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Originally posted by Frogs
At times ATS has several threads going that bash Christians, eagerly predict the demise of Christianity, and expound with great vigor upon any defects of the religion and its followers, past, present and future.
But, this isn't one of those. At least I don't see it that it is.
Shakers did not practice procreation themselves. Children were added to their communities through indenture, adoption, or conversion. Occasionally a foundling was anonymously left on a Shaker doorstep. They welcomed all, often taking in orphans and the homeless. For children, Shaker life was structured, safe, and predictable, with no shortage of adults who cared about their young charges.
When Shaker youngsters, girls and boys, reached the age of twenty-one, they were free to leave or to remain with the Shakers. Unwilling to remain celibate, many chose to leave; today there are thousands of descendants of Shaker-raised seceders.
Shakers lived in "families," each family sharing a large house with separate entrances for women and men. A cluster of families constituted a Shaker village. Every family was designed to be self-supporting with its own farm and businesses, but in times of hardship, other Shaker villages pitched in to help the afflicted.