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Amish say they don't want their photo on state ids


mythoughtis

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newest wrinkle in Illinois... the Amish want their state issued photo IDS to come sans-photo. Legislature has agreed to study the issue.

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I don't think it sounds like a good idea. If you are so extreme that you can't have a photo taken, then don't get a state ID.

I could see this being abused, not by the Amish but by others. You could say you are Amish, get an ID, sell it and then anyone could use it. Not good. The whole point of an ID is that it establishes a relationship between your name and your face.

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I don't think it sounds like a good idea. If you are so extreme that you can't have a photo taken, then don't get a state ID.

I could see this being abused, not by the Amish but by others. You could say you are Amish, get an ID, sell it and then anyone could use it. Not good. The whole point of an ID is that it establishes a relationship between your name and your face.

Yeah, I'm gonna agree with emmiedahl. If you're willing to get an ID, you should be willing to get your photo taken.

Do you know why the Amish have an issue with their photos? Or why they need state IDs in the first place? (Considering the only things I've ever used my ID for are getting on airplanes, picking up Amtrak tickets, and buying alcohol, and I can't see the Amish doing any of those things).

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As a holder of an Illinois State ID myself, I would have to agree with emmiedahl. Plus, if someone is looking at the thing, they must be dealing directly with you already, the photo is for a utilitarian purpose only, it won't be used to lessen your sense of community or otherwise.

Though it does make me realize just now that I suppose driving a horse and buggy you don't need a driver's license. Makes sense I guess, I myself ride a bicycle and I don't need one either!

As for why you need a state ID - you need it because tons of places with nothing at all to do with driving demand "a driver's license" for ID purposes, and the state ID cards are designed to fill that role for those of us who don't drive cars. Granted, the Amish probably aren't frequenting bars while looking underage yet being of age, but they do ride Greyhound and Amtrak. Also, I have to use my ID at the bank. I used to just show my passport but that gets really strange so finally I just caved and got a state ID card.

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photos are against their religion

State issued IDs are needed to open bank accounts, sometimes to withdraw from bank accounts, to cash savings bonds, anything and everything to prove identity. DLs are needed to drive.... and yes, the Amish do drive, for work, they just don't own personal vehicles.

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...which makes me wonder, are the ones who are driving for work purposes asking for a "no-photo" option for the driver's license too?

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I agree with emmiedahl said about an id establishing a name with a face. A family friend of mine lived in Pennsylvania for several years and he did tell us that the Amish near where he lived would ride Greyhound or Amtrack often like gardenvarietycitizen mentioned. If something happend to an Amish person while on a bus or train an ID could be a lifesaver for them.

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An interesting side note. Does anyone remember a few years back when a similar case was brought up, a Muslim woman did not want her face picture shown on her driver's license because she did not want to expose her face in such a away? There was quite a bit of hostility from everyone. I just find it interesting? odd? that the legislature has decided to look into this issue when a similar request is made, but by the Amish. I guess maybe our society gives more leeway to the Amish....

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Well, then they shouldn't be able to get state IDs. Photo identification is important to our society, for keeping order. I mean, I'd rather not have an ID photo taken while I having braces, but I needed an ID to be apart of society, so I sucked it up and took it.

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I know some amish are against photo because of the graven? Image thing in the bible. I'm on my phone so I'll find the verse later. I know Amish go to hospital, so they might need it there.

Leviticus 26:1 Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.

Isaiah 44:9

 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.

Exodus 20:4

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

I think that is the big one.

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I've heard the graven image concept. Also that they don't believe it is ok to 'pose' for a photograph. That is why they will sometimes let people take pictures of their homes, buggies, and even themselves, as long as they aren't posing for the camera or treating it like a photo shoot.

I don't really think of an ID photo as posing, though. The pictures are seldom ever flattering (my last one was shot at such an odd angle someone gave me a double take when checking my ID), and choosing to obtain an ID is an english thing to do, so why not just go ahead and get the whole ID.

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I'm not really for any exceptions being made in this instance. State IDs and driver's licenses in the US are the main forms of photo ID and practically synonymous with the term. Certainly nobody is forcing them to obtain one.

As for me, my various ID photos have all been an affront to God, were I to believe in one. My passport photo is especially cringeworthy. I had not only underslept the day it was taken, but had come in from a snowstorm and looked like someone who was found half-dead by the side of a lake somewhere. :oops:

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An interesting side note. Does anyone remember a few years back when a similar case was brought up, a Muslim woman did not want her face picture shown on her driver's license because she did not want to expose her face in such a away? There was quite a bit of hostility from everyone. I just find it interesting? odd? that the legislature has decided to look into this issue when a similar request is made, but by the Amish. I guess maybe our society gives more leeway to the Amish....

