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On Wealth My guess is that, on average, across every dozen large Quaker gatherings, at least one person will share the insight that “We are human beings, not human doings.” (I’ve heard this said in non-Quaker circles as well.)

On Wealth (May 2020)

On Wealth

May / Jun 2020

Quaker Culture: Wealth [In seventeenth century England], nonconformists like Quakers were barred from universities, professions and public office, and so turned to trading and industry instead. . . The work ethic of the Quakers and their simplicity of speech and life quickly led to prosperity and property, and that property soon included ownership of the industrial base of factories and transport and their financial underpinnings through banking. In other words, despite the almost otherworldliness of their conscience and spiritual practices, the Quakers were instinctive capitalists. . .  The ethics of this are clear: once it is impossible for a family to own their immediate means of production, the owners of such means have various ethical obligations to their workers. The history of Quaker businesses demonstrates [their] keen sense of that obligation.

On Wealth (May 2020)

Money, that Tainted Thing As Friends and as a people of faith, we walk a narrow tightrope between using wealth as a means to bring light and life into the world and allowing it to become a snare. The snare can draw us into a prison of world and wealth centeredness, or can trap us into such self-imposed poverty that we rely on the wealth of others to live. Friends at the beginning of the 21st century would do well to examine how we maintain a healthy relationship with wealth. Almost all of our national and international Quaker organizations are reducing their staffs due to lack of funds and, consequently, limiting their effectiveness. Many of our meetings are deferring maintenance of meetinghouses and finding it difficult to give financial support to members in need.

On Money (November 2015)