The Outsiders: Amish Community Speaks Out

"I felt guilty [having a car] until I had one for a couple of years, and then the guilt wore off," John said. "The last one I had was a '64 T-bird. It was a nice car."

John's wife said she was "tempted by music." John's temptation was watching westerns on television.

Even among the Amish, there is powerful peer pressure. John calls it "Keeping up with the Joneses."

"Somebody builds a house, nice big house. OK, then, the next guy has to have a bigger house," he said. "One person gets a new buggy. So, you have to have one, too. That's envious."

Beheaded for Their Beliefs

The Amish trace their roots back to the Protestant Reformation and the Anabaptist movement in the early 16th century. The Anabaptists emphasize voluntary adult baptism. They are baptized once as a child and then again as an adult -- choosing to be baptized a second time is central to their beliefs. The Amish believe only adults can make informed decisions about their own salvation.

After being persecuted for hundreds of years in Europe, the Amish came to America in hopes of freely practicing their faith, John explained.

"People started reading the New Testament more, they found out or they came to the conclusion that it doesn't do you any good to be baptized as an infant," he said. "You have to be baptized as an adult, after you know the difference between right and wrong. And then you have to be baptized through a confession of faith through Christ.

"But, to be baptized as an adult, now you were baptized twice and that was against the law. So, these people were put in prison, they were burned at the stake, they were beheaded," he said. "They wanted to eliminate them."

Today, in North America, there are several different groups that bear the Amish name. Each subset of the culture abides by different rules and regulations.

For example, more liberal populations use battery-powered light sources in their homes and reflection triangles, rubber wheels and sliding curtains on their buggies, while conservative communities strictly adhere to kerosene lanterns for light.

John told ABC News that the tell-tale sign of an Amish person is their horse and carriage.

"Once you lose your buggy, you're no longer Amish," he said.

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