North Carolina YM Update: Goodbye To Doormat Quakerism?
On August 1, another showdown meeting will convene for Carolina Quakers. Will it be the climactic moment of a struggle that has boiled over for nearly a year?
Maybe. But in assessing its prospects, it’s appropriate to take a reading on a factor that’s seldom named, but will be familiar to most experienced Friends. They will know that in internal Quaker conflicts, besides those on one side or the other, there is usually a sizable group which wants at all costs to avoid, cover up, or flee the conflict.
This constituency is often big enough to be decisive; and rather than having a particular theological or even ideological view, it typically has a position, or more precisely, a posture: pretty much flat on the floor.
Yes, to understand recent and current Quaker events, you have to get to know Doormat Quakerism.
Richard Nixon’s First Cover-Up: His Quaker Religion
A Review of Nixon’s First Cover-Up. By H. Larry Ingle. University of Missouri Press. 220 pages, cloth. $50.00.
A former Nixon speechwriter-turned newspaper columnist compared Nixon’s personality to a many-layered birthday cake: cut into his persona and there was layer after layer, after layer.
It’s a striking image. But historian Larry Ingle’s new book about Nixon’s religion left me with a very different visual sense: that I had been peering down a deep, dark well, then shining a small but sharp penlight into the depths, hoping to glimpse the reflection of water, but finally seeing only a distant, dry emptiness, with an accumulation of trash, the deposit of endless lies. Continue reading Richard Nixon’s First Cover-Up: His Quaker Religion→
Carolina Quaker Witch Hunt: Here Comes The “Auditing Committee”
A Visit From The Auditing Committee
[NOTE: The dramatization below is fiction. But it is based on an actual plan for a doctrinal “cleansing” of North Carolina Yearly Meeting-FUM that was presented to NCYM’s Representative Body on June 6, 2015. For comparison and authentication, the full text of the proposal is attached following this vignette]:
As a regular visitor to Guilford College, undoubtedly you have witnessed the impact a liberal arts education rooted in Quaker values has on students. I think you would agree the world needs Guilford graduates more today than ever. That’s why we’re working overtime to make sure this important college not only survives but thrives for future generations.
We grieve for our friends at Sweet Briar as they close their college. At Guilford, we are proactive. Recently, we took concrete steps to align our expenses with current and anticipated revenues. But that is only the first phase of a community-wide, multi-year effort that will include revenue-generating initiatives under new and inspired enrollment and marketing leadership. We have a powerful story to tell about student outcomes, and we will make a strong appeal to students and families who will benefit from a Guilford education and want to invest in it.
Here’s how you and others can help: Spread the word to high school students and their families about the life-transforming, Quaker-based liberal arts education available at Guilford College. Let them know we are working to make Guilford as affordable as possible, and that the value of the investment a family makes in this College results not only in graduates who are critical thinkers but in ones who are prepared for immediate employment or graduate school. By the way, our job placement rate for graduates is 85% according to our latest survey against a national average of 58%.
And for those who have both vision and means, support Guilford philanthropically. This, too, is a wise investment. If you believe in the value of Quaker education, support Guilford and schools like it. This is a way to ensure that this unique, valuable educational experience is available to students and their families for many years to come.
Chuck, you have dedicated your life to action for social justice. Help us inspire Quakers and others who care about Quaker education to preserve the best educational opportunity out there today!Way will open.
Jane K. Fernandes President
A Blogger’s Footnote: Much as I admire Guilford as a Quaker outpost, I’m not in a position to sign up as a college booster or promoter. I encourage ideas and discussion here (and elsewhere): Friends, what can make sure Guilford will “survive & thrive”?
Re-Re-Re-Inventing The Wheel: 170 Years of “Convergent” Quakerism
With a few exceptions, many of the most important pieces of American Quaker history since before the Civil War have not yet been well-studied or written up. One of the biggest pieces that’s missing, in my view, is a close look at the long, occasionally successful, but very often tortured record of intra-Quaker ecumenical efforts. Continue reading Re-Re-Re-Inventing The Wheel: 170 Years of “Convergent” Quakerism→