Threat To Remove Amish Homes Is An Unnecessary Blow To The 1st Amendment

Toledo, December 20, 2019 – The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) are concerned about the recent legal issues involving 14 Amish households in Lenawee County Michigan.

We do believe that laws that have a genuine secular purpose, such as health regulations, should apply equally to all people without regard to religious beliefs.

We also believe that when government agencies engage with religious groups like the Amish, that engagement should be done in a positive and helpful manner. Where strict religious beliefs conflict with practical regulations we would like to see an effort to accommodate the religious group while still getting the group to comply with the health laws in question.

The aggressive and antagonistic behavior of the Lenawee County Health Department is not the positive and helpful effort we want to see.

The Amish community has a long history in Ohio and we would think the people at the Lenawee County Health Department might look to see how Ohio health officials interact with the Amish here.

SHoWLE also agrees with Mike Ferner, founder and coordinator of the Toledo-based Advocates for a Clean Lake Erie, that Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in the Lenawee county pose more of a threat to the children than 14 outhouses in the Amish community.

Condemnation and removal of the houses seems like overkill and we feel the Lenawee County Health Department is wrong to use the threat over a small group of people who refuse to use technology and electricity.

We feel there is a better way to resolve the issue.

About Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie

The mission of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie is to provide a supportive local community for humanists and other nontheists, while promoting an ethical, reasonable, and secular approach to life through education, community service, outreach, activism, and social events.

We envision a Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan where secular people are respected and integrated in broader society, live values of reason and compassion, and enjoy a friendly humanist community.

Media Contacts

Douglas Berger – President

Shawn Meagley


For further background: Lenawee County sued over treatment of Amish residents