Wednesday, September 21, 2011

State of Kentucky V Amish Religion.

Good Afternoon:

I have been for some time following a story in our area newspaper and on the local TV station about a case involving a certain group of Amish men.

The Amish men have been running afoul of the law for driving their horse-drawn buggies on public roads without a "slow moving vehicle" placard attached to the rear of the buggy, as the law stipulates. They have, instead, outlined the rear of their buggies with reflective tape and also have placed a lantern on the rear of their buggies to warn approaching non horse drawn traffic of their presence.Their failure to obey the law, and refusal to pay a fine have thus far resulted in the jailing of several Amish men for varying periods of time, up to several days.

Now, I have, for a long time, admired the Amish for some aspects of their way of life, and their being self sufficient and caring for others of their faith in the case of a disaster such as a fire. I have also, in my mind, understood their avoidance of such things as Automobiles, while at the same time thinking that their way of life was not exactly a comfortable one, or convenient, in today's sense of the word.

I guess, in other words, I have recognized, while not agreeing with their way of life. A sort of live and let live state of mind.

However, in the current court case (which will undoubtedly drag on for a long time as such cases involving religion seem to do). This seems to me to be more of an argument than a legal infraction were it not for the "Danger" aspect of the case.

I really don't see the Amish gentlemen involved being willing to obey the law in this case, as they feel that displaying the mandated placard on their one horsepower vehicle to be "Prideful" and "Showy", while the law, in the person of the law officers and departments involved, can't back pedal, as, obviously, its the law.

Now, ordinarily I wouldn't give this case much thought, as it involves religion, on which subject I rarely like to proffer my view, as in that way"there be Dragons". But in this case involvements revolve around the aspect of "Risk to the public", and while I sympathize with the Amish, they cannot and should not be the winning team, as the public good and safety figures prominently. Not only are the Amish involved refusing to recognize the danger to the "Motoring public" but to their own women and children as well, and this cannot stand. It's O.K. with me if a person wants to risk his or her life in their various and sundry pursuits, but no one has the right to risk the life or well being of another through one's actions.

As I said in my opening, ordinarily I don't comment on Religion overmuch, but I cannot help but feel, that in this case, The Amish gentlemen, in a statement of principal, say that obeying the law is too prideful in their interpretation of their religious beliefs, while in actuality, I believe, that what the case is really about is their thinking that they know more about their interpretation of God's law then they really do, and is, in effect, prideful in itself.

I think, with little or no knowledge of the Law, that the simplest and perhaps ultimate solution, is for the State of Kentucky to pass a law stipulating that operating such a vehicle as is extant in this case, will result in the seizure of said vehicle, and returning it to the owner only after the correct placard is affixed and permanently displayed.

None of us are always in agreement of this or that law, but a civilized society demands that we adhere to the law anyway.This seems to me to be a Jim-Dandy basis for a good rousing argument, or preferably, a discussion, so chime in folks, I will enjoy the discourse and sure need a few more followers to keep my thinking cap on straight, and this blog, such as it is, at least reasonably neutral.

Gentlemen, start your horses!


1 comment:

JT said...

Matthew 22:21 says - Render unto Caesar things that are Caesar's. That is Jesus telling the disciples they must follow man's law while here on earth. I believe that you have it right. Everyone must follow this law for the safety of the general public.