Dear Friends: Our bodies cannot live outside of history, nor can we live outside of history’s cruelty, its “mixing memory and desire.” Rowing our boats with our backs toward the future, we despair at the carnage we watch flowing out from our wakes—oceans choked by our poisons, lives crushed by our bigotry, truth and kindness twisted by our greed. Some bits of beauty bob along, too. But it’s easy to view the whole scene as basically grim.
“After touring the grounds of Buchenwald and going through the crematorium, where we viewed the ovens used to burn the corpses, I walked the group over to a shady spot, the zoo built for the entertainment of the SS officers. And there I tried to talk about God.” —Richard Beck
We humans put a human face on God. Then we blame and barter with that God, having projected onto God the capacity for human action, human courage and compassion, human intervention. We ask, “Why does God allow this?”
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.
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.
NOTE: Friends Committee on National Legislation asks all of us to write our Congress people urging to pass H.R. 4837, the NO UNCONSTITUTIONAL STRIKE AGAINST NORTH KOREA ACT.
This post reproduces the “Baltimore Yearly Meeting North Korea Minute,” during BYM’s Annual Sessions at Frederick, Maryland on 8/6/17, together with a letter from the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP)–Korea Facilitators.
How do Quakers manage financial investments in a socially responsible way? How can Quakers translate faith into practice with their investments for the univers… Continue reading →