Ultimately, the need to draw ever-clearer-and-more-rigid distinctions between slaves and free, in order to keep the black slaves in subjection, impelled the Virginia assembly not only to close off virtually all avenues to black freedom, but also to deny the blacks their essential humanity. And this was, from a Quaker standpoint, the most disturbing development of all.
According to an anonymous official in the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Bush regime has caved in under the pressure of a lawsuit from three environmental organizations, and is about to propose that polar bears be listed as “threatened” under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
A listing of polar bears under the Act — if it indeed happens — will constitute a formal written admission from the Bush regime that global warming is real and is threatening at least one well-known and beloved species.
These were the original words sung to the tune we now call “Adeste fidelis” —
The first reaction that Friends had, on learning that slaveholders in the British West Indies were converting to Quakerism, was a reaction informed by Christ’s Gospel idea of discipleship as a “slavery” that graduated into free “friendship”, and by Paul’s idea that worldly slavery can be justified and ended by convincement and discipleship.
And it was a reaction that, gestalt-fashion, played against the background of the English experience of serfdom (“villeinage”) and servanthood, and was infused with the popular conviction that “servanthood” could be ennobling.
Should early Friends be condemned for the way they handled the challenge of slavery?
Liberal critics say that they should. Early Friends, they say, embraced, participated in, sponsored and strengthened an evil institution.
That’s a serious charge. But how justified is it?
We Omaha Friends held our special session on environmental issues on Sunday, October 8, which was the Sunday after we considered our yearly meeting’s environmental advice and query. This, in essence, turned our special session into a deeper look at the query.
I made no attempt to control the direction of the discussion. My sense was that the members and attenders of our meeting needed to talk out their ideas and feelings and work out their answers without being pressured or forced.
What emerged from the discussion were five lines of inquiry, each of which interested a different subset of our circle —
Dear readers all, please share with me what you hear and feel the inward Guide saying about environmental matters in your own hearts and consciences.
There is something about not being listened to that can provoke a crisis of self-confidence.
We look for other sources of the Nile, then….