Amish Men Shunned After Nationwide Emergency Alert Outs Them For Having Phones

Members of an Amish community have been shunned by their church after a recent test of the Emergency Alert System outed them as having procured forbidden cellphones. Eli Yoder, a former member of the Amish community, shared the story, explaining how three of his friends had gotten into trouble after their devices were discovered. Although they all had their cellphones on vibrate, the alarm still sounded. In Amish culture, the practice of shunning involves a separation of a person from their community. The person is no longer allowed to eat or take rides with other community members, or engage in most community activities. It occurs when members are found to have violated community rules or strayed from tradition. Yoder said that one of his friends was in the middle of a visit with community elders to discuss a shunning for different reasons when the alert on his phone went off. “Whatever they were after to shun him for, now it’s also the cellphone,” said Yoder. According to the Ohio Amish community, they are opposed to any technology, which they feel weakens the family structure. That includes televisions, automobiles, and telephones, which are “considered to be a temptation that could cause vanity, create inequality, or lead the Amish away from their close-knit community.” Some Amish communities do allow telephones, but only landlines and not inside the home.