Communities like the Amish?
There are several sects like the Amish, but they're all religious. Try a search for Twin Oaks Farm, Luisa, VA.
How do the Amish differ from Mormons?
I find it rather difficult to think of ways in which they are the same. The only ones that come to mind are that we are both Christian, both non-mainstream Christian, and both put a high value on family relations. Oh, and both groups tend to produce pretty friendly people.I am no expert on the Amish, but from what I do know, I know that they aren’t much like my religion, and it has always puzzled me how people can get us confused!Mormons don’t reject modern technology. Neither do Amish, in the way that a lot of people seem to think, but they are at least very obviously conservative in what technologies they embrace. That is not the case with Mormons.Mormons don’t live in separate communities from everyone else. While that has happened in the past as a matter of necessity for the survival of the faith, that would indeed be antithetical to much of modern Mormon thought.On a related note, Mormons proselytize. Amish don’t.The Amish church is primarily congregational, lacking in extensive hierarchical structure and without any single central governing authority. Mormonism, on the other hand, is heavily hierarchical, and bases a great deal of its claims to divine legitimacy on the fact that it does have a single central authority- the prophet.Which brings up another difference: Mormons believe in modern prophets and additional scripture beyond the Bible. As far as I know, Amish don’t.I’m sure there are numerous other differences, but, as I said, I am no expert on the Amish, so I can’t say for certain what all the rest of them are.
Why is Amish food SO GOOD?!?!?
Amish food taste good because it is made from ingredients in a kitchen. Not a packet that you add water too and microwave on high for 30 seconds. While they do "turn the other cheek" as it were, you have romanticized them somewhat. They don't use electricity, but they do use propane for heating, cooking, and to run their Speed Queen washers. Many have phones, they just keep them in a small building at the end of the driveway. They do not go to school beyond the 8th grade. I personally find this troubling. Not something I want to encourage. They don't drive cars, but they will pay people to drive them to work. Sometimes, they pay a farmer with a tractor to help them on the farm. Many of the Amish run business that do deliveries, they hire people who own trucks. Good people, but not exactly what people think. EDIT The Amish do have money. Here in northern Indiana, they work in the RV industry. A great number of RV factory workers are Amish (sounds strange, but it is true). These jobs pay well. $15 - $20 an hour, plus benefits. The women also work, or have in home businesses. They have a lot of children, (6 - 10 is not uncommon), but they have no vow of poverty, and they do have outside jobs where they work hard and earn good money. Just because you didn't get anything out of your high school years doesn't mean that not attending high school is a good idea. I have nothing against the Amish, but there are lots of misconception out there.
Do you think the world would be better off if we were all Amish?
Well, yes, to answer your question, the world would more likely be a better place - I lived and worked with the Amish in Pa. and they are wonderful people and make excellent neighbors. They also have a wonderful sense of humor and when they needed a ride to the hospital they did not hesitate to call on me for a ride in my car... there are many off shoots and different branches and beliefs amongst the community as to what is permissable... and as to being better off mentally as well as environmentally, to spend an evening sitting in a home with no hum of electric and the lovely calm glow of a gas lamp, well, it imbues an all is right with the world feeling of serenity...
Are there any other groups like the Amish that live a more ancient lifestyle?
In the Saharras (deserts), the people called Bedouins بادية العرب are disconnected from the technological world, and still prefer to do things the old way.Some people I have seen actually own a Toyota truck, but that’s as advanced as they would get, they only use the truck to transport their cattle to the city for transactions.Their tents (byuut, houses) are very spacious and airy, flaps could be rolled down during the night where it gets chilly, like walls.And there are different fabrics for different seasons, the tent used in winter is thicker and heavier than the one in summer.This is an open roomThese tents are meeting or gathering(for men)Something I really like about Bedouins is their absolute reverence of privacy.Your tenet could be open 24/7 and no one would dare walk near it, they would go the long way round as to not pass by the entrance, out of respect and duty of protecting other people’s privacy.Not to mention the entrances are normally facing a direction you wouldn’t need to go to.That aside I actually know some girls from this generation that prefer to buy ready-made clothes, than make the essentials themselves, times change, but a couple things don’t.I wouldn’t call this an ancient lifestyle, but looking at the examples you gave, the Bedouins is what comes to mind as disregarding the changes of time and greatly maintaining their identity.
What would you like or dislike most about living in an amish family?
I think life would be simpler! It would be hard work living on a farm and baking and canning and cleaning and sewing constantly but it would keep one doing productive things instead of sitting around on one's bottom all day long and doing nothing! It would probably be hard to adhere to the strict rules of the ordnung. Rumspringe is a time when an amish teenager is free to explore the outside world, to court, and to basically get out all their curiosities before they decide whether to join the church or, in strict orders, be shunned. The older generation does not get involved with what goes on with most kids during their running around years but with a growing trend of problems I believe they may no longer be turning their backs to everything that goes on during a child's rumspringe.
What are the differences between the Amish, Mennonites and Quakers?
Amish and Mennonites are Anabaptists - they practice adult baptism. Both of them live plain lives, but Mennonites allow for more mechanical devices (washers, tractors, telephones etc.) Also, Mennonites do sometimes go to college. I’ve known Mennonite women in nursing programs of study.Amish use no electrical devices nor many mechanical ones either. They dress very plainly. Married men wear beards but no mustaches which they see as a sign of militarism. Both Amish and Mennonites are pacifists. Amish children usually do not go to school beyond about junior high school.Both Amish and Mennonites work very hard. They farm and some of them make excellent quality furniture. There’s a local Amish family who run a slaughterhouse and they will process your deer for you in deer season.There are quite a few Amish and Mennonites who live in my area and we sometimes joke that Mennonites drive their cars to Wal-Mart, but Amish drive their horses and buggies there.Quakers aren’t related to Amish or Mennonite. Their theological ideas are kind of hard to pin down since they believe in continuing revelation, which is the religious belief that truth is continuously revealed directly to individuals from God.Herbert Hoover and Richard Nixon were both Quakers.
Why don't Amish people like electricity?
An Amishman said: "The Bible teaches us not to conform to the world, to keep a separation. Connecting to the electric lines would make too many things too easy. Pretty soon, people would start plugging in radios and televisions, and that's like a hot line to the modern world. We use batteries and generators because you can use the batteries for only a short time and because you have to fuel and maintain the generator yourself. It's a way of controlling our use of electricity. We try to restrict things that would lead to us losing that sense of being separate, to put the brakes on how fast we change." Some time ago a group of fifty-two people chartered a bus and came to Holmes County to see the Amish. They had arranged to have an Amishman meet them and answer some of their questions. The first question was: "We all go to church," and they named some of these churches, "so we know about Jesus, but what does it mean to be Amish?" The Amishman thought a bit and then he asked a question of his own. "How many of you have TV in your homes?" Fifty-two hands went up. "Now, how many of you feel that perhaps you would be better off without TV in your homes?" Again fifty-two hands went up. "All right. Now, how many of you are going to go home and get rid of your TV?" Not one hand went up! Now that is what it means to be Amish. As a church, if we see or experience something that is not good for us spiritually, we will discipline ourselves to do without. The world in general does not know what it is to do without!