Religion Can Be A Sin–Religious Group of “Godly People” Are Wrong in Many Ways


This article may anger people as it talks negatively about a group of people who belong to a religious organization. Nowadays, it’s really a no-no to talk poorly about any religion, sometimes even dangerous. Before I mention which religion I am going to offend, I need to tell you that I live in a rural area of Ohio which is a 25 minute drive to the urban city of Cleveland, and in the opposite direction, about 15 minutes to the small community of Middlefield. Middlefield’s national claim to fame is that Jay Leno and David Letterman made jokes about it when Wal-Mart built a new facility there and added numerous posts and stalls to accommodate HORSES. You see, Middlefield and areas near it, is Amish country and Amish will not drive automobiles, they “drive” horses.

Amish are people who belong to Christian religious denominations that form a very traditional sub grouping of Mennonite Churches. There are as many as eight different subgroups of Amish in the US varying in their level of strict compliance to certain strict religious and cultural beliefs. The Amish are known for simple living and reluctance to adopt modern convenience like motor vehicles and high voltage electricity.

There are about 250,000 Amish in the US and Canada with most concentrating in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Amish wear simple clothing almost resembling uniforms. I was always told they were friendly, moral, outstanding craftsman, great workers, fantastic cooks, and non violent people.

Middlefield and the surrounding Amish areas close to me are in Geauga County. According to a CBS investigative report in 2005 the Amish make up only about 10 percent of the population in Geauga County, but they’re half of the special needs cases.

CBS reporter Vicki Mabrey stated that many children have medical conditions so rare, doctors don’t have names for them yet. The report also talked about three sisters who were all born with a condition that has no cure and mysteriously leads to severe mental retardation and a host of physical problems. Last year, doctors figured out the girls have the gene for something called Cohen Syndrome; there are only 100 known cases worldwide. Since then, more than a dozen other cases of Cohen’s have been discovered in Ohio Amish country. Why do these rare disorders occur? In-breeding. The Amish come from such a close knit group going back generations and they rarely venture out into the “other world” thus, they inner breed. The Amish accept these diseases and call it “Gottes Wille” or God’s will”. I call it their will and their closed mindedness! There are tests now that can check a persons genes to determine if these diseases are likely to occur if a couple were to conceive. However, Amish will not take them because as one was quoted as saying “it is not their way”.

Most Amish do not drive automobiles because they feel it brings them to close to the outside world’s trappings and away from their simplicity and community. Everyone else in Geauga County and for that matter everywhere else, drives motor vehicles. And in rural Geauga County, sometimes at speeds around 60 mph. Horse driven buggies and automobiles don’t mix and every year injuries and deaths occur due to collisions between beasts of burden and cold hard steel. I call this Amish custom ridiculous, a menace to the roadway and animal abuse as well. When the Amish travel long distances or have special needs they hire people to drive them in automobiles. Apparently, their closeness to the outside world has limits.

Amish also avoid electricity when it is accessed from outside power lines, again to avoid physical connection to the outside world. Electric generators may be used. Many shun telephones for the same reason but sometimes there is a community telephone booth that many Amish can access as a whole. Again, apparently their avoidance to the outside world has its limits, depending on some human being’s interpretation of right and wrong. Nuts!

Many people tell me Amish are very nice people. I am actually glad I cannot dispute this with any compelling evidence. However, I have lived in the area for 15 years and I’m one of those people who talks to everyone, from fast food clerks to you name it, I talk to them–I like people. 95% of the people I talk to are nice, vibrant, and at minimum, become social as we talk. The times I’ve talked to Amish men and women I was always struck by a seemingly superficial politeness and a lack of genuine care and zest.

I also have heard that Amish are moral people who rarely commit crimes. Tell that to the more than few Amish daughters, granddaughters, and neighbors who have been sexually abused by their own. From child molesters and murderers to drunk drivers (yes in a buggy), the Amish communities have criminals too. How many criminals are amongst the Amish? No one really knows because the Amish like to police themselves and not tell the authorities about such matters. However, it occurs and every now and then a shocking story ends up on the nightly news.

The Amish hide themselves from reality, change, science, and the knowledge that comes from talking and listening to others with differing or new ideas. Without being involved with these things, people stagnate and like rotting food, spoil and contribute very little substantively to their own growth or to the growth of others. They live in a fantasy land no matter how serene the lifestyle seems. Anyone can live a serene and wholesome life without hiding their heads in the sand and consequently, taking their loved ones and themselves into nothing but darkness.

What surprises me is that so many non-Amish or as the Amish sometimes call them, Yankees, feel they are great people living a great lifestyle. In my view, any group that purposely closes their eyes to man’s God given abilities and advances in civilization all in the name of some members interpretation of God’s will, is committing a “sin”. A sin to themselves, their children, others and maybe even God.

Steve Kovacs
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Steve Kovacs

Steve is a bestselling author with his latest book being, 'Protect Your Kids! The Simple Keys to Children's Safety and Survival'. Steve has also written hundreds of articles on a wide variety of topics.

Steve's a three-time survivor of violence in his youth and was an award winning police officer.

