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Mennonites and Voting This is part of a PPT presentation shared with a SS class at Whitestone Mennonite Church in preparat...
Early Anabaptists <ul><li>They preached separation between  church and state </li></ul><ul><li>They refused to swear oaths...
Swiss Mennos in the East <ul><li>Usually leaders frowned on voting but many Mennos voted </li></ul><ul><li>Supposedly kept...
Old Mennos in S.C.C <ul><li>Said it was “inconsistent with the nonresistant doctrine to go to the polls and vote because w...
Dutch/Russian Mennos  in the West <ul><li>Had organized their own village assemblies in Russia, so did the same here in th...
WW I <ul><li>C.O.s asked the question: “Did you vote for President Wilson? </li></ul><ul><li>Poor treatment of COs and Ger...
1930’s and 40’s <ul><li>1930s  “may quietly vote at the polls” </li></ul><ul><li>Articles on pros and cons of voting </li>...
WW II and after <ul><li>Church and Govt. had a plan for CO’s this time </li></ul><ul><li>1944 MWR had no political ads and...
Recent Surveys <ul><li>1968-  Anabaptists: Four Centuries Later  Kauffman & Harder </li></ul><ul><li>They divide Anabaptis...
Recent Surveys <ul><li>1968-  Anabaptists: Four Centuries Later   Kauffman & Harder  </li></ul><ul><li>1989-  Mennonite Mo...
Question #1 Would you identify yourself as a:  -Democrat -Republican -No political affiliation
1968 1989 (all 5 Mennonite Groups)
2006  Mennonite Member Profile 2008  Our Class
2006  Mennonite Member Profile 2006 MMP Pastor responses
Question #2 (In the Mennonite July 08) Compared to the presidential election four years ago, I am:    -More interested in ...
Interest in 2008 Election
Question #3 Church members should vote in elections for state and national office.  -Agree -Uncertain -Disagree
1968 Should Vote? 1989  Should Vote?
2006  Mennonite Member Profile  Vote? 2008 Should Vote?  Our Class
Question #4 In how many of the elections in recent years have you voted? -None -A few/some -Most/all
1968  Voted? 1989  Voted?
2006  Mennonite Member Profile 2008  Our Class They didn’t ask this question
Question #5 Do you feel it is proper for your congregation to endorse particular candidates for office? -Yes -No
1968  Endorse Candidates? 1989 Endorse Candidates?
2006  Mennonite Member Profile 2008  Our Class on Endorsing Candidates They didn’t ask this question
2006  MMP  Do you believe it is OK to fly an  American flag inside a Mennonite church? Whitestone
Question # 7 Do you believe America is a Christian nation? (First asked in 2007) -Yes -No  -Not sure
2006  MMP A Christian Nation? Whitestone
Question #7 Do you think the Cubs will finally win the World Series this year?
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Mennonites And Voting

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Part of a presentation I did for a SS class at Whitestone Mennonite Church. See more info on Mennonites and voting at:
http://garyoyer.googlepages.com/mennonitesandvoting

