Special Treatment For The Amish?

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An article in the Lebanon, Pennsylvania newspaper details how a local Amish church wants to build a parochial school (a pretty routine request)  But a local non-Amish man is claiming the township is treating the Amish with “kid gloves.”  Laughable.  In general, I find that many municipalities – if anything –  are tougher on the Amish than they would be on other groups.

The comment in the article that really got me, though, was:

“They update to skid loaders, cellphones and tractors. But we can’t ask them to hook up to the sewer? ”

It annoys me because it is THEIR religion. The Amish are “allowed” to do whatever they see fit to do within the framework of their faith.  If they deem it okay to use skid loaders, cellphones, etc, that is their business.   Some things that the Amish do that don’t make sense to outsiders do make sense perfectly to them and that’s okay.  Click here to read the article.

It sounds like the Amish have a pretty solid (no pun intended) sewage plan in place in this case.  I don’t defend the Amish at every turn.  When a group of Swartzentruber Amish in Pennsylvania were disposing of their school’s raw sewage by dumping it on surrounding farm field’s, I took issue.  But this sounds like someone just complaining for the sake of complaining.

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The Discussion


  1. I agree, sort of. I get a bee in my bonnet whenever government forces us to pay for services we don’t want. (i.e. the thousands of dollars we pay in school taxes every year for a “free” school system we will never use) I don’t think anyone should be forced to pay for a sewage system they don’t want. On the other hand, sewage disposal affects the whole community: contaminated ground water and all that. On the other, other hand, I know plenty of people who have been forced to pay for water lines that have been installed on their street, even though they are not connected to them.

    Having (now) read the article, it sounds like this man is just trying to pick a fight. He wants the board to force the community to *move* the location of their school so it would fall in a zone where they would have to connect to the town sewage system! Sour grapes.

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  2. The fellow has a right to his own opinion however, if what the Amish wanted to do with building the school went against the township ordinances they wouldn’t have received permission to do so. I have no problem with them wanting to have a septic system on site, bring their own water to the school, or extending their fence out by six feet. After the school house incident a number of years ago they could erect a fence twenty feet high and I wouldn’t bat an eyelash.

    The fellow in question sounds as though he has a bee in his bonnet.

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  3. Diana Haegele says:


    I read both articles and it seems that some folks just have to make waves
    when something is done that is different than their personal views. It seems
    that the Amish community building this school has thought of every phase
    regarding the water/sewage and have complied with all of the the township
    ordinances. So allow them to enjoy their school and their lives. Live and
    let live!

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