NY Judge: No Religious Vaccination Exemption For Amish

Amish father Jonas Stoltzfus recently filed a lawsuit challenging a new New York state law requiring students to be fully immunized against contagious disease.

Stoltzfus says he was informed that his three children will be blocked from attending their Cranberry Marsh School, a traditional Amish school in this Seneca County settlement of six church districts. All 24 students at the school are Amish.

Amish School Seneca County

An Amish school in Seneca County. Photo by Tom in NY

Stoltzfus’ case was based on clear religious arguments:

Stoltzfus’ opposition to the law was based on his belief that “God made his children ‘right and good’ and to vaccinate his children is to lose faith in God,” the lawsuit states.

It added he believes “to rely on a manmade solution would be an act of disbelief in the power of our God to heal and protect us.”

A state Supreme Court Justice has now denied Stoltzfus’ legal challenge to temporarily stop the law:

Supreme Court Justice Daniel Doyle ruled that the state has the authority to require vaccinations to protect public health, citing prior appeals court decisions. He also rejected the lawsuit claims that the new law should be halted because it violated religious rights’ protections in the state constitution.

“Put another way, the free exercise clause of the New York Constitution would yield to a valid exercise of the state’s police powers,” Doyle wrote in the order on Tuesday.

Though it’s been a couple of days since this news emerged, it’s possible Stoltzfus doesn’t know about it yet. He communicates with his attorney on a weekly call.

It may they will still proceed with the suit, as they also seek to overturn the law, and the judge has “left the door open” for its continuation.

Measles Outbreak Over, But Legal Implications Remain

Outbreaks of diseases preventable by immunization occur in Amish communities, sometimes repeatedly (see, for example, the Dover, DE community).

This garners different responses – including education and vaccination campaigns that see differing levels of Amish response.

New York has taken a legislative approach to this public health issue. Another prominent Plain religious group in the state – Orthodox Jews in NYC – was at the epicenter of the issue after a nearly year-long measles outbreak.

The NYC outbreak, mainly concentrated in Orthodox neighborhoods in Brooklyn, was declared to be over in September, following over 600 reported cases since October 2018.

Regardless, the effects are now being felt by the state’s significant Amish population (20,000+) due to passage of the new law.

New York is home to 57 separate Amish settlements. This isn’t the only community where potential conflict has been reported.

Cattaraugus County, where the state’s largest community is found, is another place where the Amish community’s lack of vaccination has raised issues.

In that case, it affected the transportation of Amish children in school buses along with non-Amish and presumably vaccinated children.

I do wonder what will come of Jonas Stoltzfus’ suit. Do public health concerns justify invalidating religious convictions regarding vaccination?

I could see where this would be more an issue if the Amish children were attending public schools and mixing with non-Amish children, or using public buses (as in Cattaraugus County).

But if all the children in the Amish-run school are unvaccinated, and the parents are all presumably okay with that, it seems the Amish would have a stronger argument.

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    1. Boyce Rensberger

      Applying logic

      The argument offered against vaccination would also seem to prohibit many actions that most Amish take routinely, such as bandaging a wound. Or availing themselves of many other forms of health care.

      1. moishe kahan


        There is a BIG difference between, healing a man made injury, and preventing a natural illness.

      2. So what about me as a 70 year old who never had a vaccine. Do I have to be vaccinated to drive on the bus or can I sit at the back? Will I “infect children or adults? Logic is whatever suits whoever wants to make laws to make money but informed consent and the constitution protect us all from forced vaccination with unsafe and toxic ingredients. The NY legislature remind me of communist or nazi states

        1. PEGGY


      3. PEGGY


    2. Emily S

      They need to get out of New York

      Vaccines are toxic. If anyone has seen the trailer for Vaxxed 2 People’s Truth on You Tube, it will show you what vaccines do to children. They need to leave New York. Bill Gates and the other globalists want to use vaccines to depopulate the planet. See GlobaistAgenda.org, especially the section titled, “End Game.”

      1. Bill Rushby

        A Conspiracy Theory

        Emily S: We should not play Russian Roulette with children’s health and well-being, based on a silly conspiracy theory.

