Quite frankly, if I had not been subjected to the (comparatively) out-of-the-ordinary mess that passes for “Pennsylvania Dutch” culture, I would probably have turned out more like (almost) everyone else I’ve ever met: I would probably have (uncritically) “swallowed” whatever had been foisted on me during childhood.
this is especially true for people who are born and “raised” in a “monolithic” (sub)culture.
For example: if I had been born into a Mennonite (or Amish) family, I would have been “programmed” almost from birth to avoid “excessive” contact with anyone originating from “outside” of that specific subculture.
At the base of any such subcultural “identity” is the notion of “us” vs. “them”. Moreover, there is always an implicit – and/or explicit – notion that “their” way of life/beliefs, etc. are inferior to “ours”, and more, that “excessive” contact with them is somehow “dangerous”.
This makes sense from the standpoint of control: how are you going to perpetrate your specific ethno-religious “subculture” on the next generation of ignorant slaves, unless you can convince (or frighten) them into obeying your edicts?
This is where the animus against “foreign” ideas comes from: no subcultural “identity” can perpetuate itself if it cannot convince (or delude) those subject to it, that it is right.
The best way to do that is: “if WE are “right”….and THEY differ from us — then THEY must be WRONG.”
A perfect illustration of this is the following Moral Oren clip:
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/66109047″>S2 E8 – The Lords Prayer</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user17843766″>peppermint larry</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
This is one reason (among many) why the Amish tend to faction over ever more petty and inane bullshit (like some guy’s hat-brim being “too wide”, or suchlike).
Or, as the joke I’ve posted a few times now puts it:
The funniest joke
I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump. I ran over and said: “Stop. Don’t do it.”
“Why shouldn’t I?” he asked.
“Well, there’s so much to live for!”
“Are you religious?”
He said: “Yes.”
I said: “Me too. Are you Christian or Buddhist?”
“Me too. Are you Catholic or Protestant?”
“Me too. Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?”
“Wow. Me too. Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?”
“Baptist Church of God.”
“Me too. Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?”
“Reformed Baptist Church of God.”
“Me too. Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?”
He said: “Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915.”
I said: “Die, heretic scum,” and pushed him off.