We are Marginal Mennonites, and we are not ashamed.
We are marginal because no self-respecting Mennonite organization would have us. (Not that we care about no stinkin’ respect anyway.)
We reject all creeds, doctrines, dogmas and rituals, because they’re man-made and were created for the purpose of excluding people. Their primary function is to determine who’s in (those who accept the creeds) and who’s out (those who don’t). The earliest anabaptists were also non-creedal.
We are inclusive. There are no dues or fees for membership. The only requirement is the desire to identify oneself as a Marginal Mennonite. We have no protocol for exclusion.
We are universalists. We believe every person who’s ever lived gets a seat at the celestial banquet table. No questions asked! Mystic-humanist (and anabaptist) Hans Denck was quoted saying that “even demons in the end will be saved.”
We reject missionary activity. Christian mission, historically, goes hand-in-hand with cultural extermination. We love human diversity and seek to preserve it. Thus, we oppose evangelistic campaigns and mission boards, no matter how innocuous or charitable they claim to be.
We like Jesus. A lot. The real Jesus, not the supernatural one. We like the one who was 100% human, who moved around in space and time. The one who enjoyed the company of women and was obsessed with the kingdom of God. The one who said “Become passersby!” (Gospel of Thomas 42), which we interpret as an anti-automobile sentiment.
We endorse the Sermon on the Mount. Or at least the sayings within that can be identified by modern biblical scholarship as authentic. The sayings emphasizing love, mercy, compassion, nonviolence, and non-attachment to material things. We recall that the earliest anabaptists were known as “Sermon-on-the-Mount people.”
We recognize that focusing on “authentic sayings” might say as much about us as it does about the historical Jesus. There are many Jesuses around these days. We choose to hang with the merciful and inclusive Jesus of the Sermon, as opposed to the judgmental and exclusive Jesus of the church.
We are unapologetic humanists. We believe in art, evolution, relativity, paradox, synchronicity, quantum mechanics, string cheese theory, and putty tats. We value irreverence, outrageousness, and a strong cup of tea. We aim to help raise the collective consciousness, as well as the awareness we are all One.
We strive to animate the spirits of Jalaluddin Rumi (d.1273), Hans Denck (d.1527), George Fox (d.1691), Leo Tolstoy (d.1910) and Dorothy Day (d.1980), among others.
We are weirdly drawn to the example of 12 anabaptists who ran through the streets of Amsterdam in the nude in 1535.
We believe God has a funny bone as big as the cosmos, and wants us all to lighten up.
Our favorite color is lavender. Our favorite flavor is rainbow.
Visit the “Marginal Mennonite Society” Facebook page, and “like” us.
(The MMS was created in February 2011.)
Manifesto last revised: November 2011.