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BS: The Quakers

InOBU 23 Jan 11 - 08:42 AM
Richie Black (misused acct, bad email) 22 Jan 11 - 06:29 PM
Penny S. 22 Jan 11 - 05:57 PM
InOBU 22 Jan 11 - 08:55 AM
Dorothy Parshall 21 Jan 11 - 04:40 PM
InOBU 21 Jan 11 - 08:22 AM
Dorothy Parshall 20 Jan 11 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,Neil D 20 Jan 11 - 01:03 PM
InOBU 20 Jan 11 - 08:47 AM
InOBU 20 Jan 11 - 07:51 AM
GUEST,alan Whittle 20 Jan 11 - 07:41 AM
GUEST,Patsy 20 Jan 11 - 07:14 AM
GUEST 20 Jan 11 - 07:00 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 20 Jan 11 - 06:45 AM
InOBU 19 Jan 11 - 09:35 PM
Dorothy Parshall 19 Jan 11 - 05:46 PM
Penny S. 19 Jan 11 - 05:44 PM
Dorothy Parshall 19 Jan 11 - 03:12 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 19 Jan 11 - 07:53 AM
theleveller 19 Jan 11 - 04:33 AM
IanC 19 Jan 11 - 03:13 AM
InOBU 18 Jan 11 - 08:45 PM
Penny S. 18 Jan 11 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,Neil D 18 Jan 11 - 02:48 PM
GUEST,Patsy 18 Jan 11 - 10:51 AM
InOBU 18 Jan 11 - 08:40 AM
Donuel 17 Jan 11 - 11:00 PM
InOBU 17 Jan 11 - 10:44 PM
GUEST,Eliza 17 Jan 11 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 17 Jan 11 - 10:36 AM
InOBU 17 Jan 11 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 16 Jan 11 - 04:14 PM
Ed T 16 Jan 11 - 10:08 AM
InOBU 16 Jan 11 - 08:39 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 16 Jan 11 - 06:52 AM
Dorothy Parshall 15 Jan 11 - 06:33 PM
BTNG 15 Jan 11 - 06:19 PM
Dorothy Parshall 15 Jan 11 - 05:58 PM
ChanteyLass 15 Jan 11 - 01:21 PM
EBarnacle 15 Jan 11 - 12:27 PM
Bonzo3legs 15 Jan 11 - 12:00 PM
Mrrzy 15 Jan 11 - 09:33 AM
GUEST,JTT 15 Jan 11 - 01:11 AM
Ed T 14 Jan 11 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,JTT 14 Jan 11 - 02:13 PM
gnomad 19 Jan 10 - 04:05 PM
CapriUni 19 Jan 10 - 03:42 PM
gnomad 19 Jan 10 - 01:26 PM
CapriUni 19 Jan 10 - 12:43 AM
Rumncoke 18 Jan 10 - 07:17 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: InOBU
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 08:42 AM

Dear JTT: THee is right in the present day, about the rareity of voilence against children, as far as I have seen... but into the 1960's many Quaker families saw a difference between hitting a grownup and corporal punishment of children, oddly enough.

National statistics found, among Quaker families, back then, as much voilence, even violent abuse among Quakers as others. It is one of the positive changes... the spare the rod thing has been abandoned.

I also must say, I remember in the sixties my dad and the other niccotine addicted Quakers racing out the side door of the Meetinghouse to grab a smoke after having to go a whole hour without a ciggy.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 22 Jan 11 - 06:29 PM

They make little individual serving sachets now that take only a few minutes in the microwave. Very tasty. Great for tightening your insides if you were on the stout for a few days.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: Penny S.
Date: 22 Jan 11 - 05:57 PM

Dear Lorcan. I am much moved by thy account of thy problems. They bring to mind the meeting of the minister and a few deacons of the Congregational Church in Dover which reduced my mother to tears and left her wandering the town rather than going home so that my father would not be moved to go and address them. The matter concerned something to do with the Junior Church which she had been asked to run, but she was never told exactly what, was prayed at and told not to be unpleasant when she attempted to answer. This is why we left that Church and I am now a Quaker. I have not met anything quite like that in the Friends over here. It is pretty disorientating when that which one belongs to and feels to be the pond in which one swims and which gives one life suddenly turns out to be completely different. Especially when it considers that it is oneself which is in error.

I trust that you do find a place where you can share the Light with others again.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: InOBU
Date: 22 Jan 11 - 08:55 AM

Ah simplicity in speach... I often try and find the least words for a message in worship, that inner core, once I delivered a message which was only 14 words long, I was latter told, by a Friend who often spoke for hours...

Writing is a bit different for me... how can I spare immages when our friend Alan conjures up a dancing Hippo? In the words of the old Quaker song... how can I keep from singing?

I think thee may be a bit hard on our Friend Herbert Hoover. I do often make a joke at his expence... We Quakers have given the world two American presidents, Richard Nixon who is an example of our testimony of peace and honesty, and Hoover who is an example of Quaker business sence.

But, in all seriousness... I don't think there is a comparison between Hoover and Nixon. Hoover went to Meeting, even in the White House when he could not go to other Meetings. I do think it is impossible in the world to be a president and a Quaker... I try not to use the terms, "our government" or "our president." I have no guide to my soul other than God. I try to live with out too much insult to the government, or be led into evil by the government.

I am in unity with thee on schools... this is why we built them in the first place, so our children would not be encultrated into a national identity from which we stand aside.

