Skip to comments.Traffic Ticket to Amish Man Spurs Fight on Religion
Posted on 06/11/2002 6:29:08 AM PDT by xzins
Traffic Ticket to Amish Man Spurs Fight on Religion ...
When the Pennsylvania state police stopped 22-year-old Jonas Swartzentruber, of an ultra-plain sect of the Old Order Amish, the officer ticketed him for not having an orange and red reflector triangle on his buggy's rear as night fell. According to a report in The New York Times, Swartzentruber, "arguing instead for a red lantern and plain gray strips of light-reflecting tape, quietly set a new course across the land, one that landed him in jail for three days."
The case has since sparked a constitutional fight. Swartzentruber refused to pay a $93 fine for not displaying the reflective triangle that Pennsylvania requires for slow vehicles. According to The News York Times, he considers "the gaudiness of the colors and the symbolism of the triangle a grave violation of the ordnung," the unwritten rules governing his sect. The group is considered to be one of the most "stringent" among Amish groups "devoted to different interpretations of the biblical call in Romans 12:2 to live symbol-free and plain and not conformed to this world."
Donald B. Kraybill, a sociology and religion professor at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., is an expert on Amish congregations and breakaway sects. For the 180,000 Americans who are members, the Amish buggy has become "an implicit religious symbol, signifying rejection of the automobile and other worldly trappings," said Professor Kraybill, who was a witness for the defense. "They have very serious objections to what looks to them like a symbol of the outside world being forced upon their sacred object."
The issue becomes the government's responsibility to enforce highway safety versus a right to practice religion, i.e., a "religious stance" by a well-known strict religious sect.
I wonder if the lantern can be seen as far away at night as can the triangle? It seems like the man was trying to accomodate safety.
I can see the objection to the triangle - with obvious references to pyramidology - most notably JW's -
Charles Taze Russel is in fact buried underneath one.
Does it tell you anywhere on the pyramid that Russell was raised as a Calvinist? He was a Congregationalist.
"Fruit" doesn't fall far from the tree...
Actually, if I remember correctly, Russell left the Presbyterian church (it could have been Congregationalist), because he disagreed with predestination and eternal punishment. You see, in the history of the church, the rejection of God's Sovereignty is usually the first step into greater apostasy.
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