Dear Editor: I want to thank Mr. Urner for a very provocative article, “Sticking Out Like Sore Thumbs.” I, too, have often asked myself: What happened to the progressive movement? I want to focus on what we might have done better, rather than resting on our laurels.
1) We could have worked more for justice as a way of working for peace. For example, we failed to notice President Nixon blocking the full implementation of the Fair Housing Act, probably the single biggest contributor to racial tensions in the U.S. today.
2) As Mr. Urner points out, we were “part of a strong counter-culture” that was “fighting the policies of Washington, DC.” We forgot that democracy works through government, not against it.
3) We forgot that it is the “love of money” that is the root of all evil, not the money itself. We rejected active involvement in the economic life of this country, unlike early Quakers.
4) We have failed to follow George Fox’s example of reclaiming the teachings of Jesus from those who would distort them into support for the status quo and a “prosperity gospel.”
In other words, Quakers have disengaged from politics, commerce, and Christianity. I wonder if we have become Monday morning quarterbacks.
– Kate McClellan, Palo Alto Friends Meeting (PYM)
[A longer version of this letter is posted in Western Friend’s online library at: https://westernfriend.org/media/monday-morning-quarterbacks.]