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Old 12-19-2005, 01:26 AM   #1
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More about the Quakers

So I have read a little about the Quakers movement, and I would like to know what you think of it.

Apparently their founder, George Fox, believed he was moved by the "Inner Light" and the "Inner Voice", coming from God, and that each individual could respond directly to God’s Spirit, without churches and sacraments. The Quakers assemble in their "Meeting Houses" waiting in silence until one of them begins to sermonize and pray, "trembling under God’s eye" (to quake, hence "Quakers").

The Quakers refuse to serve in war; they regard it as their duty to love and help all human beings regardless of race, creed or class. When Europe was starving after two terrible World Wars, millions of food parcels were sent to Europe by the Quakers. Quakers opposed slavery from the beginning, and were in favour of equality for women.

Numerous and spontaneous in the 18th century, the "Society of Friends" today is a small religious body in Britain and in the U.S., where its members are highly respected for their honourable dealings in public life and business.


Tell me more.
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Old 12-19-2005, 02:09 AM   #2
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Richard Nixon was raised a Quaker.
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Old 12-19-2005, 02:19 AM   #3
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Then some aspects of his Presidency must have been a rebellion against the standards of his youth (?)
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Old 12-19-2005, 02:49 AM   #4
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Apparently they have a better view towards homosexuality than parts (esp. clerics) of the Catholic church.. from
www.religioustolerance.org/hom_quak.htm

Quaker congregations are almost completely autonomous. There exists no central general assembly or main authority within the Society of Friends that can make definitive statements of policy for the entire denomination. Instead, Quakers have regional "meetings" at which a group of congregations gather.

Most Christians and Christian groups can be sorted into three categories: conservative, mainline and liberal. Quakers cover the full range. And this is displayed in their beliefs about homosexuality and bisexuality. The following are excerpts taken from their statements on the topic:

British Quakers:
In 1963, British Quakers published a book "Towards a Quaker View of Sex". It put forth the argument that it was not the gender and sexual orientation of a person that mattered; it was the depth of feeling they have for each other.
"Where there is a genuine tenderness, an openness to responsibility, and the seed of commitment, God is surely not shut out. Can we not say that God can enter any relationship in which there is a measure of selfless love?"2

Subsequently, the Quakers of Westminster Meeting in the UK published a statement:

"We affirm the love of God for all people, whatever their sexual orientation, and our conviction that sexuality is an important part of human beings as created by God, so that to reject people on the grounds of their sexual behaviour is a denial of God's creation."

Hartford, CT:
The meeting issued the following statement on 1986-MAR: 4
"The Meeting affirms the goodness of committed, loving relationships and offers recognition and support to those who share this ideal and desire to enter into a permanent relationship based upon it. By tradition, the Meeting recognizes committed union in a celebration of marriage under the care of the Meeting. The same loving care and consideration should be given to both same-sex and heterosexual applicants as outlined in Faith and Practice."

Beacon Hill, MA:
The meeting issued the following statement on 1988-MAR: 4
"We, the members and attenders of Beacon Hill Monthly Meeting, affirm our belief in that of God in every person. Furthermore, we attest that this belief embraces all persons regardless of sexual orientation.

Beacon Hill affirms that all couples, including those of the same sex, have equal opportunity to be married within the framework of the meeting process. The love between these couples, as it grows, will enrich their relationship, the Meeting, and the world at large. The Meeting is committed to supporting these couples according to their needs.

Beacon Hill acknowledges the Certificate of Marriage signed by the couple and those present at the ceremony as the witness of Friends to the couples' spiritual union. Mindful that only the heterosexual couples among us currently have the right to legally sanctioned marriage and its privileges, the Meeting asks Friends, and particularly couples preparing for marriage, to examine how best to respond and bear witness to the inequalities still present in the system."

Friends Church Southwest Yearly Meeting
They issued a statement on 1992-JAN-24 which says in part:
"We declare that our sexuality is God's gift, and that sexual intercourse is to be enjoyed, as the Scriptures teach, only within the marriage of one man and one woman. We reject and utterly oppose homosexual activity, especially the "blessing" of same sex unions, as sinful and displeasing to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Right reason, Holy Scripture and the Spirit of Christ within us unitedly testify that homosexual practice is contrary to God's will. We also observe that homosexual practice is portrayed in the Scriptures as one of the awful consequences of humanity's pursuit of idolatry. (Romans 1:18-32)

