Category Archives: Resistance

Getting Progressive With Sojourner Truth & Friends

The Progressive Friends were a group that hasn’t yet got their props from Quaker historians. There isn’t space here for an outline of their fascinating history, except to say you can find out more here and here.

Pennsylvaia Progressive Friends Minute Book

But in sum, they started as liberal rebels in mid-1800s America, who took on a hidebound Hicksite Establishment. And they ended, invisibly but unmistakably, as the seedbed and founders of modern US liberal Quakerism. The fact that almost nobody knows this is a shame, but no surprise given the general ignorance of Quaker history among Quakers. (I’ll rant about that some other time.)

Continue reading Getting Progressive With Sojourner Truth & Friends

Back To Class: Friends, “Our” Schools, And The Shock of Recognition

Friends seminary, Manhattan New York
Friends Seminary, New York City

Settle in, guys and gals; this one is lengthy. But worth it. (It should be especially useful for recovering from an overdose of Supreme Court hearings.)

In a couple of earlier posts– here and also here — many months ago, I mentioned discussions of class as a factor that complicated self-understanding and community-building among Friends today, and promised to return to them at some point.

This is one of those points, precipitated by another New York Times report back  in 2011, describing tensions between some Friends in New York City and an expensive private school, Friends Seminary, which adjoins and shares facilities with the Fifteenth Street Meeting in Manhattan. It seems there are New York Friends who say that ties with the school should be cut. This saga is part of the background to the current issue at the school over the firing of its only remaining Quaker teacher. Continue reading Back To Class: Friends, “Our” Schools, And The Shock of Recognition

Beethoven’s Message to Guantanamo — And To Us

BeethovenMy musical hero Beethoven  (born around this date in 1770; baptized on December 17; died 1827) wrote only one opera, Fidelio.

In it, instead of rhapsodizing about Teutonic gods, or killing off ill-fated sopranos, his story dealt with a group of political prisoners who win their freedom from an oppressive system, mainly through the heroism of a woman.

Continue reading Beethoven’s Message to Guantanamo — And To Us

Dog Days Weekend Read: Hear The War Prophet: Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges covered wars close up for fifteen years.

Chris Hedges has been there. A war correspondent for many years, he carries a burden of closely-observed horror for which the term PTSD pales. You can see it in the hollows around his eyes.

Chris Hedges has also been through hell with religion. He’s not “religious” now in any conventional sense. Yet he’s not “anti-religious” either. He can’t leave the subject alone. In books and columns, he delivers impassioned oracles. One of his recent books is, “I Don’t Believe In Atheists.” Continue reading Dog Days Weekend Read: Hear The War Prophet: Chris Hedges