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Politics is Quakerly

Published: Aug. 29, 2020


Dear Editor: I was led to send this message below to you because I wanted to reach out to Friends who are thinking it is "Not Quakerly" to get involved in politics. I believe that too many Friends are sitting on the sidelines (probably with signs) while their local community is looking for people to come and help them improve the lives of its residents. I want Friends to find and help to support candidates and even political parties that may be to their liking.

Each Friend may have a different candidate and that would be great. Friendly voices are needed EVERYWHERE. I believe that God speaks through Friends, even if we decide to become active in politics. Since "politics is local," it is also a good way to connect with other local activists who have never before met a real live Quaker.

Being a pacifist does not preclude me from participating in the process that selects the people who make and even enforce the laws. I even had my state legislator, who is a lifelong Republican, call me to help him wrestle with a decision about a vote on a criminal justice bill. That legislator needed someone with whom he could share his concerns. He appreciates that I value politics enough to get involved.

I have been active here in Douglas County for about twenty years. I see my role as the peacemaker within the party. As well as a model for non-violently supporting our candidates without making the opposition the enemy. It has worked well for me and has allowed me to become friends with people who would never dream of going to a Friends Meeting, but who are appreciative of knowing someone who can advocate for justice in a way that brings people together.

Might you be the person that your local political party has been waiting for?

from Free Polazzo, Atlanta Friends Meeting (8/28/2020)