For several years, Steve also did radio political and current event commentary and taught college Criminal Justice. He is the former host of the long running 'The Kovacs Perspective' Internet radio talk show.

Presently, Steve is the owner and Managing Director of one of the oldest martial art schools in Ohio, 'The Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense'.
Steve Kovacs
Follow Steve
Steve Kovacs

About Steve Kovacs

Steve is a bestselling author with his latest book being, 'Protect Your Kids! The Simple Keys to Children's Safety and Survival'. Steve has also written hundreds of articles on a wide variety of topics. Steve's a three-time survivor of violence in his youth and was an award winning police officer. For several years, Steve also did radio political and current event commentary and taught college Criminal Justice. He is the former host of the long running 'The Kovacs Perspective' Internet radio talk show. Presently, Steve is the owner and Managing Director of one of the oldest martial art schools in Ohio, 'The Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense'.
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3 Responses to Religion Can Be A Sin–Religious Group of “Godly People” Are Wrong in Many Ways

  1. Marlin Woosley says:

    Very interesting article, Steve.

    I have had exposure to Amish and Mennonite communities in southeast Iowa. There, the state is much more accommodating to the buggies as they built shoulders on the main highways wide enough for buggy rigs to stay well out of the main flow of traffic.

    In northern Indiana, it is quite another story. The first time that I went through area on US Hwy 6 with a tractor/trailer, I was white-knuckled on the steering wheel all the way. I avoided that area if at all possible. The concentration of Amish is so great that the pedestrians are as much a detriment to safety as the buggies.

    As for their possibility of crime, one has to believe that no group of society is void of their share of sociopaths. Handling it themselves would be much like how the Catholics and other churches have handled pedophiles over many generations. The victims likely suffer more than the perpetrators at the hands of the “court.”

    There was a running TV series about the Amish Mafia on for a time. I don’t know if it’s still on or not. We gave up pay TV a long time ago but when my Mother-in-law wintered with us she never missed it.

    It was like Al Capone, Bugsy Segal and Meyer Lanksy making the rounds to collect tribute and their henchmen enforcing the “Amish way” in the open, while organized gambling and liquor sales made money in the shadows. They even had a gang war going between an Ohio and a Pennsylvania faction.

    Overall, I favor live and let live. However, the question in the back of my mind has always been about how do the Amish pay their tribute to American for the safety that it affords them? Maybe it’s all good and they pay taxes, and cheat on them, just like we do.

    There could be a sequel to this article if I keep going with comments but that wouldn’t be right as I’m making some unconfirmed assumptions as I write.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the article!

  2. Steve KovacsSteve Kovacs says:

    Hi Marlin and thanks for the kind words.

    I am close to being bigoted about the Amish. One definition of being bigoted is : being utterly intolerant of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own. If someone knows me or reads my writing they know that I am not prejudiced or a bigot, but when it comes to the Amish I am close to that–the only thing is that I am not in that definition is intolerant–but I think their behavior is terrible.

    You mention the Catholic Church; disgusting what they did and still do in that regard and other things too.

    Live and let live, sure, but they’re killing their kids by not testing them and putting civilized peoples lives in danger everyday with driving horses in a world of metal, engines, tons of steel and great speeds. Yeah, I said civilized. They’re not completely civilized and not in reality. They’re in the past and not using their God given sense. They’re close minded, yes, like many religions but the fact is that they’re over the top.

    I see them every week when I shop in that area–minutes from me and I notice their unfriendliness and outright shunning of us Yankees. Jean Horst once commented to an earlier article I wrote on them that they do shun us and the reason is that they think that we will bring them closer to the outside world. I guess tempt them or have an influence on them and pervert them to the outside (evil) world (I think she grew up in a Mennonite community). Well, give me a break! Do I look like Lucifer? Don’t answer that Marlin! Just kidding but every time we see them, get held up in traffic, see a horse carriage sliding all over on the ice, someone whipping the crap out of their horse and the beautiful little kids who look like they’re freshly painted Kincaid figures (they look so cute in their clothes and straw sticking in their mouths and knowing that each and everyone are being raised in muck and they’ll have to struggle to get normal in this life) my blood pressure rises a bit.

    Can you tell I’m getting ready to go to Amish land right now, to shop, I am!

    Marlin, I don’t like them or should I say their behavior, but sadly, that makes it them. I can’t like everyone I guess and that’s the way my ball bounces. I would help anyone of them if they were in need as I would anyone and I treat them with respect, but I think what they do is abominable.

    Okay, I’m off and I hope not to tailgate any ponies!

  3. Carol says:

    The only answer to the Amish problem is to evangelize them. There are ministries dedicated to bringing the Gospel of grace (not legalism) to the Amish, and many of the Amish are beginning to see the difference between law and grace. The Amish beliefs are more cultural than anything else – their Ordnung has nothing really to do with the Bible, but everything to do with traditional cultures mores. Bottom line is that the group is cultic, and really has very little to do with Christianity but lip service. They need Christ as do any others bound by legalistic rules that bind and do not set free.

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