THee and thy is much simpler. You is a plural, which is why I use you and thee in the same sentence, depending on if the speach is directed at one or many... YOu Quakers... thee Dorothy...
Friends mind thy worldly leanings... Dorthy thy note is deep and weighty...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 21 Jan 11 - 04:40 PM

Friend Lorcan,
Thou hast become too wordy for me to follow. Simplicity in speech would be helpful.

Ironic is it not that both "Quaker presidents" were not really very Quaker? Hence, imo, not worthy of comment.

You had a better FDS than I. I had to do my learning about Q tradition, thought, organization and procedure as an adult. I am currently involved in defining consideration, discernment, clearness and clerking.

Schools, generically, are, in general, a hazard to our young. The movie Waiting for Superman spoke to my condition. It seemed to be a follow up on the paper I wrote for Sociology of Education in 1971. Forty years later and....

The reason given for plain speech in my area was that "you" and the honorifics, short versions of Master and Mistress, were only given to equals and higher ups. The lower classes were thee and first names. In choosing to treat each person as an equal, the Quakers eliminated the honorifics and referred to all by thee. In French it is referred to as "tutoyer" and I had to explain to my French teacher why I would only tutoyer.

peacefully,
Friend Dorothy


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: InOBU
Date: 21 Jan 11 - 08:22 AM

Dear Friends:

I should say, after musing on this for a day, that it is not the schools alone that are the problem, they are the symptom. Rather it is the general dumbing down of the USA, due, in part to the efforts of one of the two Quaker presidents, Richard Nixon.

I hear tea cups clatter down, and coffee and tea sputter out soaking computer screens from Kansas to Kingussie. "What's he on about now?"

Well... Nixon blaimed the sixties on several things. One, the news media, the other, social studies in education. In forming the present culture of greed, in which Nixon was a pioneer and trail blazer, he worked to achieve and end to liberal news gathering and an end to social studies in grade school - break the teaching of a culture of liberty in America.

On the news front, CBS, in responce to the stated goal of Republicans taking over news corporations brought in Larry Tish, what passes for a liberal among the rich, to bolster up the corporation so that it would not be taken over by someone like Murdoch. Tish, not being a newsperson, invented the news magazine format, and in the nightly news brought the "if it bleeds it leads" reporting to TV. Violence was removed from context ( for an example compair US TV to Canadian TV news... CNN vs. CBS.) All this was a part of the dumbing down of the USA... the news bite culture.

So... how has this effected Quakerism. I remember as a young child in First Day School being taught things which adult Quakerism classes today never get to... we were enculturated in the process of our faith.

As a very young Friend, we were led to understand our faith by Anna L. Curtis, the Quaker writer and grandaughter of Underground Railroad conductors. At around 10, we began to think deeply about the delemmas of living in the world but not becomeing part of the world, with Peter Fingestine. I remember his reading with us, a New York Times artical on territorialism among humans and other primates and discussing with us, how, can we as Friends - work with these parts of us, dictated by nature ... by God, and still build the peaceable kingdom.

By 12, with Herb White we were talking about what sin is in Quakerism, separation rather than rule breaking... in short, in Frist Day School, we took serriously the last part of Hillel's instruction to the Roman soldier in the conversation with Shimai... "Do nothing to another which is abhorant to thyself, that is the Torrah and the rest is commentary, love God with all thy heart, now go and study." It is the now go and study part that has been lost.

First day school is taught in a way which is little more than baby sitting. Now I know a lot of very faithful R.E. folks will be hurt by this, and say, "NO! We did the peacefeather pagent last year!" But, unfortunatly, this generation teaching, grew up on Seasime street, and has no understanding of the difference between the sound bite culture and the last glimmerings of the enlightenment which gave us birth and died of a masive heart attack with the sudden apearence of the muppets as the mentors of their generation.

Many Quakers think, a) Quakerism is a set of liberal conclusions, B) it happens magically because God talks to thee and not you. So, I hear New Age Quakers go on about channeling God in Meetings and laying it on the rest of us... the listening to God in others seems to be a sort of ... oh... politeness which may be given a nod without a handshake... a bless you after a sneeze.

Well that is a good start from me, I will settle into silence for a bit and see if this plants seeds with any of you out there, either thorn bushes or corn.

Thine, dearly in the light
Lorcan


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 05:05 PM

Friend Lorcan,

I certainly am in unity with most of your comments. I still think most Quaker schools.... Both my sons went to Quaker schools. Westtown which is probably less Quakerly than you and I would like but did not take from him the values I had instilled. Argenta FS (now defunct) which was superb in most of the ways we might hope. Neither son is heavily involved in Friends now nor any mainstream religion. They still carry most of the values Mother strove for. They are people I can respect.

I do not have very good recall so I may post more another time after re-reading! We certainly have more in common, than not.

Dorothy


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 01:03 PM

InOBU,
    Very sorry to hear of the difficulties you've been having with the worldly trends in your meeting. You seem to me the embodiment of the earlier Quakerism that my own ancestors practiced, idealistically embracing pacifism, tolerance and brotherhood. From reading your posts, I fear that this idealism may be slowly disappearing from Quakerism and from the world, and we are all the poorer for it.
    BTW, what you said twice now about emptying the will to let God in reminds me of the Zen parable where the master cannot give Zen to the student until presented with an empty vessel. Not surprising because I always thought that the old style meetings were more meditative than most forms of Western religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: InOBU
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 08:47 AM

PS... now down at work, on this silver brisk morning, I see Al, that thee has posted at the same time I have... we are on a common track.

