Iowa Supreme Court Sides With Mennonites

We've been talking about this case for years and I guess we'll continue to talk about it.  That's because Mitchell County, Iowa authorities have vowed to continue the silliness.  If you're new to this site here it is in a nutshell:  Mitchell County officials claim that steel-wheeled farm equipment used by the area's Old Order Mennonites cause damage to roads (I'd love to know how much money the county has spent litigating this and how much road repair that would pay for).  But after watching this case grind through the judicial system the past couple of years, the Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that the ordinance passed by Mitchell County is unconstitutional because it directly targets the Mennonites and their religious freedom. The Mennonites oppose the use of anything other than steel wheels claiming that rubberized wheels would be too big a step towards modernization.  In the wake of the ruling, however, Mitchell County has said that they'll continue to issue citations because they have since "tweaked" the statute to make it more able to withstand a court challenge.  Whatever. Read More…

Mexican Mennonites and Some Puzzling Pictures? (Bra? Unkapped?)

moretexas

I would love to visit the Mexican Mennonite settlements sometime. It's one of the last "plain places" that I haven't been.  Ironically the closest I've come to visiting them wasn't near Mexico, it was near Aylmer, Ontario.  That's where there is a large population of Mennonites who have returned to Canada from Mexican and brought some of their customs and culture with them.  As you all know, I am fascinated by plain communities and how they interact with the larger world around them.  In Mexico you have a very different surrounding environment, one that is much harsher, yet the Mennonite settlements have generally thrived.  The Amish have never been able to get a toehold in Mexico (not for lack of trying), but the Mennonites efforts have been more coordinated and concerted and that had made all the difference.  How many of you have crossed over to Mexico on the northern border?  Where did you cross?  I would love to go.....Rachel and I were in Brownsville, Texas in 2010 to visit the Amish settlement near Beeville and we were right up against the border fence, but, alas, we didn't go Read More…

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