haithabu wrote:Personally I think it's a bad habit, because in some cases (not this one mind you) those who have said such things have missed out on thoughtful, well written stuff.
This description doesn't make it sound like thoughtful, well-written stuff.
It contains a lot of partially digested information which contains some howlers such as the writer's disclosure that the Amish speak Plautdietsch. A more serious error is the broad brush implying that any Mennonites to come out of Russia after the war were Nazis. Further, the Mennonite settlements in Paraguay are described as Nazi colonies:
As Hitler’s Germany collapsed, Nazi Mennonite colonies transplanted to Paraguay, where they joined existing Nazi-like colonies that for years racially afflicted and exploited indigenous Indians.
There is enough truth contained in the article to save it from being fake news, but I feel that in his effort to knock MCUSA's stance, Black overgeneralizes about Russian Mennonites (or is it the Amish?
) to the point of being misleading.
I did take the time to read the article, it is attacking Koontz and MC-USA and Mennonites of many kinds in various countries. The article was prompted by two things.
1. Koontz is a math teacher who lost her job because Kansas passed a law
forbidding contracts with people or parties who boycott Israel, requiring them to sign written certificates that they aren't boycotting the Jewish state. Koontz sued
On October 11, 2017, the ACLU and the ACLU of Kansas filed a lawsuit against the state of Kansas over a state law that requires that any person or company that contracts with the state submit a written certification that they are “not currently engaged in a boycott of Israel.”
The ACLU represents Esther Koontz, who belongs to the Mennonite Church USA. In accordance with calls for boycott made by members of her congregation and her church, Ms. Koontz chooses not to buy consumer products made by Israeli companies and international companies operating in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Ms. Koontz participates in this boycott in order to protest the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians and to pressure the country to change its policies.
Ms. Koontz has served as a public school math teacher for nine years, and was preparing to begin training math teachers across the state as a contractor with the Kansas Department of Education's Math and Science Partnerships program when she was asked to sign the certification. After responding that she could not sign the certification in good conscience, Ms. Koontz was told she could no longer participate in the program.
The lawsuit argues that the Kansas law violates the First Amendment for several reasons: it compels speech regarding protected political beliefs, associations, and expression; restricts the political expression and association of government contractors; and discriminates against protected expression based on its content and viewpoint. The lawsuit asks the court to strike down the law and bar the Kansas Department of Education from requiring contractors to certify that they are not participating in boycotts of Israel.
2. MC-USA divested holdings in companies that profit from Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories
The Mennonite Church USA voted to sell its holdings in companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, the latest American Christian group to do so.
Mennonites had rejected a divestment proposal at their last national meeting two years ago amid fears that the resolution would be considered anti-Jewish. The statement adopted Thursday condemns anti-Semitism, encourages stronger ties between church members and Jews, and endorses a review of how Mennonites responded to the Holocaust.
The article you pointed to concludes that the Mennonites are messing up because they question Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, here is the conclusion:
If Koontz will return to any of the simple Mennonite churches in central Kansas, she can refresh her knowledge of history and the restoration of the Jews in Israel. She can read the one international law that predated the League of Nations, the Arab invasion, and even the Roman expulsion. She can refer to Leviticus 25:10 which commands the Israelites to “proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property.” No Hitler decree, Arab League boycott, BDS chant, MC-USA resolution, or ACLU lawsuit can erase those words from the churches of Kansas— or from its courtrooms.
Along the lines, it makes a number of over-the-top statements like this:
No one speaks for the Mennonites. They answer to no one but their God and their conscience. But in the highly-fragmented world of Anabaptist Mennonite thought, there are several sects and branches which have darkly drifted far away from the teachings and have embraced hate, fascism, terrorism, and politics.
During the Holocaust, Nazism appealed to many German and Ukrainian Mennonites. In 1942, the Molotschna Mennonite colony in the Ukraine formally hosted an SS gathering and raised the swastika flag, as the Mennonite Library and Archives in Kansas has preserved. Ukrainian Mennonites volunteered to assist Nazi death squads as they machine-gunned helpless Jews in pits.
Mennonites. Hate, fascism, terrorism, and politics. A bit of a hatchet-job, don't you think? On the whole, I really don't think this article fairly characterizes Mennonites. Or Koontz. Or the decision of MC-USA to divest holdings that profit from the occupation of Palestine.
Is it biblical? Is it Christlike? Is it loving? Is it true? How can I find out?