Amish entrepreneur finds way in Cleve...

Amish entrepreneur finds way in Cleveland

There are 6 comments on the story from Nov 17, 2007, titled Amish entrepreneur finds way in Cleveland. In it, reports that:

“This is just another example of how diverse this community really is”

Bill Byler gets up well before dawn and puts on wool pants, a cotton shirt and a straw hat. via

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Fairfax, VA

#1 Nov 17, 2007
I think this is great! Sure, the guy is in utter violation of everything the Amish supposedly believe in... and is about as 'yoked' to the 'English' as possible.

But this will force change in his church district. If one guy is allowed to crush all the rules, then others will follow. Eventually, kids will be allowed to go to proper schools and actually have a chance of fulfilling their potential, like this guy is trying to do.

Hopefully, the changes will be beneficial to the district's members, and not start a backward slide to conservatism ala the Troyer or Swartzentruber Amish.

I hope there are follow up reports on this guy.

Philadelphia, PA

#2 Nov 17, 2007
Bob, where have you been? This kind of entrepreneurial stuff has been integrated a long time ago. He won't provoke the slightest bit of change.

Fairfax, VA

#3 Nov 17, 2007
easy wrote:
Bob, where have you been? This kind of entrepreneurial stuff has been integrated a long time ago. He won't provoke the slightest bit of change.
That depends on what Church District he's in, doesn't it? If he's New Order, then the change is already taking place and he's just a small cog in change's machine.

If he's Old Order, then he's busting up the rules big time and some shunnin' is coming his way!

You need a score card to identify which of the hundreds of types of sects an individual Amish guy is in. Remember, the word of Jesus isn't the final arbiter in the Amish 'faith', it's the Ordnung, which is like a Home Owner's Association handbook for that particular Church District. Except? Instead of getting a stern looking-at if your hedge is dodgy... you risk going to hell! Well, according to your Ordnung, anyway... which is different from the thousands of other Ordnugs.

Near my property in Missouri, there are 2 distinctly seperate Districts with wildly different Ordnungs... The Old Order guys only use their buggies on the road, but the New Order guys will gleefully drive their tractors around as if they were cars. I saw a guy with his wife and small son on the highway driving along on a Mahindra Tractor. Mom and son were just sitting on the fenders, swinging in the breeze.... totally oblivious to the danger they were in.

Truth is, though, it's the Old Order ones that are the highest danger to themselves and others. On that same highway... there's a section with Amish Buggies (Old Order) clopping along on the shoulder while terrified drivers (Well, I'm terrified) pass at 50 mph+. The speed limit is 65 on that section. I'm dreading the day a big rig blows a tire and needs to use the shoulder.

Old Order Districts are also the ones that will be less likely to call law enforcement in cases of suppression or control (Rape, child endangerment, etc). All of the really big cases, like the Mary Byler case (no relation to this guy, I assume) the Gingerich case, and that guy in New York, David Yoder, with the niece who had all her teeth removed by an unlicensed Amish dentist... all Old Order, Troyer or Swartzentruber style Districts.

Philadelphia, PA

#4 Nov 18, 2007
the old order in lanc. Pa. is practically joined at the hip with the local chamber of commerce. ( alright I'm exagerating)

Fairfax, VA

#5 Nov 19, 2007
easy wrote:
the old order in lanc. Pa. is practically joined at the hip with the local chamber of commerce.( alright I'm exagerating)
Pennsyvania, with it's super-hub of Amish represents many different Church Districts.

As you well know, each Church District is it's own autonomous authority, what's 'allowed' in one may be a shunnin' offense in another!

I would love to know how each District stands... is there a minority of Districts cashing in on tourism? Or are they all a bunch of blasphemers? Heh. But no, the Ordnung is not a public document. There are no free elections or public meetings in the land of the Amish.

Note: I do not consider it blasphemy to open a store and sell things. I encourage it! But then, I don't tell people I follow a 'religion' where I can't be 'yoked' to the 'outside world', either.

Like the electricity thing. "We can't use electricty because it yokes us to the modern world" is the usual line, a line that's swallowed with hook and sinker attached by most. Well gee, that diesel fuel didn't refine itself! A huge infrastructure and distribution system in the 'modern world' delivered it to you. Diesel, electricity, or an air compressor running on propane... you're just as yoked to the 'modern world'.

Philadelphia, PA

#6 Nov 19, 2007
So your in Missouri? The Amish in Lancaster Pa. are a lot more monolithic than the other big settlements. There's hardly any difference from one church district to the next. Somewhat more conservative in one end of the settlement though. I think there's an insidious classism developing that has the wealthy doing whatever the hell they want. Sound familiar?

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