I struggled against the schism in our faith between the Orthodoxy and the Hicksite tradition in which I grew up... which caused great pain for over one hundred years. Funny enough, it is the new age friends, to a great degree now at the root of the present schism which thee and I both descibe ... ging to where one hears God the loudest...

I say schism rather than new meetings, in that, in truth, I cannot see the objectification and polarisation of others as Quakerism... so it is not a simple hiving, which happens when meetings become too large, but rather, a split to return to that core of our faith. I find the abandonment of process reaches up into our yearly Meeting as well... and ... well, let me give thee an example.

As thee might know, recently British Yearly Meeting was informed by the British government that they must appoint trustees. The reaction gave great hope to some Friends in New York labouring with the issues of property.

In the US the government insisted on Trustees to deal with the split of huge amount of property to be split. For decades, we did not need to spell out that these trustees had no power, other than to rubber stamp the decisions of our gathered meetings speaking in unity.

Then, as the schools in New York began to petition to become independant of our ownership and eldership, Trustees began a grab at real power, arguing (quite litterally) that the state held them responcible, and as such gave them power to decide against the expressed guidence of a gathered meeting for worship with a concern for business.

I suggest at the next quarterly Meeting - as we revised the book of disaplyn (now called the Quaker hand book - easier to spell but loosing an important point I am afraid... =)    ) That we should adopt the language of British Yearly Meeting on trustees, that they have no power to lead, only to be led by the Meeting and convey that unity to the Government.

This minute was passed, then slightly changed in transcription at some point, then abandoned entirely, in practive while still in the handbook. Trustees began an internal threshing to decide on their own what their powers are, and have done things like apointing their own property committee which now has direct authority over the property committees which are appointed through Quaker process.

While all this is happening, there have been issues of missapropriation of funds brought to me, on Ministry and Council - which, I can only describe as being covered up. Those who brought the concerns over this were then black listed from service in our Meetings.

Now, yes, I can stay silent and wait for things to grow towards God... but, after being litterally put on trial by other members of Pastoral Care in my home meeting (an entire Meeting of PC dedicated to me... where everytime I replied to quierries put to me, I was interupted a few words in... laughed at, and sighed at by a Friend who when I asked her to please let me reply from a place of worship, was told she could not control her reactions as she was an "actress"...) so there comes a point where one cannot stay in process with others, and so in silence promote the untruth that all is well.

Part of the problem is that there is a small handful of us who grew up in this meeting, at a time when, though there were grave concerns, the begining of the Vietnam war, and the healing of the great schism... we labored together lovingly. Issues of property did not pull us from the Quaker way of living in the world but not being of the world...

Today, there are worldly and violent trends in our Meeting, for example censorship, which I cannot see as the faith in which I grew up. I am not alone in this, and it looks like we might return to house meetings. I don't know, the idea of schism really does not sit well with me, so I bide on a witness of absence, which I find very painful.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: InOBU
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 07:51 AM

Dear friends and Friends

Alan, thy immage of a hippo dancing is a wonderful opening. I have to run down and open the theater at 8 this morning, so I may not finish this in one go, as I also wish to comment on our process and varrious witnesses for peace... but, here goes.

Has thee ever seen a Hippo underwater? In the right place, in the Shaker sense (by turning we come 'round right) a Hippo can certainly dance. A Catholic friend once said to me that after she took her classes towards her communion, her mother said, "before you take communion and join the church, ask yourself is this where I hear God the loudest, don't feel you would disapoint me if you don't become Catholic, I want you to go where you hear God's voice the loudest."

Some one here asked what is Quakerism. I gave a short answer about empting the will to allow God in...

In silence, in waiting on the lord or for light in meetings for worship with an intent on business, we sit in silence to weigh our light, is it the corporate leading, or is it our ego.

Some in worship give self serving messages about their own goodness in varrious situations using themselves as examples. They speak week after week, and should be gently eldered, and sometimes are... it seldom works. The self osborbed are often a burden we must bear with love and tollerance.
On the other hand, in business meetings, there are those who bully and behind the scenes politic for the sake of pride and gain. Each member should have the power in a well disaplyned Quaker meeting to make the meeting pause and consider - as very often the minority view is proved by history to be the correct one, for example the underground railroad was always a minority undertaking in our faith, as was membership for Black Friends for some decades after slavery ended.

Without this loving restraint a few grow to lead backed by a good number in the meeting, a majority who, as Billy Bragg once said trade "anything for the quiet life) and a sad and tormented minority... (I'm sad, others are litterally tormented by what has been done to their children, their service to the meeting... and other things.)

When we abandon the method by which we approach God in seeking unity in the Meeting, for profit of the schools, so that we may use slave made goods - the product today of the unfree labor of our American neighbors now in prison... we cheepen the witness of those of us who refused to be sent to war. I cannot tell you how many in the Vietnam years looked at my status as a C.O. and said I was a coward.

If we do not courageously follow our faith, we can seem to avoid war for fear alone. Some of us then went to war as witnesses, not with guns, but with medical bags, with aid to the "enemy" in the form of food and medicine, or with a camera and note pad.

Yes, no human community is perfect - however, we Friends created a practice of disaplyn and eldership to make ours a corporate journey towards truth. When that is led without faith, well, we are damned.

Thine, Lorcan


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: GUEST,alan Whittle
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 07:41 AM

Dear lorcan,

'My Father's house has many mansions.'

You obviously live in the west wing away from these other guys.

The whole point of Quakerism is that you don't stand in judgement of other mens souls and their testimony.

To be honest its why I just wandered off from Quakerism - judge not lest ye be judged is the toughest injunction to follow. it was totally beyond me.

