A collection of quotations from a range of sources concerning various Quaker stances towards the question of economic inequality.
Dear Friends: I have just read Pendle Hill Pamphlet #450, Pamela Haines’s “Money and Soul,” and I encourage Friends to read it. It’s based on a talk that the author gave at Intermountain Yearly Meeting in 2017 (which was published by Western Friend; see: westernfriend.org/article/money-and-soul-abridged).
Dear Friends: The introduction to the Western Friend issue “On Captivity” reminds us that Friends practice a method for discerning Truth that we believe can transcend secular notions. At best, we measure ourselves against eternal values, transmitted and purified by a fierce and searching inward Light, rather than by personal standards, contemporary norms, or social movements.
Dear Friends: I encourage you to become familiar with the emergence of Pandemic Bonds. Similar to government bonds for state and local infrastructure development, Pandemic Bonds are vehicles for investing in structures of global preparation for outbreaks of diseases like ebola or SARS. These bonds are not yet offered publicly to small investors, but they could be.
Dear Editor: I am so delighted that Western Friend published the 2017 IMYM keynote talk on finances (September/October 2017). Financial management is a spiritual practice, at least as taught by my teacher, Jesus of Nazareth. Citizens of the United States are profligate wasters of world resources. One of the reasons for this is rank ignorance.
I learned about the power of nonviolence and nonviolent action in the spring of 1960, while participating in sit-ins at lunch counters in Maryland and Virginia with African American fellow students at Howard University. Most Saturdays we would go to a People’s Drug store, sit down at a lunch counter, get arrested, and then sing freedom songs in our jail cells all weekend.
We have been created with gifts – awareness, comprehension, will, empathy – to do the work of Life. We can play with these gifts – and it is only by playing with them that we learn to use them well – but in play we risk falling into traps of self-indulgence, we risk blunting and distorting the vital purposes of our gifts and our lives.
“We are tired of smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society,” said Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (1963). To address this crisis, Dr. King (along with Quaker activist Bayard Rustin) launched the Poor People’s Campaign, focusing on economic justice, especially around jobs and housing.