Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
As I say sometimes, I am "not literal enough to be a Mennonite" and "not liberal enough to be a Quaker".
I suppose that this is partly a matter of class consciousness. I have grown up in a small village where most men were industrial workers (with some additional farming) and even if I am lazy by nature I have internalized the small people work ethics.
Now, Anabaptism is historically a religion of (and for) farmers and craftsmen. The good side of that: They have still some yeomen's insticts: sense for practical skills and solutions and for self-responsibility. This makes Mennonite Disaster Service or MEDA (the support for third-world development) really useful. The bad side of that: They overestimate holy books and their literal application. And they have too much respect for authorities like pastors and professors.
In fact, this changes Mennonism (not the Amish or Hutterites) today more and more to a pastor-and-professor religion, extremely unattractive. (We have no more the blunt and dogged obedience to the letter, but a handiness to give the letter just the meaning you want).
On the other hand, Quakerism is historically a religion of (and for) businessmen. The good side of this is Quakers' instinctive understanding of "discernment' (as different from literalcy). And Quaker did a lot to improve the morals of businessmen! The bad side is their tendency to solve problems by "managing" other people - no "yeomen" rugged standoffishness here, they have a natural liking for ideas like "social engineering" just unto outright socialist solutions. And of course they provide for other businessmen - Sidwell Friends High is the preferred school for the rich and powerful Washingtonians because Sidwell Friends instinctively understand the parents who want their children to "get the right connexions" for later "networking". But what use is that for me?
So which religion is preferable?