The Lenawee County Department of Health posted signs on 14 Amish families’ homes in November condemning them as “unfit for human habitation” and filed lawsuits against 14 Amish families
County officials plan on demolition of the Amish families’ homes if a court grants permission, this would effectively banish an entire religious community from Lenawee County Michigan.
“The Amish community, which lives in accordance with their religious beliefs by abstaining from using electricity, hydraulic power, running water, and other modern technology, faces expulsion from Lenawee County as a result of lawsuits that local officials filed against them last month.
You can read more about this here: ACLU Sues To Stop Michigan County From Demolishing Amish Homes
The following are some examples of the Amish way of life.
Picture not of the old order Amish from Lenawee County Michigan who do not allow pictures taken of themselves.
You have never put up hay unless you’ve done it the Amish way! This is more than just a way of life, its their religious conviction to live a plain and simple life.
Why do Old Order Amish not like having their pictures taken?
“Old Order Amish and Mennonites forbid photography of their people, and their objection is based on the second commandment, Exodus 20:4: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth”.”
Barn Raisings are fun, with enough help a barn is built in one day.
Members of the Amish community help each other, and the whole community will work together to help a member in trouble. They do not accept state benefits or use insurance, but rely on community support instead.
Amish don’t use modern technology like refrigerators, so in some Amish community ice is cut from pounds, lakes or even creeks and put up in ice houses. These ice houses are used as refrigeration throughout the summer.
Usually its a community effort cutting and storing the ice.
The First amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Amish in New York are also finding themselves unable to freely practice their religion. In June of 2019 New York removed the religious exemption to vaccines. This essentially shuts down Amish schools.
Amish father Jonas Stoltzfus recently filed a lawsuit challenging the new law requiring students to be fully immunized against contagious disease. This petition was recently denied.
Stoltzfus’ opposition to the law was based religious arguments and his belief that “God made his children ‘right and good’ and to vaccinate his children is to lose faith in God,” the lawsuit states. It added he believes “to rely on a manmade solution would be an act of disbelief in the power of our God to heal and protect us.”
New York has decided to exercise its police powers rather than honor its free exercise clause and the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
The Amish came to America to escape religious persecution and have happily been able to freely practice their religion until now. The First Amendment is supposed to protect the freedom to practice religion as you choose, yet the Amish are finding themselves unable to do so.
More coverage on these matters to come.
Written by John Lamb and Ashley Crane