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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)

Our Testimony on Alcohol Dear Editor: Thank you for reminding us of the traditional Quaker testimony on abstinence from alcohol. It is dismaying to see it increasingly forgotten in our meetings. It is one thing to recognize that outlawing alcohol and drugs leads to violent crime and mass incarceration. It is another to conclude that the use of chemical substances is desirable or even benign. When we are laughing about the casual use of wine or pot, we might want to ponder this question: Would we make a small sacrifice to help those in need? Are we able to forego a minor indulgence for the sake of those whom disease has made powerless? Because whether we are aware of it or not, we are surrounded by people who are caught with their families in a downward spiral of addiction.

On Reconciliation (January 2015)

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)

Evolution of The Peace Testimony [The following article is abridged from a more complete original text, which is available at: westernfriend.org/media/evolution-testimony.]

On Rules (November 2020)