Liberation is a peculiarly American love. And these days it seems particularly beloved when the liberation is one from the tyranny of faith.
Mainstream culture prizes those who convert to secularism, the side of the thoughtful and the free. We read of their escapes””books in recent years include “The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance,” by Elna Baker, and “Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots,” by Deborah Feldman. And we watch their oppression by religion on movie screens and television”””Jesus Camp,” “Sister Wives,” “Big Love””and are relieved by the distance between their lives and our own.
And now we have TLC’s new series “Breaking Amish,” a reality show that follows the lives of five young Amish and Mennonite men and women as they “forgo horses and buggies for New York City’s taxis and subways.” The Hollywood Reporter lauded TLC for acting “not only as documentarian but as liberator.”