The Amish community is one of the most recognizable and unique religious sects in the United States. They're known for their old-fashioned lifestyle and eschewing many modern conveniences, but do the Amish have identification?
This is one question that’s dominated online and offline discussions for years. In this article, we'll review the facts about Amish identification. We'll look at how this reserved religious group interacts with the government, what types of identification they may have, and how this impacts their everyday lives.
What this article covers:
The Amish and the Government
One of the most perplexing issues surrounding the Amish way of life is their relationship with the government. Some people believe that the Amish are too closed-off and private to have any relationship with the government. Others argue that the Amish are actually quite integrated with their local, state, and federal governments.
Amish and Taxes
Contrary to popular belief, the Amish pay state and federal taxes. This includes income taxes, public school taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and more. Additionally, the Amish may be subject to other local or state taxes depending on their location.
According to the Amish, taxes are a civic duty. Paying them is perceived as an act of obedience to the government and God.
The Bible even provides instructions for paying taxes. In Matthew 22:21, Jesus says, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s.” This means that citizens should pay taxes, regardless of their religious background. Therefore, when they sell their beautiful pie carriers, bread baskets, or vintage sewing baskets, they remit taxes to the government.
Social Security Numbers
While the Amish indeed pay taxes, they aren’t required to obtain a Social Security number. This is because the Amish reject many forms of modern technology and insurance, including social security benefits. Since the Amish don't receive Social Security benefits, they’re exempt from obtaining Social Security numbers.
Another interesting fact about the Amish is that many don’t vote. While this isn’t a rule of the church, it isn’t a common practice among members. Less than 10% vote during elections. The reasons for this vary, but they generally center around the idea that voting is seen as participation in government and politics. Both are discouraged by the church.
Amish And The National Anthem
Do Amish stand for the national anthem? Generally, the Amish object to saying any pledge of allegiance or singing the national anthem. According to Amish beliefs, loyalty to God should take precedence over any other loyalty or obligation.
Therefore, they don’t sing the national anthem or stand for it. This is seen as a sign of respect but also as an act of humility and deference to God.
Even though the Amish respect authority as instructed by the Bible, they don’t place any government before God. They believe in separation between the church and the state. Therefore, members don't serve in government commissions or receive subsidies from the government. In fact, the Amish got stimulus checks during the pandemic, but they wouldn't accept them because it goes against their beliefs.
Do the Amish Have ID?
In the past, the Amish didn't have government-issued IDs because they rejected having pictures taken. They see photos as graven images, and they don't want anything to come between them and God. However, in recent years, the Amish have been issued government-issued IDs. This is because some states now issue non-photo IDs accepted by law enforcement officers.
These cards aren't valid for voting or driving. They are mainly used to identify individuals in emergency situations or when they need to prove their identity.
The Amish are among the most misunderstood religious groups in the world. They're seen as living in the past, isolated, without modern technology or identification. In reality, this community is highly involved in modern society. They pay taxes that don't go against their faith, cooperate with the government when necessary, and obtain no-photo IDs in compliance with state laws.
All in all, the Amish are a religious community that works hard to respect both their faith and the government despite not participating in many aspects of it. Their way of life should be admired and respected, not judged.
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