You’ve probably seen the newspaper and magazine ads for Amish fireplaces, Amish home builders, Amish demolition crews, Amish style cooking, and probably (although I haven’t seen them) you could even find ads for Amish buggies and Amish buggy whips.
Hence, thanks to generations of successful copy writing by all the ad guys, a religion that centers on a lifestyle which seeks to live outside the evils of the “modern” world, has actually become a very trendy, successful buzz word for selling modern technology and products.
I do not personally know any Amish people, though there are several Amish communities (is that the right term?) located in our part of Missouri and I’ve seen their buggies occasionally gracing the side of the highway near here. I have great respect for their simple, gentle lifestyle and admire their determination to live apart from “the world,” although I would personally choose to do cultural/theological battle with some of those ideas. I respect their lifestyle and religion and choose to disagree with it myself.
What I have to admire, however, is the way copy writers have turned “Amish” into a successful sales term, capitalizing on “Amish-ness” while sharing at least some of the wealth with various Amish communities.
I still find it visually and mentally jarring, however, when I see an Amish family come into one of the local grocery stores talking on cell phones. I find myself wondering, too, whether texting while driving is a big problem with a horse and buggy.