Law Drives Mennonites Away
The new law requires a picture for every drivers license, without exception. In the past, Mennonites and other groups whose religious beliefs forbid picture taking were still allowed a license. On July 1, 2005, however, that changed.
Mount Airy resident Matt Thornburg spoke on behalf of his Mennonite neighbors and said that he felt bad they're leaving.
"They're extremely good neighbors," he said. "If their religious belief says to have no photo, i see no reason why the State can't work with them on that."
Some Mennonites have tried talking with the government to change the law back, but so far without luck, they say.
"Just good Christian people. I've worked with them on my own house. They're good to be around. Do quality work. It's just a shame over a drivers license that they're going to have to leave. I'm just sick about it," said Thornburg.
In such a small community, their absence will be noticed.
"I'm going to miss them. That's all you can say," he added.