When we act authentically out of “that of God,” either individually or as a group, either in worship or out in the world, we are not acting out of a static tradition. We are incarnating God’s dharma in the world—and it is the same dharma, regardless of the traditions we learn from.
How can I remove myself from the war economy? Jesus’ message is to drop the sword and find wholeness. Can I embody Truth — to become a clear bell — to offer concrete love? I need to take my money out of the US federal bank account. On Tax Day, April 17, 2018, I will not voluntarily pay a nickel for war.
Linda Villarosa reports that not only are infant mortality rates for black infants more than double that for white infants, but that this situation is worse than in 1850. She writes that a college-educated black mother is more likely to die related to childbirth than a white mother with an 8th grade education, and points to systemic racism as being a likely root cause.
With last week’s opening1 of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice (a.k.a. the Lynching Memorial) in Montgomery, Alabama, I think every single American, particularly those of us who have never felt the sting of bigotry and prejudice, should pause and reflect on our role in the injustices that permeate our country.
The key concept for Friends Mustafa and Tamari is a political reality known as settler colonialism: the replacement of indigenous populations with an outside settler society. The authors argue that native history must be centered in working for justice for indigenous people.
I was asked by a Catholic friend if I knew Benjamin Lay, the Quaker abolitionist. I did not. She gave me an article in the September 2017 issue of the Smithsonian magazine, “The Cave Dwelling Vegan Who Took on Quaker Slavery and Won,” by Marcus Rediker.
I of course know of John Woolman, almost revered by many Friends including myself, but why had I never heard of Benjamin Lay? Indeed, Lay’s portrait, painted by William Williams in 1790, is in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.
Some years ago I discovered that, for me, the most important day in the Christian calendar is one not even traditionally noted, that strange, empty day between Good Friday and Easter. I go out into the wilderness by myself and sit, watching and waiting. I have never physically seen or heard Jesus. In the material realm, all I have of him is the stories I have been told. Yet when I sit alone on the empty day, he is no less with me than on any other day.
Have Quakers humanized themselves since the 17th century? If there have been changes, are these changes conscious through a process of “continuing revelation”?
The new book by Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, indicates that this humanization process is indeed the case for Quakers and other religious groups.
On March 31, 2018, Dr. Sa’ed Atshan will present the 54th Walton Lecture, “Quaker Response in Turbulent Times,” to the Southeastern Yearly Meeting (SEYM) of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). The December 2017 issue of Friends Journal includes Martin Kelley’s interview with Dr. Atshan, “The Challenges We Face and Community We Forge.” We are republishing excerpts with permission.