        1. Geo


          A conspiracy theory as I understand it is a theory that has no legitimacy because it is not supported by evidence. There is plenty of evidence that vaccination is toxic and in point of scientific fact, vaccines contain toxic ingredients, (like aluminum for example), for the purpose of provoking an immune response. So what is the conspiracy?

        2. Tammy Bowman


          I have MS from the Hepatitis b vaccine. No human being should be mandated to receive a potentially lethal injection. No human should be mandated to sacrifice a healthy neurologic system for temporary immunity, if any, against a germ they may never encounter.

          The states position is in conflict with the RIGHT of the INDIVIDUAL to SUE VACCINE MANUFACTURERS when their dangerous drugs cause disease or death.

          Vaccines have destroyed natural herd immunity. Overuse of vaccines cause new strains of disease, such as the S gene mutation of hepatitis b, a new viral entity.

          A childs neurologic system isn’t mature until after puberty and caution should be exercised when drugging a child with vaccines which may interfere with proper neurological development. In other words, it is safer to have measles than brain damage from vaccines for the vast majority of children. This is common sense.

        3. Audrey J Gregis

          They Found UNPUBLISHED Trials

          You might want to flip through this information that was NEVER disclosed. Robert F. Kennedy found it and filed to have it released.

      2. Geo

        truth and fantasy

        Well, vaccines are toxic, period. That’s fact, not conspiracy, not silly, and it’s delusional to deny it. I wish you hadn’t discredited yourself by adding the proposition that Bill Gates wants to depopulate the world. That’s a silly conspiracy. It may be true for all I know, but it can’t be substantiated with any facts I’m aware of. Let’s grant that he’s trying to do good though his method may be less than 100% perfect.

      3. Bill Rushby

        The Old Order Amish and New York Statement

        Roy Weaver, Daniel Weaver’s father, got asked by several people why he planned to move from Ohio to New York State. They asked specifically “is it the high taxes or the snow in NYS?” In his case, I believe that kinship considerations were decisive!!

        One of our discussants in this thread claimed that the Amish need to leave NYS. In point of fact, they are moving in large numbers rather than moving out!

      4. jill

        exactly.. vaccine ARE NOT SAFE, NOcurrent studies have been done in over 32 years. They are toxic, contain things that should never been taken, injected into our bodies. The Propaganda surrounding MMR and Measles is just that, lies and scare tactics. I’d live in an Amish community any day of the week..! Leave these people alone, and the Orthodox Jews too…as I am Jewish and I don’t believe in these vaccines, and I have a medical background! stop THE INSANITY OF THE MONEY GRUBBING NWO/GLOBALISTS…stop it now.

      5. Lex

        No place is safe - time to take this all the way

        This needs to go to the U.S. supreme court. This is against the Nuremburg code too.

        Mandatory/Forced Vaccinations a Blatant Violation of the Nuremberg Code


        1. Jeff Baker

          Where is your favorite Amish community?

          Lex – Where is your favorite Amish community? When did you last go there? I am closet to Dalton, Wisconsin and like to stop at Mischler’s country store.

    3. Habitatman

      value of herd immunity

      Our Amish friends and neighbors most likely don’t realize that we English provide a certain degree of immunity to their community. Fortunately for them we have most of the surrounding population vaccinated. This “herd immunity” necessarily weakens if the UN-vaccinated population increases.
      see: The term “herd immunity” refers to a means of protecting a whole community from disease by immunizing a critical mass of its populace. Vaccination protects more than just the vaccinated person.

      1. JILL


        NOW THIS IS A JOKE..! There is NO herd immunity, just that its a lie and scare tactics to get people to vaccinate. Herd immunity will and can NEVER HAPPEN…EVER, it’s not how the immune system works..please people, read, educate yourselves before buying into herd immunity. Pick up a book on immunity or an Anatomy/physiology book, and read it.

        1. Habitatman

          to much ignorance --what "news" sources do anti-vaccine people utilize? so sad

          To all anti vaccine folks out there — So when a vaccine is developed for Covid 19 make certain you don’t get it — and don’t worry about you and your loved-ones (please spare the children) going to some Trump rallies–(no masks please).
          Since you know you’re right and have unlimited wisdom, you should not take this as being mean-spirited. (retired BSRN)

          1. Stephanie Berkey

            Habitatman,is it your perspective that certain beliefs will spread the virus, like by not getting vaccinated, going to rallies, and not wearing masks? And since you don’t like those rally’s, and are frustrated at the beliefs of those who may attend, your suggesting actions that in your view will spread it and kill those you don’t agree with? Just want to make sure I understand your true spirit here. Please correct me if I got that wrong. Any chance what you see as good for your family might not be for everyone else?

