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James Summers


Quakers and Gun Violence In the United States, gun violence is not a mere veneer on the surface of an otherwise peaceful society, but something deep and dark, with roots in the colonization of the continent and the founding of the nation, in ethnic cleansing, enslavement and the seizure of land from Mexico. White settlers, armed to the teeth, faced the constant prospect of insurrection by Native peoples and enslaved populations, as well as violence on contested borders.

Issue: On Weapons (January 2019)

Comforting Myths Dear Friends: The introduction to the Western Friend issue “On Captivity” reminds us that Friends practice a method for discerning Truth that we believe can transcend secular notions. At best, we measure ourselves against eternal values, transmitted and purified by a fierce and searching inward Light, rather than by personal standards, contemporary norms, or social movements.

Issue: On Music (March 2018)

Native Voices and Quaker Choices So, where’s all the Indians?” asked Yaynicut Franco, one of the Wukchumni adults. The whiteness of the conference was a bit shocking to us, given the title: “Quakers, First Nations, and American Indians.”

Issue: On Insight (March 2017)

Stereotyping of Native Americans Dear Editor: It was great to read about Burton and Mary Jo Housman’s recent visit to Casa de los Amigos in Mexico City in the Jan/Feb issue. Pacific Yearly Meeting has made progress in building and maintaining ties to Friends in Mexico over the last few years. Visitation between Mexico City Friends and the rest of PYM has increased, and the participation of Mexico Friends on several major committees and programs is most welcome.

Issue: On Knowing (March 2015)

Friends, Veterans, and the Military I remember what it felt like, during the last two years of the Vietnam War, to go into town wearing my US Navy uniform.  Often, I felt invisible.  Sometimes, just silly. Frequently, I got the cold shoulder. A couple of times things got close to getting physical.  I was called a “paid killer” at my neighborhood food coop by someone who couldn’t read the shoulder insignia that identified me as a Hospital Corpsman and noncombatant.  He knew nothing about me, my job, my personal history, or my values.

Issue: On War (January 2013)