If my Amish-Mennonite forefathers could see me now, I wonder what they would say. If I sat down with America's first Amish bishop (my 6th great-grandfather) or the first Mennonite bishop in Virginia (my 5th great-grandfather), how would they feel about my working in Congress these last three years as a senior policy advisor to a U.S. congressman, or even my media commentary on TV, given the whole "no graven images" thing. How would my deceased father and grandfathers -- who were prominent preachers in the church but who never stepped foot in Washington D.C.'s political arena -- feel about my pursuits in political punditry?
I'm guessing I'd get a mouthful, something about needing to stay clear of this nexus of national nefariousness. No surprise there. Having grown up in a small Amish-Mennonite town in Ohio, I've witnessed how the community has traditionally stuck to the land, to living simply, to nonviolence, to voluntary service -- all principles I support. Engaging Washington has never been their focus. You will never see an Amish-Mennonite lobby office open on K Street, for example.