Newswise — The sole purpose of UPN's reality show "Amish in the City" is to "provide millions of Americans a chance to laugh at the Amish," according to a nationally renowned expert on the Amish who is a senior fellow at Elizabethtown College's Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies.
"The series will provide little educational information on Amish life and culture," said Donald B. Kraybill. "Rather it places Amish teens in a national zoo, of sorts, where millions can giggle and snicker at their way of life. It's just sensational commercialism at the expense of the real Amish."
"Amish in the City" also assumes that Amish wisdom is inferior to the wisdom of mainstream culture, according to Kraybill. "Just because the Amish have the courage to reject some types of technology for the benefit of their community does not mean that they are backward, inferior, stupid or ignorant," Kraybill said. "Amish wisdom may be different, but it is not inferior. Ironically, given the strengths of their family, church and community life, perhaps it is the Amish who should be laughing the hardest at this deplorable show.
"The show is faulty from the start because any Amish youth willing to go to Hollywood are rebellious world-savvy kids who already have turned their backs on their Amish roots. Typical Amish youth would never agree to do this."
Ranked consistently as one of the country's best small comprehensive colleges, Elizabethtown College educates nearly 1800 men and women for service through an academic offering of 43 undergraduate majors. The College, which was founded in 1899, is located in Lancaster County near world-famous Hershey, Pa.