Category Archives: Election 2016

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.

Surveying the Republican Ruins: Eavesdropping on Conservative Pundits

White-Guy Pundits at Twilight: Two formerly leading conservative columnists ponder the prospects for their former political home, and the cloudy “trajectories” of their careers . . .

Quotes of the Week, from:
Conservative Columnists David Brooks & Bret Stephens

“The Party’s Over for Us. Where Do We Go Now?” (Excerpts)

New York Times — 01/12/2023

David Brooks

David Brooks:  Our trajectories with the G.O.P. are fairly similar, and so are our lives. I’m older than you, but our lives have a number of parallels. We both grew up in secular Jewish families, went to the University of Chicago, worked at The Wall Street Journal, served in Brussels for The Journal, and wound up at The Times. . . .

In the 2000 Republican primaries I enthusiastically supported John McCain. I believed in his approach to governance and I admired him enormously. But by 2008, when he got the nomination, the party had shifted and McCain had shifted along with it. I walked into the polling booth that November genuinely not knowing if I would vote for McCain or Barack Obama. Continue reading Surveying the Republican Ruins: Eavesdropping on Conservative Pundits

Supreme Court Dissents: Naming The Outrages, Painting A Better Future — Someday

Joan E Greve in Washington — Mon 11 Jul 2022

Opinions from Breyer, Kagan and Sotomayor send stark warning about increasingly radical court abandoning long-held principles

Taken together, the dissents written by the three liberal justices this term send a clear warning about an increasingly radical court that is abandoning long-held principles and even the facts of a case to enact an extreme conservative agenda in America.

While supreme court opinions can frequently become mired in legalese that is incomprehensible to the average reader, the wording of the liberals’ dissents is often simple and direct. The opinions can read like a desperate attempt to reach beyond the court’s standard audience of legal experts to speak to the millions of people who will feel the impact of these rulings.

“Today, the court leads us to a place where separation of church and state becomes a constitutional violation,” Sotomayor wrote in her dissenting opinion to conservatives’ decision in Carson v Makin. She concluded: “With growing concern for where this court will lead us next, I respectfully dissent.”

Paul Schiff Berman, a professor at George Washington University Law School, said dissenting opinions help foster “a culture of argument” around America’s laws. . . . Continue reading Supreme Court Dissents: Naming The Outrages, Painting A Better Future — Someday

Broken Churches, Broken Nation (Again?)

“History doesn’t repeat,” Mark Twain supposedly said, “but sometimes it rhymes.”

Are the conflicts within so many American churches over LGBTQ and associated issues part of some cruel karmic sonnet?

The Separation Generation’s three volumes approach this question in prose, by chronicling disruptions among five American Yearly Meetings extending roughly from 2011 to 2018 (along with sketches of some precursor struggles). This wave of division was likely the most damaging to Quakerism since the “Great Separation” of 1827.

In a larger cultural/political context, this period roughly parallels the era of the Religious Right, the Tea Party ascendancy among Congressional Republicans, and then a successful insurgent presidential campaign followed by a highly disruptive administration, culminating in a violent insurrection at the Capitol in January 2021.

Also in the background is the 2015 landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges that legalized same-gender marriage nationwide, but did not end the conflicts over that or related issues.

It’s hard to draw direct connections from these notable outside events to the specific disagreements among Quakers. In Quaker worship, Quaker business process and other contexts, we’re supposed to be listening to God speaking through the Light of Christ in each of us. Thus one would (in theory) not necessarily expect to find direct influences from the broader culture, as Quakers seek to commune with and to learn from a God that presumably transcends culture.

That’s the theory. In practice, as we gain more distance from these momentous events, evidence of such broader influences becomes clearer. We eagerly await further insight from Quaker memoirs, scholarly research and blog posts from those who have been most involved in this often difficult and Quaker-world-changing series of events. Continue reading Broken Churches, Broken Nation (Again?)