Anyway its your call, but if I were you - I'd stop worrying about what other Quakers do. Do your own thing.

If it really offend you whats going on in your church - start another meeting. The Provisional Wing of the Quakers!

best wishes

al


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 07:14 AM

The Pacifism aspect is something that I admired about the faith especially in a time when boys were conscripted into the forces to fight for King and Country in the last 2 World Wars. The treatment young pacifists received was appauling through lack of understanding.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 07:00 AM

Dearly said, Al:

The problem is, that these issues over race, property and equality of opportunity rip our Meetings appart. The mean spirited evil things done, from censoring the 15 street google group to defamation of charactor, by people who have taken the power to lead in a faith where that is meant to be inpossible, our eldership committies are meant to guide towards unity, not be an eleat... well, these things cut at the very process by which we are meant to approach the lord together.

For years I simply advocated as a voice for those hurt by the Meetings, then there came a day that as an advocate for backbenchers and whistleblowers, I became treated as a threat to the comfort of the growing status quo, a meeting full of grumbling unhappy people who give up in the face of power.

We are to speak truth to power to everyone but the Quaker new age establishment.

It is a great loss. Our faith was once a great hope for sensibility and spirit.

All the best and my appologies for what others of my faith did to thee as a young person (we can add that to penitenturies and the temperance movement...)

Lorcan.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 06:45 AM

Lorcan,

You are asking a hippo to do ballet dancing.

Take the Quakers for what they are - fundamentally good eggs, but incapable of changing their essential nature - which has its limitations. Less limited than some, but you seem to have located their boundaries - respect those boundaries and live with it.

For what its worth I have the same problem with the English folk scene, which seems to see the generality of the English population as infra dig.

best wishes

al


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: InOBU
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 09:35 PM

Dear Friend Dorothy:

I am afraid I am not in unity on thy comment that the worst Quaker school is more Quakerly than...

What does it mean to exclude a young Quaker child from an education to a school which closely identifies with that child's home faith, as some "Quaker" schools do, for the reason that that child is not "intelligent" enough to recieve a Quaker education.

Well, from personal experience I can tell thee it is an isolating feeling of separation which almost drove me from my faith as a child. I can see the same sense of isolation in the children of poor Friends of color in our meeting whose children are excluded. I can also this in the expressed sense of isolation on the part of a Jamacan birthright Friend who only has gone to Quaker schools all her life, but cannot dream of getting a job to teach in the eleat school which is associated with her Quarter. Exclusivity is a word that is so foreign to our faith that is cuts to the soul of our Meetings.

Yes, it is a liberal middle class community, and some might think that that is in keeping with the spirit of our faith. But for me, our faith is more about a community of simplicity and truth. Exclusivity cuts against both.

By the way, what became of this young Friend who still cannot spell, but was judged to be to stupid to florish in my home Meeting's school? I grew up to go to one of the five law schools which can call itself the top three law schools in the US. (There is a story there... )

We are loosing generations of Quakers as a direct result of these schools being called Friends Schools, and then alianating young Quakers and their families.

Instead of being a healthy outreach to a community beyond, we are bringing into our faith people who cannot understand the evil of class division in our community of faith and unkindness devaluing a Friend because of the myth of I.Q.

I could go on, but, it is just too sad to think about tonight.

Thine dearly in the light
Lorcan


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 05:46 PM

WOW! I hope she can forgive herself!!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: Penny S.
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 05:44 PM

I have heard, from the Friend involved, who acknowledged that she had some difficulties with emotions, that a Friend gave way at the peace camp outside Greenham Common USAF base to hitting someone with a placard stating "Quakers for Peace".

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 03:12 PM

Anyone who googles Quaker will find out more than anyone might want to know about Quakers.

I am in sympathy with the problem of "Friends" schools. Upon consideration, however, I suspect that the least Quakerly is more Quakerly than most other schools, in good ways. Even Sidwell.

Quakers seem to get involved a a broad range of social activism. They have a tendency to get around and can be found living in almost any part of the world, often doing "good works". The vast majority of Friends tend to live ordinary lives, although often with at least a bit of difference from the mainstream.

Through that social justice involvement, Friends attract people who want the social activism without respect for the historic traditions, such as following leadings of the spirit, meeting in silence, recognizing that the social activism needs to arise from the deep inner movings of the spirit, seeking the sense of the meeting (different from "consensus" or "unity") and making some attempt to adhere to testimonies on peace, simplicity, speaking to that which is God/good in each person, treating each person, and each other, with respect.....

The fellow who was turned off by Quaker school, also had parents who "did not like A Quaker View of Sex". This excellent publication was a landmark publication of the non-pastoral Friends. It helped, no doubt, provide openings for the development of the Friends Committee on Gay and Lesbian Concerns (?). Of course the more conservative Friends took umbrage with all of this carrying on.

Non-pastoral Friends do try to find ways to respect the diversity which abounds and to heal the hurts of both the individual and the corporate membership. We are not "organized religion" but we are differently organized in a more friendly, grass roots kind of way.

As Friends are human, we will find among them every failing that the human race encompasses, and every good as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 07:53 AM

My father was very much impressed with the local Quaker owned building firm who were constructing his bungalow back in the 1960s. When it was finished he was told that it had come in under budget so would he like to have some building stone to that value for the garden terraces that he was planning.

When was the last time you heard of a builder genuinely admitting that he'd managed to save you some money?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: theleveller
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 04:33 AM

William Cobbett in 'Rural Rides' was often pretty vitriolic about Quaker financiers and businessmen and their part in the destruction of the 'cottage economy', decrying their capitalistic cunning and, especially the lending of money with interest.

