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Pages tagged "Pacifism"

A Quaker Patriotism Find a lesson plan here, for using this article with children in First Day School.

On Patriotism (January 2014)

A Regrettable Omission Dear Friends: The January/February 2016 issue of Western Friend included a short essay by me, “The Original Quaker Peace Testimony.” In that essay I challenged the view of the Quaker Peace Testimony held by most contemporary Friends: that it is identical with pacifism, as commonly understood.  My argument drew not only upon my own research and reflection, but also upon the work of a Quaker scholar who is much more versed in the history of the Peace Testimony than I am: Lonnie Valentine, a member of the faculty at the Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana.  He authored what I regard as the most authoritative historical account of the Quaker Peace Testimony – “Quakers, War, and Peacemaking” – which is included in an immensely valuable new volume of Quaker Studies, The Oxford Handbook of Quaker Studies, edited by Stephen W. Angell and Pink Dandelion. My personal conversations with Lonnie added to the understanding I gained from reading his article.

On Balance (May 2017)

Amor Fati Paradox defined: “Items and situations that seem mutually exclusive, yet somehow reflect upon each other, often creating a deeper, more nuanced truth, perhaps in dynamic tension, or complementing each other.” Like a Quaker serving in the military. I lived that paradox intermittently for seven years while serving in the reserves during medical school and residency. Then I lived it full-time during four years of active duty, which started when I completed my medical training in 2000. My first year of active duty seemed pretty benign, then 9/11/2001 happened, and my situation instantly became truly “military.” I faced impending deployment to “the sandbox,” the Middle East. 

On Weapons (January 2019)

On Balance

In the “capstone talk” of the American Friends Service Committee’s Centennial Summit last month, former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias framed his remarks with reference to an episode described by Henry Cadbury in his Nobel Lecture of 1947. In that lecture, Cadbury recounts, “In 1665, some English Quaker carpenters were building wooden ships on the Thames. They thought they were pacifists and had renounced war, and when there was danger of invasion by a Dutch fleet, these carpenters were required to carry arms. Naturally, they refused to do so, but it never occurred to them that what they were building were warships. It comes slowly, this discovery.”

On Balance (May 2017)

On Home Every living thing needs a certain amount of shelter to survive. Some humans cling aggressively to mighty castles; which is to say, they cling to piles of stones. Others remain ever ready to respond to The Call to pick up their tents and walk. The responsive ones are called humble; which is to say, they are blessed.

On Home (September 2017)

Quaker Culture: Spiritual Weapons [We] have been enabled to see a splendid vision of what human unity is, and of what human fellowship may be, and have of necessity been filled with a profound sense of the evil of violating this fellowship. This vision has brought us a renewed faith in the power of spiritual forces to build the structure of humanity, and to redeem it from error and wrong. . . Backed by these convictions, we hold the moral law of gentleness and forgiveness and love to be unconditionally binding upon us now. It seems a poor and pitiful thing to believe in principles except when they may have to be applied, in forgiveness only when there is nothing to forgive, in love only for those who love us. . .  May we be faithful to the vision! It bears with it a grave but splendid responsibility.

On Weapons (January 2019)

The Balm of The Other For if you love only those who love you, what reward have you earned?

On War (January 2013)