding to child abuse (Hoover & Harder, 2019).
Dr Jeanette Harder has been teaching professionals about Amish/Plain child abuse prevention, this quote is from her book, For the Sake of a Child published in 2019 by Dr Harder and Allen Hoover. It highlights the discrepancies between what is being taught by those in positions of power to teach and what families may actually experience.
Do you think that simply moving in lieu of reporting child sexual abuse to law enforcement is an acceptable solution?