Religion: The Right to Be Different

In 1968 three farmers in New Glarus, Wis., refused to enroll their 14- and 15-year-old children in the local public high school. They were fined $5 each* for violating Wisconsin's compulsory-school-attendance law. A small case, but a crucial one. The three farmers—Jonas Yoder, Wallace Miller and Adin Yutzy—were Amish. They had kept their children out of high school as a matter of religious conscience, because the Amish eschew too much worldly knowledge. Total pacifists, they could not even personally fight the convictions; by the strict tenets of their faith, a court suit would violate...

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