Amish beard-cutting trial attracts international attention

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RNS photo by Marvin Fong/The Plain Dealer

RNS photo by Marvin Fong/The Plain Dealer

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CLEVELAND (RNS)  The law of God will collide with the law of man this week in a crowded federal courtroom in Cleveland, where 16 Amish defendants -- 10 men with full beards, six women in white bonnets -- will stand trial on charges related to a series of beard- and hair-cutting attacks against fellow Amish men and women last year. By James F. McCarty.

  • Gerald Shenk

    The “law of God” as interpreted through a single autocratic religious leader is not counterposed to the “law of man,” as your opening suggests. It is simply the “law of one man” versus the laws of humankind in general. We could wish that idiosyncratic beliefs and practices were not treated as if they belong to a religious category at all. Unfortunately, whole families and communities are impacted by this very sad and mistaken set of beliefs. Let justice roll down like a river; the land is parched and direly in need of it!