Editorials

On Countries

In the earliest years of our faith, buoyed up by currents of the Enlightenment, Friends professed Truth as they drew it from individual revelations. Even though they shared a common Christian background and perspective, early Friends’ revelations multiplied wildly, leading to strife and confusion among them.

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On Money

One of my sisters keeps horses. She has noticed that if she shows up to feed them later than usual, they seem especially happy to see her. The pathos of this scenario is all the more striking because, in general, we take such scenarios for granted. With carrots and sticks and clever deceptions, we humans purchase the loyalty of our fellow creatures on a daily basis, including each other.

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On Play

Let’s be friends. Let’s play a game, or play make-believe, or play around just to see what happens. Let’s play the Massively Multiplayer Offline Game called The Valley of the Shadow of Death. Each of us gets two characters – InnerFriend and OuterFriend – and the goal is to keep them together, as closely as we can, while we move them through The Valley toward The Eternal Mystery.

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On Difference

A six-year-old girl in South Carolina wrote a letter this summer. “Dear Daddy: I know you were shot at the Church and you went to Heaven. I love you so much! I know you love me and I know that you know that I love you too . . . Your baby girl and grasshopper.” Take more time to feel the sadness of that. Take more time to feel the wrongness of that.

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On Knowing

Last January, police in South Carolina released a sketch of a possible murder suspect, drawn by artificial intelligence, based on information from DNA found at the crime scene. No eyewitnesses and no cameras had observed the murderer’s face, yet the computer produced an approximation of it, and the authorities believe it might help them solve the crime. (Pollack, NYT, 2/24/2015)

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On Reconciliation

Dear Friends: Through no fault of our own, through no feat of our own, we’ve all been born into this juncture in history together. So many of us. Too many of us. Things keep getting more and more crowded around here. Even so, it seems impossibly hard at times to say goodbye to people.

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On Family

“Am I my brother’s keeper?” This was Cain’s retort to God after committing the first cold-blooded murder in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic record. And even though God banished Cain to a lifetime of “restless wandering upon the earth,” God remained silent on the question of Cain’s obligations to his brother.

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