Religious Liberty On Trial in Ohio

One of the most abused foundations of our liberty as Americans is the concept of freedom of religion. Too often it is used as an excuse to limit professions of faith – and to defend infringements upon our other rights.

A trial being held in Cleveland this week sounds very much as if it involves such abuse. There, several Amish people from East Ohio are accused of attacks on others of that faith.

Attorneys for the accused insist their clients are entitled to practice their religion, even to the point of disciplining those they believe are not following its tenets properly.

In this case, such discipline allegedly included forcibly cutting the hair and beards of several Amish men.

If the attacks took place, those responsible should be punished. Freedom of religion does not cover violence against anyone for allegedly religious reasons. Americans have the right to practice our faiths – or reject religion altogether – without fear of repression by anyone, whether from government or our neighbors.