Mennonite Tour de France champ

posted by Adam (Southern California) on July 23rd, 2006

New Tour de France champion Floyd Landis was raised in a conservative Mennonite community in Pennsylvania, though he left the church at the age of 17. Here’s the article. And a quote:

One of Martindale’s pastors, David Sensenig, said recognition of individual accomplishment is frowned on in Mennonite faith. Nevertheless, he said Floyd Landis was still the talk of the congregation.

“Winning the race isn’t the big deal,” Sensenig said. “It’s what he does with the results, with the fame and fortune. He can use his influence for the betterment of the church, of Christ.”

Paul Landis said he sees the victory as a chance to spread the Gospels and looks forward to meeting people he never otherwise would have met.

“I want to hear their victories and their sorrows, and we can encourage each other,” he said.

I’ve always admired the faith of the Amish and the Mennonites, but doesn’t this point out something of a paradox with insular communities— publicizing the church is only possible for people who leave it?

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