Clarity

Illusions and Miracles

Military forces in the 18th and 19th centuries employed a deceptive tactic called “the Quaker gun trick.” This involved using wooden cannon replicas, sometimes painted black, to trick an adversary into withdrawal or surrender – without a shot being fired. We are not talking Peace Testimony here, but perhaps Friendly Trickery – deception for the greater good of de-escalation.

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Speaking Fluent Wishy-Washy

Dear Editor: I loved William Matchett’s delicately profound “Notes on Quaker Speech.” I share his sentiment that locutions like “Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business” are tortured and twee. It has been said that Friends abolished creeds, but couldn’t exterminate the creedal impulse.

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What is the Light?

George Fox described himself during his early adulthood as “a man of sorrows in the times of the first workings of the Lord in me.” Shortly later, he stated, “After this did a pure fire appear in me, a spiritual discerning came into me.” By the following year, while he was 24, a major transformation had occurred, “In the year 1648, as I was sitting in a Friend’s house . . .

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Confusion of Language

Genesis tells of the confusing of language while the people of Babylon were building a tower of extreme height. There is evidence of confused communication in modern times. My words apparently do not always convey the same meaning that I had in mind, upon reception by the intended receiver.

– George McConnell, Clarks, NE

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