In part, the statement reads: “We call for an end to production and broadcast of the Amish Mafia series and respectfully ask the Discovery Channel and its sponsors to drop support for the bigoted series and other Amish themed knockoff productions. ”
Here is the statement that several Pennsylvania officials issued this week:
Statement of Position from:
• Gov. Tom Corbett and Lt. Gov. James Cawley
• U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan and Joe Pitts
• State Sens. Mike Brubaker and Lloyd Smucker
• State House Reps. Ryan Aument, Bryan Cutler, Gordon Denlinger, Mindy Fee, Keith Greiner, Dave Hickernell, Steve Mentzer and Mike Sturla
• County Commissioners Scott Martin, Craig Lehman and Dennis Stuckey
• Lancaster City Mayor Rick Gray
Many Lancaster County residents are concerned about the negative, inaccurate and potentially damaging portrayal of Amish religion and culture in the Discovery Channel’s “Amish Mafia” TV series. These shows vilify the Amish religious way of life, suggesting that a peaceful people devoted to non-violence are vengeful, violent and criminal.
At their core, these shows engage in religious bigotry. “Amish Mafia” is no more acceptable than “Jewish Mafia,” “Catholic Mafia or “Evangelical Mafia.” The show is an affront to all people of faith and all secular people with moral principles.
By misrepresenting the Amish as a crime-ridden culture, the show gives, by association, the same impression of Lancaster County. It changes the image of the county from one of pastoral beauty, where people are devoted to faith, family and friends, to one of banal ugliness. It cast the Amish people of Lancaster County as motivated by greed, selfishness and violence rather than a people who believe in hard work, self-reliance and kindness to neighbors.
Each of us has a responsibility to consider how we would feel if these shows attacked us as they are attacking the Amish. All religions observe some form of the Golden Rule – that we treat others as we would want to be treated. To stand by silently while these shows mistreat the Amish in our community would make us complicit in breaking that rule.
As representatives and leaders of citizens of Lancaster County, we have a responsibility to voice their – and our – opposition to this bigoted portrayal of the Amish community in Lancaster County.
We call for an end to production and broadcast of the “Amish Mafia” series and respectfully ask the Discovery Channel and its sponsors to drop support for the bigoted series and other Amish-themed knockoff productions.