Through Headley 7 August 1823:
"If the weather be bad, it will be so much the worse for the farmer, as well as for the nation at large, and can be of no benefit to any human being but the Quakers, who must now be pretty busy, measuring the crops all over the kingdom. It will be recollected that, in the Report of the Agricultural Committee of 1821, it appeared, from the evidence of one HODGSON, a partner of CROPPER, BENSON, and Co., Quakers, of Liverpool, that these Quakers sent a set of corn-gaugers into the several counties, just before every harvest; that these fellows stopped here and there, went into the fields, measured off square yards of wheat, clipped off the ears, and carried them off. These they afterwards packed up and sent off to Cropper and Co. at Liverpool. When the whole of the packets were got together, they were rubbed out, measured, weighed, and an estimate made of the amount of the coming crop. This, according to the confession of Hodgson himself, enabled these Quakers to speculate in corn, with the greater chance of gain. This has been done by these men for many years. Their disregard of worldly things; their desire to lay up treasures in heaven; their implicit yielding to the Spirit; these have induced them to send their corn-gaugers over the country regularly year after year; and I will engage that they are at it at this moment. The farmers will bear in mind, that the New Trespass-law, though clearly not intended for any such purpose, enables them to go and seize by the throat any of these gaugers that they may catch in their fields. They could not do this formerly; to cut off standing corn was merely a trespass, for which satisfaction was to be attained by action at law. But now you can seize the caitiff who is come as a spy amongst your corn. Before, he could be off and leave you to find out his name as you could; but now, you can lay hold. of him, as Mr Deller did of the Duke's man, and bring him before a Magistrate at once. I do hope that the farmers will look sharp out for these fellows, who are neither more nor less than so many spies. They hold a great deal of corn; they want blight, mildew, rain, hurricanes; but happy I am to see that they will get no blight, at any rate. The grain is formed; everywhere every body tells me that there is no blight in any sort of corn, except in the beans."


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: IanC
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 03:13 AM

The Nobel Peace Prize 1947
"Silent assistance from the nameless to the nameless"

Sixty years ago the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Friends Service Council (Britain) and the American Friends Service Committee. The Society of Friends as a group had first been nominated for the prize as early as 1912, just eleven years after the award was founded. It had been nominated again in 1923, 1924 and 1936; on each occasion the nominations had been influenced by Quaker relief work with the victims of war and famine.

In 1947 British and American Friends were again at work in a world traumatised by World War 2; providing assistance for the needy without discrimination in Germany, elsewhere in Europe and in Asia, just as they had in the aftermath of World War 1. On December 10th - the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel, founder of the prize - the Nobel Peace Prize was formally presented in Oslo to Margaret Backhouse (for FSC) and Henry Cadbury (for AFSC).

In his presentation speech, Gunnar Jahn, the chairman of the Peace Prize Committee, spoke with appreciation of the work of Quakers in public campaigns for peace over the centuries, but went on to say:

Yet it is not this side of their activities - the active political side - which places the Quakers in a unique position. It is through silent assistance from the nameless to the nameless that they have worked to promote the fraternity between nations cited in the will of Alfred Nobel. …The Quakers have shown us that it is possible to translate into action what lies deep in the hearts of many: compassion for others and the desire to help them - that rich expression of the sympathy between all men, regardless of nationality or race, which, transformed into deeds, must form the basis for lasting peace. For this reason alone the Quakers deserve to receive the Nobel Peace Prize today. But they have given us something more: they have shown us the strength to be derived from faith in the victory of the spirit over force. And this brings to mind two verses from one of Arnulf Överland's poems which helped so many of us during the war. I know of no better salute:

"The unarmed only
can draw on sources eternal.
The spirit alone gives victory"


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: InOBU
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 08:45 PM

Hi Penny and all...

Although it is true there are a greater percent programed meetings, it depends where you go. In the New York Quaker Quarter, NYC, is majority unprogramed and Liberal. This is true in a number of places in the North East.

We have a programed and concervative Meeting in our Quarter and we feel dear to each other and sometimes worship together. There is a trend in young Friends towards Christocentric and even fundimentalism, as it is in fashion in the these "third awakening" times. but, as with other fashions, it may not last, as many of these young Friends grow, they find the contradictions in the idolitry aspect, often which contradicts the simple message of Rabbi Yeshua ben Joseph's message.

I find much of the courage and light has gone out of our faith... when I think of the active way we worked against the Vietnam war, and now, with no draft, many young Friends seem to be inured to many of the evils of our times, and even tollarate them in our Meetings.

A message once came to me in Meeting that the road to hell is much more often paved with pragmatism than ever it was with evil. I truely quaked at that message - it was a painful light in dark places in our Meetings.

Thine ever dearly
Lorcan


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: Penny S.
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 03:54 PM

Some Ffriends from the Sevenoaks Meeting in the UK, where we are all unprogrammed, travelled in the States and found most Meetings programmed, and like churches. They had difficulties at first with this - the sort of church they most resembled being the sort of church least like Friends over here. But they found that in conversation with those programmed Quakers that the Spirit in them was the same as they knew here.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 02:48 PM

Patsy, there is every difference between a Puritan's belief and a Quaker's. I don't think the two could be more diametrically opposite. There are some here who could give better details than I can be 2 generations removed from it myself. Suffice it to say that Quakers never burned witches or hanged members of opposing faiths.

