This article is about a rogue Amish Sect under the leadership of Mr. Samuel Mullet Sr., carried out a personal vendetta on a conservative Amish group by breaking into homes and cutting off the beards and hairs of men. Beards are a sacred religious requirements for men. The courts are trying to categorize this as a hate crime.
I don’t believe this is reasonable at all. It seems like this rouge group could or would no longer conform to the strict Amish traditions and wanted to sway the community to a more liberal form of religious expression.
The victims “simply wanted to be left to practice their own religion in their own way in peace,” Steven M. Dettelbach, the United States attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, said in a news conference after the verdicts were announced. “The defendants invaded their homes, physically attacked these people and sheared them almost like animals,” Mr. Dettelbach said.
Mr. Mullet, 66, the founder of a community near Bergholz, Ohio, and 15 followers, including six women, were tried for their roles in five separate attacks last fall, involving assaults on nine people whom Mr. Mullet had described as enemies. The jury, which had no Amish members, heard three weeks of testimony and deliberated more than four days before reaching a verdict at midday on Thursday.
These people are hurt because they made a choice to go with tradition. Dictators and people who like to control others often find it difficult to accept defeat because they think too highly of themselves and their influence over others. This is what happens to autocratic regimes – people’s hurt egos turn into anger turn into destructive behaviours.
The testimony included an elderly woman’s account of her terror as six of her children and their spouses made a surprise late-night visit, with the men holding down her sobbing husband as they hacked off his beard and hair and the women cut her waist-length hair to above the ears as she prayed aloud.
This story is sad but is not unique to the Amish, stories of power and control happens all over the country from a wife in her own home, to dictator governments and religious leaders. The taste of power over people is sweet to those whose egos are frail and brittle. One has to be conscious when dealing with such mentalities. They are dangerous to democracy, to peace and unity and to a healthy community.