Western Friend logo

Search

Dangerously Comfortable My experience as a Navy pilot for a third of my life is fundamental to who I am.  The military has significantly impacted my experience as a Quaker. This is most evident to me when I compare the Quaker testimonies of Simplicity, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Peace with the military codes and traditions that have shaped me.

On War (January 2013)

A Cuba Testimony Growing up, I was taught to live by and hold high the Quaker testimonies of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Service. But I also always felt the influence of another important testimony – Environmental Caretaking. While this testimony may fall under several of the traditional Quaker testimonies listed above, it also holds a power strong enough to stand on its own. It is important that we as humans – and we as Quakers – live up to these principles and standards. What this means for me in terms of Environmental Caretaking is this: When we begin to see the environment as that Eternal Source sustaining all, we must in turn learn to understand it, and to give back and support the Earth to the best of our abilities.

On Countries (January 2016)

Patriotism and the Goal of Global Peace Diane Randall has served as the Executive Secretary of Friends Committee on National Legislation since March 2011. Before joining FCNL, Diane spent nine years in Connecticut as Executive Director of Partnership for Strong Communities, a non-profit working for solutions to homelessness. She is a member of Hartford Monthly Meeting, New England Yearly Meeting. Diane spoke by phone with Western Friend on December 10, 2013. The following text was drawn from a transcript of that interview.

On Patriotism (January 2014)

Patriotic Principles and Quaker Testimonies Dad was tight-lipped about the war years and only occasionally referenced his having been “stationed in Guam.” In sorting through my Dad’s papers to write his obituary in August 2013, I discovered his certificate for Distinguished Service as a Navigator in nine successful air flights, 1943-1945, to drop bombs on Japan during World War II. I stared hard at the aged photograph of the young crew in uniform, standing proud in front of their Boeing B-29 Superfortress. Renown for its ability to fly higher and faster than Japanese planes, the B-29 four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber was one of the largest aircraft of its day, with very advanced features such as a pressurized cabin, an electronic fire-control system, and remote-controlled machine-gun turrets. My fears were relieved when further research assured me that Dad had not been on the flights that dropped either Fat Man or Little Boy – codenames for atomic bombs detonated over Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

On Patriotism (January 2014)

Charting Our Way Tockhwock (AKA Geoffrey Kaiser) produced “The Chart” that hangs as a poster in many Quaker meetinghouses, depicting Quaker history as a tree. Beginning in the late 1960s, he revised and updated The Chart continually until 2010. During that time, he and his husband Bruce traveled widely among Friends in North America and gave lectures about Friends’ 350 years of schisms and associations. Tockhwock is a member of Appleseed Meeting in Sebastopol, CA (PYM), grew up in Gwynedd Meeting in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, and was a founding member of Friends for Lesbian and Gay Concerns in 1970. He spoke with Western Friend by phone on January 23, 2014. Following are edited excerpts from a transcript of that interview.

On Time (March 2014)

Cooperation & Competition - A Nordic Balance As a young adult Friend I was greatly influenced by Elise and Kenneth Boulding, long-time members of Boulder Meeting. I remember Kenneth mentioning, with a twinkle in his eye, “Boulding’s First Law.” (Kenneth made his living as an economist.) “Whatever has happened,” he told me, “is possible.”

On Competition (January 2017)

Pro-Woman Practice and Policy For most of my medical career, I worked in family planning, providing contraceptive care so that children could be planned, loved, and supported. I also performed abortions when contraception failed. For forty years, I have been supported in this work by my Quaker beliefs.

On Politics (July 2017)

Testimonies of Separation I have litigated divorce, paternity, custody, child support, and Order of Protection cases in Arizona for over three years. My work has largely been funded by a grant for crime victims’ rights. Almost all of the patterns described in this article appeared many times in many cases and do not refer to particular cases or individuals.  I have omitted all identifying information and, where necessary, have changed particularizing details to preserve confidentiality.

On Separation (November 2019)

Freedom, Fraternity, and Friends (abridged) [The following text was excerpted from: https://westernfriend.org/media/freedom-fraternity-friends.]

On Freedom (January 2022)