Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Tradition and temptation as Amish debate fracking


< Previous Page


Kraybill, co-author of the new book "The Amish," said he wasn’t surprised to hear that traditional communities like New Wilmington have concerns over solar power since the Amish "are reticent to display things or have public displays of the technology" and are cautious about electricity.

Sam Stoltzfus, an Amish farmer in Gordonville, Pa., said that there was some resistance at first to solar power there, but that it’s widely used now. On the issue of gas drilling leases, Stoltzfus said outsiders often overlook some important facts about the Amish lifestyle.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"It doesn’t matter where you go in America, if a farmer doesn’t have some sort of subsidy, he is not going to be able to survive," Stoltzfus said, adding that a gas drilling boom in Danville, about two hours north, helped the Amish communities there by generating considerable carpentry and repair work.

And the Amish value work for more than the income it brings, Schlabach said.

"Human beings are by nature lazy. Free money basically equals free time," he said. "Idleness is the devil’s workshop."

Still, Schlabach hopes that strong Amish family and church traditions will enable people to use fracking wealth wisely, perhaps even to help start new communities in other states.

"Use it to help others rather than consuming it on yourself," Schlabach said. "Life doesn’t consist of your possessions. Possessions are nothing, and it is what you do for other people that lasts."

But whether the fracking boom helps or hurts the Amish is up to the community itself, he said, since it’s just another chapter in an ongoing struggle to maintain their beliefs in a fast-moving, modern world.

"The inflow of all the money is going to really expose the spiritual level of the community," Schlabach said. "If it does corrupt in a big way, then we know we have drifted spiritually."




Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.