Myth: They don’t pay taxes.
Fact: They pay federal, state, and property taxes just like the rest of us. In fact, they refuse to take many of the loophole deductions that most American households exploit because they view them as a hand out from the government. The only tax they do not pay is social security tax, but they don’t collect social security or Medicare benefits either, so they are likewise no burden on that failing ‘Ponzi scheme’.
Myth: Most Amish youth wish to leave their Church.
Fact: Most Old Order Amish settlements around the country are growing so fast that the greatest challenge they face is finding enough land to purchase to support all of the new young families staying in the church. The Amish church is the fastest growing fundamental Christian church in the United States right now. Many estimates put their growth at more than 10% annually.
Recent TV programs that sensationalize problems with some fringe Amish youth make for interesting TV but are not representative of the normal settlement, at all. They allow their young people ages 16 and older to reach a decision on their own. Naturally just as with any church group some will choose to leave. If they choose to leave before joining the church they are still loved and welcome to join at anytime in the future. If, however, they are baptized, take an oath to God before their church family, and then decide to leave they are treated with a tougher love that is directly spelled out in the New Testament by the writings of the Apostle Paul. This they call shunning, and it is scriptural based on having broken a promise before God and family. It seems cruel depending upon how it is depicted but is done, out of devotion to God’s law, to protect the integrity of the remaining church.
Myth: Amish men refuse to serve their country in a time of war.
Fact: I know many Amish men who served honorably in the armed services during both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, and did not evade the draft. The truth is, they serve without bearing arms many times putting themselves in harms way to work tirelessly in field hospitals as medic and nursing staff and in several other critical support positions that do not require a person to directly use a weapon on a fellow human. They base this exemption upon their strict belief in the New Testament teachings and testimony of Christ Jesus and the example put forth by the Apostles that pertain to nonresistance to aggression and ‘turning the other cheek’ theology. They are comfortable enough with their belief in God’s power to protect them, in all circumstances, that they would not rob another man of his life, and another day to repent, to save their own. They are deeply comfortable with death to the extent that when it occurs, they simply embrace it as God’s will that their time on this earth is to be finished. They serve with honor when drafted. Myth Busted!