I was born to an Old Order Amish family. I left the Amish when I was 18 – the rest of my family is still Amish. I am now in my mid-20’s and am an atheist. I have to live a secret life because if my friends or family were to find out, I would likely be disowned.
My purpose in life is to understand, to find truth. I know that the only way to find truth and to know for sure that it is truth is through reason. As such, I am an amateur philosopher.
If you want to learn more about me, check out the posts in the “My Story” category. Be sure to check out the FAQ page too.
I’m not trying to judge, just curious. If you are seeking truth than why are you keeping this a secret from your family and friends? Don’t you feel like you are being dishonest to yourself by not fully being able to live the life you want?
I’m being honest to myself, just not to some of my friends and family. The simple answer is that the quality of life of the person I love would drop dramatically if I came out with the truth. I could live with losing most of my friends and family but I’m not sure that she could.
Thanks for the response!
Is your atheism the result of your Amish upbringing?
I couldn’t tell you for sure. If I was born into more of a mainstream Christian family, would I be atheist now? I would like to think so, but perhaps the “strictness” of the Amish culture was the incentive I needed to really examine religion.
I just wanted to say you are doing some great reporting when Jersey Shore came out I heard about a video of a girl named “Cookie” that claims she was an original Jersey Shore cast member and Snookie was a rip of her. The handlers buried this by comming out with a story that Snookie went on a all cookie diet and the Cookie girls results dropped far down the search engines. They are trying to control damage on all these reality shows. But then again if you thought “Survivor” was real you aren’t to bright.
They’ll definitely use tactics like that to try and bury a story so deep that almost no one finds it. Fortunately for viewers, the Breaking Amish fakery scandal rained all over TLC’s parade before they even saw the storm clouds.
Valerie Bergin said:
Have you examined Reform Judaism with regard to free will and some of the other philosophical points you mention? I’d like to know what you think of Judaism’s point of view. Thank you.
I have not examined Judaism so I wouldn’t be able to tell you. Someday I want to learn more about religions other than Christianity.
Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. You may not have found a real and lasting relationship with him amid the strictness ofyour upbringing, but I implore you not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater” as they say. The realness and beauty of the gospel of Jesus Christ is embodied in His selfless nature as illustrated beautifully in the “the four Gospels”. I’ve seen that firsthand in my own life and the lives of some beauttiful people I’ve come to know. The realness is the transfoming power of the gospel. Now I don’t believe Jesus would have (nor has He) shunned you for looking outside of what you were raised to follow; His example has always been one of compassion and deep understanding. How about giving Him another chance? http://bible.cc/john/14-6.htm
Why would I have to follow Jesus in order to achieve eternal happiness? God seems a bit of a dictator to me. No thanks, I prefer my newfound freedom.
Absofreakinloutley!!! I don’t care how someone tries to present any religion, it is still the same structured mind controlling, greed inspired tyrannical hate mongering drivel it always has been, and ever will be. A person does not have to be religious to enjoy life on this pointless, but fascinating planet. I love life, Eventhough it’s chaotic. I love seeing my children grow up, I’m glad I get to guide them in life. I tell them what I believe to be the truth based on fact, not mythical stories of unicorns building a boat before some big flood( just joking, I know how the story goes) a person must be incredibly narcissistic (thanks auto text) to think they can save the world and everyone in it, as long as Santa clause chooses them as the vessel to “bring the good word” PS. Thank you X for this wonderful blog.
Katherine Schweitzer said:
Keep up your good work. What’s happening with the Amish and Ex-Amish as a result of twisted truths, deceptions, and blatant lies is shameful.
Hoping you are going to pursue academia, and consider going to college. Your writing and thoughts are well organized and there is so much available. Good luck to you.
Alenna Dancer said:
On the positive side you are a skilled blogger. This is an unusually good blog. Love the layout of your site and your writing. Right now I am a little jaded on having my heart strings pulled over a hoax show, so I am having a lot of trouble believing anyone who says they were Amish and their family doesn’t know.
My family knows that I’m Amish, they just don’t know that I’ve become an atheist.
I too am very greatful for your blog. However, like the last comment I read, concerning all the misleading shows that range from TLC, the HISTORY CHANNEL, A&E etc.etc. I feel I have to be cautious when searching for truth in any media outlet. Your writings are well articulated and, to the point. I just worry at times that one day, I’ll read that X-Amishatheist was not so. That being said, I like to look at the bright side and, give the benefit of the doubt. You have nothing to prove to anyone after all and I apologize in advance for doubting your authentication. Anyhow, thank you for your time. JIM
Fran Shultis said:
Yes, I was wondering this, too. Are you really Amish? Guess there’s no way to find out.
You prefer your new found freedom? What freedom? You’re hiding, so you say. There is no freedom in that.
Hey. I liked your life story alot because it is starting to seem alot like mine, without the amish part. I had a somewhat liberal protestant upbringing but there were times like i wud be asked why my hair was kept too long, whyd i take off my moustache, whyd i wear skinny jeans and such and they would make it look like i was wrong to do so by cherry picking versus about how a man should look like and later force me into looking like theyd want me to. I was used to being told what i had to wear and how every hair on my face and head were to be. I wasnt supposed to trim or anything like that with my eyebrows as it was considered a womans thing. I am away from all of that now i am older and out of the house but my parents dont know about me becoming an atheist . Glad to hear another persons story. Wish you the best. 🙂
Hello! You seem to be a very intelligent and sensitive person who feels squashed by your upbringing and community. I can relate because I am the same way and grew up in a Mormon community that pretty much ostracized me because I was not interested in joining the club. I spent a few years spewing out anger about that.
However, you don’t have to let that portion of your life define you. There is much ahead! If you are looking for a well reasoned and logical approach to your questions and wounded heart, I suggest reading C.S. Lewis. He was a former atheist, and a Cambridge intellectual giant who survived WWI and sifted through about all the big life questions and discoursed with other great thinkers and writers of the day, including Tolkien. I suggest his biography, “A Shiver of Wonder,” and also “Surprised by Joy,” and “Mere Christianity.” And then everything else he wrote. I have read a lot of his work and am going back to them again because they are so good!
what % of amish leave the community?