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Montana Hutterite colony asks Supreme Court to hear religious liberty case

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  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    April 10, 2013 2:50 p.m.

    If their "500 year-old tradtion" included child labor, or working in dangerous jobs without adequate safety training, equipment, and inspections, would we still think that government oversight was an intrusion on their religious liberties?

    Didn't think so.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 10, 2013 3:34 p.m.

    As my name would suggest, I have some experience with these folks. And this isn't something they should be able to hide behind religious freedom on, because if you can hide this behind it you could excuse nearly anything with it. It's one thing for them to do what they do on their own jobsites, but if they're going to go out into the world and take work, then they have to play by the rules, a concept to which they are notoriously resistant and which does not translate well into a world of laws and lawyers. In addition, from my experience, it's hard to find an adult hutterite who hasn't experienced a traumatic, even limb removing accident, and far too many children die in farm and industrial related accidents on colonies. This isn't a group that should be able to avoid insurance and be hailed as champions of religious freedom.

  • Mike Johnson Stafford, VA
    April 10, 2013 5:56 p.m.

    This law is not about protecting the workers or children in the colony, but protecting others with whom they are competing. The colony may not pay individual workers, but use the earnings do pay for colony expenses. All members of the colony seem to benefit from it, whether or not they worked.

    Perhaps to meet this fairness need (unfair competition with for profit corporations) and to ensure that the colony working out in the greater community contributes to the community that an additional surcharge on their labor could be used designed for a public project--road maintenance or something--from which both the colony and the public at large could benefit.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    April 11, 2013 4:59 p.m.

    Hutterite – “As my name would suggest, I have some experience with these folks.”

    That’s awesome! And here all this time I thought your moniker was just some cool hipster allusion that I was too old to get. Should have Googled it…

    Agree with you and Blue 100%...

  • equusrider Bluffdale, UT
    April 12, 2013 9:56 a.m.

    If you live and work in this country, partake of her wonderful resources and opportunities, if you benefit from the freedom, and protection her laws provide then you abide by those laws and you contribute, no exception.

  • Interloper Portland, OR
    April 14, 2013 1:42 p.m.

    The people we generally don't hear from in the isolated religious sects including FLDS, the Amish, the Hutterites, etc., are those victimized. We got some insight about what goes on in FLDS colonies when the Texas child molestation cases became national news. The same occurred when facts about sexual and physical abuse became known in the Amish 'beard-cutting' case recently. This case is not about sect victims, but they will be helped by the ruling the group must buy insurance being upheld. The maimed people Hutterite mentioned will be compensated whether they stay in the colony or not. Survivors of accidental death decedents will get support they do not have to turn over to the sect leaders. This is another reason to want the Montana Supreme Court's ruling to stand.

    The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is representing the powerful people in the Hutterite sect, not the powerless general membership.