Inspired by a provocative 19th century pamphlet, Mennonite revolutionary leader Karl Yoder spoke to a legion of followers on Saturday, calling on the masses of Yoders to overthrow their chains of oppression.
“Comrades! For too long we have been stepped on and stomped on by the Smuckers and Millers of this world,” said Karl. “Rise up, brothers! Together we can emancipate ourselves from the Smuckers and Millers and establish a utopian community based on mutual respect and adoration for head-coverings and the voluntary baptism of adults!”
At this the crowd of Yoders spontaneously broke into into a boisterous singing of Hymn 606 that could be heard for miles in every direction.
“Yoders of the world, unite!” announced the leader, before leading the crowd in a storming of a Miller-controlled MCC store. “Comrades! Fight!”
The fighting raged on throughout the weekend. It was the most intense Anabaptist battle since the Munster Rebellion, with many casualties on both sides, including, alas, our beloved Comrade Karl.
In the end the Yoders occupied the MCC store for a full day before declaring it an independent state and creating a massive mausoleum for their dear departed leader in the parking lot.
On his tomb read his last words: “Religion is the schmaunt fat of the masses,” which, to his detractors, was interpreted as clear evidence Comrade Karl had come under influence of the Russian Mennonites.
(photo credit: by Kheel Center, Cornell University Library/CC)