Margaret Fisher’s reminder of the “traditional Quaker testimony on abstinence from alcohol” is also a reminder of the diversity of the world of Friends. Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Faith and Practice mentions the general concern of addictions, particularly those that are harmful to others.
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.