So where does an atheist vacation? Why Churchtown, of course!

I’m a workaholic but I just got so burnt that I needed a few days to get away from it all in the country so I found a cottage where we could bring the dog with us. The place just happens to be in Lancaster County PA, which if you are unaware, is the land of the PA Dutch who are Amish and Mennonites. The cottage is awesome btw.

So one night we get to actually eat dinner at an Amish couple’s house with some other people. I’m not the type to go throwing the atheism around everywhere so I didn’t say much but others asked some probing questions. I think since they were foreigners, the Amish didn’t get upset but if I asked, they’d have gotten bent. Ok, so the Amish have some strict rules to live by. There’s some reasoning behind it but mostly it’s typical religious nonsensical dogma like shunning electricity and belts. Belts! Since they keep to themselves and make yummy food which we can buy, their beliefs are considered cute and quaint. If they were politically active and somehow managed to impose nonsense on me like having to wear suspenders or grow one of those beards, then it’d be different.

Right, so I mentioned questions. The family had many technological amenities in the house like indoor lighting and a refrigerator but they ran on gas instead of electricity. One of the guests, a chemist, asked what the difference was since energy is energy. They’re response was, “I don’t know, that’s the rule”. There you have a beautiful summary of most of religious dogma – “I don’t know, that’s the rule”, without any thought to question. What’s equally fascinating is where they don’t use their brains to question the rules, they REALLY use their brains to find loopholes in the rules or work around the rules. Example: they can’t own cars, but can ride in a car. You can’t have electricity, but if you can figure out how to power an electric device with gas, that’s cool. Some will even allow electricity if it comes naturally from say a windmill.

It’s all nonsense but like I said earlier, they don’t intrude into other’s lives so it’s all cute and quaint. This is how I think religion should be if it must exist, to be in a form that people subscribe to but keep it to themselves. You think belts are evil? Ok. You think you shouldn’t work on Sundays? Ok, whatever. If those are your rules but you feel no need in imposing those rules on those outside your faith, we’re cool. Why can’t most religious people get this? I think all religious people need to vacation with the Amish and learn a thing or two. It’s not so bad for us atheists, either, although I must say their pies are so damn good that it makes you wonder if they have some divine help in making them. ;)

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10 Responses to “Churchtown”

  1. If you are to come on to my blog you will not be that rude.People thinking all atheist are negative stems from atheist going to where others are(other people that are not even messing with you) and leaving rude remarks. Be mature. I don’t mind you or any other atheist visiting my page but you will not come on it an leave rude and smug remarks. I am an adult and will be talked to like one. I will do the same for you. Your comment as been delete. Read the header to learn what the blog is about(the header goes for all post and feedback). If you cannot refrain your self from making remarks on topics other than the blog or do so in a different approach then you shouldn’t even comment because it will be removed. Oh and not a bad set up on your blog, looks nice.

  2. Seriously dude, you need to take some time to not only spellcheck but proofread and check your grammar. Your article was so muddled I couldn’t quite understand it. There are a lot of international bloggers so my question of whether English was your first language wasn’t meant to be rude. I honestly thought it might not be. Have you edited since I commented?

    This comment of yours is better composed so I can follow your meaning, but there are still some glaring mistakes like failing to pluralize, “an” instead of “and”, “as” instead of “has”. “Yourself” is usually one word and is superfluous once you’ve already established “you” as the subject. In that sentence, I believe “restrain” would work better if you include “yourself”.

    As someone who is clearly representing a certain point of view, I think it behooves you to present it well, which means taking the time to spellcheck, proofread and look for glaring grammatical errors. If you don’t, you just look dumb or ignorant which then colors the perception of whatever your point is and I don’t think you really want to be conveying either.

    Oh, I don’t mind that much but if you’re going to get bent about anyone possibly commenting on your site about something other than the article you posted, why did you feel doing that to me was ok?

