Cards against the Mennonites is a party game for Mennonites. It’s not a horrible game that encourages horrible behaviour. It’s mildly amusing and every so often slightly, but not very, provocative. Mind you, only Mennonites will find it provocative. Or amusing.
People with a loose connection to Mennonites might experience a somewhat disorienting experience of feeling like they have entered into an alternate universe in which the rules of comedy are just a little bit different from their own.
Cards Against the Mennonites is intended as an activity for Mennonites to while away a few hours before getting back to their baking, farm work, Church work, charity work, or other worthy activities. It should be used with moderation.
You can’t buy Cards Against the Mennonites in stores or on the internet.* It’s a DIY kinda thing.
How to Begin
Start by reading the rules and downloading the cards.
You need a pack of both the White Cards and the Black Cards. You can print them off your home computer onto card stock if you like, or go to a print shop and have them do it. Or, if you’re feeling particularly frugal, you can just hand write them onto squares of construction paper.
If you’re lucky, you have a nice, sturdy box lying around that you can re-purpose as a game box. If not, just wrap up the cards in elastic bands for easy storage. Gather together some paper clips. Invite some friends over. Serve them cookies, pie and/or platz and a drink. Follow the rules.
Cards Against the Mennonites Rules
To start the game, each player draws ten White Cards.
The person who most recently read from the Bible begins as the Card Elder and plays a Black Card. The Card Elder reads the question or fill-in-the-blank phrase on the Black Card out loud.
Everyone else answers the question or fills in the blank by passing one White Card, face down, to the Card Elder.
The Card Elder shuffles all of the answers and shares each card combination with the group, re-reading the Black Card before presenting each answer; the Elder may also make minor alterations to make the phrase grammatically correct. The Card Elder then picks the funniest play, and whoever submitted it gets one Amusement Point.
After the round, a new player becomes the Card Elder, and everyone draws back up to ten White Cards.
Some cards say Pick 2 on the bottom. To answer these, each player plays two White Cards in combination. Play them in the order that the Card Elder should read them – the order matters.
To maintain orderly behaviour, you can use paperclips to secure the cards in the right order.
Cards Against the Mennonites is not meant to be remixed. However, minor modifications are sometimes permissible if decided upon through communal discernment. Here are some possibilities:
Let’s Not get Carried Away, Now
Players set a timer at the beginning to assure that they do not whittle away too much time and can get back to work promptly afterwards.
Instead of the Card Elder choosing a favorite answer, the group chooses each round’s winner by discernment and a consensus-based decision-making process. Note that it is difficult to combine this variation with the “Let’s Not Get Carried Away, Now” variation.
Cards Against the Mennonites is designed to be inoffensive but it is still possible that the wrong combination of cards could inadvertently offend someone. In this version, players are permitted to draw cards rather than play one that is not entirely and exactly appropriate, and continue drawing until the correct one turns up. In this version, players are rewarded Appropriateness Points rather than Amusement points.
* This is a “transformation” of Cards Against Humanity, an activity which falls under Cards Against Humanity‘s Creative Commons license. Under this same license, the game is available free of charge for non-commercial uses. If you started making this game and selling it to all your Mennonite friends, you would be in violation of the original license. On the other hand, if you want, you can print off and cut a bunch of the cards and give them to your friends free or at cost. You should attribute the idea of it to me (and to the creators of Cards Against Humanity), though. It would really hurt my feelings if you pretended that you came up with it on your own.