13 August 2013


Nonresistance (or non-resistance) is generally defined as "the practice or principle of not resisting authority, even when it is unjustly exercised".[1] At its core is discouragement of, even opposition to, physical resistance to an enemy. It is considered as a form of principled nonviolence or pacifism which rejects all physical violence, whether exercised on individual, group, state or international levels. Practitioners of nonresistance may refuse to retaliate against an opponent or offer any form of self-defense. Nonresistance is often associated with particular religious groups.

The following is a general list and not exhaustive.[14][15]
  • Motorized vehicles are not to be owned or driven. The Amish may request a neighbor to drive them, or may hire a driver and rent a car.
  • The Amish may not travel on an airplane.
  • Clothing codes are to be followed:
    • Males are to wear hats when outside. Black is for the winter, straw color is for the warmer months.
    • Suspenders, not belts, keep up the trousers.
    • Once boys marry, they are expected to grow a beard but shave their upper lip. Unmarried boys must be clean-shaved.
    • Mustaches are frowned upon, because in German culture they have historically been associated with military officers.
    • Clothing must be home sewn.
    • Women are never to shave any part of their body nor to cut their hair.
    • Females must keep their head covered, usually with a prayer bonnet. The color denotes marital status (different colors may be used by different settlements).
  • Social Security or other commercial insurance is forbidden.
  • Children are to attend school through the eighth grade. After that, they are expected to work on the farm or in the home. A parent may find them a job to bring in additional income for the family.
  • Full-length mirrors are forbidden, because they are thought to promote vanity and self-admiration.
  • Jewelry is not to be worn, not even wedding rings. Other symbols (beards for men, and black bonnets for women) are used, in lieu of rings, to represent marital status.
  • An Amish person who has taken the church vow, and who has been found guilty by the bishop of breaking one of the Ordnung rules, can be punished by the Meidung (excommunication or shunning).
  • Mobile vehicles, such as buggies or farm implements, must not have rubber tires.
  • (Among the Old Order) Church members must not be photographed.
  • (Among the Old Order) Telephones are forbidden.
  • The use of batteries is allowed (in some districts) for emergency flashlights and similar devices, but discouraged in the home.
  • Word processors (powered by generator or DC) are allowed for school and church administrative use. Only non-electric typewriters are used in the home.
  • Electricity is not allowed in the home. Electrical energy is allowed in community dairy barns, but only generator power (not grid power).
  • Those who are able to work must do so from Monday through Saturday. On Sunday, however, no laborious work is to be done.
  • Amish young women and young men are expected to marry other Amish.
Examples of Practices Prescribed by the Ordnung:
  • color and style of clothing
  • hat styles for men
  • order of worship service
  • kneeling for prayer in worship
  • marriage within the church
  • use of horses for fieldwork
  • use of Pennsylvania German
  • steel wheels on machinery
Examples of Practices Prohibited by the Ordnung:
  • air transportation
  • central heating in houses
  • divorce
  • electricity from public power lines
  • entering military service
  • filing a lawsuit
  • jewelry, including wedding rings and wrist watches
  • joining worldly (public) organizations
  • owning computers, televisions, radios
  • owning and operating an automobile
  • pipeline milking equipment
  • using tractors for fieldwork
  • wall-to-wall carpeting
— Donald B. Kraybill , The Riddle of Amish Culture, Revised Edition p.115
  • Electricity from utility companies is considered worldly. Bottled gas may be used to heat water, fuel ranges, and run refrigerators. Gas-pressured or kerosene lanterns provide lighting. Batteries power the red lights on buggies. Gasoline generators may provide energy for washing machines, water pumps, and agricultural equipment.
  • Telephones may be placed in booths, an unlocked barn, or an Amish school. Cellular phones and voice mail, may only be used by a business to compete, but this is permitted on a case by case basis.
  • The Amish travel in horse-drawn buggies, and use horses to pull farm machinery. The horse allows them to take life at a slower pace, and it puts limits on their lives, slowing their work, and requiring additional labor. If business or personal needs necessitate a longer drive, the Amish may hire a taxi.
  • The Amish complete their eighth grade education in a one-room private school, taught by an Amish teacher who also attended school through the eighth grade. The skills of spelling, English, German, mathematics, geography, and health are taught. Some basic science may be taught about animals, stars, and planets. Religion is not taught as a subject, but is an important part of the school program, especially as it relates to behavior.
"Amish practices evolve over time. As modernization takes place, the Amish negotiate to what degree they will accept and utilize technology and other practices of the outside world. This cultural compromise has allowed the Amish to remain a distinct group, yet survive economically."[16]

Perhaps the oldest recorded statement of nonresistance philosophy is that of Socrates around 399 BC. An influential ancient Greekphilosopher, Socrates was sentenced to death by the Athenian democracy for teaching his students to question authority and think for themselves. Socrates accepted his fate on reasons of morality and justice, rather than accept help from his supporters to fleeAthens and escape execution.

Gandhi's Satyagraha movement was based on a belief in resistance that was active but at the same time nonviolent, and he did not believe in using non-resistance (or even nonviolent resistance) in circumstances where a failure to oppose an adversary effectively amounted to cowardice. 'I do believe,' he wrote, 'that where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.'"[2]

Author James R. Graham wrote, "The Christian is not a pacifist, he is a non-participationist."

(yes btw I am scanning wikipedia..)