Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

March 5, 2012

WHO WE ARE: Misconceptions about the Amish

The Amish religion has been part of the Elkhart and LaGrange county communities and cultures since the mid-1800s. The Amish lifestyle is rooted in serving the church and resisting the technological advances of the secular world.

It is a lifestyle that fascinates people and somehow manages to take them back in their minds to simpler times. The Amish presence in the community attracts tourists from around the region and country who want to learn more about the folk.

Loren Beachy is Amish and writes a column every other Saturday for The Goshen News (Yes, he sends it by U.S. Mail). Mr. Beachy has informed many of our readers about the Amish culture, offering a window of understanding to these good and dedicated people. Please enjoy his submission for “Who We Are” as he addresses myths, misconceptions and facts about

the beliefs and practices of our Amish neighbors. — Editor

Please understand, in my responding to all these questions, my aim is to educate, not condemn. The entire goal of our Amish lifestyle is to make it easier for us and our descendants to follow Jesus Christ. We believe that this culture is the best one for us. We do not claim it is the only way to attain Heaven. Jesus Christ is the only way.

Do the Amish pay taxes?

There are only two things certain in life ...

Yes, we Amish pay taxes as much as the next person. The myth of us not paying taxes is a bit grievous since we believe in following the New Testament’s teachings on submitting to the government whenever it doesn’t violate Biblical principles.

Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.” — Matthew 22:21

I imagine he also meant Uncle Sam.

With all that said, there may be small groups of Amish who choose to be ultra-conservative. Supposedly, they live off the beaten path somewhere, shun Social Security numbers, deal only in cash, and, as far as the government is concerned, may not even exist. I cannot speak for these groups since I have so little information. They are in the distinct minority.

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