The Amish And The First Amendment

1413 words - 6 pages

When our forefathers were forming our new nation in 1776, they wrote the first amendment so that any religion, no matter what principles they are based on, would have equal rights in America. Opinions though, make the first amendment very difficult to be followed. People usually have one mind set, to follow what they believe and stereotype everyone else. “These stereotypes are the archenemies of learning” (Wagner 6). Learning is the basis of life. By stereotyping though, the less common religions, like Amish, are less noticed. Likewise, because people don’t know the truth, the Amish are misunderstood and judged for their religion. To really understand any culture, “it is necessary to ...view middle of the document...

They follow the rules completely with no swaying. If they are to become part of the outside world or fail to follow the rules and worship correctly, they become shunned and leave the community. Life is based on the same set of tight-knit rules. Uniformity is extremely apparent and gives all members a sense of identity (life in Amish community). This identity though, clearly distinguishes them from the outside world, obviously not helping the stereotypes that follow the word Amish. While the Amish avoid most of the conveniences of the 21st century, something that most outsiders have difficulty understanding, they are happy in their way of life.
Interaction with this outside world is very minimal. This is partially the reason that the Amish are misunderstood and judged by society today. James 1:27 in the bible it states to keep yourself unspotted from the world and the Amish interpret this as living on just the basics and nonconforming as much as possible (gotquestions). But Since families are so large and agriculture is dwindling, Amish families have had to start working in factories and other small forms of business in the outside world in order to support their families ( Amish country). The Amish tolerate the outside world only as much as they need too. From conservative clothing with as minimal ornamentation to courting at age 16, the Amish do it their way based on their religion and interpretation of the bible (OHC and Amish country). Life in an Amish community is reclusive and mysterious to the outside world.
In reality, the Amish lifestyle is very similar to our ancestor’s life about a century ago. It seems like everyone else has advanced has advanced while the Amish are oblivious to making any change at all. To this day, they still earn a living through agriculture (OHC). This is what they believe they are meant to do for a living. When farming got rough, the government decided to expand social security benefits to self employed farmers in order to help them. The Amish refused this help, stating that they support their own people. The Amish also refused to pay for any taxes from the government. This only angered the government and they fought back with foreclosing on unpaid Amish property. Finally realizing that the Amish were not budging on their principles, the government decided to exempt the Amish community from Social Security and Medicare. This is just one of the few examples of how the government has tried to work with the Amish, but had no cooperation from them.
Through the first amendment, the Amish are allowed to follow their religion without disturbance from the government. But when religion gets in the way of running the country, the government has to step in and change things. The Amish are misunderstood in the outside world and the government wants to fix this. During World War II, boys were being drafted and this included those in the Amish community. This principle goes against everything that...

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