      2. Sarah

        Herd immunity is false immunity

        It is absolutely untrue about herd immunity amoung vaccinated people. When 60% of the adult population is unvaccinated there is no way vaccine herd immunity exist.

      3. Tammy Bowman

        Vaccines destroyed herd immunity

        Vaccines have destroyed herd immunity. Overuse of vaccines causes new strains of disease. Vaccines cause autoimmune disease, seizures, and death. Vaccines are unacceptable outdated unreliable unproven toxic poisons that offer little to no benefit and substantial health risks to the vast majority of people. There is no evidence that any vaccine has prevented any disease ever. Bring back vaccine manufacturer liability. Demand justice for vaccine injury victims.

    4. Geo

      It sounds like the ruling is that required vaccination is within the state’s police power. That leaves open an issue of whether in this case it is a proper exercise of that power. The glaring fact that the school’s enrollment is 100% Amish suggests that the requirement violates more than religious rights. There is a fundamental right to be left alone, arguably protected by the SUBSTANTIVE due process guarantee in the Constitution. Substantive due process requires that a law must make sense and a case can certainly be made that in this case requiring all students be vaccinated serves no rational purpose. Mr. Stoltzfus is going against very powerful forces and I wish him luck.

      1. dana

        Exactly. This needs to be appealed to the Supreme Court and ignored in the interim.

    5. Habitatman

      ignorance is not bliss

      Well Emily S — I’m sure glad that my two daughters had their full regimen of immunizations (now in their late 20’s -well-educated and healthy). We didn’t even have to worry about them becoming crippled by polio or succumbing to a myriad of other preventable diseases. Conspiracy theories and those who promote them are the true bane of society now.

      1. Leslie Kendall

        Habitatman & Burke

        Habitatman: I’m glad your children are okay where mine became autistic and self medicates with the heroin brought in by our own gov’t from Afghanistan. Please watch “Vaxxed” as someone suggested. The autism rate has soared from 1:10,000 to 1:60. And a population increase does not change a ratio.

        Burke:. Explain to me how an unvaccinated child puts a vaccinated child at risk for disease. Are you admitting the vaccines aren’t effective?

      2. Lex


        Chlorine, not the polio vaccine saved us from polio ( a water born , fecal matter virus). The polio vaccine campaign was started long ago and we were still plagued with polio, even those who GOT polio, from the vaccine. What changed? The invention of chlorine in 1947 and it’s popularity to use in swimming pools and water treatment. Good sanitation and treated water is what eradicated most diseases, not vaccines. Most people aren’t “ANTI_VAXX”, they’re vaccine cautious. Start removing the heavy metal adjuvants, CANCER, ANIMAL AND ABORTED FETAL CELL LINES, start actually independently testing the vaccines and stop compelling people and maybe we’ll listen.

      3. Lex


        congratulations, Your daughters were probably safe to begin with….for now, but good luck with Henrietta Lacks’s cervical cancer cells finding a home in their reproductive system. Girls are less that 10% of vaccine induced encephalitis (a.k.a. autism) victims. You even curious why????? FACT: Girls have a thicker blood/brain barrier than boys so, the heavy metals and neurotoxins are less likely to get through.
        You will probably disregard this, it assaults your statist leanings.

    6. Stephen

      Judge Playing Doctor

      Vaccinations have never been proven to be effective or safe. For decades it was advised never to vaccinate newborn babies. Now because of years of continued lobbying by the drug companies, newborn babies are routinely vaccinated for hepatitis. A disease that can only be contracted by intravenous drug users and promiscuous sex. And since that began, we have an epidemic of young children who experience seizures of supposed unknown origin. Hence CBD oil has been legalized in all 50 states for the treatment of this new epidemic of childhood seizures.
      Anyone who has studied how the human immune system functions knows that newborn babies are born with the same resistance to diseases as the mother, since they are one and the same persons so to speak.
      Children also continue to develop immunity to diseases through breastfeeding. Apparently that judge has been swayed by the false marketing and scare tactics of the pharmaceutical companies, who’s only objective is to pedal their snake oil to the public at the point of a gun.
      Tyranny always seems to come about in the name of public safety

      1. Alex Knisely

        Judge playing doctor -- a response

        The unqualified “playing doctor” … you’re one to talk.

