Category Archives: Books & Book Reviews

1966-Explaining The Year of “Black Power”

John McWhorter


[NOTE: John McWhorter is an often provocative  columnist for the New York Times. He’s a frequent dissenter from the evolving “woke-DEI  consensus,” but also an advocate for his version of Black advancement (e.g., pressing for teaching reading to all students via Phonics, a crusade I completely agree with), and has called for ending the quasi-religious character of the “anti-racism” movement (which I also generally support, though a crude and less than well-informed anti-religiousness seriously mars McWhorter’s case there). Continue reading 1966-Explaining The Year of “Black Power”

Bible Study: Two Subversive Parables

[NOTE: This is the substance of a message offered at Spring Friends Meeting this morning, March 5 2023.]

“[T ]he one thing about Jesus that can be known with certainty,” wrote the late New Testament scholar William Herzog II, “was that he was executed as an enemy of the state and the Temple.”

Yes. We’re talking about the Roman imperial state, and the Second Temple of priestly Judaism. Continue reading Bible Study: Two Subversive Parables

Cartoons for an “Unfunny” Time

Upside down much?

It doesn’t seem there’s any way around it: so far, 2023 is a Big Bust as far as editorial cartoons go.

We now have proof of that, at least in the form that counts for the educated classes, a statement by an elite college professor, Continue reading Cartoons for an “Unfunny” Time

Next Tuesday: The “Separation Generation” Discussion on March 7

The Separation Generation:

Discussion –  March 7 at ESR & on Zoom

To register FREE Today, Click here.

From 2007 to 2018, five U. S. Yearly Meetings split apart —one disappeared completely, after 320 years. This was the broadest, most disruptive  wave of separations since 1827.

Five years later, several much larger denominations have likewise split asunder; more may soon do so.

Three Friends independently chronicled all these Quaker upheavals. Their collaboration became a unique and searching three-volume account, “The Separation Generation”:

The Authors on Taking Stock,
Looking Ahead:

Jade Rockwell: A bit of background: Jade was involved in the separation in Northwest YM in Oregon. Now she’s in Indiana, where two more splits happened, and working at the meeting which was the main target for those who forced the split. The fourth division happened next door in Ohio, to Wilmington YM. Jade is at ESR now, looking toward full-time pastoral work. From what she’s seen, written about, and lived through, how does she think that wave of splits has affected the field of ministry you’re hoping to enter?

Chuck Fager wants to talk about clerking, and its discontents. These separations were complex; but clerking was a common key factor. The reporting showed there was some excellent clerking; but in Chuck’s view it also revealed recurring clerk misconduct. Similar misconduct occurred in earlier splits back to 1827. These experiences raise the question of whether “normal” Quaker Process is equipped even to name or curb such damaging official malpractice and wrongdoing. This reporting project convinced Chuck that it’s time for Friends to begin reexamining and strengthening Quaker process, to better protect Friends and meetings in times of stress and difficulty.
Steve Angell: Steve notes that all five of these splits involved LGBTQ issues. But was that all there was to them? No. In his view,  other issues and forces were also important. And from his standpoint as a Quaker historian, Steve has been pondering whether the Separation Generation has permanently changed U. S. Quakerism.

March 7, 2023 – in person at Earlham School of Religion & on ZOOM, 6-8 PM EST.

To register FREE Today, Click here.

The Separation Generation:

Vol. 1: Indiana Trainwreck (Indiana & Western YMs)

Vol. 2: Murder at Quaker Lake (North Carolina YM)

Vol. 3: Shattered by the Light (Northwest & Wilmington YMs)

On March 7, 2023
all three authors will reflect on their reporting on this time of tribulation, consider its far-reaching implications, and answer questions. You can join the conversation, in person at ESR or on Zoom, at no charge.
March 7, 2023 6-8 PM – EST

                To register, Click Here.

Quotes of the Day: Chickens, Boomers & the Python, and an Astronomer who Sees the End of Our Universe

Quotes (Today, all from The Washington Post)

On Backyard chickens:

“Which reminds me: Everything imaginable will try to eat your chickens. Depending on where you live, you’ll have to protect your flock from hawks, raccoons, weasels, coyotes, wolves, dogs, foxes and even hungry bears. . . . Continue reading Quotes of the Day: Chickens, Boomers & the Python, and an Astronomer who Sees the End of Our Universe