  3. Well, I was mainly going to say “What a F…ing beautiful dog”! But that first comment kind of diverted me.

    I had just finished leaving my own mildly sarcastic comment on his blog which I started with: “Proof Christians are afraid – Comment by PhillyChief deleted”!

    So I guess the wild and crazy blog guy will me paying me a visit. That’s ok. I won’t delete his comment!

    I think some people have a hard time with the concept of a free and open internet. If he doesn’t want opposing comments then he should blog about the weather or something neutral. goddamn I love studying people… from a distance!

    Beautiful animal! We have two dogs and two cats. You and Elisa will probably be pissed to hear that I’m more of a cat-guy. My dogs are cool too though. We have a Dal that we got 11 years ago as a pup for my daughters 7th birthday. Never did take to her much (the Dal, not my daughter). The other is a golden retriever mix-breed that I saved up in a crappy section of Hollywood (I know. No jokes). She had a coat-hanger tied tightly around her neck and connecting her so closely to a fence that she couldn’t even sit down. She’s a wonderful dog that never seemed to forget me setting her free.

  4. Nice comment! Real shame he deleted it. Mine was simply, “Is English your second language?”.

    Dogs don’t forget good or bad acts. Elsa has latched on to me pretty tightly, even though her previous home wasn’t THAT bad. She’s a needy girl. My last Elkhound wasn’t as needy, but still bossy. It’s something in the dna (they’ve found skeletons going back 5000 years). They’re very strong willed and physically strong dogs. They very much need strong discipline early, the kind I think most people would find mean and in truth it would be mean for say a Golden Retriever. I never hit her but when she challenged I threw her down and laid on top of her. I’ve even clenched my teeth over her muzzle (saw wolves do it on tv). Sounds extreme but she was actually dangerous when we got her so I had to go a bit overboard ala Dog Whisperer. Now she’s a pampered little princess who gets taken on vacations. :)

    Mr. blog guy clearly is on the opposite side of the Net Neutrality Act from you and I, Sir. Sad.

  5. Philly

    Ever been to the Cameron Estate Inn? It’s outside Lancaster also, and is similar, with a really nice restaurant. I been there with my wife on special occasions.

    It was the home of Simon Cameron, who was Lincoln’s Sec’ty of War during the Civil War. He also owned the John Harris Mansion in Harrisburg.

  6. That place looks pretty swank.

    Alright, here’s the deal – I’ve been working my ass off and last week after going 44 hours without sleep I decided I need a fucking break so I looked for some place in the country that we could bring the dog. That was it for my search criteria and I feel I was pretty lucky. The cottage was in a park with an old mansion out front and a covered bridge out back. It was the paymaster’s cottage. It has wide plank wooden floors and original stone. Yeah, they have a full kitchen and Direct tv but it really looks like you’ve stepped back in time staying at this place.

    Our one swanky moment was going to some place called Doneker’s because the chef was the former head chef or something at Le Bec Fin. Well I guess he didn’t leave, he was fired because the dinner was nothing to get excited over. I’m a food snob yet I enjoyed the homemade meatloaf in the Amish house better. What the fuck?

    We got some gorgeous pork shoulder and beef tenderloin before we left and I’ll be cooking that up this weekend. Suck it, Doneker’s!

  7. I don’t think you can take your dog to the Cameron Estate, so it sounds like you lucked into just the right spot, which I’ll keep in mind next time I need to get away. Donekers has a good rep, but like a lot of those restaurants, once they become known, the quality goes down hill.

    I ate at Le Bec Fin many, many years ago (I went to Law School in Philly ) and it was one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to. I hope it’s still as good as it was in the 70s.

  8. I have yet to go to Le Bec Fin, actually. From what I hear it's still great. The last 10 years or so has seen a restaurant boon in Philly. Morimoto opened his first restaurant in Philly before opening in NYC. It was awesome! We got to chat with the Iron Chef after dinner.

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  10. Nice comment! Real shame he deleted it. Mine was simply, "Is English your second language?".

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