        You wrote “Now because of years of continued lobbying by the drug companies, newborn babies are routinely vaccinated for hepatitis. A disease that can only be contracted by intravenous drug users and promiscuous sex.” Leaving alone the idea of “continued lobbying by the drug companies” — cirrhosis, early death, liver cancer; you’re happy with those sequelae of hepatitis? — hepatitis is NOT a disease that can be contracted only in the manner that you claim.

        Not that facts will make a difference to you, but kids trade viruses — among other ways — by swapping chewing gum back and forth. Check the report cited at the foot of this note. CHEWING GUM. And you want to tag those kids as drug-abusing sex fiends. Jeepers.

        Fella, when you try to talk medicine, when you try to play doctor, when you offer your opinion on drugs, vaccinations, doctoring… you’re well out of your depth. Good luck in one day recognizing that, and in deciding to hold your tongue when you haven’t a clue.

        Ann Intern Med. 1981 Mar;94(3):346-9.

        Horizontal nonparenteral spread of hepatitis B among children.

        Leichtner AM, Leclair J, Goldmann DA, Schumacher RT, Gewolb IH, Katz AJ.

        Two families with an unusually high incidence of hepatitis B infection (15 of 21 persons) were investigated over an 18-month period. Serologic evidence of past or present infection–hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs), or antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc)–was found in 11 of the 12 members of one family, four of whom were chronic HBsAg carriers, and in four of nine members of a contact family. Anti-HBc was the only serologic marker of infection in five persons. Histocompatibility leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing failed to show an association between carriage of HBsAg and specific HLA markers. Chewing gum was a potential vehicle as HBsAg was detected in gum samples from three of four children who were chronic HBsAg carriers. Horizontal, nonparenteral transmission of hepatitis B virus probably accounted for the clustering of infection in these families, especially via the exchange among children of objects contaminated with oral secretions.

        PMID: 7224381 DOI: 10.7326/0003-4819-94-3-346

    7. Leslie Kendall

      When they made us Sodom and Gomorrah, I asked my German Baptist girlfriend when the Exodus would be. She said,’not yet’. And now this. I suppose the law is trying to set a precedence for “having the authority” to force the soon to come chip injection requirement which I’ve heard is by 2030.
      “We wrestle not….” and may God have mercy on us all.

    8. For whatever my thoughts might be insightful on this, at least my initial thinking is that the courts did not step on the Amish family’s freedom of religion in this case. The family was not forced to vaccinate their children against their convictions (which arguably would arguably been an overstep upon their religious freedom), but rather the court simply set the parameters of what would happen if the family continues to refuse to accept vaccination. The state does have the obligation to protect the welfare of this general population, and (IMO, rightly) considers unvaccinated children to be somewhat of a risk to others. If this (or other) Amish family opts to not vaccinate, that is their right, esp. if that decision is due to genuine religious reasons. But once that decision is made, they then have to live within the consequences of it.

      1. Lex

        You're forgetting

        The separation of church and state.
        Amendment I

        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

        To the commenters using the troupe that one requirement to refuse is ” a genuine religious belief”. I refer you to the first amendment. I know, the constitution is rarely referenced by certain political entities today but, the courts CAN NOT ADMINISTER A RELIGIOUS SINCERITY TEST!

    9. Leslie Kendall

      If the only restriction is to not attend the school, then the solution is to home school.
      But when home schooling isn’t an option, they will have to move. This has already happened to non-Amish families and it’s not just a matter of going to jail. The state takes the children away from the parents…and vaccinates them anyway. And good luck getting your children back when the state has judged you as abusive and neglectful. And the Bible tells us that when you’re persecuted in one city to move on to the next.

