The idea that parents encourage the youth to sample the world with the hope that this inoculates them against the world is very much a myth. ~ Anonymous Amishman
In my quest for accurate information about “rum springa” in the Amish culture, I found two things that give me hope that the current view of it being perpetuated by the mainstream media will eventually be recognized for what it is — inaccurate information.
A member of an Amish community anonymously describes rum springa from the Amish point of view. I am so glad it’s no longer just those of us who have left who are setting the record straight, but also people within the Amish. The link to what this person said about the issue is here: http://amishamerica.com/2010/03/rumspringa-myths-and-reality.html.
Someone did a very accurate job of writing the description of rum springa for Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumspringa. This is, in my opinion, the most accurate source I know about the subject in the mainstream media. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to be used for scholarly purposes. Bravo, whoever wrote it, for daring to say something different than what is widely accepted as the the truth about rum springa.
So there is hope. The myth that Amish youth get a choice in whether or not they stay or leave their faith, may just be dispelled — someday.