"That person is truly wise who gains his wisdom from the experience of others, thereby saving himself from learning by experience." Amish proverb
Have you heard the buzz about TLC’s new series “Breaking Amish?” It’s a reality show that follows the lives of four young Amish and one Mennonite as they “forgo horses and buggies for New York City’s taxis and subways.” The first two episodes pulled in over three million viewers, the network’s most-watched premiere in three years.
Viewers don’t seem to mind that it all appears to be a staged show.
Mary Ann Kinsinger, a young mother who was raised Old Order Amish and writes a blog about her Amish childhood, summed the show up in one word: “Fake!” One example, she said, was a scene in Ohio when Jeremiah talked about how the bishop’s wife was watching him. “Then they showed her and she was wearing Lancaster clothes. There were so many scenes that proved how scripted everything was. When all is said and done, they’re just actors playing scenes.”
To underscore that point, this week a story broke about Jeremiah Raber’s past. There are allegations and court records that he has been accused of domestic violence by his ex-wife.
To me, there’s another angle to this show that’s far more distressing than the staged premise of the show. Why are Americans cheering on young people who are breaking ties to their family and communities? The world is a lonely place without a family. Even more so without a faith. If this show does anything right, it reveals how disconnected and lost these individuals are.
Rather than cheering them on, we should be mourning what they’ve lost.
About Suzanne Woods Fisher: She is an author of bestselling fiction and
non-fiction books for Revell about the Old Order Amish. Learn more about Suzanne, her books, and Amish Wisdom, her weekly radio show, by stopping by www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.