      1. Lex


        Why should families be required to move, to another state when the state they living, is violating the constitution??? No, enough of this garbage, fight back and make these tyrannical oligarchs leave.

    10. Jeff Baker

      The Seperation is here

      Let the people who want to have Allopathic Doctors and pharmaceutical drugs live in their own area and those that live with God given natural remedies live in another area.

    11. Margaret


      I had to double check my immunizations a couple years ago. My nieces began populating…and to be able to hold a newborn I had to have certain vaccines. HOOFRAYS! I had them.

      I get vaccinations because I have family that can’t vaccinate because of medical concerns. That’s the herd mentality. We vaccinate everyone that can in hopes that the few are protected. I’ll try to watch that youtube, but confess that I’m rather dubious of the message.

      I’m torn for the Amish…part of me recognizes there religious freedoms and the other part…this world has become so large (number wise) that vaccinating just seems the right thing to do. Why wouldn’t you want to protect your kids?

      1. Lex


        Please stop this the drama and hyperbole, no one dies in the first world from things like the measles and mumps. something like 250+/- died from the vaccines. Read the inserts once and a while. Not the children’s coloring book at the pharmacy they hand out, the actual scientific data insert that comes in the packaging. There is a chance of death in them. That’s why we have the the second highest SIDS rate only to south Korea, who requires more vaccines than out 70 doses. The rest of the first world in a dozen and no one is dying in the streets.

        1. Lex

          Stupid phone

          Sorry for the typos, my eye prescription is due and my phone inserts wrong words.

          Please stop the drama and hyperbole, no one dies in the first world from things like the measles and mumps. something like 250+/- died from the vaccines. Read the inserts once and a while, not the children’s coloring book at the pharmacy they hand out, the actual scientific data insert that comes in the packaging. There is a chance of death in them. That’s why we have the the second highest SIDS and “autism” rate only to south Korea, who requires more vaccines than our 70 doses. The rest of the first world is a dozen vaccine and no one is dying in the streets, a much lower encephalitis injury a.k.a.(autism) and SIDS rate.

      2. Stuart Summer

        "Herd Immunity" is marketing PR

        There has never been and never will be vaccination “herd immunity”. This is for two reasons. First, adults are not (yet) required to be vaccinated and never have been. So there has never on any vaccine been more than 50% of the population vaccinated. Mostly much less. Secondly, the vaccines are much less effective than thought when they came out. They wear off after 2-10 years. And yet there have been no epidemics. That’s because it is clean water and nutrition that make for health.

        At least 90% of the decline in the various diseases that we vaccinate against occured before the vaccinations were invented.

        For reference, read “How to End the Autism Epidemic” by J.B. Handley.

    12. Alex Knisely

      Surprising to find this an issue

      Of course the Amish have enough kids so that they can lose a couple-three every once in a while and shrug it off. Think of grain augers. Never a year goes by without a little girl, a little boy, getting too close to the business end of a grain auger and being splattered over the inside of a feed bin. Keeps on happening. You could almost say — It’s God-given, it’s natural. Install a screen over the end of the auger that keeps anything the size of a toddler from being sucked in ? Mandate that by law ? Why… that would be almost on a par with **shock horror** VACCINATION. But at least in Pennsylvania, that IS the law, and an Amish pal of mine lost his son and almost lost his farm because a Lancaster County DA said, “Enough of this !”… So needless. So flat-out dumb.

      By the way, some “reasoning” in the original post doesn’t wash with me. Our host wrote “I could see where this would be more an issue if the Amish children were attending public schools and mixing with non-Amish children, or using public buses (as in Cattaraugus County)”. C’mon, fella. Amish parents and Amish kids, English parents and English kids, all meet in the check-out lanes at the Cattaraugus County WalMart. And if you don’t know yet how fast measles spreads, and how long the virus lingers in the air ready to infect new victims, well…

      1. I’m not a contagious diseases expert, but if the chance of being infected has anything at all to do with duration of exposure and proximity to the infected individual, then the reasoning should be clear as to why spending 30 minutes riding with a sick child on an enclosed bus or 8 hours sitting next to one in the same classroom would be a matter of degree different than passing by for a few moments in a Wal-Mart checkout line.

