Category Archives: Signs of the Times

Anti-Disestablishmentarianism: The Word for Southern Marriage Holdouts

Anti-Disestablishmentarianism: The Word for Southern Marriage Holdouts
Do kids still joke about learning to spell “anti-disestablishentarianism”?
I used to think it was a fake, something made up, like Mary Poppins’s “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

But no! It was real. And in fact, I just realized that TODAY, for the very first time ever, I can use the term in a piece of factual writing, in its actual meaning.
Because that’s what going on in a few holdouts spots across the American South: fits of Anti-Dis-Establishmentarianism.

keep-calm-and-get-off-my-antidisestablishmentarianism
Continue reading Anti-Disestablishmentarianism: The Word for Southern Marriage Holdouts

Conscience in Mississippi; Grandstanding In Alabama

Conscience in Mississippi; Grandstanding In Alabama

A Circuit Clerk in Mississippi resigned her post rather than issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.

Linda Barnette said in a letter of resignation, effective on June 30, 2015, that

“The Supreme Court’s decision violates my core values as a Christian,” she wrote. “My final authority is the Bible. I cannot in all good conscience issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples under my name because the Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is contrary to God’s plan and purpose for marriage and family. . . .”
Acquaintances said Barnette’s husband is a pastor who worked with Billy Graham Ministries for many years.
“I choose to obey God rather than man,” Barnette wrote.

Linda-Barnette
Linda Barnette, former Circuit Clerk of Grenada County, Mississippi.

Continue reading Conscience in Mississippi; Grandstanding In Alabama

After Gay Marriage: No, The END Is NOT Near

After Gay Marriage: No, The END Is NOT Near

Is this a moment of decision for the vocally anti-gay pastors and meetings in North Carolina Yearly Meeting-FUM?

On the one side, they could join the peals of panic and hysteria that are near full-throat since the Supreme Court’s marriage decision on June 26.

Or maybe they could take a deep breath, listen to some other voices, and consider a different option.

Here’s another way to put it: Will their template now be drawn from  Dred Scott (civil war) and Roe v Wade (anti-abortion terrorism)?

Or will it be Loving v. Virginia, and “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”?

(I’d like to think nobody could say no to “Loving.” But I’ve been wrong before.)

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Is It Truly Going To Be This Bad?? (Maybe not.)

Continue reading After Gay Marriage: No, The END Is NOT Near

The “Hubris” of A “Judicial Putsch” — Dissents From The Same Sex Marriage Ruling

The “Hubris” of A “Judicial Putsch” — Dissents From The Same Sex Marriage Ruling

Together the four Supreme Court dissents make up a longer body of text than the decision. So for readability I am presenting them in three sizes:

First, the “Mini” or “Executive Summary” version, select quotes that add up to almost 4000 words.

Next, The Medium size, a fuller selection of the texts, which comes to almost 12,000 words.

And finally, at this link, one can read the dissents in their entirety, at about 19,000 words. (To find them, scroll down past the initial, “Opinion of the Court” section.)

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Continue reading The “Hubris” of A “Judicial Putsch” — Dissents From The Same Sex Marriage Ruling

The Supreme Court Marriage Decision — Made Readable!

The Supreme Court Marriage Decision — Made Readable! (And Shorter!)

Who knew? The Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage is not only historic — it’s also readable, coherent, humane, and often eloquent.

But the full text runs to 35 pages and about 12,000 words. Much of this text is clogged up with legal citations and inside-lawyer references. These are necessary to the legal system, but not to the meaning or flow of the decision.

Reading it and skipping all the extra legalese was actually exciting and even moving; but why keep the good stuff to myself?

So I’ve cut almost all of this out, and shortened some other sections. The result is just under 5000 words, but with all the important reasoning and analysis retained (I think; I’m not a lawyer). 

Even if you believe this decision marks the End of Civilization As We Know It, you may find this version useful; I’ve done no editorializing  in it. It’s the text — not the whole text — but nothing but the text.

And I’ve pasted this whole thing in below. This is what journos these days call a “long-form” piece.  But as I said, I found reading it compelling. So I commend it to others. If you find this helpful, please pass it on.

Next I’m going to dive into the four Dissents, to see what’s of interest there. Check back later for updates on this front. Meantime, it’s your turn to read the history that was made today. . . .

Go for it.

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Continue reading The Supreme Court Marriage Decision — Made Readable!

Richard Nixon’s First Cover-Up: His Quaker Religion

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.

Nixon-Coverup-Cover

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 Quakers: Saturday Showdown at Pine Hill?

Carolina Quakers: Saturday Showdown at Pine Hill?

Is THIS something that might happen when the North Carolina YM Representative Body gathers this Saturday, June 6? Can you see it:

Pine Hill Friends is suddenly surrounded by hundreds of hostile armed men, insisting that same sex marriages be performed there before they will let anyone leave?

1-Marry-Gays-Now-Or-Else

Continue reading Carolina Quakers: Saturday Showdown at Pine Hill?

Two Unforgettable Profiles In Courage: 1969

Two Unforgettable Profiles In Courage: 1969

The first “favorable” articles I ever read about homosexuality and bisexuality  were in WIN Magazine, a radical pacifist journal, in its “gay liberation issue” of November 15, 1969. (“Gay liberation” was a brand-new coinage then.)

I still remember how the “coming out” (yet another new phrase for me) story of and by David McReynolds, who was then the main staff member of the War Resisters League {WRL}, hit me like a series of physical blows.

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Continue reading Two Unforgettable Profiles In Courage: 1969

Guilford College President Responds To “Endangered” Blog Post

Guilford College President Responds To “Endangered” Blog Post

Chuck,

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.

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Guilford president Jane Fernandes, center.

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”?

Guilford: Quaker College On The Endangered List?

Guilford: Quaker College On The Endangered List?

At Guilford College in Greensboro NC, the hullabaloo over graduation has died down. And now, a grim summer has begun.

Specifically, the passing out of diplomas was followed by the passing out of pink slips, to 52 staff and faculty. That’s thirteen percent of Guilford’s 400 employees, almost one in seven.

Sweetbriar-RIP-2 Continue reading Guilford: Quaker College On The Endangered List?