We just finished watching the PBS show on The Amish, it was interesting and got me to thinking about change and the difference between Quakers and Amish. One of the things I have always liked about Quakers is that I feel there is a balance between the individual and the group. This seems to be a difference from the Amish who emphasis the leading or discernment of the group over the individual. In terms of war tax resistance our monthly meeting and yearly meeting passed minute saying they support individuals who are lead to not pay taxes that go to war. The group as a whole does not need to believe this is correct but they can support an individual who is spiritually lead in this direction. I suspect another obvious difference is the importance of the equality of women among Quakers, from the beginning there was support for women as ministers and even those who were lead to travel in the ministry.
In terms of oats, dad talks about harvesting oats and the combine instead of the threshing events that they use to have. It is interesting to note that this is in 1944 that they are making this shift on the farm. Thinking about how the Amish live and how their lives were not that different from other rural farmers until the last half of the 20th century makes me more aware of the changes in our society within my life time and within my fathers also.
Last the good news, the UNM law school will be taking our case. They will argue it not in terms of my position on war taxes or the IRS regulations but in terms of 'case law' and in relation to how the penalty was applied. I'll know more as time goes by. I was surprised at how much I was relieved at this news. I was a bit disappointed that they suspect it will take more than one semester. I fantasized that it was like a western movie scene when the cavalry would come riding in to the rescue, the IRS would look up from their desks and drop everything and run shouting 'look look it's New Mexico law students!', 'we give up'. Evidently, this is not the case, we are not at the end, just beginning a new chapter.