An ongoing case in central Pennsylvania highlights this. Amish families have been evicted by court order from their homes and had one of their family members jailed because they refuse to comply with local sewage codes concerning their use of out-houses. From the Pittsburgh Tribune Review-
- "The Millers and other Amish in the ultraconservative Swartzentruber sect have reached an impasse in a clash of culture, religion and law with government agencies responsible for protecting public health and safety. Although two families were forced to leave their homes and one man has been jailed, the Amish say they aren't defending themselves because aggression, confrontation and violence — like the regulations they're refusing to follow — are against their religion." Link Here
I'm not a civil engineer but I would have some faith that a group of people that have lived off of their own wits and knowledge for the past 200 years would probably be pretty good at disposing of their own waste. The fear of poisoned wells is also a red herring- wells are typically hundreds of feet deep and unless the Amish are planning on holding rock festivals this summer, I can't see how the waste from two farm families and a small school could infect the water table.
It isn't about public safety. The safety card is what is always played by government to gain compliance. No, this is about the undbendning, unyielding power of the state immune to common sense and completely oblivious to the fact that it was created to serve the populace. To quote a county manager from the same article-
- Deborah Sedlmeyer, director of the Cambria County Sewage Enforcement Agency, said her agency cannot practice selective enforcement.
"They choose a simple life. That's OK, but they must do it legally," she said.
That quote should send shivers up the spine of free men and women everywhere. The implied message here is you can choose to live your simple life but you damn well better do it the way that we tell you to do it. Further on it the article we have a quote from a Sherrif's deputy that would have been thrown out as a defense at Nuremberg-
- Sheriff's deputies Jake Kehn and Clint Divido padlocked the empty barns May 15. Watching them from beneath the brim of his straw hat, Andy Miller, 5, scuffed clumps of mud with the duct-taped tips of his battered boots as he moved back and forth in a red Roadmaster wagon.
"We're just following court orders," Kehn told the boy's parents. "Good luck."
Just following orders. A defense as vile and empty as it was in 1945. The power of the state, at all levels, relies on the compicity of millions of faceless bureaucrats, managers, employees, law enforcement and countless others "just following orders." Just trying to make it to retirement, to get that pension and leaving common sense at the front door when they enter the office building. Fortunately for law enforcement in this case, the Amish are pacifists that accept the naked brutality of the state turning them out of their own homes with stoic resignation.
So young Andy Miller, as you sat in your wagon and watched the Sherrif's deputies padlock your parent's barns I hope you remember this day for the rest of your life. Your ancestors fled Europe to escape the oppression of the state. Unfortunately, it has finally caught up with you.