        For the record I think it would be wise both from a public health perspective and for the simple welfare of their children if Amish parents would vaccinate against these easily-controllable diseases, so that no one in the community has to worry about the Wal-Mart scenario either.

        I would opt for the path of education and getting people to willfully comply, out of respect for their beliefs and tradition. That has worked in some places but obviously not everywhere.

        1. Alex Knisely

          Erik, measles is so "catchy" that the two settings that you want to contrast Are The Same

          You wrote “I’m not a contagious diseases expert”. Got THAT right.

          Measles ? Just a little exposure. Just a short time. And EVERYONE susceptible is infected. Now, if you were talking about human immunodeficiency virus, a bug that you have to work work work to catch, you’d have an argument.

          You’re trying to tread a middle road. I get that. But reason and compromise don’t work with viruses, Erik.

          1. So you’re saying that the chance of catching measles is the same if I’m

            A) sitting next to an infected person in a classroom for 8 hours as they cough and sneeze in my direction


            B) spending a few moments in that person’s vicinity in a cavernous retail store

            Those two “Are The Same”. Got it, thanks

          2. Geo

            It ounces off and sticks to you

            Alex, how fortunate we are to have input from an expert who can set the rest of us straight. You neglected to list your qualifications. Please enlighten us.

      2. Stephanie Berkey

        Bullying Comments

        Alex Knisely why would you write the following?
        “Of course the Amish have enough kids so that they can lose a couple-three every once in a while and shrug it off.”

        That is a shocking and horrible thing to say, again. And very inaccurate, again. Why do you write so Snidley, Mr. Knisley? Do you really think it helps anything at all, besides yourelf?

        1. Alex Knisely

          Oh, Steffy, give me a break

          You come up with an explanation for why an Amishman refuses to bring his child back for treatment for a metabolic disorder, saying instead, We’ll just give her goats’ milk and herbs and see how she does. You come up with an explanation for why an Amishman ignores Pennsylvania law and fails to install a grain-auger guard. I’ve got one. You don’t like it? Feh.

          You’ve got an explanation for why people won’t vaccinate their children — “vaccinations have been and are extremely dangerous and damaging, and even lethal”. Someone who advances twaddle like that without a JUST KIDDING ! ! ! immediately thereafter is, and let’s be frank, remarkably silly. Taken care of a child with whooping cough who went on to die and whose parents had used their God-given rights to decline to have her vaccinated? I have. Go on and match that experience with something you read on the Internet. When you have your eventual heart attack, I’ll be right there at your bedside, offering you goats’ milk and herbs. You’d rather have bypass surgery…? Well, how about that !

          1. Stephanie Berkey

            Alex, you are a doctor? Well now, that explains a lot. Then you know very well what the warnings are that accompany vaccinations, and how they include all kinds of horrors, including possible death.

            I’m very sorry to hear about your experiences and your frustration, however, there are risks either way with the medical. I’m not familiar with farming, but it sounds like a good law to have grain-auger guard and I have no idea why a person wouldn’t.

            I actually have been very ill and have bypassed the surgery, chemo, and radiation. I prefer to trust not in the arm nor wisdom of man, which has been known to be very much in error to much detriment and even death of many. Can you deny that?

            We not only have a right, but a duty, to protect against these dangers as wisely as possible.

            1. Stephanie Berkey

              That is, I have avoided it and hope to continue to do so, God willing.

      3. Nathan

        Alex you are not making any sense. If the English in Walmart check out line have all been vaccinated, then what do they have to fear from the unvaccinated Amish?

        Do the vaccines not work?

        Why would the state not allow the unvaccinated Amish to ride on a school bus with vaccinated English if vaccines were effective? Getting a mixed message here.

        1. Bill Rushby

          Do Vaccines Work?

          I took some courses in biology with pre-med students and did rather well in these courses. But I would never claim to be an expert in either biology or medical issues.

          I think I do know that the success rate of most medical treatments is a matter of probability rather than certainty. There are many variables at work in treating, or preventing, diseases. So, no, most medical treatments are not foolproof. Specifically, in the matter of vaccines, they often are effective but there are no guarantees. Is an 80% success rate an indication that a vaccine “works”? Yes and no!

          I get a flu shot every year, but would not deliberately expose myself to a flu virus unless it was necessary for some reason.

