Western Friend logo

Search

A search result that is a person’s name followed by “(person)” often links to a list of articles written by that person.

The Bonds of Animal Agriculture Since biblical times, humanity has lived by an ancient contract: We the first party (animals) give you our wool, milk, hides and meat, draw your plows and carriages, guard your houses, control your vermin, and fertilize your fields.  We the second party (humans) promise to keep you safe from predators, bind up your wounds and treat your diseases, provide you shelter from the elements, feed you even in times of famine, and provide you with a quick and humane death.  Our own human relationship with God has long been expressed in similar terms. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.”

On Consumption (May 2013)

If We Don't Build it (Please note: It is understood that Rrace is a social construct. There is no biologically meaningful concept of “different races” among humanity. For the purpose of this article, I use terms that may seem to imply distinctions or divisions between groups of people that do not exist biologically. These distinctions are artifices drawn by human culture, politics, and economics. There is only one race, the human race. – Delcy Steffy)

On Superiority (July 2013)

Quaker Disrespect Dear Western Friend: Thank you for publishing Rob Pierson’s article in the last issue of your magazine. The article is substantial, but does not cover what I experience as some Quakers’ suspicion of any companies, even small ones, including non-profits – ones that practice prudent business processes and employ management, ones that may ask their Boards to use Robert’s Rules rather than “consensus.”

On Pride (July 2014)

Never Too Early We’re tolerant of behavior by a two-year-old that would disturb us greatly if it were displayed by an adult. The behavior of the two-year-old is something we’d normally accept as natural to the condition of a two-year-old. The same behavior in an adult would challenge us to reconcile our ideas about what is natural in adult behavior with the disruptive behavior we see before us. It follows from this that reconciliation among adults might be easier if we learned to see a wider range of behaviors as normal to the human condition, rather than perceiving disruptive behaviors as a sign of moral deficiency or moral misconduct. (Please note that adults who’ve had little contact with very young children might not find it easy to adjust to the behavior of two-year-olds.)

On Reconciliation (January 2015)

Shareholder Activism versus Divestment Dear Editor: I read with interest the article “Quakers, Climate, and Money” in the May/June 2015 issue of Western Friend. I am always happy when Friends concern themselves as individuals with the future that climate change will bring, and take action. I would like your readers to know, however, that in deciding how to handle invested assets, they may find useful information by reading about the movement for divestment from fossil fuel companies that is going on worldwide. The Friend who wrote the article may find additional information that could change his opinion about the values of shareholder activism vs. divestment.

On Difference (July 2015)

Children as Soldiers Dear Friends:  Please consider this article I wrote for Epoch Times, September 10, 2015 on “children as soldiers.” UNICEF estimates that about 300,000 children under 18 are currently involved in more than thirty conflicts across the globe. Although there are no exact figures, the average age is 16 in government forces, younger in armed rebel groups. Some soldiers are as young as eight years old. Please consider this issue, and let your conscience be your guide. Read the article here.

On Money (November 2015)

A New Appreciation for Sports Dear Editor: Thank you for the Jan/Feb 2017 issue, “On Competition.” Each of the articles gave me something new to think about. I know Jay Thatcher, so I especially enjoyed what he had written. But aside from the personal connection, I found his essay, “Prophets on the Field of Play,” profound. Weeks later, I continue to re-read it and think about his ideas.

On Insight (March 2017)

Overcome Our Judgmentalism Dear Editor: I read the article “Queer Quaker Kinship” with sadness (Western Friend, Nov/Dec 2017). Mainly I’m sad to be reminded of what LGBTQ people suffer, even within our own Society of Friends. But I have another sorrow as a person who has been called to encourage greater understanding among all four branches of Friends: Liberal (that’s us), Conservative, Friends Church, and Evangelical.

On Garbage (November 2017)

Two Views of One Quaker Workplace Katie: I’ve worked for Linda Seger for six years, mainly doing her typing. Linda is not supposed to work at the computer because she has a neurological condition called dystonia, so she has hired me part time to do typing and office management. However, that is not my background. I have an M.A. degree in Early American Culture and a B.A. degree in Art History. Before working for Linda, I had a thirty-year museum career at various institutions, the most recent being the curator of the Colorado Springs History Museum. 

On Bosses (July 2018)

A Personal History with Korea Like many Friends, I was a Peace Corps volunteer in my youth. The Peace Corps Act includes three goals for volunteers: do a job, introduce host country locals to a U.S. young person (usually young), and bring an awareness of the host country’s culture and history back to the U.S. Of those three goals, far and away the most difficult has been that last one. Family and friends typically enjoy hearing a few stories, seeing a few pictures (even a slide show back in the day), but any in-depth thinking about the volunteer’s host country is rare. I’ve used a number of venues to talk about my host country, Korea. Now, with the current political situation, I feel again the need to share my thoughts and what I’ve learned over the years. This is a task made much more difficult by the strongly negative portrayal of the northern part of Korea today. [pullquote]Please notice that I will not use the terms “North Korea” and “South Korea,” as no countries exist with those names.[/pullquote]

On Puzzles (April 2019)