Language

Appalling Content (1)

Dear Editor: I am saddened by your increasing use of web sites for you publication. Like nearly half of Americans, I cannot afford a computer system and, as we age out, that number will increase. This is a new form of classism and exclusion. My understanding of Quakerism is to be in the world but not of it – and to strive for simplicity.

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Freed from Crushing Poverty in Bolivia

The current century is one of political, economic, and cultural upheaval in Bolivia, which has long been the poorest country in South America. Extreme rural poverty, lack of educational opportunity, and discrimination have held the indigenous majority captive for centuries. These are the Aymara – people who have lived high in the Andes for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

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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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Before “Things”

The language we necessarily use shapes our experience of the everyday world as a world of “things,” objects that we view from the outside. This is the case whether the “things” are apples, worlds, ideas, relationships, plans, or even the entire universe. We view and manipulate “things” as if we face them from a separate, outside position in which we seem to live.

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Quaker Culture: Speaking as Equals

Friends (of the non-pastoral sort, at least) do not have a hierarchy.  No chain of command.  No higher-ups.  No in-group.  No pyramid of authority.  No ultimate decision-maker, where the buck always stops.  Nobody on the bottom, who must keep his/her head down and mouth shut for fear of retaliation.  Nobody who is powerless.  Nobody more powerful than whomever fills the temporary and limited ro

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