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Amish Beard Cutters April 25, 2012

Posted by Ubi Dubium in Humor, Rants.
Tags: , , ,
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I’m not really sure how to respond to this:

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/01/twelve_in_alleged_amish_hair-cutting_ring_plead_no.php

The twelve are accused of attacking fellow Amish as retaliation for a decision to overturn a series of excommunications dealt out by Sam Mullet. Mullet, who formed the breakaway Bergholz Clan in 1995, allegedly orchestrated the string of break-ins and assaults, which involved forcibly cutting victims’ hair and beards, symbols of faith in the Amish community.

Amish attacking other Amish?  Cutting their beards?

(My spouse and I were trying to come up with an equivalent type of assault for another religion, one that would cause a similar level of emotional distress without causing any permanent harm.  The best we came up with was if a group of fanatic muslim women went around tearing burkas off of other women that didn’t measure up to their modesty standards.  Not that I’ve ever heard of that happening.)

Members of a crazy religious sect attacking people over the beliefs of their sect does not surprise me at all.  That’s the kind of thing that religion routinely inspires. But should this be a Federal hate crime, since it happened within a single religion?  I’m thinking probably not.  If this counts as a hate crime, then all the awful things believers do to each other because of their religions would have to be escalated up to Federal cases, and I’d rather not see the Federal government get entangled in that.  I’m not settled on that answer yet, I’d be open to hearing reasons why this should qualify as a hate crime.

But somehow this is also just funny.  Another story I read on the case mentions that the attackers used “battery powered clippers” for the haircuts.  What?  They also got someone to drive them to the house of the “victims”.  One group of Amish is assaulting another group for not following some rule, and the attackers are using batteries and cars!  The Amish are often portrayed as being somehow more special and peaceful than other religious groups, but here they are being jerks and hypocrites, just like everybody else.

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