Does a septic system violate religious freedom?

In Harmony, Minnesota, religious freedom is running into a septic system.

KTTC reports that an Amish family had to go to court yesterday for building without a permit. Ammon Swartzentruber and his wife, Sarah, say provisions in the permit violate their beliefs.

Specifically, the permit would’ve required the family to install a septic system if there’s running water indoors.

“We never had to do it before and we don’t believe in changing,” Ammon told the station.

“It’s a new thing for us. In the 38 years that we’ve lived here it was our right to not have it,” said Jacob Swartzentruber, his father.

Amish beliefs discourage modern conveniences.


(h/t: Tyrel Clark)

  • joetron2030

    I’m confused about something that’s left unsaid in the source article. They weren’t going to put indoor water service in and so they felt they didn’t need the septic system?

  • KTN

    As a constitutional issue, it is a non starter. See Yoder, where the Court ruled on whether the state of Wisconsin could force Amish children to attend school after the 8th grade. The Court said no they could not force attendance due to the deeply held belief that the community is where the children should be educated, not in schools. They might lose at the lower court level, but if it moves beyond, I think the Amish have a pretty clear chance of succeeding.

    • rube

      Wonder if they would be allowed to not file their papers using ecf… as well.

  • Chris

    This claim for religious freedom makes a lot more sense to me than the successful claim made by Hobby Lobby.