My greatx9 grandfather was a Quaker who was fined 1 pound sterling for not tithing to the Anglican church in 17th century Virginia. The good Anglican who brought the charge before the grand jury was his own brother. But all in all they were treated better in Virginia than they ever were in Massachusetts Bay Colony. Two of my mothers great-grandfathers were among a group of Friends who relocated from Virginia to Ohio in 1807 because of their opposition to slavery, founding the towns of Alliance, Sebring and Salem.

My brother was active in the AFSC, the only private organization to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.

Joe said that The better-known Quakers are the ones who gather in "meetings," sitting in silence until somebody is inspired to speak. They sing a lot - but not during services [the Rise Up Singing songbook has Quaker roots - for better or for worse]. These Quakers are generally pacifists - don't know about the Nixon Quakers and pacifism. I know a lot of folkies who are Quakers.

They may be better known but my understanding is that the Evangelical style Friends are now much more numerous in America than old meeting ones. I think 85% is a number I heard.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 10:51 AM

Akenaton, I just about remember the Fry's Five Boys chocolate bar (I'm really not that old!!)I hated biting into the boy with the sad face especially. It didn't seem to be around for very long but my parent remember it more than I do.

So is there any difference between a puritan's belief and a Quaker's? All I know about Quakers really is that they meditate and dress plainly, I am not so sure about meeting places or what the services if any are like. I am assuming that they are teetotal, would rather pray alone and quite strict too, unless of course it has changed with the times as things do. Have things changed within the church with the younger generation? It would be interesting to find out because as far as I know there is only 1 building/meeting place as far as I know that exists in Bristol.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: InOBU
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 08:40 AM

Hi Donuel: I think thee might mean Tom Fox, who was working on exposing the torture at Abu Greb when persons unkown tortured him to death. Yes, some Quakers do good work. But, we seem, as a community of faith to do best on the fronteers. We can't be trusted with property jointly anymore I am afraid. We came to the new world to do good, and did very well indeed, it is often said.
Once we were a revolutionary faith, now we are a fat old pussy cat, eyeing with distrust anyone who comes to close to our food or our favorite pillow.

Alan! Tried to email you but my theater's computor would not let me either save or send - some program as yet unregistered. That was around midnight last night, it is now almost 8 am, back at work... I will try and send you that PM. I printed it out... and as soon as things are in a controlable state of anarchy here, I will be able to send it.

On the subject of Tom Scott, we have had a number of Quakers who lived and died for their faith, Mary Dyer being another of them. I feel we really dishonnor them when our Meetings take so lightly our responsibility to conduct our business with integrity, simplicity, truth, peacefull intentions,

oh well...
Lorcan


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: Donuel
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 11:00 PM

I seem to recall a Quaker posting that they were about to retrieve some hostages. It seems that they put their lives on the line.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: InOBU
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 10:44 PM

Well... Eliza, I often descibe out faith as the practice of, attempting to empty out the vessel of ego and allowing God to fill the void. That might be a good start.
More latter after other Friends have a go at thy querry...
THine
Lor


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 03:51 PM

I knew a Quaker lady (or Friend) who did a great deal of work with prisoners and their families. The Friends helped the wives and partners of men in prison to fill in Benefit forms, obtained good-quality secondhand clothing for the children, and prepared a lovely free lunch once a week for about twenty of these unfortunate women. I sometimes helped to prepare this and clear away afterwards, and was very impressed by the Friends' gentleness and understanding. But I never could find out just what exactly the Quaker religion consists of. I was told it was just a silent Meeting. So thank you for these postings, as I've now learned a bit more about the Friends.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 10:36 AM

InOBU - tell me about Quaker Schools and you. I would never have got into folk music if I hadn't gone to Leighton Park in the 60's - albeit only for fifteen months.

My contact info is here

http://bigalwhittle.co.uk/id46.html


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: InOBU
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 07:28 AM

Dear Friends: As proof of my notion that Quaker schools are not Quaker, ... our friend Alan gives wonderful testimony.
Now, Alan, I must tranlate for those in America who would get the wrong idea from your post "fags and alcohol" = "cigarettes and booze" - so several million yanks don't think you are anti gay.
I would, however, stick up for booze. As my Catholic wife put it the the other day, with a happy sigh, "Alcohol... (sigh) its yummy and nice...) Of course she works a 20 hour day, and has a glass of wine before bed on rare occations, and I don't advocate waking up in one's own vomit on a park bench, anymore than I advocate a bunch of wealthy liberals calling their school Quaker because they have a pet Meeting house where they, who are any religion or no religion other than Quaker force poor blokes like Alan to violate their faith or lack of it dayly with inforced silence in the belief that like penitenturies (which we invented) it will do the little buggers some good to wait on a lord they reject, in which they don't believe, or whould rather be down in the locker room - in the shower with a few of the 8th grade girls doing that which Alan's parents did not approve (an event from my early teens comes to mind, and no I was not in the shower with... oh never mind... she might tell you all herself should she wish! but that is a longer story and I think puts Quaker schools in ... well... another light... now much more awkward than in the sixties!!!)
Where was I cigarettes and booze, or "Quaker" schools... damned if I can't remember... one or the other.
My appologies to the world for penitenturies, for the fact that my home Meeting uses slave labor to wash the sheets of our homeless shelter (Prisoners wash our sheets, believe it or not - like Elias Hicks, I will not touch them...) my further appologies to Alan for the attempt to push him into a place farther than the place from which he would hear God's voice the loudest.
Oye vey is meer
Lorcan
PS Alan... nice that you would rather be nice than Hitler... there is an odd sort of echo of Hillel in your be nice to others...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 04:14 PM

My Mum and dad were Quakers. They didn't approve of Towards a Quaker View of Sex.

