In the past five years, the government has been interfering with how people are choosing to live on their own land and within their own home. Living off the grid is being judged by the system as “unlawful, and neglectful,” when those involved have children. It is a disgusting misuse of power on the government’s part, and it is now bleeding over into the very lives of people who have always lived off the grid so to speak. The older orders of the Amish still live very simple lives unconnected to any type of modern convenience per their religious beliefs which have always been and should always be respected as their First Amendment rights.
However, a Court Panel in Pennsylvania is now dictating that the Yoder family has to connect their home to the public sewer and electric systems. This is a clear violation of their beliefs and an even more clear violation of their rights as American’s.
According to the Western Journal :
An Old Order Amish family in Pennsylvania will have to abandon their religious beliefs and hook up their home to the public sewer system, a Commonwealth Court panel decided earlier this month.
The Yoder family abstains from using electricity due to their religious beliefs, especially when the public grid is the source of the power. Instead of the modern-day sewer system, the family uses an “old-fashioned privy” — an outhouse — that doesn’t require electricity or running water.
However, Warren County ordered the Yoder’s connect to the municipal utilities “without further delay,” an act that the Yoder’s have fought the city over because connecting to the public line requires them to also install an electric grinder pump, a device that directs waste away from their home.
As noted by PennLive, the Yoder family made an appeal in June 2016, sending the case back to county court to be further debated.
However, in early January, two of three Commonwealth Court judges agreed with County President Maureen Skerda’s assessment that the pump was the only practical option for waste removal, according to the York Daily Record.
This effectively forced the family to hook their line up to the public sewer system.
American government always has the heaviest hand for those who truly pose no threat. https://t.co/p7FCTtXDmL
— Paul Hair (@PaulHair1) January 9, 2018
A Pennsylvania state court has ordered an Old Order Amish family to use electricity and connect to a public sewer system — even though it violates their religious beliefs. https://t.co/kYIbQIAzE2 pic.twitter.com/RAlmkDXOIA
— Kat Murti (@KatMurti) January 10, 2018
Currently the Yoders use an outhouse devoid of both running water and electricity at their Sugar Grove Township home, according to Simpson’s majority opinion.https://t.co/7PHaAzFWSj
— Legal Intelligencer (@thelegalintel) January 11, 2018
Judge Robert Simpson referenced multiple instances when the Yoder family had previously used electricity and not received any backlash from their religious community, observed that the family had used power tools, cell phones and ridden in cars.
Senior Judge Dan Pellegrini agreed with Simpson on the matter.
However, Judge Patricia A. McCullough disagreed with the decision to force the Yoder’s to access the public system, citing the right the family has to uphold their religious beliefs without influence from the government.
“I believe (the Yoders) are being denied their rights to religious freedom,” she stated.
Sara Rose, a senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union shares this sentiment, arguing that the state could have fought harder to find a solution that didn’t infringe on the Yoder’s religious beliefs.
“They didn’t consider the other ways that the government could have achieved its ends,” Rose said.
She added her concern with the possible effects attached to the case, which is one that applies to the Pennsylvania Religious Freedom Protection Act.
It seems that the new theme in our country when it comes to the government run system is that of communism and slavery of an entire citizenship. We are not bound by anything but the law of the land which is literally very well written in the Bill of Rights as well as our Constitution. Our founding fathers provided precautions to protect us from governmental overreach and abuses such as this. No one can be forced to be hooked to the grid if it is within their beliefs not to do so. The First Amendment shouldn’t be infringed upon any more than the Second. The Amish have never proven to be a problem for anyone, and to start forcing them to do other than their religion tells them is something that our government has no right to do.
Thankfully, the second Judge seems to still be one of the people and did what was right in this case. But we have seen other American citizens jailed for refusing to connect to the grid as well as for being adamant in homeschooling their children which is also a God-given right protected by our Constitution. It is time we remind our judicial system of what they are actually here for and it is not to help provide the power company with more money made off of those who choose not to partake of the luxury.
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H/T [ The Western Journal ]