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An Open Letter to the Amish Community

Dear members of the Amish community,

I’ve learned recently from an episode of a radio show called Free Talk Live that some of the members of your community have been persecuted. They have been singled out, simply because they were going about living their lives as they saw fit.

Daniel S. Borntreger of Wisconsin wanted to build a house for himself. He had the audacity to think that he could build his house with his own two hands, on his own property, without asking anyone’s permission. Apparently, he was mistaken. According to LaCrosseTribune.com, officials of the town of Franklin, Wisconsin have taken him to court for building his house without getting permits from them. He is facing “fines of between $25 and $1,000 for every day of violation and could be barred from inhabiting the home he built without a permit”. I’m imagining that he must now be thinking that he doesn’t really own his property as he once thought he did. I’m sure he’s frustrated that a group of individuals who claim to have authority over him are demanding that he pay them money, or else possibly lose his house.

I would like to offer a potential solution to Borntreger and anyone else in the Amish community. If you desire to do whatever you want with your property without asking for anyone’s permission — please, come to New Hampshire. The article on LaCrossTribune.com mentions that there has been “a steady increase in the number of Amish families moving to rural areas, lured by…privacy”. From that statement, it’s obvious to me that you’re willing to move your lives and your families to a place where you think you will have more freedom.

I’m not currently in New Hampshire, but I will soon be moving there. Starting in April, I will be walking across the country with my family, from the west coast to New Hampshire, on a journey we call the Walk For Liberty. The primary reason I want to move to New Hampshire specifically is to participate in a movement called the Free State Project. The Free State Project is an effort to recruit 20,000 liberty-loving individuals to move to New Hampshire, individuals who think that they should be able to decide for themselves how to live their lives. They don’t think other people (i.e. the government) should be able to tell them how to manage every little detail of their lives, such as building a house.

Why should you move to New Hampshire though? Why make all the effort to move all the way across the country? Well for one, New Hampshire is arguably the most free state in the country already. The existing population there primarily has a live-and-let-live mentality. In fact, the New Hampshire motto is “Live Free or Die”. It has extremely low taxes, and the laws in general there aren’t quite as oppressive as in other states. As a prime example, the town of Grafton in New Hampshire has no zoning or building codes at all — that’s right, there’s a place in this country where you can build whatever you want on your own property, and no one will make threats to you because of it.

But there’s an even better reason to come to New Hampshire. Let’s say for whatever reason, Grafton is not the location for you. Although Grafton doesn’t have building codes, there might be somewhere else in New Hampshire which you like better, which unfortunately might have building codes. There is an existing network of activists already in New Hampshire willing to back you up if you decide to live your life as you want to. There are already over 500 Free State Project signers in New Hampshire, as well as many more natives also friendly to the idea that you should be able to live your life as you want.

If you decide to build a house there and don’t want to get the “required” permits, people will rally to your defense. They’ll protest, show up in court, or even help protect you in your house if need be. Take the recent example of Ed and Elaine Brown, who are individuals who think that they should be able to keep all the money they earn without paying a portion of it to the federal government. Dozens of Free Staters showed up at their house in support of them. The Browns were holed up in their house for a while, and Free Staters and others came to defend them. They even went out to get them groceries and anything else they needed, as well simply keeping them company.

There are also the ongoing stories of Lauren Canario. She rejects the concept that anyone has any authority over her at all. She simply goes about her life, not harming others, but living as she wants to. She has been in jail a number of times. Each time though, Free Staters and friends have come to her aid, making phone calls requesting her freedom, protesting outside her jail cell, showing up in court, and generally being a thorn in the side of the state. To a large part through their efforts, she has always been let go, often without a trial.

If you decide to make your home in New Hampshire, there will be many people there who will welcome you with open arms. I’m sure all you want is to live your lives as you want, without bothering others, and you’ll find many kindred spirits there. I look forward to your arrival.

Live in freedom,

Will Buchanan

Please leave a comment.


3 Responses to “An Open Letter to the Amish Community”

  1. Wisconsin Citizen Says:

    Folks, this man has been forced to pay out-of-pocket for his own inspection because absolutely nothing he’s produced to his township’s inspector from a licensed engineer & technical draftsman is being honored as legit and they thus far refuse to give him a building permit. Even if the judge rules in his favor, they are going to seek an injunction forcing him and his ten children out of there. There was even an attempt at condemning the home last fall but the county health department couldn’t find cause to do such a thing. Read the latest local article on it (as well as comments from readers) at http://www.jacksoncountychronicle.com/articles/2008/03/10/news/01permit.txt

  2. RCC Says:

    Will - just came across your open letter to the Amish from way, way back upon searching for info on Amish communities - here’s something I printed out to study over the next week: http://www.amishnews.com/amisharticles/amishss.htm

    I think there’s a lot for Free Staters to learn from the Amish - we’re a lot like them in so many ways (and different in many other ways, too.)

    The Amish would feel very at home in Grafton, although the winters are pretty harsh - but they could set up some great indoor greenhouses, I bet, for year round living. And they’d have ample help from FSP volunteers, if they wanted or needed it.

  3. esbee Says:

    The Amish (and any one who owns even one livestock animal) are up against a whole lot more than just being persecuted for building a house on their property. This following is something the Amish WILL NOT do and many other Americans also will not do. Heard of NAIS?

    National Animal Identification System can best be explained like this—what if I had an illness but forced you to take and pay for the meds, then I travel the world, declaring I am healthy. Makes no sense and benefits neither one of us.

    NAIS (national animal ID system) is a USDA plan that every single livestock animal in the United States will be identified and tagged. All livestock animal movements will be tracked, logged and reported to the government.

    The benefit is to the big factory farms who probably do need this type of regulation. They get to do single ID’s for large groups of animals. Small farmers, pet owners and homesteaders will have to tag and track every single animal.
    NAIS will hurt a lot of different people including consumers, pet owners, children, homesteaders and small farmers.

    Every owner of even one horse, cow, pig, goat, sheep,llama, chicken, or pigeon must register their premises for NAIS. Yes that`s right, doesn’t matter if it’s the family pet, your draft animal, or tomorrows dinner. They all have to be registered. Registering your premises tinkers with title to your property.

    There are NO exceptions? They don’t care if your child is in 4H or not, if the animal is a family pet, or is you are raising a few animals for your own food and maybe a little extra to sell to your neighbors.

    Even if you don’t own any livestock animals, you should. If you like buying from small farmers/homesteaders prepare to pay higher prices for the meat or eggs you buy.
    NAIS, national animal id system, is a program that will put livestock owners under more govt surveillance than illegals, drug dealers or sex offenders.
    NAIS- -is a business plan to benefit corporate agriculture on the global level. Tracking disease was added later to make it more acceptable.
    Agri-biz gets ONE lot number per animal groups, (any one could be diseased; who would know) but the rest of us who own even one horse, cow, chicken goat pig, etc will have to microchip/track every animal we own individually and pay for it, giving corporate ag a free ride on our backs for the appearance of safe beef.
    I understand the need to keep our food safe, but given that the USDA does not require the same standard for unhealthy germ-laden factory farms, and they will not even allow farmers who want to test their cows for BSE to do so, how can they make the claim that they care about food safety? Besides, how does me telling the govt everywhere I ride my horse ensure the Japanese are eating safe beef?!?!?!
    NAIS tracking ends at slaughter. Most food safety issues occur AFTER that, during processing. There are already disease tracking protocols in place, and they work just fine. NAIS also prescribes depopulation of an entire 6 mi.radius (140 sq.mi.) should disease be suspected. See nonais.org for info on how NAIS will affect all who eat.

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