I went to Quaker school for a while. before long being there, I really hated Quakerism.

Its only effect was to leave me with a dread of silence. Having listened to a lot of peoples' spititual musing, i think most people are better off being materialistic and noisy.

I think spirituality is a great deal of tripe. If you need it, fair enough....buts its a bit like fags and alcohol - you're better off without it.

Musing upon existence and mysticism is a really bad idea. Just be nice to other people, as best you can. You only get one go at life, as far as we know, and being nice is proven to be better than being like Hitler.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: Ed T
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 10:08 AM

Famous Quakers.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: InOBU
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 08:39 AM

Dear Friends and friends:

Like Friend Dorothy Parshall, I am a life long Friend, and as some of you know, most of the time, well, years at a time dress plain. My friends and I from childhood still use thee and thy when speaking together, and I was very happy to see some young friends returning to a plain witness and plain speach.

Eric, ol'Barnical, our use of thee and thy has nothing to do with German. We began when a West country Englishman when north to Westmoreland in the lake country and found himself very in tune with the seekers there. We use thee and thy because you is plural, which, I believe is why we do not use thou. Thou takes a unique for of the verb to be, "art" which sounds a lot like are, the plural of to be... thou "art" sounds like you "are" where thee uses "is" the common singular. It is an expression of thruth. We are not made plural by our situation... a judge is not a you ... a plural because he is a himself and his office. Once you was only used for your "betters". Thee said you to thy father, as he was both himself and his family, he said "you" to the landlord, as he was himself and his land. Now everyone is a you, which is not really the case, as unless you are schizophrenic thee is a singluar.

I am presently on a witness of absence from my meeting and my quarter, as I have found that property interests revolving around our... no, the "Quaker" schools has perverted the process at the center of our communities search for God collectively. These schools of eletism and wealth and power are no more Quaker than, well... Richard Nixon.

Maybe this is the new Quakerism, in which case, I like Fox find myself wandering, slightly lost, dressing plain, but on the road to a new Westmoreland (where my family came from, by the way...)
Some others and I seem drawn to a new expression of our old faith, in a Quakerism returning to our days on the fronteer, a meeting which cannot hold property together, as property leads to corruption of the spirit. Some meetings still hold property well together, but once a school is injected into the mix, too many others make politic out of process and the spirit dies.
Last year I would have said, in my opinion the spirit may die. But seeing that the man who commits war crimes on our behalf has sent his children to a "Quaker" school, and now, the 15 st. Meeting in NYC is in the process of accepting a gift of 28 million dollars from that same branch of government... I am lost. We once refused all products of war, "prise goods". Now our meetings are led by non-Quakers who pull the meeting by the nose into war profiteering... and we are damned.

Thine, dearly in the light
Friend Lorcan Otway

PS I have three, at least, of my Quakers songs posted here, one is about Mary Dyer, one about Richard Murray and the underground railroad and one about the peace feather. The last two are from storries told to me by my dear Friend Anna Curtis, who died many decades ago, and was my First Day School teacher.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 06:52 AM

My first wife was definitely on the road to becoming a Quaker, having started to attend meetings in the last year of her life, and we had a meeting in memorial of her life after she died.
My second wife taught at a Quaker school for some years.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 06:33 PM

Ah, I see from more careful reading that there are some closet Quakers hiding out here and some less closeted as well as some who were probably born to be Quakers but have not yet realized it. This later tends to be those individuals who are like-minded but did not know Quakers existed or simply have not found them. I am just another rabble-rousing Quaker who knows too little and may say too much...

Oh yeah, the story I heard was the reason they went into Chocolate was because it was not considered bad - like alcohol. Then chocolate got a bad rap and there was a lot of soul-searching. But now it is OK and the companies started by Quakers are no longer Quaker owned. Oh well.

Then there is the story of Quakers and "penitentiaries". Quakers spent a lot of time in jail; Eliz Fry spent a lot of time going to visit and found there was a great deal of ministry needed doing. She provided food, bedding and bibles. The Quakers got the idea people needed to be penitent, and pushed it. That is, I am led to understand, how prisons became known as penitentiaries. More recently this connection is rather an embarrassment as many Quakers now are opposed to prisons for many reasons. There are a large number involved in the prison abolition movement.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: BTNG
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 06:19 PM

*they were forbidden to seek employment in the worlds of finance, medicine, law or church.*

the irony here is, that two of the UK's major banks, Barclays and Lloyds were originally founded by Quakers.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 05:58 PM

Am I the only full fledged, life long, "card carrying" Quaker on Mudcat? I have seen glimmerings amongst others here.

A year ago yesterday, I posted about the great diversity amongst Quakers/Friends. Loads of info can be found by searching so I won't impart words of wisdom. Find your own. It is enough to know that there are Quakers in most parts of the world and those near you can be found on-line. Please note that the queries posted by Stony Run Friends will not necessarily be the same as those posted by Britain Yearly Meeting or Canadian Yearly Meeting or..... We are an eclectic group and decisions are made from the bottom up rather than by an hierarchy.

I do need to mention that Quakers are merely human beings and a study done some years ago by Quakers found that there was about the same percentage of abuse amongst Friends as amongst the general population. Those of us who stand by the Peace Testimony of 1660 would wish it to be otherwise, however, the world does get people down and they react in some manners which do cause great pain - both to themselves and others.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 01:21 PM

I have read this entire thread and don't think I am reposting anything!

