The Amish usually stay as far away from English politics as possible. Amish are taught to respect and pray for governing authorities. They use the Scripture “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). They use this scripture when in conflict between their conscience and civil law. Remembering their persecution in Europe has consequently left them with a strong belief in separation of church and state.
The Amish refuse to enter the armed forces because they are a nonviolent people. They usually do not hold public office though they are allowed to vote. Turnout is low unless there is a local issue on the ballet. Other exceptions occur when there is a presidential election. Some Amish get involved in politics by actively supporting the Republican candidates.
Issues of Conflict between Amish and state
In recent years, there have been numerous conflicts between the Amish and the power of the state. Listed below are some of these issues of conflict:
- Military service
- Social Security
- Health care
- Property zoning
- Child Labor
- Horseshoes chipping public roads
- Slow moving vehicle signs
Conservative Christian Amish
For the most part, Amish have done well in a political system that respects and protects their freedom of religion. Amish feel they should adhere to the spiritual laws not the worldly laws. The Amish are a conservative Christian group of people, therefore they don’t watch television, drive cars or use the internet. And they don’t typically vote in national election. Ninety percent of Amish who do register to vote do so as a Republican. One reason Amish don’t vote is they leave it up to God.
Amish Super PAC
Super PAC run ads in Amish newspapers to promote the Republican party. Amish PAC is a political action committee which is dedicated to getting the Amish to vote Republican. Amish PAC aims to garner more Republican votes. The Amish people tend to align strongly on policy with Republicans. Most Republicans oppose abortion and same-sex marriages as do Amish. But making voters out of the Amish may be a steep goal. They are a people who forgo television and the internet. And believe fiercely in the separation of their religious community from government intrusion.
The PAC spent nearly $140,000 in the 2016 presidential campaign. They focused on advertising in the heavily populated Amish areas of Pennsylvania and Ohio. One slogan was on a “Vote Trump” billboard showing a picture of an Amish buggy. On it were the words “Hard working. Pro-life, family dedicated…….JUST LIKE YOU!