Quaker Universalist Conversations

We cannot live outside of history

From the Editor’s Desk of Western Friend

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.

Read more →



“Talking About God at Buchenwald”

On reading & sharing Richard Beck’s blog post

“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?”

Read more →


“33 Years of Resistance”

A post on war tax from Pedals and Seeds

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.

Read more →


“Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis”

On reading Linda Villarosa’s New York Times article

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.

Read more →




Sa’ed Atshan on the Quaker practice of embracing conflict

Excerpts from the Friends Journal interview

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.

Read more →


Baltimore YM North Korea Minute &
Letter from Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP)-Korea Facilitators

Friends Peace Teams, Asia West Pacific Initiative

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.

Read more →