I remember that case, YPestis. Here it is on snopes.com. Scroll down; hers is the last entry. From what I understand, her motives weren't pure, because she had already had mugshots taken when arrested for domestic abuse and was using religion to keep authorities from checking the girls for bruises. She was fostering them (they were removed, thankfully).

http://www.snopes.com/rumors/thisisamerica.asp

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I wonder which Amish group in particular this is; there are different ones, and while AFAIK they are all uncomfortable with photography, I don't think most would necessarily object to a state ID pic. I'd think it'd fall under the "do what you absolutely must to get along in the world as it is" school of thought, like all the fridges and ovens and whatnot at the markets they run to comply with state laws on food handling.

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photos are against their religion

State issued IDs are needed to open bank accounts, sometimes to withdraw from bank accounts, to cash savings bonds, anything and everything to prove identity. DLs are needed to drive.... and yes, the Amish do drive, for work, they just don't own personal vehicles.

It sounds a little hyprocritical on the Amish part. On one hand, they want to live seperated from the modern world. Their children, for the most part, are only educate to the eighth grade, for example. Yet, they want some of the amenities of living in modern America-a bank account, to cash savings bonds etc

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It sounds a little hyprocritical on the Amish part. On one hand, they want to live seperated from the modern world. Their children, for the most part, are only educate to the eighth grade, for example. Yet, they want some of the amenities of living in modern America-a bank account, to cash savings bonds etc

But the account may be necessary if they have even a small business selling produce/baked goods/quilts/furniture etc.

While I agree with whomever said it's likely most will do it just because it is required, I don't think it is unreasonable of them to ask for an exception. No facial photos of Amish is a well-known part of their religion. Nearly any professional photo from Amish Country will be profile/silhouette only for those reasons.

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When someone's religious beliefs defy any kind of practical common sense (i.e. photos are necessary for legitimate identification purposes in our society) it just sort of becomes ridiculous to me. Obviously, people are free to hold whatever beliefs they want about photos, etc., and I'll totally support their right to do so, but there's a point where accommodating those beliefs should not be expected. Anyone can feel free to disagree, of course :)

To me, a lot of religious beliefs fall into the "defy common sense" category, but I'm mainly referring to the ones that interfere with the business of day-to-day living

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The Amish are human with the same faults as the rest of us. There have been Amish who have been arrested for selling cocaine so it is possible that a dishonest person could take advantage of a photoless ID.

Edited, so my last sentence made sense. :oops:

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When someone's religious beliefs defy any kind of practical common sense (i.e. photos are necessary for legitimate identification purposes in our society) it just sort of becomes ridiculous to me. Obviously, people are free to hold whatever beliefs they want about photos, etc., and I'll totally support their right to do so, but there's a point where accommodating those beliefs should not be expected. Anyone can feel free to disagree, of course :)

Maybe when we switch to biometric identification, this will be a non-issue.

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My take on this is that if photo's are required for state ID's they should not be exempt. HOwever, there is one small issue with state ID's.

several states have gone to needing a photo id to vote and it has disenfranchised a whole lot of voters who either a) can't get to the DMV to get a photo ID or b) don't want to. A lot of them tend to be liberal voters. But, if IL adopts the same practice, then it will disenfranchise the Amish, who do vote in general elections (at least they did in IN). And that might cause some problems.

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Mark of the beast! Eleventy!!!!!

Did I ever tell you the story about how I read we were going to start using retinal scans, and I mis-read it (in horror) as rectal scans??

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I don't think it unreasonable of them to ask, based on their religious convictions.

However, ultimately if the state chooses not to accept their request, there really is no fighting it. They have a right not to pose for photos, but they don't have a right to a photoless state ID if the state decides so.

Individual churches will decide if this is a hill worth dying on. Some will OK photo ID's for business reasons, just has some have OK'd cell phones and electricity for business purposes. For many Amish groups, it's not that the rules are eternally set in stone, but that they are very slow to change because of their concern about the consequences of accepting new technology or changing their way of doing things.

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It might be a bit different in this case in contrast to electricity matters: electricity use is verboten/restricted because of its impact on community and simple living. The injunction against pictures is from the 10 Commandments - make no graven images, etc.

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In my mind, this is where we have to draw the line on religious protections. I think religious tolerance is a good thing generally and I certainly want my beliefs tolerated. But I draw the line on two things -- when your religious beliefs are harmful to yourself, others, or your children OR when your religious beliefs are such that you literally cannot participate in society and hold true to them.

If the Amish cannot participate in the basic aspects of society that require a photo identification because they cannot have photographs, then I think they need to find a new way to function that doesn't require use of those aspects of society. I think banks and buses and the like have a demonstrable need to require photo identification, and that need trumps the needs of the Amish in this particular case.

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