Do the Amish Use Electricity?
The Amish are a fascinating group of people with strict religious standards. These traditional Christians live a very simple, rural-based lifestyle and keep their interactions with the outside world to a minimum.
The Amish differ in beliefs from other Mennonite churches, such as the avoidance of certain modern technologies and practices. But do the Amish use electricity?
You'll be surprised. Although the Amish have a reputation for being old-fashioned, not all shun technology. Many Amish selectively use electricity, although they don't rely on the public grid. They use batteries and generators.
The main reason Amish don't use electricity from the grid is that they believe this reliance ties one to the world at the expense of God.
Because the Amish can use alternative power sources, they are connected to the modern world in some ways.
Many use Amish phones to keep in touch with friends and family. However, they don't allow phones into their homes. Let's explore how and why the Amish use electricity and what their culture says about technology.
What this article covers:
- Amish Views on Technology
- Do the Amish Use Public Power?
- What Electric Appliances Do the Amish Use?
- How Do the Amish Get By Without Modern Amenities?
Amish Views on Technology
The Amish live in the United States and Canada. They trace their roots back to Anabaptists who fled persecution in Europe in the 16th century. The Amish have remained culturally separated from mainstream society ever since.
The Amish have a strong sense of communal identity. It is most visible when they are weaving gorgeous garden harvest baskets used to store knitting supplies or display your fresh garden vegetables.
But why do Amish reject technology as we know it? The Amish are always reluctant to adopt modern technology because they believe it can cause them to become too dependent on it.
They believe that adopting new technology opens the gates to greater materialism and less spirituality. They also think it's an unnecessary burden that has no place within their faith.
Amish life centers on the home and family. They may avoid using electricity or other modern conveniences because of costs and the formal education required to use them.
There are two main groups of Amish: the Old Order Amish and the New Order Amish.
Old Order Amish Views
The Old Order Amish are the most traditional group of Amish Mennonites and follow the "Ordnung," the rules of their church district. The Amish technology rules have a strong basis in this order.
The old-order Amish adhere to strict rules and regulations that govern their lives, from what they wear to what they believe.
The Old Order Amish don’t use electricity because they believe it is against God's will. They use gas or propane for cooking and heating water and telephones for emergencies.
They use battery-operated flashlights for night-time chores and other battery-operated equipment, such as portable fans.
The community has its school system and churches. The Old Order Amish believe formal education is unnecessary beyond the eighth grade. After this, boys learn a trade, and girls focus on homemaking.
New Order Amish Views
The New Order Amish allow the community to trim their hair and beards. But men are restricted from having mustaches. Additionally, they hold formal Bible study meetings.
They allow the use of telephones though they are restricted from bringing modern technologies such as mobile phones and answering machines into their homes.
They don't travel by modern means. They use horse-drawn buggies because they believe that automobiles would cause them to become too connected with the world around them,
The New Order Amish community has a lower retention rate. This is because teenagers often leave their communities to experience the outside world.
Do the Amish Use Public Power?
The Amish do not use public power and don't pay taxes for it. The Amish are not on the public grid.
The Amish have their own alternative power sources, including the Amish solar and wind-powered sources. They also use their homemade generators, which are often powered by diesel or propane.
They don't pay for water and sewer services either because they do not believe in using those utilities. Their homes are primarily self-sufficient in electricity, water, and sewage disposal.
However, they do pay an annual fee to the local government to maintain the roads around their farms and businesses. However, they pay taxes for their incomes, properties(land), and businesses.
The Amish use their electricity meters, which are not connected to any power source. Instead of paying taxes on utilities, the Amish pay for what they need directly from their local utility company if they decide to take it.
What Electric Appliances Do the Amish Use?
The Amish embrace new technology for work, most specifically the Amish computer. This machine is a basic word processor that lacks many features modern computers have.
It works by processing simple documents and was named a machine for "plain people by plain people."
Do Amish use internet? Yes, in some cases. They use the internet to help their community or business, but they don't use it for entertainment or personal pleasure. Here are some Amish power tools which run on electric power.
The Amish use different techniques, such as skylights, to light their homes. These provide natural illumination that helps them complete their daily tasks faster and more efficiently.
Most Amish use the horse and buggy to move around. Therefore, they require flashlights for their wagons.
State laws mandate that their vehicles must have at least lights powered by batteries. In contrast, modern cars use LED lights that are said to be energy effective.
The Amish often have to deal with vast amounts of laundry. This is no surprise as the men are always involved in carpentry or farming work. They also have an average of 6-8 children, leading to surprising amounts of laundry in their under bed baskets.
Amish women used wringer washers to wash their clothes and sheets for many years.
Today, many Amish use washing machines for their laundry. They use energy sources from solar panels or generators to power their washing machines.
Amish homes don't have mechanical dryers. They depend on traditional methods of air-drying to dry their laundry.
Many years ago, Amish homesteads used cool cellars to store their perishables. They filled ice houses or basements with ice from winter.
They also put the perishables inside barrels and buried them, another technique used to store food.
With rising concerns about food safety, most members of this order now use gas or solar-powered refrigerators to store their perishables.
Hot water pipes
Amish communities live in Northern states where they face harsh winter conditions. Their religious beliefs are against electric-powered heating systems, considered a luxury.
Modern Amish communities protect themselves against the cold using solar-powered hot water pipes. Solar energy is gaining ground as a means of heating water because it fits with their goal of being independent of the public grid.
How Do the Amish Get By Without Modern Amenities?
The Amish community is close-knit, and they don’t need modern amenities as normal populations do.
They have a strong sense of self-sufficiency and often provide for themselves through hard work and cooperation. The Amish also value family above all else.
You'll find them weaving a bread box while happily talking to each other in "work from home" setups. They don't mind spending time with relatives and sharing stuff to ensure everyone has what they need.
The language used for Amish communication within their community is Pennsylvania Dutch. When conversing with non-Amish, they use English, which has also helped them sell their many beautiful Amish storage baskets for shelves for income.
Some Amish communities allow phones as long as they don't have access to the internet or cameras. The Amish live simply because it allows them more time with their families- something that most people consider worthwhile!
The Amish get by without cars because they live in rural areas without roads or highways. Instead of driving, they travel by horseback or buggy. This allows them to avoid paying taxes on their vehicles and makes it easier for them to keep to a strict schedule when traveling long distances.
Amish people work hard on farms to grow crops and raise animals to feed their families. Do the Amish use tractors? Some communities allow members to drive tractors. Some use tractor's on the farms, while others reject using tractors.
Their rejection of modern technology extends to anything that isn’t directly related to farming or ranching.
They live a simple life with few possessions. Nonetheless, their innovativeness is boundless, as is evident in their traditional handcrafted items, like the wicker dog bed that can provide your four-legged friend a great place to rest and relax. The Amish want to focus on what's important in life family, faith, and community service.
How the Amish use electricity explains their approach to technology. They don't automatically accept what's new; instead, they evaluate it and decide if it's right for their lives. This allows them to employ it in limited ways and areas where they truly need it. They manage to use technology without totally being dependent on it.
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