With all the differences among the Hutterites, the common bond is that they live in Christian communities - as Anabaptists they believe in the teachings of the New Testament, one of which is community of goods as outlined in Acts chapter 2. This expression of faith is exercised daily, and witnesses who they are as a people. The Christian aspect of the Hutterite way of life is the key element that’s sadly absent on the first two episodes of ‘Meet the Hutterites’.
Subsequently, Hutterites are appalled by what has been shown on the series so far. True, there are glimpses of what we stand for, besides modest dress, but they are rather scarce. When portraying a Christian community, faith should be more visible than mere snippets, no matter what the general public wants to see, and what film producers and some media pay handsomely for to broadcast.
The main theme so far boasts defiance, disrespect, profanity, arguing and murmuring, highlighted by titles like ‘Harvest Party Scandal’ and ‘Battle of the Sexes’, and obviously staged to please the general public. No question, Hutterites deal with the same struggles as other people. However, is such representation of Hutterites accurate and fair or serve any real purpose?
I am proud to call myself Hutterite, thankful to be part of a Christian community that reaches beyond my home colony, and which has a rich spiritual heritage and history. Along with most other Hutterites, all I feel about this series is disappointment and hurt. Disappointed in the fact that the people at King Ranch chose to take part in a scheme that portrays Hutterites in a negative light and hurt because of the repercussions to follow, some of which we’ve experienced already, in hostile things people say against us, when we try to explain our stand against this kind of portrayal.
I don’t have anything against media doing features on Hutterites, as long as they are respectful and that what they’re presenting is accurate, well-balanced and not focused on their own agenda. Unfortunately, Colin Avenue Inc. and National Geographic failed miserably. There is so much more to Hutterite life than the dirt that has been aired thus far! The few positives that were captured are quite frankly, all but buried in the muck. Unless of course, the best is yet to come.
My heart goes out to the people of King Ranch as they temporarily lost focus of who they are, why they live communally and for naively allowing themselves to be swayed by a secular organization; subsequently misrepresenting an entire people. It’s rather late, but they have deep regrets and realize that the financial gains were not worth the humiliation this has cost.
In conclusion, the only reality in this show is, instead of a fatted calf, this ranch was left with an ailing steer, with no means to put it out of its misery. Hopefully though, all involved have lassoed some lessons, that will carry over to the next time someone wants to portray Hutterites.
(I welcome your thoughts... however, I draw the line on disrespectful and insensitive comments and they will not be published. Thanks for understanding!)
King Ranch Media Release of Dariusleut Bishop