We want to be clear that we welcome those who struggle with homosexual temptation. The gospel of Jesus welcomes all who turn to Him in the hope of a new and remade life. Our Lord Jesus offers that power for real change. We must also be equally clear, however, that we cannot welcome or tolerate the teaching that homosexual or extramarital sexual activity is acceptable to Friends. Without hate or fear we must reject these behaviors because they are both sinful and displeasing to our Lord, and because they are ultimately hurtful and destructive to those who participate in them." 1

Quakers in Madison WI
Quakers were one of the denominations from the Madison WI area, which issued a statement in 1997, titled: "Madison Affirmation On Homosexuality and Christian Faith". 3 It states:
"Jesus Christ calls us to love God and our neighbor as ourselves. As Christian clergy we embrace gay and lesbian persons as our neighbors. From our reading of scripture and from our pastoral experiences, we believe there is sufficient evidence to conclude that homosexuality is neither sickness nor sin. For too long, homosexual persons have been condemned and mistreated by the followers of Jesus Christ. Sadly, the Bible has been misused in support of this condemnation. This abuse of scripture must end. Heterosexual and homosexual persons are children of God, created in God's image. ...

We believe it is time to eliminate all policies and practices which create barriers and restrictions to the full participation of gay and lesbian Christians in all of the privileges and responsibilities of church membership. Recognizing that our churches still speak and act out of our long-standing prejudices:

We hope and pray that we will acknowledge our sin and be forgiven for our ignorance, fear, arrogance and self-righteousness; ...
We rejoice in the refusal of many gay and lesbian Christians to abandon or be forced out of their church homes;...
We consider these sisters and brothers to be a unique, holy and precious gift to all of us who struggle to become the family of God,"

New Zealand: The Quaker meeting in Aotearoa is called "Te Hahi Tuhauwiri." This was the name gifted to them by the Maori Language Commission in 1994. It means "The people who are moved by the winds of the Spirit." In 1999, they published their Statement of Affirmation and Reconciliation about the inclusiveness of sexualities, especially gays and lesbians. It had been adopted in 1995. Portions read:
"The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Aotearoa New Zealand commits itself to be a community of reconciliation, responding to the love of God in equality of participation and service, and recognizing the gifts of God in one another. A cornerstone of Quaker belief is 'that of God' in everyone which makes each person precious, and of value to God, to the planet, and to her or his community.

Each individual's journey through life is unique. Some will make this journey alone, others in loving relationships - maybe in marriage or other forms of commitment. We need to ponder our own choices and try to understand the choices of others. Love has many shapes and colors and is not finite. It can not be measured or defined in terms of sexual orientation.

We are now called:

to welcome publicly and explicitly the participation and service of lesbian and gay Friends;
to help one another develop loving and equal adult relationships and friendships;
to explore ways in which we can, through worship and cherishing, mark the joys and sorrows of one another's relationships and life circumstances;
to seek formal ways of recognizing a variety of commitments, including gay and lesbian partnerships.

We realize in making this present affirmation we oblige ourselves to face and deal with our own homophobia and unconscious prejudices, together with society's limitations and denials of human rights and justice. We acknowledge that as individuals we are as fallible as anyone else. When put to the test, we may each fall short."





...
The last paragraph, that´s something (don´t you think so melon?). I wish the Pope would issue a statement like that.

This is not meant to derail my own thread so please, stick to the topic.. and show me your LOVE
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Old 12-19-2005, 02:54 AM   #5
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I went to a Quaker college for a couple of years. If I was going to join an organised Christian religion it would most likely be the Quakers -- preferably liberal Quakers -- apparently that is a fairly good fit for me based on a couple of "what religions work best for you surveys" I've done. (ultimately, no organised religion is a good enough fit for me though....at least not yet)

I really liked that they do not try to convert people. They were always kind and welcoming, but never, ever pushed any religious agenda. The Quakers I knew epitomised walking the walk vs just paying lip service. I knew people who went to jail rather than serve in war. I didn't always agree with their stance, but I admire it. They were better, more consistant people than I am.

I also liked that we didn't have to address our profs by any title, but could use their given name. I was actually too shy to even do that so I tended to just get their attention by saying "excuse me" or clearing my throat (softly) and when they looked up just going on with my question. But I'm weird.


And no Quaker I knew ever wanted to claim Nixon.
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Old 12-19-2005, 11:12 AM   #6
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Herbert Hoover was also raised Quaker.

Quakers were not always pacifists. During the turbulent 17th century in England, there were questions among Quakers about pacifism. They were one of many sects to arise during the Interregnum in England and only one of the few to survive.
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Old 12-19-2005, 12:42 PM   #7
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Thanks for your infos, indra and Ft Worth Frog, it´s an interesting group.
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Old 12-19-2005, 01:17 PM   #8
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