Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ain't That the Shizzle?

I guess the liberals only protect the religious freedom of those "preferred" religions, like Islam...

Amish Men Say They Won’t Pay FIne or Appeal Outhouses Offenses

The Tribune-Democrat

HASTINGS Two Amish men were convicted Thursday of summary criminal offenses for having two unpermitted outhouses at a Barr Township school and for dumping the waste illegally.

Landowner Andy Swartzentruber and Sam Yoder, an elder in the Amish sect in charge of the school, were fined $1,000 each, plus costs, by District Judge Michael Zungali. The judge warned them that they would face up to 90 days in jail unless they paid.

Swartzentruber and Yoder, who represented themselves at the hearing, said they would neither appeal nor pay.

If no appeal is made, Zungali said he will set up a payment plan. If no payment is made, Zungali then could impose the jail sentence, which also could be appealed to county court.

The charges were filed by the county sewage enforcement agency, which said the outhouses use buckets instead of a tank that is legally emptied, and the raw waste is being dumped onto farm fields.

The defendants, members of the ultraconservative Swartzentruber sect, said the requirements violate their First Amendment rights to freedom of religion.

Officials contend accommodations can be made but that the defendants had not cooperated.

For example, the state allowed an Amish sect to use a hydraulic pump instead of an electrical pump to remove the waste.

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