Category Archives: Hard-Core Quaker

March 10: Remember Tom Fox

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Tom Fox, in his red Christian Peacemaker Teams ball cap, in Palestine between tours in Iraq.

March 10: Remember Tom Fox

March 10 — how could I forget? How dare I fail to remember.

Four years and four months ago, John Stephens and I began a blog site called freethecaptivesnow.org , as both a personal vigil and a community service, compiling and posting nightly updates of reports — or mostly the lack of reports — about the fate of four… peaceworkers kidnapped in Iraq. They had been taken in Baghdad, and one of them, Tom Fox, was a Quaker and a friend of both John and me.

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Not Acting Their Age In Wichita — YAF Conference 2010

So.  The registration info for the 2010 Young adult Friends (YAF) Conference in Wichita is now online.  As a preliminary, there’s a two-page statements of “expectations” and rules. The complete text is below. But some particular items deserve special attention, and I wonder what others think of them.

I won’t be shy about my reactions. Some sections are no big problem, e.g.:

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Mysticism, Schmysticism; Quakers, Pay Attention!

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Scott Horton

There was an amazing post yesterday on the pitfalls of “mysticism” and pop occultism, by the always enlightening human rights attorney Scott Horton. It’s on his always worthwhile “No Comment” blog at the Harpers magazine site.

It makes points that ought to give many Quaker aficionados of that “mystic” path pause, an occasion to take off their fog-tinted spectacles and see the phenomenon more plainly in the light of history and social context.
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AFSC’s Next Boss: You Heard It here First

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Clinton Pettus

The American Friends Service Committee will soon be picking its new General Secretary. On its website, the date for submitting resumes is late in March. Presumably it will be a few months after that before a final selection is announced. My guess would be they’d want to make it in time for summer, so the new person could make a grand tour of yearly meetings and the FGC Gathering, to be introduced to Friends at large.

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Rant: Complaining About Fancy-Schmancy Quaker Schools

So here it comes again: on another list, a complaint about expensive Quaker schools. Are they really “Quaker”? Don’t they sow division in meetings? Don’t they perpetuate all kinds of bad class stuff??

For the record, I never worked at one of the fancy Quaker schools; but I was briefly on the “faculty” of the fledgling (and now gone) Friends World College some 45 years ago, where I earned room, board and all the luxury a couple hundred bucks a month could buy.

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Enough With the Anti-Institutional Sloganeering: A Divergent Friend Speaks

I’m increasingly troubled by the repetition of anti-institutional slogans in what is sometimes called “emergent” Quaker circles and conversations. Much of this, in my reading, consists of about one per cent of insight, that’s being puffed up like a bit of rubber into a big-looking balloon of empty hot air.

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