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JANUARY 6, 2008

In Green Lane Pennsylvania, on the way to the New Hampshire primary, I was invited for a Sunday service at a Mennonite church, and to brunch afterwards. The congregation, I am told, feels divided by political divisions between conservatives and liberals. “The community is the essence of our religion”, they explain and they cannot afford the division. All around America, the Mennonite church is seriously considering withdrawing from the vote and from participation in elections. This was the traditional position of the church until the early part of the 20th century. I was invited to witness the dilemma and record the debates. “ For me”, says Jason , a practicing Mennonite, “not to vote is a problem . I am a social worker and need to advocate for my clients. How can I withdraw from voting?” Election here as everywhere is an intensely personal matter and leads to heart wrenching discussions.

A view of the entire journey.
For more on my Sunday in Green Lane Pennsylvania, please go
Portraits of the Week. For some of the scenes we filmed during our visit, please go to the home page.

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