NOTE TO SELF, BASED ON QUAKER TESTIMONIES OF INTEGRITY, SIMPLICITY, PEACE, EQUALITY, AND COMMUNITY:

1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul, and your neighbor as yourself.
2. Do what you say, say what you think, think what is true.
3. Subtract superfluities from your life, speech, desires and thoughts.
4. Don't initiate aggression against the persons or property of others, nor support people who do, including the people who "constitute" the government.
5. Respect life and natural law.
6. All people are endowed by their Creator with equal and inalienable rights to the earth and to the fruits of their own labor, and a "Citizen's Dividend" funded by a "Single Tax" on the unimproved value of land and other natural resources would be the fairest way to protect these rights.

For supporting materials, see the Archive and the Recommended Reading and Videos section at the bottom of this page.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Conservative Quakers of America

In my last post I mentioned I'd found this site, Conservative Quakers of America, which seemed to be very well put together and to have a lot of good information and links about conservative Quakerism. On closer inspection the site seems to be part of a webring which, at least presently, does not represent any substantial organization of people but appears to be largely or entirely the brain-child of a rather youthful-looking 35 year-old man in Calgary, Canada by the name of Jim Heil. (On the Conservative Quakers of America site he seems to be working with a Friend who is a member of a meeting in Athens, Greece that is affiliated with Ohio Yearly Meeting.) The fellow's motivations and inspirations for going to all this work and expense seem quite laudable. A large part of his idea seems to be to create an online community of conservative-minded Quakers (but inclusive of Quakers in general). I found this explanation noteworthy on his/their Quakers Online page:

"Why Quakers Online? Quakers are a diverse and sometimes scattered lot. Our numbers are not significant and many of us go without fellowship. I am a Wilburite (Conservative) Quaker and only can say this because of the study I have done through the Internet. Many, like myself, will make the same realizations, become convinced, not by human contact, but by searching online… a restlessness inside of them may lead them here or to another Quaker site in search of answers… in search of inner peace. Quakers Online hopes to be a refuge for believers, unplugged or otherwise, or for those simply hoping to expand their network of Friends. This website Quakers Online is the first of many interactive Quaker websites we plan on creating in the next couple of years. I have mistakenly noted in the past that “we are not officially linked to the Religious Society of Friends”, but I was wrong in this statement. We are Friends and this website is a community (or society) of sorts. We are inclusive to all forms of Quakerism and sincerely hope that all will be represented here."

I applaud this work and wish it success. The writing and info on these sites seems to be quite good, comprehensive, and correct. It serves as a reminder that the Quaker tradition and spirituality, which gives to our present forms of organization their identity as Quaker, is prior to and can exist independently of the official organizations in their present forms. After all, over the centuries various Quaker organizations have been formed and divided and laid down, but Quakerism itself has remained and been conserved throughout.