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New York Supreme Court: Amish Can’t Can’t Exercise Religious Freedom Concerning Vaccine Exemption – Even In Their Own Private Amish School

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Published on: December 25, 2019

Somehow, I’m thinking the Amish are going to have to start arming up soon as the state continues to target them for their particular religious beliefs.  In the latest attack against the Amish, the New York Supreme Court has tyrannically ruled that they cannot exercise their own religious freedom and exempt themselves or their children from Big Pharma produced vaccines, even when they are attending their own private Amish schools.

Sean Walton writes on the background to the story:

Jonas Stoltzfus has three children, all unvaccinated, who attend the Cranberry Marsh school in Romulus, NY, a town between Rochester and Syracuse.

Amish father Jonas Stoltzfus recently filed a lawsuit challenging a new New York state law requiring students to be fully immunized against contagious disease.

Stoltzfus says he was informed that his three children will be blocked from attending their Cranberry Marsh School, a traditional Amish school in this Seneca County settlement of six church districts. All 24 students at the school are Amish.

Stoltzfus’ case was based on clear religious arguments:

Stoltzfus’ opposition to the law was based on his belief that “God made his children ‘right and good’ and to vaccinate his children is to lose faith in God,” the lawsuit states.

It added he believes “to rely on a manmade solution would be an act of disbelief in the power of our God to heal and protect us.”

However, the court seems to be completely ignoring the protections of the First Amendment in order to put its boot on the neck of Stoltzfus and his children, as well as other people whose conscience holds to the same beliefs as the Stoltzfus family.

First Freedom reports on the court’s decision.

On November 4th, only six days after oral argument, the Court in Seneca County denied an Amish Plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction of the religious exemption repeal law.

Judge Daniel Doyle’s bare-bones, elementary opinion is frustrating and disheartening (PDF below).  The glaring absence of any analysis of the plaintiff’s strongly-held religious beliefs shows an open and callous disrespect for religious freedom.  Shockingly, the Judge’s order does not even mention that the Plaintiff’s family is Amish, completely ignoring that the Amish are a religious sect which fled persecution in Europe seeking religious liberty in America which they enjoyed in NY for 242 years (1777-2019).  

In his opinion, Judge Doyle represents that he conducted a balancing test dictated by the Catholic Charities case.  However, he only weighed one side of the scale.  Despite a clear record to the contrary, Judge Doyle placed “the presumption that the Legislature has investigated and found the facts necessary to support the legislation” ignoring that the Legislature held no hearings prior to passing the repeal law.  Without any discussion of Plaintiff’s religious beliefs, the Judge concluded that “[t]he Plaintiffs have failed to meet their burden of clear and convincing evidence that repeal of Section 9 was an ‘unreasonable interference’ on their religious freedom.” This conclusion illustrates that Judge Doyle’s clear lack of understanding of the invasive nature of vaccination and an ignorance of the religious objections to vaccinations.  Judge Doyle appears to be blindly worshipping the religion of pharmaceuticals instead. 

As part of his decision, Judge Doyle denied the State’s request for a stay pending the outcome of Mr. Sussman’s case brought in Albany.  At a minimum, the courts in both Seneca and Steuben understand that these cases are not the same as Mr. Sussman’s case and therefore, all should be able to proceed independently to trial.  We agree with this aspect of the decision.

Attorneys James Mermigis and Kevin Barry will be re-arguing in Steuben County in front of Judge Wiggins on November 25, 2019.  Judge Wiggins, who clearly read and analyzed the full record before writing his opinion, concluded confidently that (1) “the legislative history, devoid of any committee hearings or substantial debate, suggests that the free exercise rights of its citizens was callously disregarded by the Legislature,” (2) the danger to the public has been “overstated”, and (3) “children not vaccinated because of a religious exemption make up less than 1% of the population, which hardly seems like a public health crisis.”  We look forward to visiting Bath, NY again.

The Repeal Law is unconstitutional as it violates the Free Exercise Clause of the NY State Constitution.  The pursuit of judicial recognition of this view, and a preliminary injunction which would allow 26,000 healthy children to return to school where they belong, resumes on November 25th.

Walton points out that New York law now requires K-12 Amish children to receive a combined 35 doses of 10 vaccines:

  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Pertussis
  • Polio
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Hepatitis B
  • Varicella (Chickenpox)
  • Meningococcal

“There is currently a bill in the NY Legislature to ad the HPV vaccine, for a sexually transmitted virus, to the mandatory school schedule,” wrote Walton

“The American Academy of Pediatrics has now joined the vaccine industry and announced that their number one priority is the removal of the religious vaccine exemption from every state in the US,” added Walton.  “Participation in the abortion industry is now required for full participation in public life, including Christian education, in five us states. New York, California, West Virginia, Mississippi, and soon Maine will require children to be vaccinated with aborted fetal cell line vaccines to be educated in both public and private Christian schools, and legislation is being presented to do so in more than a dozen states.”

Just last week, I reported on a Michigan county that is threatening to demolish more than a dozen Amish homes if they don’t give up their religious beliefs and moderize their homes and toilets.

Last year, a Pennsylvania court denied the Amish their rights protected under the First Amendment in their attempts to force them onto the grid.

And the Food and Drug Administration went after an Amish farmer who had hurt no one in producing and selling an all natural product, threatening him with 68 years in prison, more than most rapists and murderers get in this country.

The reality is that the beast of government believes it is now God and can do whatever it wants to do.  Until the people stand up to it and not flinch in the face of tyranny, and until others join them with the same resolve, knowing that this same beast will be knocking on their doors next, it will not end.

Do I believe God is against toilets, electricity, modernization of homes and technology?  No, but that is something that we deal with weaker brothers on, not the state.

In this matter, we are simply dealing with an issue of conscience that has no consequences for the actions.  In fact, the Amish are living very similar to our founders, in many ways.  Would the current state go after the founders for how they lived?  Probably.

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