Friday, October 2, 2009

Worldly Rubber Hits the Road in Iowa.

From the Iowa Globe Gazette, David Namanny reports on a new law in Mitchell County that will prevent Old Order Amish and Mennonites from eschewing worldly rubber tires on their buggies and tractors.

The law will prevent the use of metal wheels on county roads because of the surface damage they cause. Conservative Anabaptists, including some Amish and Mennonite sects refrain from using rubber because they consider the material worldly and against their religion.

While county leaders say the law is not intended to single out the Amish or the Mennonites, several concerned Old-Order Mennonite farmers were at the meeting to express their concerns.

“We’re not sure what we are going to do,” said farmer Peter Nolt, who said Mennonites do not use rubber tires as it is not allowed in their religion. “We will have meetings and discuss the matter, but I think it’s going to cause some problems.”

The Anabaptists encounter another collision between religious freedom and modern concerns. Either they adopt rubber or leave Mitchell County, repeating the choice Mennonites, Amish and other Anabaptists have faced since their formation during the Radical Reformation in the Low Countries in the 16th century and which has scattered them far and wide in search of tolerance and freedom of religion.

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Blogger angela said...

Pointing out how materially contingent "religion" always is. And "freedom" for that matter. Hmmm.

October 2, 2009 at 12:23 PM  

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