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What did George Fox say? or, the Quakers vs. the Puritans

Date: 08/28/2014

I've been thinking a lot lately, trying to make sense out of the craziness rampant in too many American city police departments. The newest idiocy is the story of a St. Paul, Minnesota man who was, basically, tased for sitting while black. Oh -- in a public space. And because he didn't give police his name. (Note: there was no legal requirement he do so.) Wow. Shades of the Puritans, who ...

Related Topics: Health And Wellness, Britton Gildersleeve, Buddhism, Quakers, Buddhist Blogs

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What Is A Quaker?

Date: 07/31/2014

Throughout my life, I have been to Quaker Meeting a handful of times. I don't consider myself part of that fold, but resonate with the essence of it. When I have entered into that space, everything has slowed down and I am pulled into a state of serenity. In Quaker services, there is silence until one is moved by Spirit to speak. I have heard the affirming thought "There is that of God in everyone ...

Related Topics: Blog 107, Peace, You Tube, Edie Weinstein, Quaker, Quaker Meeting

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    Quaker Basics

    History: Quakerism originated in mid-17th century England, originally as a break-away branch of Puritanism. George Fox (1624-1691), an English preacher, founded the Society of Friends, whose open structure reflects his aversion to church hierarchy and titles. Fox held that the “Inner Light,” the inspiring presence of God in each person, stands above Scripture and creed. This belief resonates through Quakerism despite a fairly wide variety of practices.

    Main Tenets: Quaker beliefs include the emphasis on plain speech and dress; opposition to slavery and war; and the refusal to swear oaths, which Quakers believe undermine the daily mandate for truth-telling. Many early feminists and abolitionists were Quakers, and a strong social ethic continues to pervade the work of the American Friends Service Committee, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947.

    Quakers, who often met persecution for their beliefs, have also been champions of religious freedom. English Quaker William Penn founded Pennsylvania as a "holy experiment," a refuge for Quakers and other religious minorities.

    Organizations: Quaker congregations are called "meetings," which range from structured services led by ministers to open sessions where participants speak when inspired by their own Inner Light. Major Quaker umbrella organizations are the Friends General Conference of Philadelphia and Friends United Meeting, based in Richmond, Ind.

    Membership: According to "Quakers in America," by Thomas D. Hamm, there are about 100,000 Quakers in the U.S. and about 350,000 worldwide. Kenya has the largest Quaker population in the world, with about 130,000 Friends. 

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