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Emancipation without Freedom

Racism and white supremacy, the malignant cancers plaguing America today, are a joint system destroying black and brown bodies. In the past, the Klan did that destroying. Today, statistics do. Those statistics amount to the erasure of people. The destruction of black and brown bodies is hidden in statistics on poor health, poor housing, inadequate schooling, over-policed communities, and mass incarceration. These social ills, which overwhelmingly affect black and brown communities, are ills that Friends can help to correct. With the realization of their whiteness and their dominant position within a racialized country, Friends have the power to define spaces outside their communities, as well as the opportunity to break the past and change the future of race relations.

On Politics (July 2017)

Women Doing Life

An interview with Lora Lempert

On Captivity (January 2018)

The Seeds of Gun Violence

At times, addressing the scourge of gun violence in the United States can feel impossible, especially when we seem to hear of a new violent incident every day.

On Seeds (November 2023)

Justice Reform Begins with Understanding

“You end up with broken families. You end up with communities that are being plagued with more violence and more crime. And you end up with people not reaching their God-given potential.” This sort of remark about the impacts of mass incarceration on life in America is typical for liberal politicians and Friends. In this instance, however, the New York Times was quoting Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio (3/13/2014). Remarkably, a bipartisan coalition is developing to move public policy in the criminal justice arena in a way that respects that of God in all persons – including those in prison – and at the same time advances public safety.

On Family (September 2014)

Too Full of Himself

“I abused my power,” James Nayler wrote to the Quakers. The year was 1659. Nayler was forty-one years old. He had just spent two years in prison.

On Temptation (November 2014)

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.

On Weapons (January 2019)

A Fitting Punishment

Dear Friends: Drought and forest fires all over the West. Two simultaneous hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. The North Pole going ice-free. Each summer hotter than the summer before.

On Rules (November 2020)