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For discussion: 'Seeking the welfare of the city'

Questions for reflecting on and discussing the feature article, 'Seeking the welfare of the city' (Nov. 10, 2014 issue)

By Barb Draper
Nov 05, 2014 | Volume 18, Number 22

1. How long ago did Mennonites in your community begin holding public office? Was there a time when local/municipal offices were deemed appropriate for Mennonites, but not provincial or federal ones?  

2. Carl Zehr felt conflicted when he had to lay a wreath at the cenotaph on Remembrance Day. If Mennonites believe in peace and nonviolence, is it appropriate to support those who use violence to keep Canadians safe? Is it ever appropriate for Mennonites to be involved in the use of lethal force?

3. What does the creation of Mennonite Central Committee offices in Ottawa and Washington, D.C., say about the Mennonite church’s relationship to the state? Do you agree with Dick Benner that Mennonites in Canada are now fully involved in public life?

4. What rationale do Mennonite politicians give for standing for public office? What are the dangers in getting involved in partisan politics? Is public office the best way to work at improving our communities?

—Posted Nov. 6, 2014

See also: Where faith and politics intersect

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