Have we forgotten?

Jun 4, 2018 by

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On May 10, President Trump of the American Empire held a rally in Elkhart County, Ind., one of the heartlands of Mennonites. According to my sources, there was no institutional protest of Caesar and his anti-women, anti-gay, anti-people-of-color, anti-science message, his permanent-war foreign policy and merciless attacks against the weakest members of our society.

I studied at what is now Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart from 1976 to 1979. Mennonite institutions back then were also silent in the face of systemic racism and local oppression of the poor. I have followed events in Elk­hart County, hoping for a rebirth of the radical faith of my Anabaptist ancestors. How dare people claiming to be heirs to this tradition sit silently while Trump and his cult appear in the middle of so many Mennonites?

Have we forgotten our sins at covering up the sexual abuse of John Howard Yoder and many other Mennonite predators that we do not publicly confront Trump, the most visible sexual abuser in the world? Have we forgotten our commitment to honesty that we fail to denounce a president who has created a cult worshiping “alternative facts”? Have we forgotten that “good German Christians,” including many Mennonites, said nothing to oppose Hitler in the 1930s?

With deep sorrow at how the Anabaptist vision has been betrayed, and a profound loss of faith that the vision can be restored under the present leadership and the enslavement of most Mennonites to the idols of the American Empire, I am publicly ending my membership in the Mennonite church. I hope and pray that future generations will rediscover the courage to be disciples of the radical Jesus.

Robert Victor Peters

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