Thursday, April 19


Today I watched The Devil's Playground a documentary about Amish kids and Rumspringa, which is where at the age of 16 they can live outside the Amish rules like "normal English" kids. They date (unchaperoned), watch movies, drink, get high, drive, smoke, cuss, go to concerts, dress in "English" clothes, etc. Then somewhere between 16 and 21 (normally) they either decide to commit to the church for life (with no judgment for things they did during Rumspringa), or leave for good.

One of the Amish men interviewed said that they DID have the same problems that the "English" did, i.e. unwed mothers, addiction, alcoholism, etc. when the kids return from Rumspringa, but if the person decides to come back and give up all those things and commit totally to the rules of the church, its all looked over by the church.

I watched a mini-documentary about this film a few years ago on 48hrs or something and had always wanted to see it. You know, I really kind of like the idea of Rumspringa (which translated means "running around"). It really gives the kids a chance to go wild and experience things they normally wouldn't have a chance to. They have a chance to see "how the other side lives" without persecution from the people around them (usually) and without judgment. This really gives them a chance to decide how they want to live, not just accepting what they've been taught without question or personal experience. It lets them decide for themselves, which is seriously important imho...

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