Pardon if this has been discussed before. The story’s a year old, and I searched on “Amish” and “hate crime” here but found nothing.
The AP recently ran an article on a group of Amish believers being sent to prison on hate crime charges.
They detained and assaulted fellow Amish members, cutting off their beards and hair, on allegations of the victims straying from the true faith.
It’s my understanding that the victims refused to press charges, and that’s when the government stepped in. Because the attack was religiously motivated, they perpetrators were charged with, and ultimately convicted of, hate crimes. They’ll now be spending up to fifteen years in federal prisons.
I’m trying not to be alarmist here, but how can someone commit a hate crime against another member of his own religious group?
If two Baptists get into it after church one Sunday, it’s misdemeanor assault. But if they were fighting over some sermon point, does it suddenly become a hate crime? Has religious belief suddenly become a prosecutable offense?
Am I being alarmist?