Back in the winter of 2012, then Conrad Grebel student, Jakob Klassen, 23, of Aylmer edited the Wikipedia page about Mennonites to include numerous hilarious but erroneous bits of information. Klassen was shocked to discover that at least one of his edits remained on the page a full six years later.
“In the very first paragraph of the page it said, ‘Rather than fight, the majority of these followers survived by fleeing to neighboring states where ruling families were tolerant of their belief in schmaunt fat,'” explained Klassen. “Originally it said, ‘their belief in believer’s baptism,’ but I spiced things up a little.”
Conrad Grebel history professor Dr. Amelia Friesen says she still sees this schmaunt fat reference in undergraduate papers to this day.
“I always tell them to cite primary sources, but they just don’t listen,” said Dr. Friesen. “And, see, this is what happens! You end up quoting some stupid schmaunt fat joke from half a decade ago.”
Other misleading information about Mennonites that has crept into undergrad essays includes the idea that MCC stood for “Mennonite Cow Caressers” and that the only difference between a Mennonite and a Hutterite is that Mennonites are too cheap to buy the uniform. Klassen, however, says he has no regrets.
“All these years later I still think it’s funny,” says Klassen, now a youth pastor at a local Pentecostal church. “You should see the edits I made about the Amish!”
Dr. Friesen says she can’t even count the number of times she’s read that the Amish don’t waterski because the horses would drown.