One of our church leaders recently suggested I watch a series called “Sins of the Amish.” She told me that she and others were heading to Harrisburg, PA to stand with some of the women in the documentary in support of their search for justice. I told her I would keep them in prayer and went ahead and began watching the series. After watching three episodes, I changed my appointments and told them that I want to go with them. This situation is shocking in every sense of the word, and the behavior of many in leadership in the Amish communities around the country is nothing short of evil.
The rape of young girls in these communities is seen as acceptable, and the only time any male teenager or adult male is censored by the church is if someone is brave enough to report them to the secular authorities. For a very long time, even the secular authorities have turned a blind eye to these rapists, taking the word of the church leaders that the rapists would be dealt with appropriately. They lie. And when an Amish man is finally arrested and tried, the community supports him, not the one who has been violated. As is often said in the series, the real sin – to the Amish – is not the rape; it is the woman or girl not forgiving the rapist. Read it again – not forgiving the rapist! In fact, communities from other states will often bus hundreds of people into the court to support the rapist. Then, too often, the rapist is released into the community on probation after spending a year in the local jail. Why the local jail? So he can go out and work during the day to “support his family.”
If this topic triggers you, I would suggest not watching this show. I sat there with tears in my eyes, being, at the same time, heartbroken for these girls and women, and angry enough to commit violence against these males and the secular authorities who shield them. The unequal treatment they receive is appalling, and the reason given by some of the victims is the image we have that the Amish are “nice” people. And, by the way, they bring a lot of tourism cash into the areas they live. This is one more example of how my faith has been perverted by a group of heretics who promote savagery over faithfulness. This happens in other communities as well; religious leaders who manipulate the public and our elected officials, convincing them that they will take care of things. Meanwhile, women and children suffer, used as livestock for evil men.
This is why we need laws and oversight. Somehow, we the people need to hold deviant religious leaders, members, and communities responsible for their evil actions. Religion should never shield someone from following the law. Never. So, please, pray for us as we gather in support of these brave women and their families – and vote for laws that protect them.
Prayer – Forgive us, God, if we have used our faith against others and for our personal benefit. Give us the courage to hold everyone accountable for the sins we commit. Amen.
Today’s art is called “Sadness” by Gaida Alaia.