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The Original Quaker Peace Testimony

My paternal grandfather was a stern, strait-laced Ohio Quaker. My father, his eldest son, lived out most of those values in his own life, including the traditional Quaker repudiation of armed conflict. Yet at the outset of WWII, the youngest son of the family – my Uncle Clinton – chose to join the Army. My father evidently tried to dissuade his younger brother from joining the Army. In the summer of 1942 as Clinton was undergoing basic training in California, he responded to my father’s concerns with these words:

On Countries (January 2016)

Two Quakers Living with the Military

We are two Quaker women who raised our families in towns dominated by the U.S. military. Rather than shun the military and look away, we have lived our witness amidst strong military presences. One thing about being in a military town is that you can’t look away from how big a machine the military is. Each of us found that it was hard to raise a Quaker family in a community with a tiny Quaker presence and a huge military presence. It was hard for our children to find peer support with so few Friends in town. [pullquote]The military has certainly created plenty of occasions for us to talk about our testimonies and our practices in the face of headwinds.[/pullquote] Both of us have found that our situations have actually helped strengthen our faith, since we often have to live our witness when sustained by faith alone.

On Place (May 2022)

The Balm of The Other

For if you love only those who love you, what reward have you earned?

On War (January 2013)

Awakening to the Presence (abridged)

I once lived with a cat named Francis. If he needed something, Francis would find me and invite me to help him. Regularly this invitation would come in the middle of the night when I was otherwise asleep in my bed. I would stir from my slumber to feel what would best be described as a gentle yet forceful kneading of my eyeballs by Francis’ paws.

On Home (September 2017)