What is it about the Pilgrim Mennonites that makes passers-by feel so soft and cuddly? Is it their humble gaze, the one you feel ashamed to have held for so long? Perhaps it’s their love of super non-aggressive pastel prints dyed light enough to fade into the nearest field of daisies. Or maybe it’s the fact that so many of the women wear supermarket sneakers just below the long lengths of their dresses, and how you imagine each one running toward you down a winding lane to great you with fresh milk? Whatever it may be, nothing settles the nerves more than that fair choral of Christ Consciousness floating into your ears from afar as you trudge through the Union Square subway terminal’s unique brand of chaos.
Unless of course you’ve actually peeked at some free Pilgrim Mennonite literature.
It seems that despite their absolutely inviting demeanor, the Pilgrim Mennonites have got some real fire & brimstone up those floral sleeves. Take for example this sweet lil’ passage from a pamphlet titled “Eternity:”
Who knew these lovable Pilgrims could be so intense?
- pain without end
- fire forever and ever
- darkness without end
- awful “outer darkness”
- no end in sight
That’s some heavy negativity!
Maybe it’s me. Perhaps I’m the fool who’s forgotten that the original Pilgrims were about as welcoming as a Nazi war party. Yeah, the Pilgrims fled old England-town due to religious persecution, but yeah they were also intolerant isolationists happy only when damning “savages” to hell, and denying their own Puritan selves every possible God-given human pleasure. For those of us living in the US, when it comes to Pilgrims it’s all boot buckles this, and black top hats that, but in real life, Pilgrims were some pretty harsh dudes.
Are our friends the Pilgrim Mennonites determined to carry the flame of Calvin lit by the grease of heretical sinners?