As many know, the Amish people are not permitted to use electricity based on their religious beliefs. But what do they do when the city’s sewer system includes an electric pump? Learn more at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.
Lessons about religious liberty come in some of the most remarkable stories.
For instance, a Pennsylvania town recently required its Amish citizens to hook into its public sewer system. Frankly, I never thought this would pose much of a concern, let alone a question of religious liberty. But, I was wrong.
It turns out the sewer system utilizes an electric pump. The Amish, for religious reasons, are not permitted to enjoy the modern conveniences of electricity. So, even though their outhouse is of the traditional, non-electric kind, the electrical pump of the public sewer taints the Amish privy. In fact, according to the documents filed with the court, the Amish family could be excommunicated from their religious community if they were to totally connect.
Now, this is a fascinating question. Clearly, the state has a compelling interest in ensuring the proper containment and flow of sewage, but is such an interest compelling enough to overcome the substantial burden hooking into such a system would place upon the religious liberty of the Amish?
It’s a tough question, but I’m thankful we live in a country that pauses to consider the impact something like a sewer pump might have upon the religious liberty of its citizens.
To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.