I agree that each Quaker group, or meeting, is different from all others, though many are very similar. I have attended various "silent" meetings, where someone speaks only if he/she feels moved to do so by the Inner Light or Spirit. Advice I read in a pamphlet at a meetinghouse was to speak only if the urge was compelling. (I'm paraphrasing, not quoting.) There is no paid minister or preacher at these meetings; everyone is considered a minister and equally able to hear God and share the message. Other people can listen to the speaker or continue to meditate without listening. After someone speaks, there should be a pause for the words to settle in with listeners before anyone else speaks. Speakers may or may not speak about the same subject. I have been at hour-long meetings where nobody has spoken and at others when many have spoken.

However, there are also Quaker churches that pay someone (I don't know if the person is called a minister) and have a "programmed" meeting or service. I have never been to one of those, but I gather that the person who is paid does readings and delivers a sermon.

Mary Dyer was an interesting Quaker. The Puritans threw her out of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. She went to Rhode Island but came back to Boston. She was hung on the Boston Common. Now there is a statue of her in front of the Massachusetts State House. It faces the Boston Common! A biography of her is here. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nwa/dyer.html


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: EBarnacle
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 12:27 PM

The thee and thou thing is derived from the German:
You, singular, informal: Du, which becomes Thou
You, plural, formal: Sie, which becomes Thee


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 12:00 PM

What was it that Joh Tams used to say when introducing Lay Me Low - the Quakers quaked and the Shakers shook!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 09:33 AM

Yes, Grandfather said Thee to Quakers and family, and You to others. Never Thou, though.

As in, I thank thee, instead of thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 01:11 AM

A couple of years ago I was visiting a family member in a nursing home in another country. As I walked up the hill dragging my suitcase, I passed an old meeting house.

The door was open, and I went in and sat down to close my eyes for a few minutes and collect myself.

A playgroup was in progress, with two or three directors - one African, one Indian, one English - quietly leading the children in games, with the help of parents. I don't know what happened, but one of the children got a bump, and was carried out, screaming crying.

She sat him up on a ledge, and one of the directors came out and went into the loo, and came back with a wad of tissues soaked in cold water, checked everything was all right and went back in.

Gradually the sobs quieted down, and the mother said: "It'll stop hurting in a minute."

It was a very Quakerly way of dealing with it. Rather than dismissing the child's pain or trying to stop him crying, or working out how the accident had happened, she went straight to the heart of the child's concern - the panic that this pain is going to go on.

He gradually calmed down, and she took the cool wet tissues off his bumped head, gave him a kiss, said: "Are you ready to go back in?" and brought him calmly back to the playgroup.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: Ed T
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 04:23 PM

Quakers and Homosexuality


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 02:13 PM

From the 18th century the Quakers used 'thee' but used it as part of normal modern speech, so there's no 'thou art'. An example:

A Quaker returned home to find a burglar in the house. Picking up his shotgun (used for hunting), the Quaker said: "Thee had better move, my friend, because I am about to shoot where thee is standing."

Emotional and physical violence? I'm surprised. Of course, people can be catty and spiteful, but in my limited experience, Quakers strive to act decently towards others.

I have certainly never heard of a Quaker striking a child; they're absolutely stringent about non-violence - though I suppose it's possible that anyone's temper can snap occasionally.

Here's the Queries, which are at the centre of Quaker life: http://www.stonyrunfriends.org/Queries.html

The new book Chocolate Wars by Deborah Cadbury, about the Quaker families who started the English chocolate industry, has a lot about Quaker living and principles.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: gnomad
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 04:05 PM

Sleep well, CU. Nice to know some things are still the same both sides.

Reverting to the Quakers, I don't think I number any among my current 3D acquaintances, though there were a few in the past. Looking back I recognise that they were, on the whole, steadier and more tolerant than any other group (especially religious group) that I can recall. That is no bad thing, IMO.

I also very much admire the historic adherence to their pacifist principles, seldom if ever an easy position to maintain.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: CapriUni
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 03:42 PM

No, I think both sides of the Atlantic agree on this one. Thou art correct.

You just caught me in a moment of I-really-should-be-in-bed-instead-of-posting-to-Mudcat fuzziness. ;-)

Although, actually Quakers in America, before the practice dropped out of widespread use, were notorious for being sloppy with their "thee"s -- using the form "thee" for every part of speach.

I think inOBU has posted about that, somewhere, a few years back...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: gnomad
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 01:26 PM

I would have expected a slightly different verb form there, CU, thus;

He giveth the book to thee

Thou givest it to him

would be how I would expect such phrases in UK (old-fashioned, rather than specifically Quaker) usage. Do I gather that once again the different sides of the Atlantic have different customs?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: CapriUni
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 12:43 AM

Okay, now that I'm thinking about this, just to help clarify it in my mind again. It goes thus:

I am.
Thou art. (< -- informal. formal -- >) You are.
He is.

I give the book to him.
I give the book to thee.

He gives the book to thee

Thou giveth to him.

So the different pronoun forms can be interchanged thus:

I = Thou = He = We
Me = Thee = Him = Us


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Subject: RE: BS: The Quakers
From: Rumncoke
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 07:17 PM

Yes, though not so much as - say - 50 years ago, it is dying out, though there are some who fall back into the use of broad Yorkshire when angry.

I still get confuddled over questions which I would once have answered with 'nay' or 'yea' - such questions as 'Isn't that her?'

Instead of 'nay tis not' I would say 'yes, it isn't' or to say 'yea that's her' would try 'no, that IS her'

Anne Croucher


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