          1. Stuart Summer

            Exposing oneself

            You are exposing yourself to the flu virus when getting the vaccine. In fact, those who get the vaccine shed 6x the virus that unvaccinated do. The vaccine creates an immediate hazard to the vulnerable around the vaccinated.

    13. Bill Rushby

      Vaccination Against Contagious Diseases

      I happen to be a sympathizer with the Old Order Amish and provide gratis transportation services when I am able to do so. My close relatives also have many children, almost all home-schooled. But I also think health matters and losing even one child under preventable circumstances is too many!!!

      For these reasons I would insist on basic vaccinations for children and good warning devices on horse-drawn vehicles. Say what you will about my position on these matters, but I don’t think it is at all irrational or anti-Christian!!!

      As for me personally, I have gotten flu vaccinations for decades and haven’t had a case of full-blown since I started doing so.

    14. Stephanie Berkey

      Parents have rights under the United States Constitution to protect their children, granted directly by Almighty God. If it is a church school they should have control over it, unless they get any funds from the government. It might be wise to connect with powerful groups that lead in the defense of these rights, and / or move to a state that is not as corrupt and is more likely to recognize, honor, and obey the supreme law of our land.

    15. Bill Rushby

      On "Parents' Rights"

      In our beloved country, the rights of all must be protected, and that means balancing the divergent “rights” of various segments of the population. No one group has “absolute” rights. A given person or group’s rights end where they infringe upon the health and wellbeing of other individuals and groups! And that includes the rights of children to health and happiness too.

      This will inevitably involve compromises, which may be difficult for some to swallow. We must all be tolerant but also consider the “common good!”

      1. Stephanie Berkey

        I’m aware of the slant of how this issue has been presented by the media and some in power, however, it doesn’t make it true. There is plenty of hard evidence, for those who want to see it, that vaccinations have been and are extremely dangerous and damaging, and even lethal.

    16. Stephanie Berkey

      I’m so sorry to hear that your child became autistic due to vaccinations. May God bless you and your family.

      If the government truly cares so much for children, why have there been more than 55 million abortions since 1973, most of which have been funded and pushed by, guess who? The government. And many of them late term and some deaths after birth? Yet, you want us to believe they know what’s best for our children?

      1. Bill Rushby

        Putting Words Into My Mouth

        Hello again, Stephanie!

        You allege that I wrote (or implied) various things about the government, abortion and who knows what! None of these allegations are valid.

        1. Stephanie Berkey

          Hello Bill,
          You wrote, “In our beloved country, the rights of all must be protected”. By who? This article is about government interference.

        2. Stephanie Berkey

          I apologize if I misunderstood your meaning. That is what it basically boils down to though. The government would be the one to decide such things, just as this judge did here.

    17. Stephanie Berkey

      Religious and Parental Rights

      The United States Constitution is based on the principle that we are blessed with with unalienable rights by our creator (not by the government). “Rights” granted by a government can be taken away by the same. That is why it is so important to remember that parental and religious rights do not come from government, but directly from God.

      This case is an erosion of parental and religious rights. Apparently it is against Mr. Stoltzfus’ deeply held religious beliefs and training to vaccinate, therefore it should be respected. The more our rights are denied or abdicated, the more “involved”, intrusive, and oppressive the government can become. This is certainly not what our founding father’s wanted nor intended for America.

    18. Bill Rushby

      Judicial Adjudication

      Hello again, Stephanie!

      In this matter the judicial process comes into play to settle competing claims by involved parties. Of course, the judicial official(s) in charge, after hearing the arguments of competing parties, has to decide whose claims and interests will prevail. That’s how the system works. Compromise is often the final outcome. Those who feel a compromise is unacceptable may always appeal to a higher court, which I believe was done in the matter of childhood vaccinations. One always can opt for home school education, as one of the comments indicated.

    19. Walter Boomsma

      It's hard to find an answer if you're not sure what the question is!

      I’m almost afraid to say much more beyond the title… because there are so many different issues raised in the comment thread! It is interesting how the question of whether or not a religious vaccination exemption is in order under these circumstances has morphed in a debate about several other questions ranging from the effectiveness of ALL vaccinations to abortion.

