How outward appearance matters

May 7, 2018 by

Mennonites can easily categorize the type of church another Mennonite comes from simply by their appearance. Do their wear a veil, a bonnet or a doily? Solid colors? Cape dresses? Ankle-length skirts? Pants?...

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Death penalty testimony a matter of faith

May 7, 2018 by and

On Feb. 26, Greta Lindecrantz of Denver was a mitigation specialist working in the legal system to help a man avoid the death penalty. On Feb. 27, she was an inmate in the Arapahoe County Detention Center. It...

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Criminally Christian

May 7, 2018 by

Christianity was an illegal movement in its infancy. The first adult baptisms were punished by death in 1527. Christians, especially Anabaptists, have often faced the choice to obey God or the state. Defying...

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Colorado investigator will testify in death penalty case

Feb 28, 2018 by

A Colorado woman who refused to testify in a death penalty appeal case has agreed to participate after defense attorneys expressed concern that her refusal hurts, rather than helps, their efforts. She was...

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Religious freedom for all?

Feb 26, 2018 by

Because of our odd religious beliefs — like the conviction that killing is wrong — religious freedom has always been important to Mennonites. Indeed, some believe that Mennonites played a key role in the...

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Freedom to resist

Nov 20, 2017 by

Some Mennonite colleges play the national anthem before sporting events. Some don’t. Some say it’s a chance to reflect on liberty. Some say it’s a chance to honor those in the military who fight for that...

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Led by conscience, here I kneel

Nov 15, 2017 by

Tabor College associate professor of Bible and religious studies Del Gray posted these reflections in late October on Tabor’s “Wittenberg Door” for campus discussion in honor of the Reformation’s 500th...

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Courage to be a conscientious objector

Nov 13, 2017 by

It doesn’t take a lot of courage to be a conscientious objector — to something that everyone is objecting to. It is easier to object to racism today than it was to object to slavery in 1850. It is easier...

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Freedom to protest

Nov 6, 2017 by

I would be ashamed to watch football players injure each other’s brains. But I compliment African-American and other players protesting racial injustice by refusing to stand for the national anthem. They...

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Dicates of conscience

Nov 6, 2017 by

Historians and the media are remembering the First World War, which members of my family dealt with 100 years ago. One of my uncles was drafted into the Army; an attempt to obtain a farm deferment was not...

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Building a peace resume together

Nov 1, 2017 by

“Everyone’s a pacifist between wars. It’s like being a vegetarian between meals.” — Colman McCarthy, journalist, pacifist and peace activist This coming Sunday evening at Rainbow Mennonite Church...

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Anabaptists only one facet of World War I dissent

Oct 24, 2017 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While many events have honored heroism and sacrifice during World War I, a different kind of conference gathered in an unlikely place to pay tribute to those who opposed the Great War a...

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‘Muted Voices’ conference recalls Hutterite martyrs

Oct 23, 2017 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The tale of four Hutterite conscientious objectors who refused even to wear a military uniform, let alone serve in the U.S. Army during World War I, is well known in Hutterite colonies and...

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My grandma and Colin Kaepernick

Oct 13, 2017 by

In his op-ed in The New York Times, Chris Reid describes why he and Colin Kaepernick “took a knee” during the national anthem last year. “[M]y faith moved me to take action,” he wrote. “I looked to...

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Muted voices in World War I, and today

Sep 12, 2017 by and

An unsuccessful effort to locate artifacts related to World War I conscientious objection was an unexpected blessing for developers of an exhibit that will be featured at a symposium on the topic this October...

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Shapers of conscience

Sep 5, 2017 by

I remember the moment like it was yesterday. I am a 9-year-old standing in the lunch line at school. I can hear the lunch lady asking my peers in front of me if they want white milk or chocolate milk. Unlike...

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Mennonite editor charged with sedition

Aug 14, 2017 by

In the middle of World War I, on June 15, 1917, the highly controversial Espionage Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. The Act provided for a penalty of up to 20...

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Mission worker sentenced in international kidnapping case

Apr 3, 2017 by

One of three people who helped a former lesbian kidnap her daughter and take her to Nicaragua was sentenced March 23 to time served and a year of probation. The Buffalo News reports Amish Mennonite missionary...

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Lessons from ‘Hacksaw Ridge’

Nov 17, 2016 by

My husband, Stuart, and I saw Hacksaw Ridge, based on a true story, and both of us were tremendously moved, for similar although markedly different reasons. We were emotionally affected in spite of this being...

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Yoder-Short: Choosing our rituals

Oct 24, 2016 by

Football player Colin Kaepernick, with a cross decorating his arm and Bible verses tattooed on his chest, started a conversation by refusing to stand for the national anthem ritual. How do we speak to an...

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To vote or not to vote?

Oct 12, 2016 by

I have never voted in an election. Not because I don’t care about my country. I care very much. I love this country where I live. I love its beauty; love the broad sweep of its land, the diversity of its...

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Outside the perfection

Oct 10, 2016 by

Presidential elections test the conscience of two-kingdom Christians. We belong to God’s kingdom but live in the world’s. Every worldly state operates “outside the perfection of Christ,” as the...

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Shame isn’t always a bad thing

Sep 27, 2016 by

My parents were pretty effective in correcting their nine children by using frequent verbal reprimands, even the occasional “Shem dich!” (Pennsylvania German equivalent of “Shame on you”). They mostly...

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Why not ‘liberal’?

Sep 26, 2016 by

You seem to have dropped “liberal” from your vocabulary, favoring “progressive” instead. That is a mistake if you want to broaden your audience among the array of Mennonite groups. “Progress”...

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Generous orthodoxy

Aug 29, 2016 by

On his Aug. 11 podcast, journalist Malcolm Gladwell used the concept of “generous orthodoxy” to frame the story of Chester Wenger. It’s a positive approach to faith that is gaining ground among...

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