When it comes to whether the Amish have social security numbers, the answer is slightly more complicated than a simple yes or no.
We’ll explain exactly how it works, and explore the relationship between the Amish and the state. Find out about what laws do and don’t apply to the Amish, and the reasons behind that.
What this article covers:
- Are the Amish Bound by Law?
- Do the Amish Follow American Identity Rules?
- Do the Amish Have Social Security Numbers?
Are the Amish Bound by Law?
The Amish are isolated from regular society, but Amish people living in the U.S. are still American citizens and are still bound by the law.
There are some exemptions on religious grounds. One example of this is that because of the Amish principle of non-resistance, they cannot be drafted into the army.
Non-resistance is a form of pacifism and the Amish object to violence of all kinds. Instead of being placed in combat, if the draft were to return, an Amish person could be placed in a community service role.
These exemptions are not automatic, and Amish people have to apply for them based on religious grounds and membership in the church.
Do the Amish Follow American Identity Rules?
In short, yes, the Amish have to follow American identity rules, although there are certain exceptions.
There are certain peculiarities when it comes to Amish traditions, with a strong focus on history and tradition. This includes a legacy of woodworking that produces wooden bread boxes and also spans their issues with the national anthem.
Because of the Amish community’s insular focus on God, they take issue with how the American people treat the flag and the national anthem, feeling like it crosses over into worship that should be reserved for God.
As such, the question of do the Amish stand for the national anthem can generally be answered with no. They are not anti-American but are more focused on their own communities than the country as a whole.
Because of their private schooling system, and the fact that they only educate up to 8th grade, Amish children are less exposed to the national anthem, and more exposed to practical skills like making wicker sewing baskets.
Another example of this would be the fact that Amish children don’t recite the Pledge of Allegiance in schools.
Do the Amish Have ID?
Many Old Order Amish community members do not have a photo ID. This is because these groups object to being photographed. This has created problems in terms of establishing people’s identities.
Some states that have large Amish and Mennonite communities are looking into providing ID without photos, kind of like an Amish identification card. The focus on image is not in line with their religious values.
The Amish strongly focus on inner goodness and don’t care about external appearance in the same way most others do. That’s why they dress so plainly and modestly. They believe in covering up the body.
There are some interesting exceptions made for these communities. In fact, there has been a substantial concession made in the Amish and Mennonites do not have to provide a passport when traveling to Mexico and Canada, and can instead use an alternate form of identification.
When it comes to the Amish voter turnout, they usually abstain from participating in political activity. There are issues with voter identification when voting.
The Amish believe very strongly in the separation of church and state, and don’t generally vote in presidential elections. Because they exist in small, largely self-governing communities, they are not overly invested in national politics.
Amish people are much more likely to vote in local elections or on specific local issues, like land regulations.
Do the Amish Have Birth Certificates?
Within the Amish community, babies are normally born at home. This is because of tradition and a desire to be separate and self-sufficient from modern society.
The Amish aren’t completely anti-medicine and will go to the hospital in serious cases. However, they try to avoid it as much as possible and tend to avoid preventative care in favor of home remedies.
Because Amish babies are normally born at home, most Amish people don’t have birth certificates, as these are normally given out in hospitals. It’s possible for Amish people to apply for a birth certificate later in life, as they may need one.
You would need to provide documents such as records from an Amish directory and your baptism records. If people decide to leave the church, they’re restricted until they obtain legal documentation.
The reason that Amish people don’t need these kinds of documents is that they exist so entirely within their own communities. They’re largely self-sufficient and have no need for recourse to the state.
This is seen in the fact that the Amish seldom use the legal system unless they are fighting for their community against another entity. Instead, they resolve disputes within their community.
While the Amish don’t generally have birth certificates, there are records kept within the church. This includes records of births, baptisms, marriages, and deaths. Because of their lack of engagement with technology, these records are still kept by hand.
There’s no database that collects these different records, so each community keeps its own record repository.
Do the Amish Have Social Security Numbers?
While the Amish are governed by the law, they don’t want to have social security numbers. However, they do get one when they join the church as an adult.
Because the Amish come from the Anabaptist tradition, they believe that you should be baptized as an adult when you’re fully able to consent. Once they receive their social security number they can then file for an exemption.
Amish Paying Taxes
Once they’re granted the exemption, they no longer pay social security taxes. If you’re wondering whether the Amish pay taxes, the short answer is yes.
They still pay income tax, sales tax, property tax, and public school tax (even though they don’t attend public school). However, they don’t have to pay social security tax for religious reasons.
One situation where the Amish would have to pay social security taxes would be if someone outside of the church employed them. However, based on the Amish lifestyle, this isn’t a very common occurrence.
This also answers the question of “do Amish people receive stimulus checks” because those who don’t have social security aren’t eligible to receive stimulus checks.
If you’ve ever wondered “Are the Amish communist?”, the answer would be no. They aren’t in favor of a state focused on social benefit programs.
Amish And Insurance
This means that they cannot claim social security or Medicare. The reason behind this is that the Amish view insurance as a lack of faith in their community.
They believe that their community will come together to look after each other if something goes wrong, and therefore that there’s no need for insurance. Insurance is seen as insulting to the community.
With this strong focus on community is also a deep reverence for tradition. The Amish refuse social security because they have always done so, and they pass down this legacy of care.
Something else they pass down is a tradition of basket weaving, and you can get stunning wicker picnic baskets that evoke history in their style and how they are made.
Most Amish people don’t have formal jobs or are self-employed within their community. That’s one of the reasons we started Amish Baskets, to allow the rest of the world to see the beautiful creations of the Amish and share Amish-crafted wicker hampers or pie carriers.
There’s always a risk of these traditions dying out because of a lack of support.
It’s important to know that the Amish don’t believe that technology is evil, and rather believe that it isn’t necessary for life. The more technology you use, the further you drift from natural living.
One example of this would be lightbulbs. Using them allows you to shift your waking hours to continue to go about your regular life during the night. The Amish do use candles and lanterns, but they try to follow the natural rhythms of the day and seasons.
With social security numbers, they’re seen as unnecessary to the Amish people, as they focus on their community, rather than their position as U.S. citizens.
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