Western Friend logo

Search

On Control “Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to Adam to see what he would name them; and whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.” (Genesis 2:19)

On Control (July 2019)

The Bonds of Animal Affection This article is in dialogue with “The Bonds of Animal Agriculture” by Friend Joe Snyder in the May-June 2013 issue of Western Friend. I commend Friend Snyder for highlighting the destructive aspects of the prevailing system of plant and animal agriculture, which fail to respect God’s creation. To my mind, Friends cannot overemphasize the seriousness of such threats to our health and global sustainability.

On Love (September 2013)

A Field Guide to Evil Whether we talk about it or not, we hold strong views about evil. So I’d like to share with you some vocabulary about evil that I’ve learned, which can allow us to describe evil a little more accurately than we usually do, especially when our feelings get roused up. I’m not interested in catastrophic evil or cosmic evil. I’m interested in the day-to-day stuff – the times I forget to say thank-you or the times I take a shortcut and inadvertently hurt somebody else who doesn’t take the shortcut.

On Temptation (November 2014)

On Heritage Choose life: It’s a good rule of thumb. But the life I have inherited is one that’s built on killing. While I’m safely minding my own business (in a wealthy suburb in the richest nation that’s ever existed), killing and the threat of killing are adding to the wealth of the nation I live in. Killing and the threat of killing are holding the line between who has access to resources and who does not. Who ends up on which side of that line is based on no good reason. Rather, it is rote tradition that allows arbitrary distinctions between groups of people to be used to enhance the resources of some and limit the resources of others. No matter how convincingly such traditions are sanctified and rationalized, they remain fundamentally arbitrary and morally dead.

On Heritage (July 2016)

Confidence Friends follow rules both spoken and unspoken; these guide our practices and behaviors, and they change over time and distance. In some cases, rules may have been followed long ago for good reasons, but are no longer common practice now. Similarly, what is standard in one meeting might be unusual in another. We like to think we are generally responding to continuing revelation, but sometimes we are merely reflecting contemporary attitudes.

On Rules (November 2020)

On Science The allegory of the cave, attributed to Socrates by Plato in The Republic (375 BCE), depicts human knowledge as emerging from a struggle between our senses and our reason. In this story, prisoners are chained inside a cave so that they are only able to see one wall. A fire behind them projects shadows onto the wall, and all the prisoners’ knowledge derives from those shadows, known through their senses.

On Science (November 2022)

Of Quakers and Corporations George Fox and the early Quakers made their witnesses to authentic and original Christianity public by their testimonies. The English word, testimony, derives from the Latin word for “witness,” which is primarily an outward expression “to the whole world … actions and words, intended to proclaim, demonstrate and convince” (from The Quaker Peace Testimony, Friends House, London, 1993).

On Superiority (July 2013)

The Quaker Way: A Rediscovery - Review The Quaker Way: A Rediscovery by Rex Ambler

On Deception (November 2013)