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.