The Theology of Consensus
L.A. Kauffman’s critique is a rather perennial argument in lefty circles and this article makes a number of logical leaps but it does map out the half-forgotten Quaker roots of activist consensus and she does a good job mapping out some of the pitfalls to using it dogmatically:
Consensus decision-making’s little-known religious origins shed light on why this activist practice has persisted so long despite being unwieldy, off-putting, and ineffective.
Documents of Quaker merchant hanged in 1778 up for auction
The Philadelphia Inquirer runs a piece on a Revolutionary War-era Quaker pacifists caught between two sides:
As a Quaker, Roberts was a pacifist who wished to remain neutral during the war. But his mill and farmland were located in an area where both the American and British armies were constantly foraging for food and livestock, and Roberts was likely caught between both forces, said David W. Maxey, a Philadelphia lawyer and author of a 2011 book on Roberts’ trial.
Joint statement on Burundi by Quaker orgs
A statement on the situation in the central African country signed by nine Quaker organizations, posted on the AFSC site:
We know that a path out of the crisis in Burundi is still possible and stand in support of all those who work for a peaceful and just path forward. We hope that you will join us in holding Burundi in the Light and take a moment to prayerfully consider some of the ideas that Burundian friends have told us are important.
Welcome and gender at an FUM Stoking the Fire conference
Ashley Wilcox visits a Quaker conference in Ohio and reports back initial reflections
The unfortunate convenience of the Peace Testimony
On Reddit, do we lean on our most well-known testimony too much?
No explanation is generally provided, because none is needed. But the Peace Testimony is a choice each Friend makes, and it is a choice we re-make every time we find ourselves in a situation where violence might seem warranted. We do not follow it simply out of tradition, but because we comprehend the moral reasoning that underlies it.
The difference between affirmation and oath
BBC News parses an important distinction for early Friends:
‘When handed a Bible to swear on, Fox opened it at the verse that read, “Swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath” – a rather awkward text for the book that people are supposed to swear on.’
Dealing with a Meeting that doesn’t know what to do with you
Mary Glenn Hadley writes in Quaker Life:
You are not alone. There are many others who are or have walked this lonely road. This can be a time of growth for you. In my times of loneliness, God has taught me that I was too eager to turn to my friends when He had new things to reveal to me or new assignments He wanted me to do.
Rowdy Meetinghouse On Green Street Divides Quakers
Hidden City Philadelphia profiles a “rebellious” Friends meeting:
“The Greene Street Friends School was founded in 1855 by former members of the rebellious Green Street Meeting House in Northern Liberties… The variance of Greene and Green is not a spelling error, but indirectly draws its origins from the first major schism within the Religious Society of Friends.”