Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 6:18 pm
A curious legal case is playing out in a Cleveland courtroom. Sixteen members of a conservative Amish church group are charged with attacking spiritual transgressors by cutting off their beards. The trial has brought international news coverage to the Amish --- a reclusive population better known as a quaint tourist attraction. So far testimony has mixed allegations of sex and interstate crime, with the religious significance of facial hair.