Judge sends Kentucky Amish men to jail over fines

Judge sends Kentucky Amish men to jail over fines

MAYFIELD, Ky. (AP) – A group of Amish men were sent to jail in western Kentucky Thursday for refusing to pay fines for breaking a state highway law that requires their horse-drawn buggies to be marked with orange reflective triangles.

The men have a religious objection to the bright orange signs, which they say are flashy and conflict with their pledge to live low-key and religious lives.

Ananias Byler, the first of 10 Amish men due in Graves County District Court on Thursday, was sentenced to 10 days in jail. The men were jailed for being found in contempt of court for refusing to pay the fines. Byler told Judge Deborah Crooks Thursday that he would not pay the $489 he owes.

“I totally understand your objection,” the judge told Byler. “But you’re in violation, and it’s not up to me to change the law. It doesn’t really matter what I think about any of this.”

Full Story Here:
Judge sends Kentucky Amish men to jail over fines

OK, I think most anyone that knows me, knows this; I am not an overly religious person, I don’t push MY religious views off on others and I don’t appreciate having others push their views off on me. That said; I seem to remember this Bible verse, it immediately popped into my head when I read this story and saw how these Amish folks objected to the bright orange signs that violate their pledge to live low-key and religious lives.

And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him. ~ Mark 12:17

There are some laws that are in place to protect the people of the various states and are not in place to further the agenda of *Big Brother*. These bright orange reflective triangles are a SAFETY APPLIANCE, nothing more … and even when they are used by others in the Amish community, there are still read-end collisions between motor vehicles and these Amish buggies, resulting in the injury and death of a great number of people and horses.

I’m all for freedom of religion, and freedom FROM religion as well, but these buggies really do present a danger to the general motoring public, as well as the occupants of the buggy.

When my wife and I were still in business we were associated with a major Van Line that was based in Ft. Wayne, IN. That’s in the heart of Amish country. We saw, 1st hand, the way these buggies were used, and the hazard that they presented.

I am pretty sure that these buggies are not operated on the Interstate highway system in the areas where they are prevalent, but they are all over the place on city streets and county and state roads.

The men belong to a conservative breakaway group of Amish known as Swartzentruber. They live simply, with no electricity, plumbing or appliances. But in recent years they have been running afoul of the law for refusing to use the triangles on their buggies, and some were sent to jail last year.

The Amish men, wearing long dark coats on a snowy day in Mayfield, removed their black wide-brimmed hats before entering the courtroom. They sat quietly until their names were called.

I don’t imagine I will anger the Amish with this post, they don’t read blogs … do they?

Based on the experiences I have had with the Amish, they are a polite and civil group, they are great craftsmen, and a peaceful people, but there is a time and a place for everything, and where the safety of the citizenry is a real and legitimate concern, the Amish may need to re-think their beliefs and reference Mark 12:17 and consider the lives of their neighbors.

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13 Responses to Judge sends Kentucky Amish men to jail over fines

  1. BobF says:

    Fred, you hit the nail squarely on the head with that verse. Those Amish men can drive all day on their own property without triangles. They can basically do what they want on their own property but once they go onto Caesar’s Roads, they have to follow Caesar’s rules and laws.

    • TexasFred says:

      That was a favorite quote of my adopted Brother, a Minister and a retired Police Captain. As soon as I saw this piece I thought of him AND that quote.

  2. LoriA says:

    I’m sure, just like anything there are many fine Amish. My problems with them are two things. They are inhumane bastards to their animals, especially those horses they use on the roads and in their fields – I spend a great deal of time and money helping to save the ones they throw away for meat that have given their entire lives to their Amish masters. The Amish just dump them with killers – there is no humane connection with their animals and I find that absolutely atrocious and inexcusable.

    The other thing, at least when I have been present, they do not acknowledge our country. I get that they have a higher calling than we stupid mere mortals. However, I have been present when our flag was presented at events for the national anthem. Not only will they not stand, they will not even been quiet. They mill around and talk among themselves and totally ignore the very flag that gives them the right to be completely obnoxious. They are everywhere here. I get tired of their callousness towards animals and my country. Okay, I’m done now.

    • TexasFred says:

      I can’t argue one word Lori, AWESOME comment.

      And PLEASE, come back often, here it’s America 1st, honor this nation, our flag, our Police, Firefighters and troops and keeping the libbers in an uproar!

      You’ll fit in well! 😈

  3. Bob Mack says:

    So that’s why there’s no Amish in Florida…too many orange groves.

    From Wikipedia: “…statistics suggest that in areas where these groups exist, accidents involving buggies are more prevalent.”

  4. Katie says:

    The Amish should remember this verse too:

    Genesis 4:9 And the LORD said unto Cain: ‘Where is Abel thy brother?’ And he said: ‘I know not; am I my brother’s keeper?’

    The use of a safety triangle comes under Genesis 4:9. We all ARE our brothers keepers.

  5. Nothing or no one exists in a vacuum, and certainly there has to be some interaction with a surrounding community or even a nation itself. Completely insular won’t work in a western nation — not with the Amish, not with Islam.


  6. Bunkerville says:

    The Amish are getting hit constantly here is PA. Lancaster County has hundreds of them out on four lane roads. As for us, we need an inspection of our vehicle to be out on the road, but not for them. Even with the Orange, it is deadly.

  7. The Amish buggies are on the roads.

    Driving is a privilege — not a right.

    Therefore, the Amish should abide by the rules of the road. If they have religious objections to those rules, they should stay off the roads.

  8. I will stand by their right to their religious beliefs. As well as our right to jail them when needed. That said?

    In most states those buggy’s have the right of way, always, period. Just last month I damned near ran into one with my truck because I could barely see it in the late afternoon glare. I came very close to killing a man and his girls and that scared the bejesus out of me! Perhaps that close call would not have happened if there had been some sort of warning device on it.

    Frieghtshaker versus horse drawn buggy is like Volkswagon versus Union Pacific.

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