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Mennonites And Voting

  1. 1. Mennonites and Voting This is part of a PPT presentation shared with a SS class at Whitestone Mennonite Church in preparation for a study of Greg Boyd’s book The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church
  2. 2. Early Anabaptists <ul><li>They preached separation between church and state </li></ul><ul><li>They refused to swear oaths, sue, take up arms or other ways to conform to civil customs </li></ul><ul><li>They believed Christians weren't responsible for policies of the state and ought not presume to direct them </li></ul><ul><li>Swiss Mennonites were in a situation where they were persecuted or maybe tolerated </li></ul><ul><li>Dutch/Russian Mennonites had more freedom in Russia </li></ul><ul><li>In North America they both had the opportunity to be citizens in democracies </li></ul>
  3. 3. Swiss Mennos in the East <ul><li>Usually leaders frowned on voting but many Mennos voted </li></ul><ul><li>Supposedly kept the Quakers in power </li></ul><ul><li>1840 NY Mennos urged Lancaster Conf to forbid voting </li></ul><ul><li>Lancaster bishops said “it would be better if brethern refrain” but made no ruling </li></ul><ul><li>Those who wanted to vote could do so “quietly and peacefully” “stay aloof of politics” </li></ul>
  4. 4. Old Mennos in S.C.C <ul><li>Said it was “inconsistent with the nonresistant doctrine to go to the polls and vote because we are faithful followers of Lord Jesus and we belong to his kingdom” Verse “my kingdom is not of this world </li></ul><ul><li>But 1908 leaders in a SCC church were appointed to research candidates… </li></ul><ul><li>All over, when the election was about alcohol or social issues, they were more likely to vote </li></ul>
  5. 5. Dutch/Russian Mennos in the West <ul><li>Had organized their own village assemblies in Russia, so did the same here in their Mennonite villages </li></ul><ul><li>Verse: “Ye are the salt of the earth and the light of the world..” </li></ul><ul><li>With both OM and GC, voting not a big issue until….. </li></ul>
  6. 6. WW I <ul><li>C.O.s asked the question: “Did you vote for President Wilson? </li></ul><ul><li>Poor treatment of COs and German speaking people, left Mennos…. </li></ul><ul><li>1919 Virginia Conf “wrong to vote” </li></ul><ul><li>More MCs said wrong to hold office, voting strongly discouraged </li></ul><ul><li>GC pastor in Bluffton: “there must be a more distinct separation of our people from the world and politics” </li></ul>
  7. 7. 1930’s and 40’s <ul><li>1930s “may quietly vote at the polls” </li></ul><ul><li>Articles on pros and cons of voting </li></ul><ul><li>1940 Gospel Herald criticized voting </li></ul><ul><li>1940 MWR very political, supported Wendell Willkie over FDR, had Republican ads </li></ul><ul><li>1940 the vote for FDR was 17% in “Mennonite” towns and 42% in the rest of Kansas </li></ul>
  8. 8. WW II and after <ul><li>Church and Govt. had a plan for CO’s this time </li></ul><ul><li>1944 MWR had no political ads and little political news </li></ul><ul><li>Alcohol propositions an issue </li></ul><ul><li>1948 SCC said “we recognize a distinction between giving voice to a moral issue as compared to a political issue” </li></ul><ul><li>Mennos in service exposed to the world’s problems, what do you do? </li></ul><ul><li>No major statements </li></ul>
  9. 9. Recent Surveys <ul><li>1968- Anabaptists: Four Centuries Later Kauffman & Harder </li></ul><ul><li>They divide Anabaptists in new world into three types in regard to politics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nonparticipants: Historically MB, BIC and OM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free participation: GCs and EMC after WWI </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selective participation: MB </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Did you parents vote? </li></ul><ul><li>Did your grandparents? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Recent Surveys <ul><li>1968- Anabaptists: Four Centuries Later Kauffman & Harder </li></ul><ul><li>1989- Mennonite Mosaic Follow-up to Kauffman/Harder </li></ul><ul><li>2006- Road Signs for the Journey Kanagy, Mennonite Member Profile </li></ul><ul><li>2008- Whitestone- this class </li></ul><ul><li>Common Questions asked </li></ul>
  11. 11. Question #1 Would you identify yourself as a: -Democrat -Republican -No political affiliation
  12. 12. 1968 1989 (all 5 Mennonite Groups)
  13. 13. 2006 Mennonite Member Profile 2008 Our Class
  14. 14. 2006 Mennonite Member Profile 2006 MMP Pastor responses
  15. 15. Question #2 (In the Mennonite July 08) Compared to the presidential election four years ago, I am: -More interested in the election -Less interested -Not sure
  16. 16. Interest in 2008 Election
  17. 17. Question #3 Church members should vote in elections for state and national office. -Agree -Uncertain -Disagree
  18. 18. 1968 Should Vote? 1989 Should Vote?
  19. 19. 2006 Mennonite Member Profile Vote? 2008 Should Vote? Our Class
  20. 20. Question #4 In how many of the elections in recent years have you voted? -None -A few/some -Most/all
  21. 21. 1968 Voted? 1989 Voted?
  22. 22. 2006 Mennonite Member Profile 2008 Our Class They didn’t ask this question
  23. 23. Question #5 Do you feel it is proper for your congregation to endorse particular candidates for office? -Yes -No
  24. 24. 1968 Endorse Candidates? 1989 Endorse Candidates?
  25. 25. 2006 Mennonite Member Profile 2008 Our Class on Endorsing Candidates They didn’t ask this question
  26. 26. 2006 MMP Do you believe it is OK to fly an American flag inside a Mennonite church? Whitestone
  27. 27. Question # 7 Do you believe America is a Christian nation? (First asked in 2007) -Yes -No -Not sure
  28. 28. 2006 MMP A Christian Nation? Whitestone
  29. 29. Question #7 Do you think the Cubs will finally win the World Series this year?

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