Saloma Miller Furlong
Author and Speaker

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Uprooting Myths -- Can it Be Done?


Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

This has been a busy week, so I have not had a chance to post. I finally did get my website launched a while ago, and I updated it this week. Here is a link to that: http://salomafurlong.com/Welcome.html. I hope you’ll visit my website and send me comments.

I found something on the Internet this past week that makes me realize how much the rum springa misconceptions are being spread by the media and how many people now take this to be the truth. I believe it’s human nature to fill in the blanks with our imagination when we have a lack of information. Because people are genuinely interested in the Amish culture, and when this is the information available, they are willing to believe it.

This NPR story was about Jim Cates, a counselor in Indiana, who works with Amish youth with drinking problems, and the “Amish Youth Vision Project” he founded. He perpetuates the notion that the Amish youth do get a choice about staying or leaving, yet he also talks about how he has to be careful not to lead the youth astray, lest it reflect on his counseling. I find this illogical: if the youth indeed get a choice, why wouldn’t it be okay to discuss their options freely and not have any attachment to the outcome of whether they stay or leave?

Unfortunately, I cannot make a comment on the blog following the report, because it was aired on NPR in March of 2009. I feel rather like the “Amish detectives” on Saturday Night Live, when they arrive on the scene of the crime three months after it happened. It’s a bit late to be setting Alix Spiegel straight on what rum springa is or isn’t. If anyone out there hears of this kind of story, please let me know. I would like to respond to any blogs on such reports. Judging by the blog following this report, I wasn’t the only person who had left the Amish who wanted to set the record straight. But we are like a lone voice in the wilderness…

Here is the link: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102053475&sc=emaf

Please send me any comments or questions you have.

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