Tonight, PBS’s American Experience is airing a documentary called The Amish: Shunned. It tells the story about those who leave the Amish community only to be “shunned” or socially ostracized from their communities when they attempt to come back. Here is an eight-minute clip from the film.
An Amish man received two years probation yesterday for leading police on a car chase at speeds of 120 miles per hour.
Sylvan M. Stoltzfus pleaded guilty yesterday to charges he drove away from police in Dauphin County after they attempted to pull him over for having an obscured license plate. (Hmm. I would have thought it was, “For being a person in Amish garb driving a car,” though that’s not illegal.) The chase began on Route 209 near Elizabethville and went for about eight miles before Stoltzfus crashed into a parked car near the Millersburg post office.
Now it’s true that your humble writer grew up among Mennonites, and thus has a warm feeling for the Amish community in Lancaster County. It’s also true that your humble writer thinks animal cruelty is perpetrated by bullies and other low-down types. So you can imagine how your humble writer feels about news that a horse was killed Monday night in a drive-by shooting that targeted an Amish buggy.
Pretty cranky, is how.
This is from a few days ago, but caught our attention. Why? Because the headline features AMISH and OBAMACARE, The two most polarizing topics in 21st century America. Here’s the rub: The Amish have been allowed to opt out of the law’s individual mandate to buy health insurance.
“A little-known provision of the law with its roots in a 1950s battle over Social Security exempts [Mennonite and Amish communities] from the individual mandate, an element of the Affordable Care Act that requires most Americans to purchase health insurance by January or face tax penalties.”
Of course the Amish are exempt from the mandate because of a “little-known” 60-year-old provision. Why can’t the rest of you be exempt? Because the Amish already have a functioning health care system of their own.
“While practices vary by community, most Amish fund their health care through a system that merges church aid, benefit auctions and negotiated discounts with local hospitals, promising quick cash payment in exchange for lower rates.”
Amishcare: Only 2 hours from Philly!