      We continue to struggle to balance individual freedom(s) with the “greater good” of society in general. It would be far more frightening if we weren’t struggling.

      1. Tammy Bowman

        Greater good? Of whom?

        Vaccines are causing an epidemic of autoimmune disease, new virus and bacterial strains, are destroying the natural benefits of natural immunity, such as decreased allergies in those who naturally have chicken pox. Measles has been used to fight cancer. Vaccines contain substantial contaminants such as animal viruses and metals which cause animal virus transmission and brain damage from metal contamination. Vaccines do not convey long term immunity and leave those choosing vaccination at risk for childhood diseases in older age.

        No matter how you slice it, vaccines are a public health crisis and a pharmaceutical failure.

    20. Stephanie Berkey

      The question is do we have religious freedoms or not? Where do they come from? How do we maintain them?

      James Madison said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Here, one of our founding fathers is warning us the saddest and surest way to lose freedom is by turning away from God. Where this is done the most, you see the biggest loss of freedom.

      The medical field is effected by and effects the government; then there’s the media today with its propaganda and filth, and it’s no wonder there is so much confusion, corruption, and suffering.

      We need to go back to honoring God and one another, and educate ourselves about the rule of law and the US Constitution. Otherwise it’s just a matter of time before Godless societies self-destruct.

    21. Walter Boomsma

      I may be stirring the pot...

      Stephanie… I tend to agree that the question is “Do we have religious freedoms or not…” with the caveat that there are very few absolutes in life. “Where do they come from?” and “How do we maintain them?” are perhaps the more important or questions. As I suggested, we may not find the perfect answers but we do need to continue asking the questions. I would concur that we have been on a path of sacrificing religious (I would generalize by saying “personal”) freedoms.

      Laws are rarely effective solutions. Maine recently passed a law preventing the use of handheld devices while driving. A lot of people are cheering and the lawmakers are patting themselves on the back. Meanwhile, there has been little change in behavior. All those who’ve never exceeded the speed limit, please raise your hands. (I am not recommending a lawless society, I am recommending perspective.)

      And science doesn’t hold the answers either. Personally, I think science has become a sacred cow and much “medical science” is simply guesswork in a white coat.

      Life isn’t supposed to be a power struggle. And it wouldn’t be if we chose the right higher authority.

    22. Stephanie Berkey

      Jesus died to make that some things absolute, and one is our religious liberty. Many many others have died for that too.

      Government is a power struggle, that’s why the founding father’s created a separation of powers. The reason this won’t work for an immoral people is that a vital part of this is the voice of people.

      There’s a good article about how even some atheist are warning how important religion is to society. It’s on lifesitenews.com and is called Atheists sound the alarm: Decline of Christianity is seriously hurting society by Jonathon Van Maren.

    23. Unknown

      Now they’re bullying the AMISH?! Peaceful people who keep to themselves?! leave.them.alone. This vaccine mandate crap has gone FAR.ENOUGH!!

    24. Stuart Summer

      Listen to the science

      None of the pro-vaccine commenters have actually read the studies. I highly recommend J.B. Handley’s book, “How to End the Autism Epidemic,” Chapter 3–“The Science is Settled.” Mr. Handley goes over each study that is supposed to prove vaccines are safe. Another resource is vaccinepapers.org. Another is childrenshealthdefense.org. There are links it each source to the original papers and then to the most relevant parts. Often the conclusions are not supported by the data. It won’t take long to learn a lot. “Trust the drug companies!” is the dumbest thing and yet that is in essence what so many people are saying.

    25. Charlene Goldberg


      This is an outrage! the Judge has no rights to make a decision on what others beliefs are. It is all political, and Big Pharma is paying these people to mandate vaccines. I want to leave this state.

    26. Lex

      Here’s one phenomena in the VAX-induced , autism industry. The mental health industry is convincing these victims, they’re transgender. In one school in Britain, after teaching these kids about alternative lifestyles, 75% of them identified as transgender. Pure evil.

      The autism epidemic has brought the evil ones out of the shadows.

      I’m a Pediatrician. How Transgender Ideology Has Infiltrated My Field and Produced Large-Scale Child Abuse.

      A Quarter Of Kids Treated At Transgender Clinics May Just Be Autistic, New Study Finds