Plain in the city

A plain Quaker folk singer with a Juris Doctorate in his back pocket, salt in his blood, and a set of currach oars in the closet, Ulleann Pipes under his arm, guitar on his back, Anglo Irish baggage, wandering through New York City ... in constant amaze. Statement of Faithfulness. As a member of the Quaker Bloggers Ad Hoc Committee I affirm that I will be faithful to the Book of Discipline of my Meeting 15th Street Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Quaker Business meeting or Pharisees and Sadducees at War?

Quaker Business meeting or Pharisees and Sadducees at War?

Field Theory of Politics and Religion part 1

All human organization falls into one of two categories which I refer to by their equivalent in Judaic history as I understand it two thousand years later. The first, Phariseean: The Relationship dictates the Rule, the second, The Sadduceean: The Rule dictates the Relationship. There we are - a black and white dualist model which is, at the start wrong, as nothing is all one thing and not the other in life (as Amanda and I were musing the other day about the error of nillism [wish I could spell that...]). So, in broad strokes, conservatives are Sadducees, Liberals are Pharisees. Marx was a Pharisee, Communist Parties are made up of Sadducees. Jesus was a Pharisee (he REALLY was)! Christian fundamentalists are for the most part, Sadducees.

Bad bad bad badness can happen when you put Sadducees and Pharisees in a room together and propose, "Hey lets.... "

Pharisee's "Do nothing to another that is abhorrent to yourself, that is the Torah and all else is commentary..." (Hillel) The Torah was made for man, not man for the torah (David) The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" (Jesus)

Sadducees, When in doubt, follow the rule, when not in doubt follow the rule, when the rule will get you killed ... follow the Rule!

(About now you may guess, I am a Pharisee, thought I know we need Sadducees) Pharisees fly into new ideas and Sadducees keep out right anarchy from becoming rife...

So here we are, in Quakerism, seeking to find our common ground and love each other as ourselves, and yet, we are so offended by the other, if we are a Sadducee or a Pharisee that we can't let it rest ... can't get past the nagging itch of the other's point of view, though being Quakers, we eventually drag each other to some uncomfortable common ground. But, I think we can and should do better. We should be self aware enough to first look to love as the method to come to unity, and look to the intent of the other in order to temper our stand, not try and persuade the other enough to come to a compromise.

I am putting that inartfuly. Let me try a bit more ... we don't (or should not) contradict each other, but build on each other's light. We should assume the other is not in error, but that we are seeking to understand the other and in that way, adding our own light come to unity.

That's enough for now, before I become preachy, which ain't peachy.

(Be more than nice to each other...)


At 8:24 AM, Blogger Rich in Brooklyn said...

Sadduccee? Smadduccee! Pharisee? Heresy!


Post a Comment

<< Home