The Amish people stand out for their non-conventional way of life. You can identify members of this protestant religious community by their dress code – plain clothes without buttons. The ladies wear long dresses and bonnets. The men wear dark suits and wide hats. But this is not the only interesting fact about these people. They do not use vehicles, nor do they use mobile phones. They seek to live untarnished by the outside world, but what is their take on alcohol? Do Amish People drink alcohol?
The best answer would be; Yes and No. While the Old Order Amish do not have set restrictions against alcohol consumption, the case is different for the New Order Amish. The New Order Amish strictly ban the use of alcohol and other recreational drugs. On the other hand, some members of the Old Order Amish may consume a bit of alcohol, mainly within the confines of their homes. They also have a Rumspringa ritual where the youth are encouraged to explore different things, including alcohol. This happens before they are fully confirmed into the Amish religion.
So, do some Amish people believe that drinking alcohol is bad? Do some Amish people approve of drinking alcohol? Can older Amish people drink alcohol? Are there alcohol addicts in the Amish communities? What can Amish people drink? Read on to learn the answers to these questions and more!
Do Some Amish People Believe That Drinking Alcohol Is Bad?
Yes, members of the New Order Amish are strictly against alcohol consumption. This group of Amish, who initially broke off from the Old Order Amish, strongly believe alcohol is bad for one’s health.
The main reason they broke off the Old Order Amish was the result of the coming-of-age ritual known as Rumspringa. According to this ritual, the youth of the Old Order Amish are allowed a grace period where they can indulge in ‘earthly pleasures,’ including alcohol consumption.
Members of the New Order Amish are convinced that this ritual is inappropriate. In this period, some youth attend huge parties, where rampant drug abuse happens, leading to misconduct. Such a case was reported in Ohio, involving a bunch of Amish youth. The incident led to the mass arrest of approximately seventy youths. Besides, two more had to be admitted to the hospital after showing symptoms of alcohol poisoning.
Although most of the youths fully reform after this ritual, some of them don’t. Some fall into a serious addiction, while others indulge in risky behavior when under the influence.
Do Some Amish People Approve of Drinking Alcohol?
The Old Order Amish have not banned the use of alcohol. However, this does not mean they allow it, either. For instance, when their youths turn sixteen, they can explore the world. Although they are not encouraged to drink alcohol, they would not face any consequences if they did. Before they are baptized, they are not considered full church members. Hence, they are free to do as they please.
Even after baptism, the full Old Order Amish are not restricted against alcohol. However, there is a bit of stigma surrounding people who do so. For this reason, you are unlikely to find the Amish drinking at a bar. Those who drink alcohol do it from home.
It is also okay to consume alcoholic drinks, especially during special occasions such as weddings. Amish men may gather over a few beers after a long work week. Besides, some members of the Amish community make their alcoholic drinks. These include wine and beer. The Old Older Amish believe that there is nothing wrong with consuming alcohol since it is present in the Bible.
Can Older Amish People Drink Alcohol?
Yes, they can. Owing to the absence of clear restrictions against using alcoholic drinks, it is not uncommon for the older Amish to drink alcohol. Typically, you may not come across an Amish buying a can of beer from the local store. Nevertheless, this does not mean that they cannot drink alcohol.
Over the years, we have heard of cases of Amish people spotted under the influence of alcoholic drinks. For instance, in 2019, a father and presumably his teen son were spotted drunk on a horse. The two enjoyed their open cans of beer while the horse trotted along the road uncontrolled.
It is also worth noting that the rules surrounding alcohol consumption also depend on a particular Amish community. The religious leader has the liberty to make rules that guide his community. Therefore, if the religious leader does not mind drinking alcohol, this is automatically translated to the community. On the other hand, if the religious leader believes alcohol is bad, then members of his community cannot be caught consuming it.
Are There Alcohol Addicts in the Amish Communities?
Like in most communities across the globe, alcohol addiction is a social issue among the Old Order Amish. It may come off as a surprise to most people since the Amish are known to live unexposed to many things. Despite their attempt to live clean lives, alcohol has somehow managed to find its way within this community.
Alcohol addiction is prevalent among Amish youth who have not been baptized yet. Most people believe this is made especially possible due to their ritual, the Rumspringa. The youth are encouraged to explore everything, including the clubs. Some youth tend to overindulge in destructive behavior, including excessive consumption of alcoholic drinks. The damage happens during this period of time when the youth remain go out unguarded.
As a result, some youth may suffer lasting consequences, including life-long alcohol addiction.
Alcohol addiction does not only occur among the youth. Old Order Amish adults also suffer from alcohol addiction. Due to their lifestyle, defiant individuals choose to overindulge in alcohol abuse.
However, owing to the strict guidelines set to be observed after baptism, cases of addiction are slightly lower compared to other neighboring communities. The Amish people have a stable background and strong faith. Individuals who find themselves in addiction can receive support. The social structure within the community creates a conducive environment for reform.
What Can Amish People Drink?
Despite many restrictions in their lifestyle, the Amish people can enjoy a cup of coffee and meadow tea. Most of us are used to serving our meals accompanied by refreshing drinks such as juice and wine. You may find it strange that the Amish serve their meals with water. Since the Amish do not own electronic devices such as refrigerators, they lack the means to store cold drinks.
However, this does not imply that they don’t enjoy nice drinks. A little while after the meals, the Amish may enjoy a cup of coffee and dessert.
The meadow tea is a favorite among the Amish people. This special tea is prepared using fresh mint picked from their gardens. The mint leaves are boiled in water for a few minutes to bring out the flavor. The community especially enjoys this drink on chilled afternoons.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.