Holy crap – Amish-style!

A WESTERN Pennsylvania Amish farmer who insists he has a “religious” right to dispose his sewage on neighbouring fields, has been jailed for 90 days.

Cambria County Judge Norman Krumenacker said he respected Andy Swartzentruber’s religious beliefs but had no choice but to sentence him to jail and fine him $1,000 for being in contempt of court for disposing of the sewerage from two outside toilets in an irresponsible manner

Said the judge:

Quite frankly, this is not a religious issue.

According to this report, he also ordered the Amish school and outhouses on Swartzentruber’s former property padlocked. About 18 children attend the school.

Deborah Sedlmeyer, executive director of the Cambria County Sewage Enforcement Agency, said her office just wanted compliance, not to see Swartzentruber sent to jail. But she said of the sentence:

It’s a victory for the environment and public health; it was never an issue of religious freedom.

Swartzentruber said little when brought before the judge. About a dozen other Amish men and women sat in the gallery. But he did make clear that:

I will take a stand for my religion. If I don’t, it could destroy the whole church group.

A district judge last year convicted Swartzentruber and church elder Sam Yoder of one count each of failing to obtain a proper permit and discharging untreated sewage into the ground.

Waste from the outhouses had been collected in plastic buckets, then dumped onto fields. Citing state regulations, the county had demanded the Amish install a holding tank and contract with a certified sewage hauler for disposal.

The privies cited in the initial violation were been torn down, but new ones erected last September still don’t follow regulations, county sewage officials said.

Yoder testified that his community was willing to pay for a permit, but wouldn’t allow soil samples to be taken by the county or a certified scientist, which is required for a permit. He cited religious beliefs as a reason for not permitting the soil samples but didn’t elaborate.

The Swartzentrubers branch of the Christian Amish sect, according to this report, only number only about 8,000, or fewer than 5 percent of the roughly 220,000 Amish in the US.

While all Amish shun the modern world, the Swartzentrubers are known for their more extreme opposition to technology and contact with the outside world.

NOTE: When we were looking for a picture to illustrate this report, we stumbled on the one below at this site. This beautiful Photoshop creation says it all about the Amish.


Hat Tip: Paul Edmonson

16 responses to “Holy crap – Amish-style!”

  1. remigius says:

    The Amish are not the only religious group who think they have a god given right to spread their shit around.

    Do I get a prize for the most predictable comment of the day?

  2. Neuroskeptic says:

    Not if I can help it, remigius. Er…

    “From religious bullshit to religious human shit, whatever next?”

    Beat that!

  3. Alun says:

    If they weren’t such technophobes they could ferment their effluent in a digester and get useful biogas for cooking/heating/lighting. The remaining sludge is much safer than raw sewage and makes excellent fertiliser that could legally be spread on their fields. The Chinese have done this for years. You get all these benefits while still living “off grid”.

    What Swartzentruber did is about the same as defecating while riding a pogo stick. Primitive git.

  4. TONY E says:

    remigius/neuroskeptic – I’m afraid your jokes are crap. (sorry, thats the best I can come up with!)

  5. quedula says:

    I quite liked it remigius. Please don’t give up.

  6. Talitha says:

    They are clearly getting their Dung mixed up.

    Ezekiel 4:15 clearly states:
    Then He said to me, “See, I am giving you cow dung instead of human waste, and you shall prepare your bread over it.”

    Of course, what they should be doing is baking Dung Bread which is covered earlier in that Chapter:
    Ezekiel 4:12
    And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight.

    I hope that helped y’all.

  7. Michael says:

    Has that photo been doctored or can Amish horses really fly?

  8. chrsbol says:

    You either fly neddy or gallop around in that shit all day!

  9. Dr William Harwood says:

    I wonder how many people realize that, in terms of what the psychopathic, bald-headed, hunchbacked dwarf Jesus taught and what his communistic Nazirite cult taught, he was for all practical purposes an Amish–with the exception that the Nazirites were practising Jews, not in any sense Christians.

  10. Stonyground says:

    This item was really funny. At least the Amish have the honesty to live in the past unlike certain Muzzies who sort of want to live in the past but take advantage of modern technology as well.

    Totally off topic but the recent influx of Godidiots, you have to admit, have made the discussions a bit more lively. Although they do become repetative and somewhat acrimonious after a while. hell even our side has started using statements in capital letters. One thing that the recent discussions have proved is that, with a nod to Dr. Harwood, these people are unteachable.

  11. Broga says:

    Stonyground. No need for teaching when they know it all already. I think it was H.L.Mencken who had some fun reporting the “monkey trial” when one of the main religious nutters said that anyone who had read the bible knew more science than all the scientists in the USA.

    The Godidiots are driven off other sites (Lily, for example) and they have to find some opposition, some underpinning, to deflect the awful sense that they are irrelevant. Why they don’t decamp to the religious nutter sites I don’t know – or maybe I do. Here they feel that they meet with educated, intelligent opposition. Lily probably feels rather proud that she “engages” Dr Harwood in debate.

    I think we need to keep our sense of the ridiculous with these clowns.

  12. Shargraves says:

    I became a dad on tuesday – and I have been given a hilarious catholic baby record book from a well-meaning but clearly mistaken relative!

    It has space to write in dates for baby landmarks such as baptism christening first holy communion.

    Didn’t have a box to record the date of his first molestation or bumming by a priest or first punishment beating from a nun – dissapointing….

    Its also decorating in tasteless watercolour illustrations of glowing headed caucasians in period costumes – that clearly date from the 1950s…. Its truly ghastly to behold!

    Seems Xtians have no aesthetic taste – they dress their offspring in gormless clothes, rainbow like colours – and even the ones that try to be “cool” and “modern” – down with the kids – are truly cringe-worthy too –

    They truly waste their lives blathering about garbage – when if they had put all those accumulated hours of praying, religious education (an oxymoron) etc.. aside they could have learned something useful – like social skills, style, taste and personal responsibility!

  13. Buffy says:


    Congratulations on the new baby. And have fun with the “baby book”. 😉

    If you want to really torture yourself visit some of the “Mormon mommy” blogs. The designs are garish enough to blind you. As if that’s not enough, you’ll read about every barf, poop and burp from little Alma, Bryson, Krystla, Jarrek, Jenica, Raydon and Trane–complete with corresponding photos. If you can believe it, they’re whining that they’re not taken as seriously as their counterparts in the “Bloggernacle” (what they call the Mormon blog collective)–you know, the ones who discuss science, politics and other such matters. I wonder why that is…

  14. Alun says:


    Congratulations on your fatherhood.
    When’s the christening………

  15. Shargraves says:

    Alun – I believe its booked for when reality freezes over… :o)

  16. Godless not gormless says:

    Congrats Shargraves!